Allergy Treatments

New Allergy Clinic

With pollen seasons getting longer and stronger, you may find that allergy symptoms get in the way of fully enjoying your life. You know the symptoms – drippy or stuffy nose, sneezing, itchy eyes, nose and throat, or worsened asthma.

We are now offering a simple allergy treatment.

Sublingual immunotherapy, or allergy drops, is a safe, convenient way to treat the cause of your allergies and help you build long-term tolerance to the things that once made you miserable.

  • The patient tailored drops work similar to allergy shots, but are delivered through a liquid drop under the tongue at home or wherever you are.
    • This method makes it easier to stay with your treatment and requires fewer office visits than with other methods.
    • Although most allergy sufferers can benefit from allergy drops, they’re especially ideal for those who can’t tolerate or don’t respond to allergy shots, as well as those who are unable to commit to allergy shot therapy.

Do allergy drops work?

Use of sublingual immunotherapy in the U.S. dates back nearly 100 years, and research has proven allergy drops’ effectiveness.

  • Allergy drops are custom to each patient based on testing, history and exam.
    • Drops can be used safely for a broad range of people including infants and children, those with food allergies, people with chronic health conditions such as asthma, sinusitis, and those with multiple allergies.
    • World Health Organization research has shown the use of allergy drops is an effective alternative to shots.
    • Allergy drops provide you with an opportunity for lasting, and often permanent, benefits.

If you’re interested in more information, please call us at 919-999-0831 or visit our website, www.carolinatotalwellness.com.

We appreciate being part of your care and are pleased to bring you this option.

Pediatric Guidelines For “Colds”

Blair Cuneo

Pediatric Supplement Prevention Options:

1. Annual Vitamin A “flu” shot (Seeking Health liquid vitamin A, CTW Vitamin A caps): • 150,000 IU vitamin A once

2. Vitamin C (CTW Complete Vitamin C):

• 3-5 years: 125-250 mg daily

• 6-12 years: 250-500 mg daily

3. Vitamin D (CTW Liquid D3 or CTW Vitamin D3):

• 3-6 years: 1,000 IU daily

• 7-12 years: 2,000-3,000 IU daily

• 13-18 years: 3,000-4,000 IU daily

4. Zinc (Zinc Drink, Zinc Glycinate):

• 3 years: 5-10 mg daily

• 4-12 years 10-25 mg daily

5. Probiotics (Ther-biotic Chewables, CTW Daily Probiotic, CTW S. boulardii):

• All ages: 1 a day

6. Omega 3 (Nordic Naturals DHA (strawberry), Nordic Naturals CLO (orange), CTW Omega 3s):

• 4-12 years: 2000 mg daily

7. Elderberry: • <7yo: 250mg daily • >7yo: 500mg daily

8. Boiron Oscillococcinum (homeopathy):

• 1 vial once a week

Pediatric Supplement Therapeutic options: Start at first signs of upper respiratory illness.

1. Vitamin C (CTW Complete Vitamin C)

• 3-5 years: 125-250 mg dosed every hour, reducing if loose bowel movements

• 6-12 years: 250-500 mg dosed every hour, reducing if loose bowel movements

2. Zinc liquid or lozenges (Zinc Drink or Zinc Glycinate)

• 3 years: 5-10 mg every 6 hours

• 4-12 years: 10-15 mg every 6 hours

3. Elderberry:

• Kids: 1-2 tsp 3-4 times a day

• Teens and Adults: 1 TBL 3-4 times a day

Homeopathy options begun at symptom onset:

1. Boiron Oscillococcinum

• One vial 3xday for 24 hours

2. Boiron ColdCalm

• Ages 3+: 2 tabs under tongue every 15 min for 1 hour; then 3xday until symptoms resolve.

3. Umcka ColdCare/Cough/Cold+Flu (ages 12 and older) and Umcka ColdCare Kids (ages 6 and older)

• Use as directed

Carolina Total Wellness also carries “Viracid” and “Viragraphis”, combination formulas to combat viral illness, in capsule form. Ask your provider for more information on dosing.

Healthy foods and restorative sleep are fundamental, especially when sick. Bone broth daily, minimum 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily.

Restorative Sleep guidelines from AAP:

Children 3-5 years old: 10-13 hours of sleep every 24 hours (including naps)

Children 6-12 years old: 9-12 hours of sleep every 24 hours

Children 13-18 years old: 8-10 hours of sleep every 24 hours.

Golden Milk: Ancient Remedy

Turmeric may not be the first thing you think about putting in tea, but with the right mixture of spices, it is a delicious soothing remedy. This tuber is a well-known remedy for its benefits including digestion, immune function, the liver and even possible protection from some types of cancer.

What is Golden Milk?

Turmeric Tea or Golden Milk is a great way to get the benefits of Turmeric daily. It’s great to drink this before bed because it aids relaxation and helps boost the immune system while sleeping.

The University of Maryland Medical Center reports that it is safe to cook with Turmeric while pregnant and nursing but that turmeric supplements should not be taken without a doctor’s advice. Since this tea contains Turmeric, consult with a doctor or midwife before consuming this if you are pregnant, nursing or have a medical condition.

Turmeric Tea/ Golden Milk Recipe

Ingredients:

2 cups of milk of choice (almond, pecan, coconut and dairy all work in this recipe)

1 teaspoon Turmeric or Turmeric Spice Mix

1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon

1 teaspoon raw honey or maple syrup or to taste (optional)

Pinch of black pepper (increases absorption)

  • Tiny piece of fresh, peeled ginger root or 1/4 tsp ginger powder
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

Instructions:

First, blend all ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth.

Then, Pour into a small sauce pan and heat for 3-5 minutes over medium heat until hot but not boiling.

How to Make a Dry Turmeric Tea Mix:

If you’d rather not mix up the spices each time, you can easily make a mixture of the spices and just add to warmed milk when ready.

 

Mix up:

1/2 cup turmeric powder

1/4 cup cinnamon powder

1 ½ teaspoons ground black pepper

1-2 Tablespoons ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon of cayenne (optional)

Then, just add 2 teaspoons of this mix to 2 cups of milk of choice for a faster recipe.

Or, Make Turmeric Paste

Golden Paste:
1/2 cup organic turmeric powder
1/2 cup clean water (no fluoride)
1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
5 Tablespoons virgin coconut oil

In a stainless steel pot cook together: Water, turmeric and black pepper until it forms a thick paste, stir and cook for 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add virgin coconut oil, using a whisk to fully mix in the coconut oil. Finally, transfer to a glass jar with a lid and store in the refrigerator.

Golden Milk:
1 tsp. Golden Paste
2 cups Almond Milk or Coconut Milk
1/8 teaspoon Vanilla (Optional)
Molasses to taste.
Pinch cinnamon (Optional)
In a stainless steel pot-gently heat, but do not boil, milk with 1 teaspoon paste. Use whisk
Add molasses and vanilla and cinnamon to taste.

Notes:

This may stain blenders and counter tops. The color isn’t harmful and will eventually fade. Recipe can be halved or doubled if needed.

Curcumin:

This bright yellow spice contains Curcumin (up to 3% by weight), which has been well studied for its benefits. It is believed to halt an enzyme that may be responsible for turning environmental toxins into carcinogens in the body. Turmeric is a folk remedy for helping protect the body from the affects of smoking or chewing tobacco.

Curcumin may also improve digestion of fats and sugars and help alleviate inflammation in the digestive system. It is an age-old skin remedy and is even used in the mouth to help alleviate gum problems.

Of course, Turmeric can be added to foods and is a great base for many spice blends, but those who want to consume it as a remedy often turn to turmeric tea.

Stress And The Body

As the world brings unprecedented change, we at Carolina Total Wellness remain dedicated to offering resources for your overall health and well-being.

Stress is an inevitable part of life — we can certainly agree on that, can’t we? There are some things in life that we just can’t dodge, no matter how much we want to, and stress is one of them. There’s always a few too many things on our to-do lists, a big project at work that is due next week, or a virus that has literally shut our nation down.

Overwhelming stress can wreak havoc on your health and wellbeing — including sleep issues, headaches, muscle tension, fatigue, digestion problems — the list goes on. It’s incredible the amount of influence stress has on how our bodies function.

Even though you cannot avoid stress, equipping yourself with practical tools to combat stress can make a drastic difference in your life.

Here are a few practical ways to cope with symptoms of increased stress:

Poor Sleep. Being consistent and going to bed at the same time each night and getting up at the same time each morning, including on the weekends even when we don’t have to, is extremely helpful for regulating the quality of our sleep. Avoiding large meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bedtime in addition to removing electronic devices, such as TVs, computers, and smart phones, from the bedroom are helpful. Adding in a guided sleep mediation or a sleep story while diffusing aromatherapy can help deepen the relaxation process. Rose, geranium and valerian are some essential oils you can diffuse.

Headaches. A tension headache is generally a diffuse, mild to moderate pain in your head that’s often described as feeling like a tight band around your head. They are also described as snugness or weight around the temple of your head or the back of your head and neck. The headaches are also commonly called tension headaches and they are the most widely recognized among adults. Applying peppermint essential oil to the temples has been shown to reduce the symptoms of tension headaches and applying lavender oil is also highly effective at reducing migraine pain and associated symptoms when applied to the upper lip and inhaled. Using a specially formulated CBD-infused roll-on that contains all the plant power of Premium Hemp Flower Extract combined with an array of healing herbs to help soothe and comfort, packed into a convenient roll-on applicator. Ideal for use on the go or anyone looking for targeted results. Roll it on, anywhere – pressure points, temples, knees or wrists – for pinpointed relief, on the spot. We offer the Ananda Hemp Roll On through our webstore.

Muscle Tension. If you suffer from muscle tension, stiffness or soreness, then the first step is a hot bath with 2-3 cups of Epsom salts added to the water. It can relieve back pain and swelling of muscle tension. Follow this with the application of a topical CBD salve or lotion, and you might feel a dramatic relief. Myofascial release with a foam roller is also very helpful. In addition, you can use a lacrosse ball. Simply place your body against a wall and then place the lacrosse ball on your upper shoulders and release any pain points.

Fatigue. While the main symptoms of fatigue are a general feeling of weariness or being tired or drowsy, stress-related fatigue is usually accompanied by other symptoms: sore or aching muscles, or feeling of muscle weakness, headache, moodiness, irritability, or easily being agitated. Dizziness and blurred vision and loss of appetite can also be symptoms. An effective solution is deep breathing. The majority of people do not naturally breathe deeply, but instead, breathe very shallow breaths. Stop and notice how you are breathing right now. Chances are, you are not breathing deep enough to fill your lungs to the point your stomach extends. It can be quite a hard habit to change since our bodies do the breathing for us without having to think about it. Deep breathing provides the brain with optimal levels of oxygen which has many health benefits. Practicing deep breathing three times a day will help re-train this habit and will help decrease stress levels thus elevating overall fatigue.

Place one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen. With deep “belly” breathing, your abdominal hand will move more than your chest hand. This will make sure that you are breathing deep into the bottom of the lungs.

Inhale through your nose for a count of 4, hold your breath at the top of inhalation for a count of 4 and exhale through your nose for a count of 6-8. Do this slowly. Contract your abdominal muscles at the bottom of exhalation to make sure that you have expelled all the air out of your lungs.

Repeat the cycle four more times for a total of 5 deep breaths and try to breathe at a rate of one breath every 10 seconds (or 6 breaths per minute). At this rate our heart rate variability increases which has a positive effect on cardiac health.

With daily practice, this breathing will become more second nature and done without thought.

Digestive Issues. Some teas such as ginger tea, chamomile tea, fennel infusions and lavender tea help to relieve stress as well as many symptoms of indigestion. These teas have antispasmodic properties that can greatly relieve stomach upset. The best teas for digestion help to relive excess gas, bloating and stomach discomfort. Another reason to drink herbal teas for digestion is that the increase in fluid boosts digestive health.

A Note From Blair Cuneo PA-C Lead Pediatric Team Care Provider

Thinking back to my childhood, it was difficult to list many friends or classmates with multiple medical conditions that decreased their quality of life. Fast forward to working as a family practice PA-C, I saw not only the list of medical conditions and medications increasing for my adult patients, but also those of my pediatric ones. These included severe food or environmental allergies, difficult to treat eczema or asthma, overwhelming anxiety, sleep difficulties, chronic or recurrent pain with migraines, menstrual cycles, joints. I did as I was well trained to do, prescribe, and refer; prescribe and refer. I felt confident in suppressing their symptoms but not genuinely appreciating the cycle we were all in.
Traditional visits to family care or pediatric providers do not allow the time to truly sit down with a family and understand where their child is, how and why they got there, and where they want to be. Pediatric functional medicine appreciates this thorough discussion, as it will powerfully impact the creation of an individualized plan of action. Pediatric functional medicine works to understand root cause of symptoms and diagnoses. We implement medical and lifestyle therapies that will change the momentum of chronic illness and improve quality of life.

Your pediatric functional medicine team includes a medical provider and health coach certified through the Institute of Functional medicine. We work with families to target nutrient needs, understand inflammatory triggers inside and outside of the body, diversify and increase colorful, anti-inflammatory whole foods and address lifestyle balance. We work to increase the resiliency of these young bodies who are under increasing pressure to detox from stressors on their systems.

Every BODY can benefit from a functional medicine approach to wellness. Lists of medicines and medical concerns have become normalized in our society, but it is not normal and it’s definitely not optimal.
Call or go online to learn more how Carolina Total Wellness pediatric functional medicine team can optimize health for the special children in your life.

Covid 19 Recommendations

COVID19 Recommendations
Updated March 23, 2020

Your best defense against a viral infection is a healthy immune system which you can support with clean air, clean water and clean food. Focus on eating foods that are organic and rich in antioxidants (fruits and vegetables). Make sure that the water you drink is adequately filtered and do not drink out of plastic bottles. Use good quality HEPA filters in your home, especially your bedroom. Practice good hygiene with frequent hand washing with warm water and soap. Keep stress levels as low as possible and make adequate sleep a priority.
In addition to social distancing, frequent/adequate handwashing and sanitizing guidelines from CDC (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html), here are Cov19 recommendations. Please keep in mind, information is changing daily. Covid-19, also known as SARS-CoV-2, is too new for us to have a body of literature on how specific nutrients or herbal remedies affect clinical outcomes. We therefore predict the risk/benefit based on understanding mechanisms involved and similarities between this virus and its most closely related viruses. Based on new concerns regarding this specific virus, we have amended our prior recommendations on high dose vitamin A and D.

These supplement regimens are not intended to cure Covid-19 but to help boost your body’s own immune response to the virus. If you suspect symptoms of Covid-19, we recommend that you call your primary care physician’s office or seek evaluation and testing through an Urgent Care center. A list of resources is available at the end of this document.

Adult Prevention Options: (supplements available through your online patient portal)
1. Vitamin C: 500-1000mg daily (CTW Complete Vitamin C)
2. Vitamin D: 2000IU -5000IU per day (CTW Liquid D3 or CTW Vitamin D3)
3. Omega 3 (EPA/DHA): 2500mg daily (CTW Omega 3 or Arctic Cod Liver oil) or (Metagenics SPM) 2 caps twice daily
4. Zinc glycinate: 15-30mg daily (Reacted Zinc or Zinc Drink)
5. N-acetylcysteine: 600mg daily (CTW Liver Support) or (Trizomal glutathione) 5mL once daily
6. (Biocidin LSF) mix 10 pumps with a bottle of over the counter nasal saline spray or Xlear and then spray twice into each nostril upon returning home from outside exposure like your office or the grocery store.
7. PEA: 2 caps daily. Recommend Vitalitus PEA or Metagenics Hemp Advantage Plus {PEA with CBD}.
8. Real Mushrooms 5 Defenders, providing >20% beta-D-glucans: 1 cap daily**
9. Real Mushrooms Reishi 415**: 1 cap daily**
**Mushrooms are highly complex. Certain compounds are immunostimulating. Is this a problem in COVID19, or a benefit? We don’t know the answer. There is also concern using immune stimulants in autoimmune patients**
Herbs such as elderberry, echinacea, astragalus, andrographis and beta glucans can help to boost immune function. However, we do not recommend taking these supplements if you have an existing autoimmune condition as these may flare your condition.

Pediatric Prevention Options: (supplements available on your online patient portal)
1. Vitamin C: 250mg daily (1/2 capsule of CTW Complete Vitamin C)
2. Vitamin D: 600IU-1000IU per day (CTW Liquid D3)
3. Omega 3: 500-1000mg daily (DHA Junior Liquid or Arctic Cod Liver oil) or (Metagenics SPM) 1 cap twice daily
4. Zinc glycinate: 15mg daily (Zinc Drink)
5. N-acetylcysteine: 300mg daily (CTW Liver Support) or (Trizomal glutathione) 2.5mL once daily
6. (Biocidin LSF) mix 10 pumps with a bottle of over the counter nasal saline spray or Xlear and then spray once into each nostril upon returning home from outside exposure that couldn’t be avoided….stay strong parents! No friend visits!
7. PEA: ages 5-14: 1 cap daily. Recommend Vitalitus PEA or Metagenics Hemp Advantage Plus {PEA with CBD}.
8. Real Mushrooms 5 Defenders, providing >20% beta-D-glucans: 1 cap daily**
9. Real Mushrooms Reishi 415**: 1 cap daily**
**Mushrooms are highly complex. Certain compounds are immunostimulating. Is this a problem in COVID19, or a benefit? We don’t know the answer. There is also concern using immune stimulants in autoimmune patients**
Herbs such as elderberry, echinacea, astragalus, andrographis and beta glucans can help to boost immune function. However, we do not recommend taking these supplements if you have an existing autoimmune condition as these may flare your condition.

See next page for graphic to review signs of illness and therapeutic options:

*** New data, obtained after this chart was generated, indicates that diarrhea occurs in up to half of all patients presenting the Covid-19***

At first sign of illness, adult therapeutic options:
1. Vitamin C: increase to 1 gram per hour x 6 hours per day. Reduce dose slightly if you develop loose bowel movements
2. Zinc liquid or lozenges: Swish liquid or allow lozenge to dissolve slowly, bathing the throat in zinc. Total zinc should be 60mg per day x 1 week. Recommended to divide this up with 1 teaspoon Zinc Drink 4 x day only to avoid copper depletion.
3. Biocidin LSF mix 10 pumps with a bottle of over the counter nasal saline spray or Xlear and then spray twice into each nostril two times a day.
4. Metagenics SPMs: Increase to 2 caps 3 times per day with first symptoms, continue x 6 weeks.
5. N-acetylcysteine: Increase to 600mg twice a day or Trizomal glutathione 5mL twice a day
6. PEA: increase to 2 caps three times per day with first symptoms. Continue for six weeks
7. Real Mushrooms 5 Defenders**: increase to 2 caps twice a day with symptoms
8. Real Mushrooms Reishi 415**: increase to 2 caps once to twice per day with symptoms.
**Mushrooms are highly complex. Certain compounds are immunostimulating. Is this a problem in COVID19, or a benefit? We don’t know the answer. There is also concern using immune stimulants in autoimmune patients**
Herbs such as elderberry, echinacea, astragalus, andrographis and beta glucans can help to boost immune function. However, we do not recommend taking these supplements if you have an existing autoimmune condition as these may flare your condition.

At first sign of illness, pediatric therapeutic options:
1. Vitamin C: increase to 500mg per hour x 6 hours per day. Reduce dose slightly if you develop loose bowel movements
2. Zinc liquid or lozenges: Swish liquid or allow lozenge to dissolve slowly, bathing the throat in zinc. Total zinc should be 60mg per day x 1 week. Recommended to divide this up with 1 teaspoon Zinc Drink 4 x day only to avoid copper depletion.
3. Biocidin LSF mix 10 pumps with a bottle of over the counter nasal saline spray or Xlear and then spray twice into each nostril two times a day.
4. Metagenics SPMs: Increase to 1 cap 3 times per day with first symptoms, continue x 6 weeks.
5. N-acetylcysteine: Increase to 300mg twice a day or Trizomal glutathione 2.5mL twice a day
6. PEA: increase to 1 cap three times per day with first symptoms. Continue for six weeks
7. Real Mushrooms 5 Defenders**: increase to 1 cap twice a day with symptoms
8. Real Mushrooms Reishi 415**: increase to 1 cap once to twice per day with symptoms.
**Mushrooms are highly complex. Certain compounds are immunostimulating. Is this a problem in COVID19, or a benefit? We don’t know the answer. There is also concern using immune stimulants in autoimmune patients**
Herbs such as elderberry, echinacea, astragalus, andrographis and beta glucans can help to boost immune function. However, we do not recommend taking these supplements if you have an existing autoimmune condition as these may flare your condition.

References:
https://www.drkarafitzgerald.com/2020/03/16/covid19-traditional-chinese-medicine-and-western-options-for-the-non-tcm-trained-clinician/?mc_cid=1cd528a9bd&mc_eid=fb7826b1c3

Coronavirus (COVID-19): What a Pediatrician Wants You to Know


https://www.drkarafitzgerald.com/2020/03/12/covid-19-preserving-your-familys-health-and-sanity-in-the-face-of-a-pandemic/?mc_cid=1cd528a9bd&mc_eid=fb7826b1c3

From the NC Health Department:
If you have questions about COVID-19 (coronavirus), dial 2-1-1 or 888-892-1162. Sign up for updates by texting COVIDNC to 898211.
For all other questions, the DHHS Customer Service Center can assist in finding programs and people to help you. Call 1-800-662-7030.

3708 Forestview Rd., #202 office@carolinatotalwellness.com T: 919-999-0831
Raleigh, NC 27612 www.carolinatotalwellness.com F: 888-394-6442

Hair Dyes and Relaxers Linked to Significant Cancer Risk

926 hair dyes cause cancer

It is hard being a woman in a society that disapproves of aging women and favors straight hair. In fact, coloring and straightening hair is regarded as “professional,” “good grooming,” or “taking care of yourself.” But at what a cost — a new study shows hair dyes and relaxers are significantly associated with breast cancer…especially for black women.

The Journal of Cancer article showed the results of a study that tracked more than 45,000 women over eight years. Black women who regularly used permanent hair dyes had a 60 percent higher chance of developing breast cancer than black women who did not. White women had an 8 percent higher chance.

Women who used chemical hair straighteners were 30 percent more likely to develop breast cancer. While some white women straighten their hair, in the study three quarters of the black women straightened their hair.

Why the cancer link? The researchers pointed to toxic compounds in hair dyes known as “endocrine disrupters.” This means these compounds mimic hormones and interfere with normal hormone function, thus causing imbalances and an increased risk of cancer.

The chemicals used in products geared towards black women may be more “hormonally active,” according to researchers.

Women are increasingly being encouraged to choose health and longevity over toxic cosmetic options. For instance, a movement is under foot to embrace silver and gray hair and black women are encouraged to embrace their natural hair, with one state so far banning discrimination against black people who wear their hair naturally (many employers discriminate against black women who forgo chemical straightening).

Black women bear the brunt of toxic hair products

Although most commercial women’s hair and body products are laden with toxins, hair products aimed at black women contain a disproportionate amount of chemicals linked with early puberty, obesity, asthma, and cancer.

A 2016 study showed black women’s bodies contained higher burdens of the toxic chemicals found in hair products than in women of other ethnicities.

Researchers have so far identified more than 70 harmful chemicals in relaxers, root stimulators, and anti-frizz products.

Toxins in these products (and in other beauty products in general) have been shown to have the following impacts on health:

  • Parabens and phthalates disrupt hormone function and are linked to early puberty and pre-term births.
  • Nonylphenol is linked to obesity and cancer.
  • Formaldehyde is linked to miscarriage risk and respiratory issues.
  • Various compounds irritate the eyes and skin, burn and blister the scalp, damage hair follicles, cause hair loss, and cause respiratory disorders.
  • Hair relaxers are linked to uterine fibroids in black girls and women at a rate two to three times higher than in other women. Uterine fibroids affect up to 80 percent of black women during their lifetime.
  • Cosmetologists exposed to these products during pregnancy experienced twice the rate of miscarriages.
  • Breast cancer is a leading cause of death among black women; they generally have a more aggressive forms of cancer compared to white women.

Just one product alone can contain 30 different toxic chemicals. How these chemicals affect human health when in combination with one another has not been studied.

Toxic hair products could help explain why black women suffer from more endocrine disorders than white or Hispanic women.

While these products harm black women, the Black Women for Wellness Report also points to the complexity and conflict between harmful hair products and the positive role of hair salons in black communities.

Ask my office for advice on how to lower your toxic burden, buffer your body from the effects of toxins in our everyday lives, and improve your overall health and well being.

New Study Shows Mold Triggers Brain Inflammation

925 new study shows mold problemspng

Landlords dismiss it, friends and family think you’re making it up, and doctors have no idea what you’re talking about — but mold illness is often an unsuspected trigger of chronic health problems. The recent revelation of a string pediatric deaths at a Seattle hospital due to mold in the air system brought national attention to the gravity of mold illness.

Newer construction methods and materials, water damage that was not properly addressed, high indoor humidity levels, and genetic susceptibility are all factors that play a role in whether a person becomes sick from mold. Estimates vary, but some research shows up to 85 percent of building inspected had past water damage.

A new study found that people affected by mold illness experienced:

  • Brain inflammation in the hippocampus, the area of the brain that governs memory, learning, and the sleep-wake cycle.
  • Decreased neurogenesis, or the formation of new brain cells.
  • Impaired memory.
  • Increased sensitivity to pain.
  • Increased anxiety.

The study also noted that the mold spore alone is not necessary to trigger mold reactions and mold illness. We’ve long known that mycotoxins, toxic compounds produced by mold spores small enough to pass through most materials, are the primary trigger in mold illness.

The study also found that mold spore skeletal elements and other mold metabolites also cause symptoms of mold illness.

Researchers link mold-triggered immune activation with these symptoms in the brain and the body, concluding that mold causes symptoms and illness through its inflammatory effects.

Symptoms of mold illness

Symptoms of mold illness vary from person to person, although mold has been correlated with a significant increase in asthma.

People who live, work, or go to school in moldy buildings complain of pain, fatigue, increased anxiety, depression, and cognitive defects such as memory loss. Researchers say the symptoms are similar to those from bacterial or viral infections, due to the inflammatory cascades mold triggers.

The effects of mold illness on the brain have gone largely dismissed by the standard health care model due to insufficient research on the neurological effects of mold illness.

However, this study demonstrates what people with mold illness already know — it messes with your brain. Hopefully similar studies will follow.

In the study, researchers observed that mice inoculated with mold spores showed increased inflammation in the hippocampus, causing notable losses of memory, increased pain, and more anxious behavior compared to mice inoculated with saline.

Addressing mold illness

If you suspect you suffer from mold illness, a variety of in-home tests can show whether the building has high levels of mold and which kinds. Lab testing can show whether you are dealing with high mold mycotoxin levels and if so, which molds are the culprits.

It’s important to have this information because the type of mold you’re dealing with will help determine the best course of action for recovery.

You must take action to deal with mold illness. Sometimes this can mean dramatic changes, such as moving or leaving a job. If the mold contamination is advanced, it can also mean getting rid of all your belongings. However, without action, the inflammation will continue to ravage your system and progressively damage the brain and body. Mold can also trigger or exacerbate autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, multiple sclerosis, vitiligo, and more.

Ask my office how we can help you address possible mold illness.

Regular Crafting Helps Undo Damage From Screentime

927 crafting improves health and brain

If you’re like most people today, you spend hours a day in front of a screen. Americans now spend at least half their lives in front of a screen, five times as long compared to 50 years ago. This excessive screen time has been linked with neurodevelopmental issues in children and “digital dementia” in adults, not to mention depression, isolation, sleep disorders, and anxiety.

While the answer is to spend less time using screens, the problem is screen time also appears to be uniquely addictive for us all.

Is there an antidote? Studies show spending time working with your hands crafting, building, gardening, etc. can provide unique qualities that boost your physical and neurological health. If you’re working to manage a chronic condition such as autoimmune disease of gastrointestinal disease, regular craft time can be a fun and beneficial tool in your health toolbox.

For instance, knitting, crocheting, sewing, and other textile crafts have been shown to have the same neurological benefits as meditation and mindfulness.

Regular knitters have reported knitting makes them feel happy and they are drawn to the craft for its stress relief and anti-anxiety effects. People who knit three or more times a week reported more benefit than those who knitted less frequently.

What’s more, people who knitted in a group or did some other type of group craft activity were even happier than those who knitted solo, thanks to the proven health benefits of socialization.

About three quarters of patients with anorexia nervosa reported knitting distracted them from obsessive, ruminating thoughts about food and weight and helped them feel more relaxed.

Oncology nurses reported knitting reduced compassion fatigue and stress in one study, and another found people with chronic fatigue, depression, and other chronic health disorders experienced increased positivity and well being engaging in textile crafts.

While these crafts are associated primarily with women, research has also found traditionally male crafts, such as woodworking, repair jobs, and “tinkering” impart the same benefits.

The benefits of crafting are believed to be derived from the “flow state” of repetitive mindful action crafts require.

Working with your hands is good for the brain

Although crafting delivers psychological benefits that translate into biochemical mood boosts, there is another important aspect of crafting — working with your hands is great for the brain.

In an era when many of us use our hands primarily for texting, typing, and swiping, handiwork and crafting can activate long dormant areas of the brain. And healthy brain activity in one area, such as the “hands” area, will help improve activity throughout the rest of the brain, contributing to overall improved brain health.

Working with your hands on something physical boosts reward circuits in the brain in ways working abstractly only with your brain doesn’t. This in turn triggers a cascade of neurochemical reactions that improve motivation and self-esteem and relieve depression.

The repetition, memory, and learning required when engaging in a task keeps the brain engaged in a mindful manner while freeing up the “thinking” centers of the brain that are engaged for knowledge tasks. This is not only calming and therapeutic for anxiety and obsessive thoughts, but many people report that this cognitive brain break allows problem solving and creative solutions to spontaneously arrive while crafting.

Knitting, woodworking, scrapbooking, and other crafts may seem like an odd recovery tool when you’re working to manage autoimmunity, gastrointestinal disease, or other chronic health disorders, but once you understand their physical and mental benefits, it makes perfect sense to ditch the screen for some handiwork on a frequent basis.

How To Avoid Autoimmune Flares During Holiday Travels

920 staying healthy while traveling

As if managing an autoimmune condition isn’t hard enough, traveling and holiday schedules can make it downright daunting. Staying with relatives, life on the road and in airports, trying to prepare a good meal in a hotel room, and constantly being offered foods that will throw your autoimmune symptoms into a tailspin all present constant challenges. However, sticking to your autoimmune protocol and diet as much as possible will help prevent flares and relapses so you don’t spend the holidays crashed in bed.

So how do you manage? First, check in with your stress levels. Stress is one of the most potent triggers for flare ups, so commit to a no-stress, can-do attitude. You simply need to invest in a little advance planning and strategic thinking.

Following are tips to stick to your autoimmune protocol and diet while traveling.

Don’t let yourself get too hungry! Letting yourself get overly hungry is the biggest saboteur of the best laid plans. It’s only natural to want to eat when your energy is flagging and you’re starving. This will make you more likely to eat trigger foods, such as gluten or dairy.

Map out your options at your destination before you arrive. Is there a Whole Foods or other health food market in the area? Will your hotel room have a fridge?

You can also travel with frozen food you have insulated to heat up at your destination. Some people even bring their own hot plate and cookware.

Also, make sure you have plenty to eat on long flights, such as beef jerky, celery, sardines, olives, coconut meat, and other filling snacks.

Pack plenty of anti-inflammatory support. Traveling during the holidays is stressful. As much as we love them, sometimes our family members can be stressful. Make sure to save space in your check-in luggage for your go-to anti-inflammatory supplements, such as liposomal glutathione, resveratrol, and turmeric. Glutathione is the body’s most powerful antioxidant and essential for preventing and taming autoimmune flares. Liposomal resveratrol and turmeric in high doses are also great.

Early morning flights, long travel days, overstuffed flights, Aunt June’s air freshener, uncomfortable guest beds, and so on — these stressors can deplete glutathione and raise inflammation, so have your arsenal handy.

Effective anti-inflammatory supplements include glutathione precursors such as N-acetyl-cysteine, alpha-lipoic acid, cordyceps, and milk thistle. You can also take s-acetyl-glutathione, or an oral liposomal glutathione. Note that taking straight glutathione is not effective. You also may want to bring a bottle each of a powerful liquid liposomal resveratrol and turmeric — ask my office for more info.

Search ahead for unscented hotel rooms. Sadly, some hotel rooms can knock you over with the sickly perfume stench as soon as you walk through the door. Or the rooms are dusty and stale. Look for hotels that offer scent-free, allergy-friendly rooms with hypoallergenic bedding, air purifiers, and windows that open. Or at least ask them to air out the room for you before you arrive.

Carry a mask to avoid inhaling triggers. Sometimes you’re simply trapped in an environment that is overly scented, smoky, or potentially triggering in some other way. Just in case the woman next to you on the plane reeks of perfume, keep a face mask with you so you can breathe safely. Invest in a quality face mask that allows you to breathe comfortably. If you wear glasses look for one that won’t fog them up. Some companies also make face masks for children.

Schedule in alone time, time away, and time to rest. It’s too easy for a vacation to feel like an overbearing job. Make sure you take naps, read, meditate, or go for peaceful walks. Stress is one of the most powerful inflammatory toxins, so create and enforce boundaries to keep yours as low as you can.