Category: Sinus and Allergies

Nasal Cleansing/Neti Potting

Compiled by Emily Richmond, ABT

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR SINUS RELATED PROBLEMS

Neti Pot – up to 3 times daily as need for sinus congestion and allergies.

Nasal Cleansing Instructions

Breathing freely through both nostrils aids in the flow of energy throughout the body. Proper cleansing – combined with proper diet – will help maintain a homeodynamic balance by helping to keep the nasal passages open and increasing oxygen to the body.  Nasal Cleansing is beneficial for sufferers of chronic and acute sinusitis and rhinitis.  It removes pollen, other irritants, and mucus. The salt solution helps soothe and heal the mucus membranes and decrease inflammation.

Some studies suggest that nasal cleansing on a daily basis throughout the year isn’t recommended as it can disrupt beneficial organisms. Nasal cleansing is best used prior to and during seasonal allergy season, for acute sinusitis and rhinitis, and to remove other unwanted pollution and allergens as needed.

With a Neti Pot:

Neti Pots (a special ceramic pot) or a food grade plastic pot (more ideal for use in the shower) can be purchased at health food stores or Boise Natural Health Clinic.

  1. Mix 1 /4 tsp. of non-iodized sea salt in 8 ounces of lukewarm distilled water in your Neti Pot. Shake and let the salt dissolve.  Baking soda can be used instead of salt, if salt is too irritating.
  2. Start with the nostril that feels most open. Tilt your head to the side with the open nostril on top, ear parallel to the ceiling. Place it so the nostril closes around the spout. Bending from the hips, lean over the sink and keep the chin slightly higher than the forehead. Tilt the Neti Pot to allow the water to gently and slowly flow into the upper nostril.  This can also be done in the shower.
  3. As the water flows through the upper nostril, breathe evenly through the mouth, adjust your head position to allow water into the sinuses. Keeping your chin tucked toward your body will help and prevent water from running down the throat. When positioned ideally, the solution will come out the opposite nostril rather than down the throat or out the mouth.  Pour half the water through each nostril.

If the Water Won’t Go Through

  1. For a congested person, periodically remove the Net Pot, raise the head up and start blowing GENTLY to remove dislodged materials. Do not blow so hard that your ears pop. Keep tissue handy. Alternate which nostril you pour the water into to help break down the mucus from each side.
  2. After the technique is repeated a few times, the water will come out the opposite nostril, indicating a clear passageway.
  3. After emptying the pot, blow freely through both nostrils to clear the nose of excess water and mucus. Do not close off one nostril when doing this, as it could force water back into the eusatchain tube and into the ear.

All the Water Must Come Out

  1. If there are any problems in clearing the nostrils, kneel down and bring your forehead to the floor, and again blow freely through both nostrils as before. If you are in the shower, try bending forward so the top of the head hangs down. Turn the head to the side, with one finger close the lower nostril gently blow out the upper nostril.
  2. Move the head to a horizontal position, face toward the floor and blow out the same nostril.  GENTLY blow a few times in each position. Alternate the last 2 steps several times as necessary.

Without a Neti Pot:

If you do not have a Neti Pot, nasal cleansing can be done in a similar manner with a paper cup by pinching the side into a spout or you can use your hand.  Follow the directions above, but instead of using a Neti Pot, use a paper cup to pour water into the nostrils.  Or using salt water in your cupped hand slowly inhale the water through one nostril, blowing it out the other.

Other Allergy Solutions

If you are tired of your allergies. Call Emily Richmond and Boise Natural Health  Clinic (208)383-0405 for a 10 minute free consult to see if NAET allergy desensitization is a good fit for you.

Preventing and Treating Seasonal Allergies

By Emily Richmond, ABT, NAET Certified Practitioner

I was recently interviewed on “Talk Dirt to Me” a local Radio Boise talk show. We discussed seasonal allergy prevention and treatment. I decided to post an overview of the helpful tips discussed.

As a person who suffered from seasonal allergies,I tried every treatment I knew about: Western, eastern, and dietary.  Some things helped reduce the symptoms for a short period. The treatment that solved my root issue and allowed me to stop regularly taking allergy medications and supplements was NAET.  I am going to share with you many things that you can use to try to manage your symptoms. But I can’t stress enough the freedom that comes from treating your allergens with NAET, so that your body stops over-reacting. In addition, you don’t have to maintain the majority of the steps below just to get relief once you have had NAET treatments.  Not everything on the list will work for everyone and no single thing will manage it all. Please schedule with us to help you develop the approach that is best for you.

Desensitize Your Allergens

  1. NAET – with Emily Richmond at Boise Natural Health Clinic to non-invasively desensitize your body against seasonal and environmental allergens. Starting in advance of allergy season is optimal. Learn more at the upcoming class on Seasonal Allergy Prevention and Treatment.

Supplementation: Prepare 2-3 Weeks in Advance of Allergy Season for Best Results.

We carry most of the supplements listed. 

  • Multivitamin – Capsules NOT tablets. More than one a day – Thorne has great multivitamins for all ages. Multivitamins support the immune system to do its job and provide the co-factors needed to support detoxification pathways among other functions.
  • Fish Oil – DHA/EPA Carlson’s, Nordic Naturals, Pro Omega Junior for kids, 2 to 4 a day, depending on weight. Fish oil provides omega-3 fatty acids to help with inflammation, seasonal allergies and asthma.
  • Probiotics – Multi-strain, at least 5 good bacteria with 5 billion plus beneficial bacteria, refrigerated.  HMF Powder, BioDoph 7 Plus, or Kyo-Dophilus 9 by Wakunaga. Probiotics are “friendly” bacteria that normally live in our digestive system and throughout the body. They can help us break down food, absorb nutrients, boost the immune system and create a more balanced microbiome in the digestive tract.
  • Astragalus – 1 and 1/2 dropperfuls 3 times daily. It helps support your immune system, adrenals and may help relieve seasonal allergy symptoms when used for 6 weeks. Flavonoids, found in astragalus show antioxidative qualities which counter free radicals.
  • Aller-C – Used to help calm the histamine response. Contains vitamin C. quercetin, and bioflavonoids. 2 to 3 capsules, 3 times daily.
  • Quercetin – 500 to 1,000 mg a day for maintenance or prevention. Can be taken in place of Aller-C. Quercetin is a bioflavonoid that stabilizes the release of histamine and helps to naturally control allergy symptoms. It is an anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant.
  • Nettle tea (stinging nettles) – 1 to 3 cups daily. Steep 20 minutes for the most benefit. Nettle is used for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is nutrient-rich in iron and vitamins A and C.
  • Local raw honey –  Work up to 1 tablespoon daily.   Some people believe it may be useful to slowly desensitize people to local pollens by slowly exposing the immune system based on a concept called immunotherapy. Honey raises levels of antioxidants and boost the overall immune system.

Treatment for Acute Allergy Flare-ups

  • Quercetin – high dose, 1,500 mg, up to 3 or 4 times daily for acute symptoms for up to a few days. Great for hives, water eyes, sneezing and histamine symptoms from some food intolerances. Quercetin is a bioflavonoid that stabilizes the release of histamine and helps to naturally control allergy symptoms.
  • Echinacea or Throat Coat tea (short term – not daily) to help sooth irritated throats (avoid chamomile tea if you have a ragweed allergy).
  • Allergy Eye Relief Drops by Similasan – homeopathic eye drops.
  • Allergy and Sinus Tincture from BNH – eyebright, goldenseal, horseradish, nettle, yarrow. 2 dropperfuls every 1-2 hours as needed. It is used to help with sinus symptoms, eye symptoms and other hay fever symptoms.

Ways to Support your Immune System and Reduce your Burden

  1. Exercise –  cardio and weight bearing – hold standing yoga poses. Workup to 1 minute per side, squats, lunges, and weights.
  2. Learn tools to cope with your stress – meditation or Emotional Freedom Techniques,  and yoga. Deep breathing practices increase oxygen, help detoxify, clear the air way and decreases stress.
  3. Eat an anti-inflammatory diet. Eat a whole foods diet. Avoid dairy and gluten and any other food intolerance(s) that you have during high stress and allergy seasons. Eating spicy foods during allergy season may make the histamine response worse.
  4. Take probiotics and eat fermented foods to support your gut microbiome. Healing your gut will help increase absorption of your food and supplements.
  5. Reduce your exposure to chemical pollutants: Research the products you use on Environmental Working Group, including your perfumes,  laundry soaps, and house hold cleaners.
  6. Eat organic. Print The Clean 15 and The Dirt Dozen  from the Environmental Working Groups for shopping.
  7. Keep your blood sugar levels regulated – try spirulina, nettles, goji berries and protein with every meal
  8. Neti Pot aka nasal douching heals your mucus membranes, removes pollen and irritants and reduces inflammation. Start 2 -3 weeks in advance, 1 to 3 times daily. ¼ teaspoon of sea salt in warm distilled water. Or 1/8 tsp of baking soda if too inflamed.
  9. Hydration reduces inflammation. Drink purified water – 1/2 your weight  in ounces daily, more if you exercise.
  10. Yoga for allergies  – click here for link.
  11. Use acupressure points on your face for sinus congestion.
  12. Essential oil and steaming – eucalyptus or other sinus opening oils like Breathe. Boil purified water, remove from the stove and let the water cool a little. Put in 5 to 10 drops of essential oil and cover your head with a towel and breath in the warm air to clear your sinuses and airways.
  13. Replace or clean out air filters in your home and car.
  14. Keep your pets out of the bedroom.

Call to schedule for free 10 minute consultation to see if NAET is right for you 208-338-0405. Read NAET testimonials here.

Histamine Intolerance

Dr. Emily Dickerson, ND

Usually when we think histamine, we often think hives, hay fever, and skin rashes. However, did you know that it can also cause a myriad of other symptoms such as diarrhea, migraines, sinus congestion, headaches, coughing, difficulty breathi
ng, a racing heart, and
low blood pressure? Histamine is a hidden offender for many people. About 1% of the population is histamine intolerant, and due to the vagueness of its symptoms, it has the potential to be even more prevalent.

Histamine functions as a chemical neurotransmitter, meaning that it communicates with your brain much like neurotransmitters serotonin, epinephrine, and dopamine. This also means that it has impact through
out the body, not just in a specific location.

Histamine can be found in our food. In fact, histamine is much higher in some foods than in others. Histamine intolerance causes many symptoms, which makes it difficult to detect and diagnose for many patients and their healthcare providers. Symptoms can be due to food allergies causing leaky gut, or due to a high intake of histamine-rich foods directly instigating a pro-inflammatory response.

The symptoms of histamine intolerance are caused by an excess of histamine. Excess histamine is often caused by a deficiency of diamine oxidase (DAO), the main enzyme responsible for the breakdown of ingested histamine. A deficiency in DAO can be caused by inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract, most notably due to a disturbance in the healthy gut flora. Histamine Intolerance has been shown to be related to SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth) and dysbiosis (gut flora imbalance). An imbalance in your gut flora can cause a histamine intolerance because some types of excess bacteria actually make histamine from undigested food. This buildup of histamine causes the body to have an increased sensitivity to high histamine foods.

Histamine Rich Foods:

– Very high histamine foods: seafood, canned or smoked fish
– High histamine foods: aged cheese, fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, yogurt, kefir, alcohol, vinegar, meat
– Medium histamine foods: spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, eggplant, canned vegetables, dried fruit, strawberries, papaya, avocado, pineapple

Other foods can cause triggers even if they are not high histamine foods. They do so by triggering the body to increase more of its own histamine. This group includes strawberries, onions, and kiwi.

Histamine functions as a chemical neurotransmitter, meaning that it communicates with your brain much like neurotransmitters serotonin, epinephrine, and dopamine. This also means that it has impact throughout the body, not just in a specific location.

Treatment:

Evaluation and treatment for Histamine Intolerance is multifaceted. While it is good to be aware of the histamine rich foods, don’t simply avoid them, as many have high nutritional benefit and may not be causing your individual symptoms. It is important to have a healthcare provider guide you through the process of identifying your food sensitivities. Testing for a diamine oxidase is inaccurate and unnecessary, thus not done often. It is essential that we look to the diet for potential histamine triggers and that we support a healthy gut flora and appropriate immune response in order to address histamine intolerance.

Diet:

  • An Elimination-Rechallenge Diet focusing on histamine-rich foods can be helpful in identifying a histamine intolerance. The Elimination Rechallenge Diet is the “Gold Standard“ for both conventional and alternative medicine alike for identifying food triggers and matching those triggers with a symptom profile. It can be useful in finding not only a histamine intolerance, but additional food sensitivities that may be present. In utilizing this technique, you will want to take special note of the histamine-rich foods during the elimination-rechallenge process. A healthcare provider can help you identify these patterns and get your diet and your health back on track.
  • Also useful is a Food Sensitivity Panel, which is a blood test that shows your body’s immune response when exposed to different foods. This will not diagnose a histamine intolerance, but can tell us if there are foods causing inflammation in the gut and potentially disrupting the delicate ecosystem within the gastrointestinal tract. This can be helpful in identifying foods that may be triggering inflammation and causing leaky gut and other symptoms. A Food Sensitivity Panel is followed by a streamlined Elimination Rechallenge Diet. If you have had a food sensitivity panel in the past and are still having symptoms, a histamine intolerance may be the problem.
  • Based on the results of the Elimination-Rechallenge Diet and the Food Sensitivity Panel, we can determine a diet that is optimally anti-inflammatory and specific to the individual needs of your body. It is important to have a healthcare provider guide you through the process of identifying food sensitivities.

Gut Flora:

  • If you have a gut flora imbalance, focus on healing your gut tissue and restoring your healthy gut flora in order to decrease your histamine response. A gut healing protocol is often very beneficial while undergoing identification of food triggers and is an essential component of treatment for histamine intolerance.

Allergy Elimination Technique:

Also beneficial for treatment of histamine intolerance is Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique (NAET). This technique helps the body to desensitize itself against triggering allergens, such as histamine foods for those that are histamine intolerant. Boise Natural Health’s own Emily Richmond (Yuen) is an experienced practitioner in NAET and is passionate about helping people overcome histamine intolerance.

If this sounds like you, we recommend a complete evaluation. Dr. Dickerson is now seeing patients full time both via telemedicine and in office. To schedule an appointment, call Boise Natural Health Clinic at (208)338-0405.”

Finding Solutions to Your Allergy Problem

Joan Haynes, ND

Allergies. What a nuisance they are! We all seem to know someone (ourselves included) who suffer from this common problem, whether they are seasonal due to pollens, or more of an everyday occurrence because of food, pets, or chemicals. For some, allergic reactions can even be life-threatening. To date, modern medicine has not had very satisfactory long-term solutions to dealing with allergies. And for reasons unknown, allergies seem to be coming more and more common. Allergic reactions underlie many common health conditions such as asthma, eczema, chronic ear infections, sinusitis, digestive disorders, heartburn, celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, autism, ADD & ADHD, even depression and insomnia! The list goes on and on.

What is an allergy?

An allergy is a misguided reaction, or hypersensitivity, of the immune system to a harmless substance. In other words, it’s when the immune system gets confused. Instead of just fighting the “bad guys” (such as bacteria and viruses) it starts fighting “good guys” too (such as nutritious foods, or neutral things like pet dander, pollen, etc.)

The substances that trigger allergies are called allergens. For the purposes of this article the most common allergens are divided into the following categories:

  • Environmental (Inhalants/ Contactants)
    • Pollen, mold, chemicals, dust, grass, animal dander, perfume, bee-stings etc.
  • Food (Ingestants)
    • Type I: Immediate reaction (can be severe anaphlyatic) Most common are peanuts, strawberries, medications, etc.
    • Type II: Delayed reaction
      • Can be anything. Some common examples are wheat, dairy, corn, gluten, sugar and soy.

“I’ve got terrible allergies! What do I do?”

The following discussion addresses both conventional and alternative diagnostic & treatment options for allergies. In some cases it is very appropriate to use both natural and conventional medicines to manage allergy symptoms while the long-term alternative treatments are underway.

I commonly recommend the following options in my practice:

Conventional Medicine Options for Diagnosing and Treating Allergies

Environmental Allergies

Conventional Diagnosis

There are two types of allergy testing considered to be valid by most of the conventional medical world: Skin testing (prick/puncture, intradermal, and patch) and blood testing for antibodies to allergens such as ELISA or RAST. For more information on these testing procedures click here.

While the conventional world considers skin testing to be more accurate, there is clear evidence that skin testing is a poor procedure for picking up common food allergies.

Conventional Treatment

  • Medication
    As these type of allergens are usually very difficult to avoid, they are typically treated with antihistamines or corticosteroids which suppress the allergic response.
  • Allergy shots
    Some patients elect to undergo allergy shots, which involves injecting a small amount of allergen under the skin at frequent intervals, usually for a year or more. These treatments can be painful, and are often quite costly, however they can be effective. Results are not guaranteed however, and they are not very effective for treating food allergies.

Food Allergies

Type I: Immediate reaction

Conventional Diagnosis

Conventional medicine usually only recognizes this first category of food allergy, the immediate reaction type. The technical terms are Type I, or IgE mediated allergy. This type of allergy is quick and unmistakable, as it launches a rapid histamine response from the immune system. Symptoms include swelling, hives, itching, and depending on severity can lead to anaphylatic shock which can be fatal if left untreated.

Conventional Treatment

Avoidance is recommended. If exposure occurs, antihistamines plus epinephrine for more severe anaphlyatic reactions. Allergy shots are usually avoided as a treatment for this type of allergy, as they can trigger severe reactions themselves.

Type II: Delayed reaction

Conventional Diagnosis

This is by far, the most common type of food allergy. Unfortunately, conventional medicine seems to mostly ignore it. Perhaps this is because the testing procedures that are favored typically miss Type II reactions. These are usually mediated by IgG antibodies, which don’t show up well on skin-scratch tests. Blood tests such as ELISA or RAST are better, but even those aren’t perfect. You can expect about an 80% accuracy rate with a blood test for food allergies.

What ends up happening for most, is that these types of allergies go undiagnosed, and are recognized only by their symptoms, which are diagnosed as IBS, asthma, eczema, ADD, etc. These secondary conditions are then usually treated with suppressive medications which temporarily alleviate the symptoms, but do nothing to treat the cause. Long-term ill health often results.

Conventional Treatment

Avoidance is generally recommended for known food allergies. Allergy shots are not as effective for food allergies as for environmental allergies, though some treatment centers do use them.

Alternative Medicine Options for Diagnosing and Treating Allergies

Environmental Allergies

Naturopathic Diagnosis

In addition to the conventional testing procedures, neuromuscular sensitivity testing, a relative of kinesiology, is a quick and painless diagnostic tool which is gaining popularity. For mild cases, clinical diagnosis based on patient history can also be used.

Naturopathic Treatment

  • Short term
    To control allergy symptoms until a long-term solution is achieved, quercetin, vitamin C, and believe it or not, water, are all excellent natural antihistamines. Other treatments include bromelain, nettles, and liver detoxification.

    • It can be helpful to install a HEPA filter in the house and vacuum cleaner to remove airborne allergens. Careful hygiene in the bedroom is a must, with weekly washing of bedclothes in hot water, vacuuming and dusting.
    • While temporary symptom management is helpful for quality of life in the moment, it is not a cure. As soon as these medicines are discontinued, the allergy symptoms will return. This is known as palliative treatment. Don’t you also want to be working towards a cure?
  • Long term
    The best long term treatment I have found is NAET, Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique. This noninvasive desensitization technique is explained in more detail below.

Food Allergies

Type I: Immediate reaction

Naturopathic Diagnosis

Diagnostic procedures for this type of allergy include all those of conventional medicine, as well as NST, Neuromuscular sensitivity testing.

Naturopathic Treatment

These types of allergens must be scrupulously avoided. Any patient with anaphylactic type allergies should carry an epi-pen with them at all times. NAET can be helpful for these types of reactions, but must be done very carefully. If successful, NAET treatment can truly be life-changing, as it frees up the patient to live their life without a constant fear of reaction.

Food Allergies

Type II: Delayed reaction

Naturopathic Diagnosis

There are three main diagnostic tools I use in my practice to determine this type of allergy. They are the elimination & challenge diet, ELISA blood testing, and neuromuscular sensitivity testing (NST). They each have their pros & cons. The elimination and challenge diet is considered by many holistic medicine doctors to be the gold standard for determining food allergies. It is very accurate when done correctly, however, many patients find this difficult and time consuming. The blood test is very easy, but only about 80 percent accurate, and there is a fee involved of course. Blood tests are only checking for antibody mediated allergies, Type I (IgE) and/ or Type II (IgG). NST is done in office during a visit, and is extremely accurate, fast, and non-invasive. Another benefit to NST is the ability to test for any type of allergy including foods, inhalants, & contactants, and is not limited to antibody mediated responses.

Naturopathic Treatment

Avoidance.
Avoidance.
Avoidance.
Anybody besides me tired of avoidance?

This is where NAET comes in.

Learn More

To find out more about NAET, I recommend visiting the NAET website, our clinic’s information on NAET, and reading ”Say Goodbye to Illness” or ”Say Goodbye to Allergies” by Dr. Nambudripad, both of which are available in our office and on the NAET website. We also offer free ten minute consultations to prospective patients, to help you find out if NAET treatment is right for you.

Are Foods Causing Your Symptoms?

Joan Haynes, ND

Adverse food reactions are very common. If you have health concerns you suspect might be related to the foods you are eating, this article will help guide you on where to go next.

What are adverse food reactions?

Adverse food reactions can be broadly classified into 2 categories. The first category consists of IgE immune-mediated adverse reactions to foods that are termed food allergies. The second category is composed of adverse reactions that are not IgE mediated. These are known as food sensitivities or intolerances. There is some confusion over these definitions. Many people (including doctors!) use the term allergies to refer to what are technically sensitivities or intolerances. “Table A” shows examples of the different terms used. For the purposes of this article we will conform to the technical terms allergy (IgE mediated) and intolerance (non-IgE mediated) respectively.

Sample food allergy panel showing some the the foods tested for IgG, IgA, and IgE mediated reactions.

Are foods causing your symptoms table A.

How common are food allergies and intolerances?

There is some debate over just how common adverse food reactions actually are. Studies suggest the prevalence of food allergies to be between 3% – 10%.(i) In a study looking at prevalence rates of food allergy and intolerance combined, 27% of women and 14% of men reported symptoms related to food reactions. (ii)

There are few good studies determining rates of intolerance alone. A well designed study using the Elimination/Challenge Diet as the testing criteria (the “gold standard” method of testing food intolerances) would likely show a higher prevalence.

What are the symptoms of food allergies?

Symptoms from true food allergies are typically more immediate than their non-IgE immune mediated counterparts. Common symptoms include:

  • Rash or hives
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Itchy skin
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Swelling of the airways to the lungs
  • Anaphylaxis

What are the symptoms of food intolerances?

Food intolerance symptoms are typically delayed 20 minutes up to 48 hours after ingesting the offending food. Signs and symptoms of food intolerance include:

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Sinus congestion
  • Snoring
  • Frequent colds
  • Stomach pain
  • Gas, cramps, or bloating
  • Heartburn
  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • Irritability, nervousness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Hyperactivity, especially in children
  • Joint pain and/or muscle aches

What medical conditions are associated with allergies and food intolerances?

Illnesses that commonly have adverse food reactions as a contributing factor include:

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Asthma
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Eczema
  • Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Hives
  • High blood pressure
  • Heartburn (Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease)
  • Autoimmune conditions (Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sjogren’s, Crohn’s, Hashimoto’s, etc)
  • Frequent colds & flus
  • Ear infections
  • And many others…

How are food allergies diagnosed?

Skin testing for allergies is used to identify the substances that are causing the allergy symptoms. It is performed by either applying an extract of an allergen to the skin, scratching, or pricking the skin to allow exposure, and then evaluating the skin’s reaction. It may also be done by injecting the allergen under the skin, or by applying it to a patch that is worn on the skin for a specified period of time.

Blood tests (IgE antibodies) for allergies are sometimes performed to find out what triggers an allergic reaction and are often used if a patient has a skin condition or is taking medications, such as antihistamines. Such drugs can interfere with an allergy skin test, which is a common test used to identify allergy triggers, but in general do not interfere with allergy blood tests. IgE blood tests for food allergies are not as accurate as skin testing.

How are food intolerances diagnosed?

There are three main methods that Boise Natural Health physicians utilize for diagnosing food intolerances. Each has its’ benefits and limitations. Two or more methods can be combined as a means of overcoming the limitations of each.

Table B. Are foods causing your symptoms.

How are food allergies and intolerances treated?

Food allergies and intolerances can be treated with avoidance of the offending foods. For those patients who prefer not to do long term avoidance, NAET is a welcome alternative. Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique, or NAET, is an all natural, drug-free treatment for eliminating allergies and food intolerances, and resolving allergy-related conditions, often with lasting results. It is painless, and non-invasive. NAET utilizes neuromuscular sensitivity testing for diagnosing food allergies and intolerances. NAET therapy works by reprogramming the brain and nervous system to stop reacting to the offending foods.

Conclusion

Adverse food reactions can be confusing and frustrating to deal with, especially when there are multiple foods you are reacting to. To date, conventional doctors tend to acknowledge food allergies, and misdiagnose or discount food intolerances. With their strong conventional and alternative medicine training, naturopathic physicians are in a unique position to help you sort through this important issue. Each staff person at Boise Natural Health has struggled in the past with their own adverse food reactions, and come out ahead! We all enjoy better health as a result, and enjoy helping our patients find the same freedom.

How do I learn more?

  • To set up a free 10 minute consult with a BNH physician to help determine if food allergy or intolerance testing is right for you, please call our office at 208-338-0405.
  • To learn more about Elimination/Challenge Diets go to: Elimination Diets
  • To learn more about IgG food intolerance testing go to: US BioTek Food Allergy Panel
  • To learn more about NAET go to: NAET
  • To read patient testimonials about NAET and Boise Natural Health go to: NAET Testimonials

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

i J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2011 Jan 12, Epidemiology of food allergy. Sicherer SH.

ii Allergy. 2001 Dec;56(12):1172-9., Epidemiology of food allergy/food intolerance in adults: associations with other
manifestations of atopy., Schäfer T, Böhler E, Ruhdorfer S, Weigl L, Wessner D, Heinrich J, Filipiak B, Wichmann HE, Ring J.

Chronic Nasal Congestion and Sinus Infections

Joan Haynes, ND

When sinuses are functioning normally, the mucus lining the cavity warms and moistens the incoming air and filters germs and particulates. But when the sinuses can’t drain properly, mucus accumulates making the area ripe for infection. An acute infection can often be treated with simple home care and immune-boosting strategies. However, chronic sinusitis needs a broader approach. In 1999, a Mayo Clinic study showed that almost 100 percent of chronic sinusitis patients tested positive for fungus. Chronic congestion caused by food or environmental sensitivities creates a perfect breeding ground for fungus and bacterial infections.

With my chronic sinus sufferers, I often begin with food allergy testing (to discover the source of the congestion) and a systemic antifungal protocol. We may also need to do an environmental evaluation, and improve digestion and stress response to improve overall health.

For an acute infection, you may want to try:

  • Allergy-Sinus Tincture (from BNH). 2 droppers-full every two hours. The herbs will thin the mucus, dry out the sinuses and fight infection.
  • Neti Pot. Irrigating the sinuses with a saline solution can reduce swelling and wash away irritants. The Rhino Horn is a great device and the instructions are very thorough.
  • N-acetylcysteine. 500 mg three times daily on empty stomach. Thins mucus secretions.

For chronic congestion and/or infections, you may want to try:

  • Food allergy testing either through an elimination-challenge diet or a food allergy panel.
  • NAET allergy desensitization.
  • Reduce mucus forming foods – dairy, refined flours, chocolate, eggs, fried and processed food.
  • Evaluation and treatment for fungal infection, including Candida overgrowth.
  • Regular use of essential oils, such as oregano, or combinations for respiratory health and immune boosting.