Category Archives: Naturopathy

Erin Riseing, our own HeadsUp Naturopathic Doctor will help set you up with natural strategies to fend off illness, live a better, and work toward a happier, healthier life—holistically.

Cantadora is community-based holistic healthcare centre, with Naturopathic Medicine, Registered Massage Therapy, Shiatsu, Craniosacral and Bowen Therapy. The clinic strives to operate as an environmentally sustainable organization and to promote the health and well-being of the community by promoting local, healthy living.

Teaching Children about Arthritis in Dogs

Heads up Dad if you have a senior dog in your family’s home, you may wish to read up on these helpful tips to managing arthritis in dogs to make everyone’s lives a little easier. Raising awareness in children for a dog’s deteriorating physical state will help parents explain and hopefully prevent troubling behaviour. It doesn’t take much thought or action to make a big difference in the quality of a senior dog’s day-to-day existence.

Kids Dog Walk 2013

Generally speaking for most young couples the dog is the first family member.
Hip dysplasia with arthritisIt is important to remember that dogs get arthritis same as humans, and its more frequent in big dogs than it is in humans, and its more painful too. In a great many cases the dog’s pain is unmitigated by any medication or treatment. But there are things you can do, including raise awareness in your children for a senior dog’s condition, and affect diet and lifestyle adjustments around the house to improve the quality of life for this animal companion.

Learning Remedies for Dogs with Arthritis
Arthritis is a common health issue with older dogs and esp larger dogs. Although they work on different species, doctors and veterinarians both call arthritis by its technical name: osteoarthritis or its hospital name, degenerative joint disease. This condition is caused by the slippery stuff coming away from the bones in the joints and the wear and tear of bone on bone causes inflammation (as the blood fights to get to the ailment) which causes pain.

Six Symptoms of Arthritis in Dogs

1. Reduced Activity, withdrawn from family life
2. Limping after exercise, stiffness after morning walks
3. Difficulty getting up from a lying down position
4. Difficulty climbing up stairs, or jumping into cars
5. Chewing or licking at joints
6. Showing personality changes and being ‘grumpy’

Is your dog wetting its bed?
Fritz in HD, dog wet bed, dog with arthritisOlder pets, often find it hard to get up to follow you outside to relieve themselves. In some cases they just do it right there in bed – that’s why its important to set a routine and make sure that your dog goes outside before bedtime at night whether they want to or not. Often female dogs benefit when given phenylpropanolamine PPA in relation to a medical condition that is related to flabbiness of the sphincter muscles of their lower urinary tract. In other female dogs, chronic urinary tract infections are the cause. Still others are over-drinking due to kidney deterioration. Some are diabetic, and others are simply losing their minds.

How to manage young kids around senior dogs?
Young children will sometime hit dogs thinking they are petting it, and loving hugs can become eternal death squeezes. Senior dogs may snap. Trainers will tell you that young kids and dogs should never be left alone together. Also give the dog a place where they can escape small children. Sometimes dogs need a room of their own and just some cardboard moving boxes behind a living room couch or chair can offer shelter to persecuted animals.

Watch what the kids feed the dog!
Children should be told to never feed the dog strange foods. Never ever feed chocolate or sweets or ice cream, which dogs will eat, and these substances will pass through their bodies, but at some cost to their livers and kidneys.

Feed a Senior Dog Food Brand
Boy and DogAll major pet food manufacturers offer “Senior” brands of food. They tend to be lower in calories, higher in fiber, with added glucosamine. What your pet eats and how much it eats throughout its life will affect arthritis in later years. Is your dog overweight? Reducing your dog’s weight to a healthy level is one of the most important things you can do to reduce its discomfort – same as humans.

Keep Dog Toenails Trim, Walk the Dog on Leash
Keep your senior dog’s toenails clipped properly so it walks and runs normal. Having overgrown toenails is a lot like being forced to wear uncomfortable shoes; extra long toenails place abnormal stress on the joints and ligaments of the feet. But when cutting these toenails be sure never remove too much nail at once; the animal’s toenails should just touch the floor when your pet is standing. When walking the dog be extra careful around traveled surfaces as recent dashcam videos show dogs being hit by hybrid (quieter) cars.

Build ramps around the house to help pets manage inclined surfaces
If you have a set of stairs that the dog must walk everyday consider putting in a ramp, and cover the ramp with carpet. Add more carpets and rugs to the house. Arthritic dogs find it difficult to walk on slippery floors such as tiled or hardwood floors. By placing carpet or rugs on these floors will help secure your dog’s footing and make their lives a little easier.

Don’t be shy about massaging the dog’s muscles in hot water dog baths
In certain special circumstances, if a senior dog had a particularly active day keeping up with younger dogs, then it might be advisable to pour a hot bath and massage its hips and leg muscles. Added heat from heating pads and soaks in heated water relax muscles, increase circulation in the affected areas. We put our dogs’ beds in the sun room which is warmer than the rest of the house during the day, even in the wintertime. but on cold winter nights we do bring them into the living room by the fireplace.
Yogurt dog, what dogs eat affects arthritis

Convenient Dish And Water Bowl Placement
Senior pets are often more comfortable eating and drinking from slightly elevated containers. Older, larger breeds are more susceptible to gastric bloat and the exercise of eating and swallowing upwards doesn’t help the digestive system. So feeding your elderly pet multiple small meals, rather than one or two large ones, is also a wise idea.

Top ‘Companion’ Breeds for Young Families:
American Water Spaniel
Appenzeller Sennenhunde
Basset Hound
Beagle
Berger Picard
Bernese Mountain Dog
Boston Terrier
Boykin Spaniel
Brittany
Brussels Griffon
Bull Terrier
English Setter
Entlebucher Mountain Dog
Flat-Coated Retriever
Golden Retriever
Harrier
Irish Wolfhound
Labrador Retriever
Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen
Pharaoh Hound
Puggle
Pyrenean Shepherd
Pointer
Sussex Spaniel
 

 

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How to: Urban Back Yard Farming for Rookies…

Organic_Garden

Sprouting an organic garden is fun and easy

What’s this world coming to?

I have been thinking for the past few years that the amount of pesticides, herbicides and other toxic chemicals in food is getting out of control. Genetically modified foods, mass enterprise farming and the demise of the small family farm all over the world makes me sad. I read an article last year that mentioned how vegetables grown in 2010 had half the nutrients that they did 50 or 100 years ago.

No one seems to have time for dinner at home anymore and increasing numbers of families worldwide are eating in fast food restaurants. Obesity is on the rise, cancer is on the rise, mental illness and hormonal imbalances are screwing up families all over the world. What is going on? Have we lost touch with what is important in the pursuit of progress, bigger TV’s and fatter wallets?

Eating healthy and wholesome food that is nutritious and tastes great is important to me. As a parent of three very young kids, it is extremely important that I give my kids the types of fuel their brains and little bodies need to keep them healthy and give them the best shot for success in life.

So, with the options in grocery stores getting more and more toxic, generic in flavour and lower and lower in nutritional value, it seems obvious to me that something had to change. I have always been curious about organic food. More and more over time I started to do some research on this and felt it pretty important to adopt more of this into our family lifestyle.

Going Organic

Going organic is more of a lifestyle change than just a decision we make. Buying everything organic sounds great in principle, but once you get over the sticker shock, you realize that it is kind of impractical given the fact that not everything is available as Organic, and the corresponding enormous jump in your grocery bill when you factor in all the elements in your shopping cart. So, then it makes sense to balance out with some good choices to get what you need while minimizing your exposure to toxic intake.

  1. Buy organic the ten top things that are most obvious to avoid otherwise—the stuff that has the most toxic footprint (there is a top ten list or two out there) on the human body.
  2. Buy from local farmers (that do not put nasty chemicals and fertizers in their soil) where possible. Go to your local farmer’s market or take a drive in the country if that is easy for you.
  3. Grow some of your own vegetables (for those of us with a back yard or a sun drenched balcony). It s not that hard, and you would be amazed what you can learn in a pinch.

Urban Organic Farming

So it was that this year I decided to take the plunge into Urban Farming and attempt to grow some of my own organic vegetables in my back yard. It has been about two months since I started, and I put in a lot of hours into research, spent many a back breaking hour converting some of my yard into a vegetable patch, and have learned a lot.

Success is still a ways away, some time towards the end of summer when I can really begin to harvest many of the crops that I have planted, but there have been some small wins and a few setbacks. All in all, I have been having a great time with it, but the story is just beginning to unfold. I will my Urban Farming experience with you here, beginning today.

Growing your own vegetables is great

I took this challenge on this year, with no expctations other than I was going to give Organic Farming a try and see what happens. I have never been a green thumb. If anything, I was more of a plant killer than a grower. I have never intentionally killed a live plant, but most plants entrusted in my care do not seem to survive the long haul. This, I hope to change.

Start with Organic Seeds

I started with one of those seeding kits you get from the garden centre (plastic tray and a bunch of expanding growers medium (Peat Pucks)) and a bunch of Organic seeds that I purchased online from the Salt Spring Seed Company on Vancouver Island. I had a lot of questions and Dan Jason was really very helpful and super nice to do business with. I felt like my rookie season was in good hands and there was nothing he could not help me with.

Start with good quality organic seeds and a cheap and cheerful seed starting kit

I wanted this to be an experience I shared with my kids—a great way to teach them about where food comes from (other than the grocery store). From seed, to the garden, to their plate is a much healthier and more sustainable path than the one we normally take. It is easy for them to dis Daddy’s dinner when they have no idea where it comes from.

Starting out is not that complicated or difficult, just takes a good variety of seeds, some potting soil or cheap and cheerful a seed starter kit and some pots. You’ll need some time on your hands for a little bit (or a lot) of online research if you are like me and have never grown anything intentionally before. The rest is up to mother nature and it really is a miracle.

Plant seed, water and wait…

So one day in late April, one by one, each of my kids and I spent an evening planting 1, 2 or 3 seeds into each of the little pucks in a little plastic greenhouse tray that held 72 in all, watering them, covering them and stuffing them under the bed. Each had their own technique, and I tried not to get too worked up when they spilled seeds all over the floor or planted them too deep. All in all, the seeding was pretty painless. We planted Spinach, Kale, Arugula, Cucumber, Squash, Broccoli, Summer Peas, beans, two kinds of heirloom cherry tomatoes, Sweet Yellow Peppers, Carrots, Basil, Summer Savoury, Cilantro and a bunch of fancy lettuces. We watered, we covered and we waited.

Every morning we would get down on our knees, slide out the tray and see if anything had happened the night before. It took a few days, and a lot of anxious anticipation, but on the fourth day, surprise! Out poked a few little sprouts. Life!! We had given birth to a bunch of beautiful little seedlings. It was so exciting that we could not contain ourselves.

Sprouts everywhere!

By the end of the second week, we were very pleased to be staring down every day at about 100 little sprouts working their way up through the soil. We carefully set them out in the light, not far from the window, watered them every day or two, and constantly checked in on their progress. As the spring was moving along, we were anxious to get going on the planting part. There was no rush though, every day it was raining buckets outside and there was no break in sight.

We learned the hard way not to rush things. Earlier, we planted three kinds of potatoes right into the yard that all failed miserably. I was so sad about this, because all of the research I did said that Organic potatoes were so incredibly delicious and super easy to grow. Promptly after I planted four or five rows of these fantastic heirloom seed potatoes, it rained cats and dogs for days and days. By time the sun came out, and the soil had a chance to dry, the potato seedlings had rotted right in the ground. I guess maybe it just was not meant to be this year. I will definitely try again next year.

Organic_Tomato_Plant

Once the sprouts became more like plants, I transplanted them to 4" pots and put them out on the roof to get some sun and harden them off (acclimatize) and get ready for transplanting into the ground ...

Phase two: Transplanting to pots…

Once the sprouts start to grow with their first set of real leaves, it is time to weed out the strong from the weak, separate the men from the boys so to speak, and plant the strongest plants into pots of their own, into organic potting soil. This is where you see the fruits of your labour begin to take shape. While not every seed turned into a plant, and some of the plants were kind of lame relative to some of the others, on the upside, I ended up watching about 100 seeds transform into well over 6o beautiful potted plants which I am proud to say, have all been planted in the ground by now and are doing just great. I have had a few setbacks, but all in all, things are growing just fine. I will talk more about the successes and failures in successive posts throughout the summer.

Phase three: Getting your beds ready
In my next post, I want to go over getting your planting beds ready. If you are like me, your back yard was not ready to just plant vegetables into. There is a lot of research to do and a lot of preparation to get everything ready if you want to do it right. It is a lot of work, but in the long run, success will be a lot sweeter at harvest time. What you do this year, will continue to give back year after year if you decide to carry on with your Urban Organic Farm. I am definitely looking forward to reaping the harvest.

Thinking about giving organic gardening a try?

It is not too late to get started. If this sounds like something you would like to give a go, then order some seeds today—you could be growing a green thumb by next week.

If you have started your own back yard Organic Garden, and have some success stories and or disastrous tales of failure to share, please post them here. We all can learn from what you have learned and then it will not have been for naught. For better or for worse, we are definitely looking forward to hearing from you.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to post them here as a comment or @HeadsUp_Dad on Twitter.

Until next time, be well!

Environmental Consciousness and Bargain Shopping: Intertwined

A marriage of eco and commerce?? or just a more ethical way of doing business?

We’ve all heard of Groupon, LivingSocial, Dealicious, Dealfind, Webpiggy, and a host of other deal of the day sites promising terrific savings on restaurants, botox injections and hair removal, but have you heard of ethicalDeal? (affiliate link)

  • Do you think that going green is too expensive?
  • Don’t know where to find green products/services?
  • Not sure what green products/services to trust?

Those of you who are fond of the environment and looking for a good deal are going to love this.

Annalea Krebs has created an innovative Canadian company based out of Vancouver that uses the group buying model to introduce people to “green” alternatives in Toronto and Vancouver (with great aspirations to conquer North America and beyond)—making it easy for people to discover and save on everything “green” their city.

Prior to founding ethicalDeal, Annalea managed sales, marketing and community relations for various social enterprises and green businesses including: TheChange.com, Values-Based Business Network, Organic Islands Festival & Sustainability Expo and the Canadian Social Entrepreneurship Foundation.

EthicalDeal makes it easy to go green by finding local companies that offer eco-friendly products/services, ensure they meet some pretty tough standards, and then use the collective buying power of thousands of members to get you exclusive discounts on the best green stuff your city has to offer.

Part green city guide, part green deal site, part green action network … ethicalDeal helps you discover the best green stuff to do, see and buy in your city, at exclusive discounts, through the power of group buying!

The beautiful thing is, that you personally can help advance the environmental and sustainability movement across North America and while you are at it, get an awesome deal!

ZERO TO HERO… One woman’s tale about male infertility

Shawna and Magnus

Dearest Dads,

Well, it has been a while since my last post, and I do apologize. Professionally, I seem to always be busy, I’m sure we have that in common right? While it’s my mission to deliver as much fun and informative fitness chatter as I can to keep you healthy and fit, today I am going to share with you something that is very personal and close to my heart.

I’ve had more on my plate than normal for quite some time. And it’s a particular ball in the air that I’d like to share with each of you today, because I sincerely feel I just might be able to offer a real life perspective about a very real  issue that effects many but is discussed openly by few, and that’s male infertility.

My husband and I are 35 and 37 years old respectively and have been trying to plan our family for over a year and a half. After trying naturally for over 9 months and getting nowhere, we began our quest for answers. After learning that all seemed well from my end, I forced my husband (who has no concept of time really, or interest in doctor’s offices) to make an appointment for his own check up.

Via his GP, his first semen analysis came back dreadfully low, practically nil. Astonishing!

Two more samples were immediately taken, as something must have gotten mixed up! My 285lb, retired professional wrestler and ultra fit husband who makes a living training competitive bodybuilders and helps me run a health and wellness business CANNOT be what he thought, was low in testosterone! Needless to say, we learned that testosterone levels in a man have absolutely nothing to do with infertility! Did you know that? There are a few causes such as genetic defects, hormonal imbalances, anatomical problems and another being that it can be unexplainable, just like it is for us. Nonetheless, we were told that luckily we can have a child together, but that In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) was our only choice, ($10,000  per cycle—pray that it only takes one!) yikes!

Did you know that Caucasian men of Northern European decent are the most likely to be carriers of, or have Cystic Fibrosis (a debilitating disease that affects the entire body, and has a short life span?!) Men, who are carriers of this disease, although asymptomatic, can have a low sperm count because of it, as there is a strong correlation between the two. My husband’s urologist thought for sure his Icelandic background was the culprit. That blood test takes 3+ months to come back by the way! Interesting bed of pins and needles we were on last winter! But all is clear. Not a CF carrier, or threat of spreading a congenital disease, but a hefty dent in the bank account was vast encroaching!

So, this past February, we decided to take some of our own control over this situation. After some researching, my husband began to make some changes. The “tightey whities” went in the garbage, he let his old pal Jack Daniels collect dust in the bar cabinet, he tightened his diet and I had him on an entirely new supplement regimen. One filled with extra Zinc, Selenium, Folic Acid, B complex, and a high potency multivitamin. Another sample came back and we reached 1 million. Cool. We were happy, up is always better than down!

But in mid March, I learned of a very powerful antioxidant compilation called OPC-3. This OPC-3 had “increased sperm quality” in its literature, so he took the maximum dose for his size daily and his next sample was in early April, a short 5 weeks afterwards and it came back a whopping 10 million! Out of nowhere! Our good friends at Mt Sinai Infertility Clinic in Toronto, Ontario were flabbergasted.  We cant explain it, but in our personal experience, we truly believe that without OPC-3 my husband’s sperm count would NOT have risen from an average 300-500,000 to10 million! We agree a combination of everything was ideal. But we don’t think that this exponential surge happened without the aid of this particular antioxidant. It was the only addition to our baby program since all of the other analyses. If interested, it would be my pleasure to tell you more about it—Just ask!

So essentially, we were able to take IVF off of the table, and begin attempting Intrauterine Injections (IUI) in other words, insemination. With his strict new regimen, my husband continues to produce samples anywhere between 3-10 million and we are presently waiting for the outcome of our 3rd IUI.  Wish us luck! Even though IUI’s aren’t covered in our province, they are a fraction of the cost that we thought we were looking at which made our journey A LOT more bearable! So this was very exciting news!

But guys, this is a tough road. It’s a journey with your spouse that brings you both to a totally different place. My guy suffers silently with horrible feelings of emasculation, lack, unworthiness and somehow he feels he has let me down. I used to get upset with him when he would try and express himself because we were always coached to regard it as “our” infertility. I never faulted him for any of this. I was mad that he didn’t understand how much I loved him and how proud I am of him as a human being. But as a man, he claims those feelings never really go away and they never seem appropriate to bring up in the locker room or while out with the boys. My husband feels lonely in this particular realm of his/our life, as male infertility isn’t talked about very much. Even though it’s the easiest infertility obstacle you can have, as a woman’s reproductive system is so much more complicated. But, as women, we always seem to have the ability and the place to discuss our feelings. And there are more support groups available. Our own medical clinic agrees.

However, we encourage you to talk about it, understand it, be open. There is no shame to this at all. We learned that 1/6 North American couples require ART (Assisted Reproductive Technologies). Make a visit to your doctor’s office if you’re struggling with conception. In this race, there IS time is to lose. It’s never an easy fix and a lot of time, effort and diagnostic testing goes on and you need to allow yourselves the time to fulfill your process of elimination. We’re here for you. Please feel comfortable to reach out for me or for Magnus, my husband, if you need us. We’d love to help and offer you or a buddy you know of our support!

I sincerely appreciate your time this week. I feel better sharing what I can. Don’t be afraid to speak up and share your stories, you will be glad you did.

Post a comment here or Email Me if you have any questions.

Cardiovascular Health and You: How to shop for your Heart!

First Time in the Grocery Cart

Hey favorite Dad of mine… I thought I might start this post with a bit of trivia…

Most men love their stats right? But I bet you didn’t know that just over 30% of all deaths in Canada are attributed to cardiovascular disease huh?

Ok, stop the depressing me Shawna!! (I know… I can hear you from here!) I have to tell you. I want to make sure that you have a solid grip on a great heart smart shopping list so that you can drive that cart around the supermarket with confidence and plan for heart pumping wellness for years to come!

In addition to the items presented here, there are a few very integral supplements that you should consider taking daily for even greater vitality and heart support. If you have any questions, post a comment here or just reach out for me directly and I’ll help guide you through the better choices! I’d love to hear from you!

In the meantime, be sure to feed your body all the goodness that your heart relies on.

A grocery list that is good for your Heart:

The following foods are selected because of their tremendous ability as well as being backed by sound research to keep cholesterol levels at bay, decrease blood pressure levels, minimize incidence of stroke, to reduce any hardening of the arteries and to improve overall heart function!

Happy Shopping!

GRAINS:

At least 50 % of your daily servings of grains should be whole grains. Healthy, soluble fiber is a MUST to eat every day!

  • Whole grain bread

  • Quinoa

  • Brown rice (Good for you, good for the environment!)

  • Unsweetened steel cut oats (never instant!)
    For an added heart boosting punch; combine your oats with ground flaxseeds and antioxidant-loaded berries!

FRUITS AND VEGETABLES:

Jammed packed with powerful antioxidants, fiber, minerals and vitamins! The darker, greener and “leafier” the better. Kale, spinach and swiss chard are great choices and are full of magnesium! As well, consider carrots, squash and sweet potatoes, for beta carotene and antioxidant power. And don’t forget red grapes, apples, strawberries, and bell peppers too!

MEATS AND ALTERNATIVES:

  • Rainbow trout, salmon

  • Pork tenderloin (much less fat than beef)

  • Lentils. Lentils are inexpensive and easily used for stews, salads and soups! If you buy them in a can, be sure to rinse twice with water first to let out the majority of the sodium!

FATS:

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO), it’s worth the price because the least pressed olives contain a greater level of antioxidants which are responsible for lessening cell damage in the body. Walnuts and flaxseeds respectively, are ideal for reducing cholesterol and deliver a bonanza of fibre!

DAIRY:

Low fat 0% yogurt and skim milk are full of important proteins and vitamin D

SNACKS:

Low fat popcorn and dark Chocolate (70% cocoa) did you know that compounds in dark chocolate have been linked to decreasing blood pressure and inflammation?

BEVERAGES:

100% Orange Juice and green or white Tea are great examples of antioxidant heaven!

SPICES AND HERBS:

  • Chili peppers

  • Curry powder/Turmeric

  • Oregano

Interested in learning more about your health at the present? Unsure which body systems need more attention than others? Post a comment here or Email Me. I am happy to offer you a free personalized health screening questionnaire that is not only accurate, but quick and easy. We can discuss the results together once completed.

Did I mention FREE?

Just for you, oh dads of mine!

Shawna

Stay well and let’s chant together shall we??? Train hard, eat smart, and be happy!

Oh, you know me so well!

A natural approach to treating seasonal allergies


318/365 Sneeze, originally uploaded by mek22.

SPRING HAS SPRUNG!!! (gulp)

While most of us are quite happy to wave farewell to Old Man Winter, for those who struggle with seasonal allergies or hay fever, the coming of spring is likely to bring anxiety and perhaps even dread.  Over the past few decades, allergies are on the rise, especially in children.

What is Happening?

An allergy is essentially a hypersensitive or hyper-vigilant immune system reacting to something that is harmless to the body.  Common allergens include pollen, animal dander, house dust, feathers, mites, chemicals and a variety of foods.

With seasonal allergies, one experiences respiratory distress of all kinds: a stuffed up or runny nose; congested sinuses; sneezing; and red, itchy and watering eyes.  The immune system is reacting to the pollen of trees, weeds or grasses that are active in that particular season. Spring hay fever is usually due to the pollens from grass and trees, while fall allergies are usually due to sensitivities to ragweed pollens and molds.

In the presence of an allergen, the immune system releases histamine and other chemicals to fight what is perceived as an invading organism.  These chemicals cause a cascade of physiological events in the body, ultimately leading to the swelling and congestion of the nasal passages and increased mucous production.  This overreaction by the immune system causes more damage to the body than the perceived “invader”, which is actually harmless.

Allergies can contribute to other complications with health, as the immune system is under stress and the body is in a chronic state of inflammation.  In children, such conditions may include acne, asthma, chronic ear infections, eczema, irritability and behaviour problems and difficulty with concentration.  In adults, chronic inflammation can lead to a host of chronic problems, including fatigue, muscle or joint pain, and increased susceptibility to other infections.

Treat the Cause:

Common over-the-counter allergy medications provide symptomatic relief to many.  However they act temporarily and this approach isn’t addressing what is causing the hypersensitive immune system.  The best approach is to work to stabilize and strengthen the immune system, to promote resiliency and overall health.  There are many ways to do this.

  • One key is to ensure you or your child avoids anything in the diet that there may be a sensitivity to.  If you’ve noticed any foods that cause symptoms of indigestion or discomfort, avoid them to decrease any burden on the immune system.
  • Eat plenty of foods rich in bioflavonoids, such as apricots, cherries, paprika, grapefruit, lemons, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables, especially citrus, green peppers, grapes, strawberries, black currants, prunes.
  • Avoid eating melon, banana, cucumber, sunflower seeds, chamomile, and any herbal supplements containing Echinacea if you suffer from allergies in the fall, as they are from the ragweed family.
  • Supplementation with a bioflavonoid called quercetin, and high doses of vitamin C will prevent allergic conditions, as they stabilize the cells responsible for the histamine (allergic) response, thereby making the body less reactive.
  • Minimize exposure to triggers – minimize outdoor time on days with high pollen counts, and certain times of days when pollens are high
  • Create a healthy indoor environment – air purifiers, frequent vacuuming, steam

cleaners, dehumidifiers all have the capacity to improve air quality and minimizing possible allergens in the home

  • Strengthen the immune system – vitamin C, quercetin, zinc, bioflavonoids, avoid other stressors on the immune system (ie. food allergies), rest
  • Stay hydrated – after losing a lot of fluid, it is important to keep hydrated

Other Ways to Relief:

  • Try nasal irrigation with saline solution – you can buy at the drugstore or make your own with a squirt-bottle of 8-oz water with sea salt
  • Take a hot shower or bath – many find relief from the heat and humidity
  • Take alternating hot and cold showers – while in the shower, give yourself periodic blasts of cold water (tolerably cold), alternating with usual warmer temperatures.  This causes a pumping action of the cardiovascular system and stimulates a healthy immune system
  • Use cold compresses for itchy eyes to reduce the inflammation and irritation
  • Alternate hot and cold compresses over the sinuses to promote drainage
  • Enjoy spicy foods, which clears the nasal passage:  cayenne pepper, ginger, onions, garlic
  • Drink warm tea to soothe an irritated throat, especially with honey and lemon
  • Regular steam inhalations with eucalyptus to soothe and clear the nasal passages
  • Avoid milk and dairy, which are mucous-producing foods
  • Avoid emotional states such as stress and anger, which can affect the immunity and make symptoms worse. Practice stress management techniques such as deep breathing and mindfulness meditation.

Do you have any unsolved ailments? Looking for a remedy that does not include another prescription for pharmacueticals? Questions about natural solutions to everyday medical problems?

Ask our very own Naturopathic Doctor, Erin Riseing.

Please feel free to post a comment here or ask her a question.