Allergy or Sensitivity, Maybe Neither. Which Do you Have?
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Allergy or Sensitivity, Maybe Neither. Which Do you Have?

I have found some topics to be far more confusing than they should be when talking to my patients.  There is no better example of this than deciphering an allergy or sensitivity.  The lack of understanding I have come to understand has nothing to do with the person I am trying to educate.  Instead, it is related to misinformation they have received.  In short, they have been told their reactions are either an allergy, or nothing.  But there has to be more.  How can the extremely complex immune system not be reacting if you are experiencing symptoms?

This conversation does not have to be be complicated.  I have two goals in sharing the following information, both of which benefit you.

  1. Make the complexity of the immune system so easy a kid could understand it.
  2. Show you why you are far more likely to have a sensitivity than an allergy.

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5 Reasons You are Not Better In Spite of the Best Medical Care

It is not uncommon for a patient to visit my office after having been seen by other doctors.  In fact, it is the norm.  Many patients have seen between 7-8 doctors for the same symptom before visiting my practice.  At first, this seemed very odd to me.  However, after some reflection, the answers became more obvious.  Keep in mind, that many of these patients have seen doctors from some of the most prestigious healthcare institutions from around the country.  What is ironic is that when I talk to trusted colleagues, they are seeing patients that are in the same situation.  Why are our practices able to help, when others have not?  What is the common theme?

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The Philosophy of Addition and Subtraction

While the number of well intended, state-of-the-art healthcare facilities continues to increase and become more accessible, the real question we should be asking is why are they necessary.  The numbers of such facilities is more in demand now than ever to attempt to manage the growing number of people with healthcare needs.  The majority of these patients have needs related to chronic disease.  However, traditional approaches to chronic disease are not showing significant impact.  In fact, they are losing the battle in many areas.  Why?  In spite of cutting edge science, we are still losing the battle.  The answer is simple.  The focus of care, while patient-centered, assumes that by adding medications, a toxin in their own right, and performing appropriately needed surgeries, that health can be restored.  The reality is that this approach has never restored health, nor will it ever.

True Healing

The philosophy of addition and subtraction does not focus on restoring the body from the inside out.  In fact, it does just the opposite.  It addresses it from the outside in.  The assumption being that if I add or remove to the body from outside means, health will be restored.  Yet health comes from within.  When the body has the necessary cofactors and the interferences to healing and normal body function are removed, wellness is easily achieved.  The body does not need direction to achieve wellness.  It just needs the necessary cofactors and the interferences removed.  Here are 5 ways to make sure your body gets what it needs and you are getting the interferences out of the way.

Good Health Starts with the Right Foods

It almost seems cliche to say that you need to eat good to have good health.  However, the importance of diet can never be understated.  In a world that is plagued with unhealthy food options and driven by a healthcare system that places little emphasis on food, few are going to get this basic requirement for good health.  Hopefully you have not been to a hospital lately.  But if you have, you know that the food options there don’t have much in common with good health.  In fact, many of the items I have seen on these trays contains some interferences to optimal health.  For example, jello.  A combination of gelatin and food coloring, both of which can cause inflammation.  What is even more concerning is that most don’t even make the connection of just how important food is to their health.  It literally can be the one factor that builds your body up, or breaks your body down.

What’s Missing that you Need?

If you are missing your vitamins and minerals, your body’s metabolism is inefficient.  I am not just referring to how you burn fat when I speak of metabolism.  I am talking about the entire operation of your body.  Your metabolism is everything from brain function to detoxification.  If you are not getting adequate amounts of nutrients to meet you bodily needs, you are not going to be healthy.  Just like having the right components to make the engine in your car run, your body also needs the right components.  Your vitamins and minerals are literally your metabolic spark plugs and without them, you are running in low gear and moving at a snail’s pace towards wellness.  In fact, you are probably moving away from it.

What Is Getting in the Way of You Healing

Allergies and sensitivities – Allergies are associated with seasonal changes.  However, there is far more to allergies than just the common runny nose and itchy eyes that comes with seasonal allergies.  In fact, allergies, or the immediate response from the immune system, are a significant contributor to interfering with healing.  They misdirect the immune system causing it to focus on foods and substances that otherwise should not be a problem.  Just how common are allergies, specifically food allergies?  Well they are common enough that the FDA has issued a list of the top 8 allergens.  What may surprise you is that this list contains some of the most commonly consumed foods in the standard American diet.  Maybe it is not so coincidental that the standard American diet and food allergies are both interferences to optimal health.  And just as allergies are immediate reactions by our immune system, sensitivities, sometimes also called immune intolerances, are delayed reactions.  They can cause similar problems, but just often take longer to develop.

Toxicities – Do you drink or shower in pure, filtered water every day?  Do you work inside and inhale contaminated air?  These may be simple things that you overlook.  Municipal water systems remove some of the toxins that can be found in water.  Yet, they do not even come close to removing all of them.  Industrial chemicals, pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals are commonly found in the water supply.  When you ingest these or inhale them as through a hot shower, they begin to build up in the system.  Such toxicities often cause nutrient deficiencies and other negative effects.  It is literally a slow poisoning.

Infections – Infections are a major source of interference that are often overlooked.  Yes, obvious infections are easy to deal with.  But what about infections that are not so obvious.  Subtle indicators often give clues to just such as infection.  These can harbor in the gastrointestinal tract, the sinuses, the mouth and other areas that are hospitable for growth.  Such infections go undetected by standard methods, but not by the immune system.  As a result, the body spends precious resources bolstering immune responses to chronically deal with an infection, or even infections.  All of this takes place at the expense of good health.

You Heal From the Inside Out

When the body is provided with the necessary co-factors that it needs to heal and health-robbing interferences are removed, the body only knows one state of being; Optimal Health!  Battling chronic disease and ending the continual increase in the number of those suffering from them will never end until the paradigm changes.  A paradigm of wellness that focuses on health from the inside out always has been, and always will be, the only way to true health.

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How to Stop a Runny Nose – Now and Later

When cold or allergy season rolls around, it is not uncommon to ask yourself how to stop a runny nose. As we have likely all experienced, having a runny nose is a nuisance. On top of that, you have to deal with the constantly sniffling. This is especially true since there never seems to be a tissue within arm’s reach. If you are routinely blowing your nose, you know that you can begin to develop an uncomfortable irritation of the surrounding skin. And rarely does a runny nose occur alone. There is often the accompanying stuffy sinuses and pressure. While we are all prone from time to time, I want to share how to stop runny nose based on some practical experience.

Allergies, but NOT Just Environmental

No doubt one of the most common causes of a runny nose is allergies. When we have a runny nose from an environmental allergen, there is actually nothing wrong. In fact, this is part of the natural mechanism of clearing foreign substances from the body.

How to Stop a Runny Nose

How to Stop a Runny Nose

However, when we deal with numerous allergens, our immune system starts to feel overwhelmed. This is where food begins to enter the equation. Foods such as dairy and grains, especially wheat and corn, are notorious for contributing to a runny nose. The more these foods are eaten, the more mucous is produced. Sometimes this mucous is noticed as “post-nasal drip”. Regardless, it puts your immune system on high alert and contributes to a runny nose. Therefore, one of the most important steps to figuring out how to stop a runny nose may just be changing what you eat.

Number Two on the Runny Nose List

If you have a cold, you are going to have a runny nose. Therefore, the faster you can kick your cold, the sooner a runny nose will end. So let’s talk about ways to bolster your immune system to overcome a cold. Number one of your list should be sleep. We have all experienced not getting enough sleep. We feel run down and less enthusiastic. Your immune system is no different. The less sleep you get, the less effective your immune system, the chance you have of getting sick. From there your nose might as well be an open faucet. The second most important thing you can do bolster your immune system is eat differently. As I previously noted, dairy and grains can contribute to a runny nose. If those are foods you should not eat, what foods should you eat to stop a runny nose.   At the top of your list should be plants and spices. Plants have several compounds that are often anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and help support the immune system. The more efficient your immune system is at overcoming a bacteria or virus, the less chance you have of a runny nose. The Paleo Diet is stacked full of allergen-free options to help you end a runny nose.

The Common Thread Between the Nose and the Gut

If you are trying to figure out how to stop a runny nose, you should first ask to I have something that is continually triggering mucous production, or snoot. As I stated before, foods and bacteria can be a culprit. But what if you have an infection right where the problem is. A sinus infection can be the worse cause of a runny nose. This is not just because it is an infection, but because the location of the infection in the sinuses causes a seemingly endless supply of mucous. The sinuses fill with mucous and there is a notable increase in pressure. Many sinus infections are related to fungus. If they become too prevalent, an imbalance is created. Just like the gut, the sinuses have their own residential bacteria. When they become overwhelmed by the presence of too much fungus, the immune system compensates by producing more mucous and you have a runny nose.

How to Stop a Runny Nose with Silver

One of the methods that can be employed to alleviate a runny nose is using ionic silver gel. This is not only good for a temporary fix to purge the sinuses of the buildup of mucous and relieve some pressure, but is also good for a long term solution. The application of ionic silver gel destroys both fungus and bacteria. Therefore if these are causing more mucous production, they can be eliminated. Ionic silver gel can be applied into the nose and sinus cavities with a cotton tip applicator. However, as beneficial as this method is, caution should be used when applying this method. Repeated applications are needed to eradicate an infection. Liquid ionic silver can also be safely used internally.

Chronic Sinus Infections as a Cause of Runny Nose

If you are one of the unfortunate ones that are prone to chronic sinus infections, you likely have a malalignment of the bones that surround your sinuses. In these cases a visit with your local chiropractor could mean the difference between reducing the amount of nasal discharge and sinus infections. Of course your other option is continuing to suffer. Just as a chiropractor adjusts the spine, they too can adjust the bones surround the sinuses.

An Oldie, but a Goodie

One of the classic ways to open the nasal passages and stop a runny nose is using steam. The two most common ways of doing this are placing one’s head over a pot of boiling water or taking a hot steamy shower. The use of steam heats up the nasal passages causing dilation, loosening of mucous and easier expulsion. Even though this is not a long term fix as some of the aforementioned methods, it is easy to do and very effective.

How to Stop a Runny Nose – Quick Fixes

Inhale Essential oils – Eucalyptus, Camphor, Peppermint

Essential oils are definitely one of nature’s gifts. These oils found in plants are well known for their positive effects on human health. However, as more people distance themselves from routine contact with nature and become victims to Modernosis, they don’t receive these benefits. Luckily however, essential oils can be purchased and used to help open the nasal passages. A longtime favorite and one that can be used for numerous breathing and respiratory challenges is eucalyptus. It is well known as a decongestant. This oil is often best applied under the nose or on the upper chest. For additional support, camphor and peppermint can also be used. The strong, but pleasant, smell of these oils has strong therapeutic properties.

How to Stop a Runny Nose - Neti Pot

How to Stop a Runny Nose – Neti Pot

Nasal Irrigation

Another approach to stopping a runny nose that many find beneficial is nasal irrigation. This can be done with a neti pot or syringe. The goal of this is to directly apply liquid into the nasal passages to break loose and flush out mucus and debris. This helps not only clear mucous, but also remove debris that was responsible for causing mucous formation in the first place. Nasal irrigation can be performed with warm, but not hot, water. Warm salt water is an additional option.

Turmeric, Ginger, Cayenne, Horseradish, Mustard, Wasabi

Previously I mentioned the benefits of plants and spices / herbs. While I elaborated on the benefits of plants as a long term approach to stopping a runny nose, I delayed discussing spices. Why? Simply because not only do spices have benefits that can stop a runny nose long term, some of them can also stop it immediately. The therapeutic properties of turmeric, ginger, cayenne, horseradish, mustard and wasabi are all similar. They are anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antihistaminic, and antiviral. Moreover, they can provide immediate relief, especially horseradish, mustard, and wasabi. If you have ever eaten one of these three and had too much at one time, you know exactly what I am talking about. Your nasal passages open up and your eyes may even water. But one thing is for sure, you will breathe better and you will not be left figuring out how to stop a runny nose.