Why I Have Fewer Allergies In France

Posted on April 6, 2018Categories Allergy RemediesTags   Leave a comment on Why I Have Fewer Allergies In France
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As some of you may know if you’ve read my about page or have followed me in other places online, I’ve spent quite a bit of time in France. While it’s been several years since my last trip to France, I have noticed that in general, I have fewer allergies in France.  Why? While I’m not sure why all the reasons are that I have fewer allergies in France, here are some of the reasons why I believe this is true. By the way, no I’m not planning to move to France, instead, this is meant as an interesting essay of sorts on why I believe we have more allergies in the United States. 

  1. In France, skin care products, bath and body products and other household products have fewer chemicals. In the United States chemicals such as sulfates are in almost everything. In France, they are rare if not banned in many things. 
  2. Cleaning products in France have fewer chemicals and fewer synthetics.  In the United States chemical loaded cleaning products such as bleach are commonplace, in France natural alternatives are more common.
  3. Common products such as wheat and milk are processed completely differently in France and as a result are easier on the digestive systems of many people. Milk specifically isn’t processed in France and is sold in boxes un-refrigerated rather than being sold in gallons in a fridge. 
  4. GMOs in foods are rare in France rather than being used all the time like they are in the United States. 
  5. Most perfumes, lotions and other scented products actually have real perfumes, essential oils and herbs in them in France, whereas, in the US, even those that are supposedly natural are usually synthetic. 
  6. France, in general, has less pollution from cars. In France a lot more people are used to walking, biking, and using public transportation. You don’t find everyone owning a car in France. 
  7. In France, there is less of a focus on allergy medications and drugs for everything. Yes, they still use drugs but less than in the U.S. and especially for allergies.  While allergy medications can help allergies, long-term use can also increase allergies. 

Have you noticed that you have fewer allergies when visiting or living in a different state or country than your home state or country? Tell me about it in the comments. 

 

How to Deal with an Impossible to Avoid Allergen

Posted on March 23, 2018Categories Allergy RemediesTags   Leave a comment on How to Deal with an Impossible to Avoid Allergen
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What do you do about an impossible to avoid allergen? If you are lucky that allergen that you need to avoid is something like pollen in the air which while you cannot avoid it, you can take some kind of medication to help. However, what do you do about impossible to avoid allergens that aren’t that simple?

It can be really complicated and annoying. For example, I recently for some unknown reason, I developed an allergy to lemon, lime, orange, and grapefruit. While it might seem like no big deal, just don’t eat lemons, limes, oranges or grapefruit duh. However, I soon discovered that it is much more complicated than that. What many people don’t realize is that these fruits are added to everything you can think of including but not limited to:

Water
Rice
Salsa
Soups
Chicken and Fish burgers
Corn Chips
Salad dressings
Spices

and many other things. At first, I really tried to avoid them. However, it didn’t seem to matter how much I read labels and did my research, I would still end up somehow getting some lemon or lime in me. (I found lemon and lime the 2 hardest to avoid) I might also add that I’m not talking about some minor reaction. I was having UTIS over and over or at least what I thought were UTIS and they were really painful.

So what did I do?

Fortunately for me, I discovered that at least part of the cause for my reactions was due to stress and a higher amount of acidity in my body. So by recognizing this and working to reduce stress in my life and by drinking alkaline water, I have now been able to tolerate small amounts of lemon, lime, orange or grapefruit. I still don’t eat these fruits but if I get some in a salad dressing, or when eating out, I am okay.

But what if those things don’t work for you?

1. Stress can and does cause allergies and some other health issues so take a look at the role that stress might be playing with your hard to avoid allergens.

2. Use a mask when going outside or being around large groups of people.

3. Try acupuncture– yes really. My allergies are a lot less since I began doing acupuncture treatments.

4. Download my free allergy toolkit below and go through the checklists.

5. Consider allergy shots.

6. Consider if candida or a yeast infection might be behind your allergies.

And of course, do what you can to avoid that allergen.

How to Pretty Up Your Space with a Healing Herb Garden

Posted on March 7, 2017August 18, 2017Categories Allergy Remedies, HerbsTags , , , 1 Comment on How to Pretty Up Your Space with a Healing Herb Garden
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Have you ever considered growing a healing herb garden at home? Many people grow smaller gardens or pots with herbs in their kitchens, or in a small outside area, however, you can grow a healing herb garden of many sizes at home. Having a healing herb garden can help with improving indoor air quality and therefore reduce allergies and seasonal threats. An herb garden can also be a convenient way for you to have herbs on hand for cooking, using to help with burns, skin irritations and other common household needs.

Furthermore you can easily grow herbs in pots whereas you can’t as easily grow vegetables and fruits. You can also inexpensively purchase starter plants and herbs in pots that have already started growing. For example, when I was younger we almost always had an aloe vera plant by the kitchen sink for handy use. I remember touching something hot for example and grabbing a piece of aloe vera to soothe my burn. You can also easily purchase starter plants with basil, peppermint, rosemary and cilantro just to name a few of the healing herb garden plants that are sold at most garden stores.

If you want to get more heavily involved with healing herb gardens, here are two kindle ebooks that I’ve found helpful.

Herb Gardening for Beginners: Quick Guide to Beginning your Herb Garden Today

Herb gardening for beginners offers a great overview for people who have never done it before. From choosing a site for your herb garden to growing herbs in window boxes, hanging baskets, or pots to common mistakes to avoid, this ebook has it all. Learn all about the basics of growing and prettying up a space with a healing herb garden with this helpful guide.

and A Beginner’s Guide to Patio and Kitchen Herb Gardens: 21 Herbs You Can Grow at Home (Gardening Quick Start Guides Book 5)

This book offers a more in depth look at various common herbs and why you might want to grow them. It also talks about how to conserve and save space and how to maximize light. There is also information on how to avoid problems as well as seed and supply vendors.

Have you tried growing herbs or having a healing herb garden? Share your experience with me in the comments.

Why Doctors are Missing the Boat on Allergies and What You Can Do About It: My Story

Posted on February 22, 2017July 6, 2018Categories Allergy Remedies, storiesTags   Leave a comment on Why Doctors are Missing the Boat on Allergies and What You Can Do About It: My Story
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For as long as I can remember I have had allergies. Sometimes they were minor and I could live with them, othertimes they were so bad I thought I was going to die and sometimes my allergies seemed like a never ending cold. Between the sniffles, sore throats, clogged up nose, cough and runny eyes I seemed to always be sick.

So what did I do? In a word- everything. I’m not kidding. You name it I tried it. I tried every drug on the market for allergies and asthma, both over the counter and prescription. I used neti pots. I used saline solutions and nose drops. I used a variety of herbs. I used various vitamins and supplements. I tried cleaning out my ears. I went to one doctor and then I went to another one and another and in all I probably went to at least 10 different doctors and health care specialists of one kind or another over the course of about 20 years. While some of these things helped a little, nothing ever really cleared up my allergies. In short, I was still miserable. Then I discovered essential oils in 2007 and while those worked better than most things I had tried, I felt like I was still covering up my seasonal and environmental threats rather than getting to the root cause and I was still sick.

In all, I took over the counter allergy drugs every day for over 20 years. It didn’t mater what they weather was like, the ground could be covered in snow and I was still sneezing like I had hay fever even with no trees or leaves in sight.

At a couple of my doctors appointments I suggested to my doctors that I might have a food allergy but was told that I was fine. “It’s not food, it’s just environmental, it’s the bad air in Utah, everyone has allergies.” I was told.

So I believed them, kind of. However, in the back of my mind, I still continued to wonder if certain foods weren’t at the root cause. At that time I was a broke college student and my insurance wouldn’t cover any functional medicine testing, so I just continued to use the remedies I had without the kind of relief I was hoping for.

Then in 2005 I left to go to school in Indiana for two years. At last I was out of the muck and dirty air and the trees and plants that bloom each Spring and Fall and leave their pollen everywhere. Now maybe I would finally get some relief. With some excitement and some skepticism, I looked forward to finding out if I would finally be allergy free.

However, within a few weeks of my arrival in Indiana, I was left yet again with allergies and more allergies. In fact, not only did they not improve, but they seemed at times to be worse.

Ugh. I was really getting frustrated now.
Fast forward to 2007 and I was back in Utah and still suffering. I’d always had a hard time blowing my nose since I was younger and my dad had had surgery for a deviated septum in the nose. I had a new job with insurance and so I make an appointment with an ENT to see if surgery would help. He said it would and so I had the surgery. While it did help some and I was able to blow my nose more, I still continued to struggle with allergies, frequent sinus infections and my nose still didn’t seem as clear as it should be for someone who had had the surgery I had had.

Fast forward four more years and I began to break out all over with rashes. These rashes seemed to come from no where and at this point, I really began to question what I had been told during the past 30 years about food allergies. I had better health insurance and more income and so I booked an appointment at an integrative medicine clinic that also offered acupuncture and eastern medicine. They specialized in food allergies and autoimmune conditions.

The first thing they recommended was a food allergy and food sensitivities panel. I did the blood test and when the results came back I was shocked. Severe allergies to wheat and milk and varying degrees of food sensitivities to about 40 other foods. Many of these were things I was eating on a regular basis and had no idea. While I was shocked, I was also rather upset and annoyed. How come after all these years, no one ever told me, that the foods I was eating were at the cause of many of my allergies?

At the direction of my new doctors’ office, I did an elimination diet with all the foods on my list and I gave up wheat and milk. I also did 6 months of extensive acupuncture and Chinese herbal treatments.

Fast forward to almost 4 years later and my allergies are almost 90% gone. Yep, that’s right, after almost 30 years of non-stop allergies, I almost never get them anymore and if I do, I know it’s because I’ve eaten too much of something that I have a sensitivity to and I know how to fix it.

Why and How did this happen? Why did I suffer for all these years and try all these allergy medications and remedies with little to no relief, only to find out that I had food allergies and food sensitivities?

There are a variety of reasons but they really boil down to these:

Doctors have little to no training in nutrition. While the amount of training in nutrition doctors get varies, the average is only about three hours. Because of this lack of training, we have a healthcare system full of doctors and medical professionals who know next to nothing about nutrition and how the food you eat impacts your health and wellbeing.

Food sensitivities vs Food allergies are not well understood by most doctors including even many holistic providers. So just because you don’t have an “allergy” as determined by a traditional allergy test, does not mean that the food in question, isn’t bothering you. Any food can cause problems at any time and yes the symptoms can be similar to those caused by seasonal allergies and or hay fever.

Food allergies and or food sensitivities can make seasonal allergies worse.

While I’m not happy about what happened to me and I’m frustrated by all the years of allergies, pill popping and still not feeling well, my hope is that at least my story can help others to avoid years of suffering and hassles.

Need help? Schedule a time to chat with me.

The Truth About Gluten and Allergies

Posted on March 21, 2016March 22, 2016Categories Allergy Remedies, Gluten FreeTags , ,   Leave a comment on The Truth About Gluten and Allergies
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gluten and allergies

Is gluten causing or making your allergies worse? What? Yes, the reality and truth about gluten and allergies is that if you have really bad allergies then gluten may be causing them. While gluten may or may not be the only reason your allergies are out of control, it is certainly worth looking into the connection between gluten and allergies. Personally I had horrible so called “seasonal” allergies that never went away and I tried everything you can think of both over the counter, prescription, holistic, alternative you name it I tried it. My allergies never really cleared up until I went gluten free. Sure the other allergy remedies that I tried helped but they didn’t get to the root of the problem and I still had sinuses that were constantly stuffed up, eyes that watered a lot, etc.

That said, here are some articles and other support materials to help you really understand the truth about gluten and allergies.

1. Gluten is a known inflammatory. See my article about the connection between inflammation and allergies. How an anti-inflammatory diet can help with allergies. Also see this article on Why You Should Ditch Gluten Now If You Have an Autoimmune Disease. While having allergies does not necessarily mean that you have an auto-immune disease, if your allergies are severe, then there is a good chance that you do.

2. Gluten is one of the top 8 allergens that are known to cause problems in a lot of people. [Even if you have had a blood test or a skin prick test that was negative, this does not mean that you are not sensitive to gluten and yes gluten can still be one factor for really bad allergies.]

3. Gluten causes what is known as leaky gut and leaky gut is proven to make allergies worse.

4. There is a known connection between allergies in your head and your digestive system. A healthy digestive system means that you will not have severe allergies. Yes, you may still stand under a tree with pollen and sneeze but you will not have allergies year round. Gluten is proven to cause problems in the digestive systems of a lot of people.

Here is a video with even more information about gluten sensitivity and gluten and allergies.