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Histamine Reactions?

gut health histamine sibo Sep 10, 2018

  Carol, a 53 year old real estate broker with 2 children, had been noticing more allergic reactions  in the past 6 months. Her symptoms were wide ranging. Sometimes it was digestive upset, sometimes she would actually develop itching and hives. Her sleep had gotten a lot worse and she found that she was waking up in the middle of the night very hungry no matter how much or what she ate for dinner.

In fact it was really difficult to pinpoint if  foods were setting her symptoms off  because she could eat something for dinner one day and be fine, and then she could eat the leftovers for a few days and then her symptoms would flare. She was wondering how much food was a factor, but did notice that her symptoms would flare after eating. So something related to what she was eating was likely a contributory factor. But what? It seemed so random!

As she spoke I started to think about histamine being a contributory factor to her symptoms.  Sometimes in gut...

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Beyond “Food Jail” …er… Restrictive Diets

A lot of my patients are on restrictive diets. I walk them through the process, how to deal with the emotions, how to manage it with their busy chaotic lives, so they can allow their bodies to heal from inflammation, bacterial overgrowth, autoimmune disorders, etc. Most of the time these diets are meant to be temporary and therapeutic during treatment with a slow addition to widen the diet once treatment of the infection/inflammation/autoimmune has been accomplished. This way we can begin to see what the body can and cannot tolerate. It is often a non-linear journey.

Restrictive diets by nature are not very fun. Nobody wants to have a “NO!” in their life. It brings up all sorts of “stuff” for the person undergoing the diet restriction. I have blogged a ton on this and there is a massive amount of information and research out there about WHY the restriction is necessary for a time so I am not going to go into that very much in this particular post. You can...

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What I Learned about Portion Control from the Japanese

nutrition weight loss Nov 20, 2017

Many years ago when I was freshly out of college I worked as a Foreign Fisheries Observer in the Bering Sea off the coast of Alaska. This was in the early 1980’s and a great way for me to parlay my B.S. in Biology into a decent paying job (which was a rarity back then).   This particular job required me to live aboard foreign fishing vessels for months at a time, often as the only woman! I did 3 trips in all, 2 Japanese and one Soviet (this WAS the 1980’s so it wasn’t Russia then, but the U.S.S.R.).

I was taught as a child that the way to be a polite guest was to clean my plate. “Starving children in Europe” and other phrases like that to help me feel grateful and not too fussy about what was on my plate. I was a pretty picky eater as a young child which only was widened when I attended sleepaway camp and had to eat whatever I was given or there would be no eating at all. Plus I had worked up a pretty good appetite from being outdoors and...

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Restrictive Diets Can Trigger a Lot of Emotions!

nutrition stress Nov 03, 2017

Do you struggle with the emotions surrounding your health plan or restricted diet? Whether it is for weight loss or to heal and correct a health condition it can be extremely challenging to stick to the plan. It is understandable that there may be associated feelings around this.

Mary felt anger and rage when her enjoyment of food was restricted. She was so surprised by her reaction and decided that it was time to dig deep to see where those feelings came from. While feelings are often complex and multifaceted, she remembered a time from early childhood. Whenever she misbehaved, as all children do sometimes, she was sent to her room without dinner and her parents behaved very coldly to her until they decided that they were finished punishing her. As she grew older, discipline turned to grounding and restriction. Anytime she had to restrict herself it brought up the angry child and rebellious adolescent big-time!

When she was recommended to go off of all sugar, bread and...

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Therapeutic Diets: Which One Should I Choose?

nutrition Sep 18, 2017

Are you confused about which therapeutic diet you should choose? You aren’t alone! With so many to choose from, it is no wonder that some people have a lot of trouble figuring out their diet and nutrition.

Kathryn  knew she wanted to change her diet to get healthier and maybe even lose a little weight, but she didn’t know how to go about it. She kept hearing about so many different diets and the more she read about it online, the more confused she became. While it is always best to work with a health practitioner such as a Naturopathic Doctor or a nutritionist when making a serious diet change so that you have all of the support you need, I wanted to break it down for you so that you have some idea which approach may be the best for your specific situation.

Many people seeking relief from chronic GI conditions will turn to diet modifications and a nutritional approach.   The bottom line is if you suffer from chronic health issues, you MUST address...

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Healing GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)

Sally, 48, often felt a burning pain in her upper abdominal area after eating and received a diagnosis of GERD. After visiting  a gastroenterologist where she was told that it had nothing to do with her diet and she needed to be on a proton pump inhibitor indefinitely, (PPI), she scheduled an appointment with me. She felt there had to be a better way and she was correct!

GERD, or Gastroesophageal reflux disease, is a condition that causes pain and inflammation in the epigastrum, or the upper abdomen. It can occur during, or several hours after eating. GERD can cause severe pain and many GERD patients have mistakenly thought they were having a heart attack because the pain can radiate to the chest area. GERD can increase during pregnancy or from conditions such as a hiatal hernia. While GERD is not necessarly present with a peptic ulcer, many patients have symptoms of an ulcer so that is something that should be ruled out. In some people a bacteria called H. pylori has...

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Lack of Sleep Affects Gut Health (and Vice Versa!)

Maria , 29, went through a very painful breakup 2 years ago and began having insomnia (trouble sleeping). Along with processing the grief through the loss of her relationship, she began to experience stomach pain and abdominal bloating. She had read that an imbalance in her gut could be contributing to her sleep issues, but she intuitively knew that for her it was the other way around. The sudden unexpected breakdown and the end of her relationship was the contributory factor to her gut health issues. And she is correct! Sleep and gut health inform and influence each other.

I have written before about gut health and the neurotransmitters produced as a result of that affects sleep, but did you know that a lack of sleep also affects gut health? Lack of sleep can influence cortisol secretion (the fight or flight hormone) and also influence insulin metabolism. Chronic stress, as I have written before, contributes to weight gain and the obesity epidemic is in part due to the...

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Why Everything Containing Folic Acid Belongs in the Trash!

metabolism mthfr nutrition Jun 10, 2017

Back in the 1990’s the discovery that folates could prevent neural tube defects in babies became the impetus for folic acid, an inexpensive form of folate, to be added to grain and cereal products as well as becoming a universal ingredient in prenatal vitamins and other dietary supplements. While this change did lessen the occurrence of neural tube defects, it also coincided with an increase in many health other conditions.

According to Dr. Ben Lynch, Director of the Seeking Health Educational Institute (website http://mthfr.net/) , over 44% of the population carries the MTHFR gene polymorphism, which can lead to having adverse reactions to plain old cheap folic acid. According to Dr. Lynch nobody should take folic acid because it is difficult to metabolize for almost everyone causing toxic byproducts from a complex array of biochemical reactions. These reactions can cause an increase in cancer risk and growth, autoimmune issues, and mood instability as well as a possible...

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All About Cytokines!

gut health inflammation May 13, 2017

What are Cytokines and what’s that have to do with me?

Stephanie, 47, spent most of her free time lying on the couch and spacing out. She knew that she should get up and be productive, but her ind and body weren’t supporting that right now. She was feeling incredibly fatigued and her mind just could not focus. All she could feel was guilt and shame for not finding the wherewithal to rouse herself to do all of those things on her list. She continued to ruminate on what a terrible person she was and how she would never amount to anything.

2 years ago Stephanie felt better. It was only after a stomach virus laid her low that the fatigue and brain fog symptoms began. It seemed odd to her that these symptoms came together. After all, what causes lassitude, brain fog and depression when it was just her stomach that had bothered her initially?

The answer to her question is CytokinesCytokines are chemical compounds that are produced along with inflammation....

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Unicorn Free Zone!

nutrition Apr 29, 2017

Why is the Starbucks Unicorn Frappacino even considered FOOD? I’m talking about that gooey blue, pink and purple shake drink that was so popular last week.  A  “Fun food” from a famous coffee company  which was marketed to kids and adults alike and saw huge sales.  I get the energy of celebration and fun that food offers, though if you have been following my work for any length of time, you probably know that I was appalled  that this sugary  junk food saw such huge popularity.  This article from Food Babe outlines what is in the Unicorn and why you should never drink it!  

With obesity, diabetes and cancer rates increasing exponentially, I just have to scratch my head on this one. Sure, the drink looked pretty and fun.  And those of us who are parents know that “Fun Factor” foods are kid magnets!

The great news is that some like-minded people came up with some alternative all natural version of it! Here are...

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