Reversing a Rising Tide of Chronic Conditions by Ronica A. O’Hara The statistics are startling—as many as a quarter to one half of American children now have a diagnosed chronic condition, according to studies that include one in Academic Pediatrics that includes obesity. Over the last few decades, the number of children with asthma has tripled to affect one in eight; those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have doubled to one in 10; and autism diagnoses have increased at least 10-fold, to affect one in 50 (one in 31 boys).
Simple Home Solutions that Help by Karen Shaw Becker An estimated 10 percent of Americans are allergic to household pets, with sensitivities to cats twice as common as to dogs, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Most people with cat allergies react to Fel d 1, a protein found on cat skin, although other cat allergens are found on the fur, in saliva and even in their urine, reports a study in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. The tiny Fel d 1 protein attached to a piece of airborne cat hair or skin can linger in the air for hours—much longer than a similarly released dog allergen. It’s also sticky, readily attaching to human skin and clothing, and can even easily transfer to cat-free public locations such as a classroom. Male cats tend to produce more of this allergenic protein than females, especially if they’re not neutered. However, all cats produce the Fel d 1 protein, and it’s unrelated to the amount of feline dander or shedding. Thus, no truly hypoallergenic cat breed exists, yet some breeds may be better for allergic pet lovers, say Austrian researchers in a study published in the journal Clinical and Translational Allergy. Many people are able to build up tolerance to their kitty over time. Before starting a relationship, first ensure the allergy is not severe. If allergy symptoms are more of a nuisance than a serious health threat, some options can help minimize the problem at home: • Consider making the bedroom of any affected family member a cat-free zone. • Purchase a high-quality air purifier to clean the air of allergens and other pollutants. • To prevent a buildup of allergens indoors, replace carpeting with hard flooring and drapes and curtains with non-fabric window coverings and… read more →
Helps to Reduce Symptoms Researchers from Thailand had 64 people suffering from hay fever (allergic rhinitis) experience half-hour steam baths three times a week for four weeks. Half received baths without herbs;
A study from the University of Florida, in Gainesville, has found that the probiotic combination of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria (sold as Kyo-Dophilus) helps relieve the symptoms of seasonal allergies.
“Many people think an allergic pet should be switched to a lamb and rice diet. In some cases, that makes dry, itchy, skin worse,” she says. “That’s why it’s important to know what they are allergic to before trying out new foods or herbal remedies. Find a holistic vet to work with.”
Taking the Whole Body into Account Linda Sechrist The “old wives’ tale” about eating carrots for healthy vision wasn’t wrong, but fell far short of a holistic approach to eye health. Today’s holistically trained healthcare providers and ophthalmologists believe that properly maintaining the marvelous phenomenon of eyesight requires taking into consideration genetics, diet, toxin exposures, life environments and our belief systems.
Many experts agree on at least one underlying cause behind the trend—a widely studied condition called leaky gut, characterized by intestinal permeability. Microscopic pinholes in an unhealthy small intestine can allow undigested nutrients to pass through intestinal walls, triggering mild immune responses, inflammation and, potentially, the onset of some diseases.
Today’s mass-produced furniture may contain hidden chemicals such as formaldehyde-based adhesives, flame retardants and other volatile organic compounds (VOC) linked to serious health issues. Researchers from the Natural Resources Defense Council found 45 toxic chemicals in indoor dust, 10 of which were present in at least 90 percent of households sampled. “These chemicals enter the air as materials in the furnishings break down,” explains healthy home expert Lisa Beres. “Because we spend an average of 90 percent of our lives indoors, the exposure to harmful chemicals is troubling.”
Eat less, move more. These words have been the cornerstone of diet advice for decades, leading millions of Americans to greet the new year with vows to cut calories and hit the gym. In all, one in five U.S. adults are dieting at any given time, according to the international market research firm The NPD Group, and 57 percent would like to lose 20 pounds or more. Yet few will reach that goal.
Skin outbreaks can also be the result of food sensitivities or food allergies. “I make patients aware of the issues underlying their skin problems so that they understand the connection between internal health and skin. Then they can make conscious food choices,” says Dattner.