Allergies, Asthma, & Eczema
Why be concerned?
The WHO ranks allergies as the 6th leading health concern, with a 30% increase in the last 5 years alone. 12% of all Canadian Children have asthma (WHO, 2007) and 25% of people with allergic rhinitis have allergies (WHO, 2006).
Why is this happening?
With our modern lifestyle we cause not only highly chemical full environment but an internally chemically overloaded body. For Allergies increased carbon dioxide release due to global warming increases plants breathing it and thus increased pollen release and thereby concentration in the air.
What are the Connections Related To This Trend?
Allergies, Asthma, and Eczema are inversely related to one another. If for example you suppress eczema with long term corticosteroid use the potential for allergies and asthma increases.
Triad- Picture 1
In order thus to treat any one of the above conditions, we must understand their root cause and the Health Connections in the path that resulted in their outcome. The pathway from beginning to end result is as follows:
Health Connections- Allergies, Asthma, Eczema
There are 7 phases for the Allergy, Asthma, and Eczema pathway:
The first phase relates to the Nervous System. Two divisions of this exist. The parasympathetic nervous system is our relaxed state where we grow, heal, digest and sleep and the sympathetic nervous system is our active state where we think, worry, and are physical. When one is under tension the shift is to be sympathetic dominant away from parasympathetic.
The second phase relates to the Adrenal Gland. One of the hormones released by this gland under stress is cortisol. Elevated cortisol can cause the immune system to weaken further.
This leads into phase three where the digestive system is impacted. The digestive system needs to be in the parasympathetic state long enough to release all the digestive enzymes necessary to break down your foods. In this phase a person is still in sympathetic state for too long and the lack of enzymes and tension leads to bloating, gas, heartburn, diarrhea or constipation. Recognize any of this? The digestive system is made with a fine mucosal and ciliary border in which further digestive enzymes sit, the more one consumes irritants i.e. food intolerants, drugs and chemicals the more this lining is worn away. This thinning leads to Leaky Bowel Syndrome where you have by-products of digestion that are not fully digested. The body recognizes these are foreign and sets up an immune reaction.
Phase four is Immunity. Up to 70% of Immunity can be related to the bowls. Thus if someone has allergies, asthma or eczema, the bowls must be healed also. The mast cells in the immune system then release histamine to produce traditional allergy symptoms which can also relate to asthma and eczema.
Phase five is related to the liver. Any by products including those from the Leaky Bowl Syndrome that need to be cleared from our body are brought to the liver. The higher load brought to the liver, makes it more difficult to clear those things in the environment we are exposed to from the body. This leads to increased allergies, asthma and eczema.
The sixth phase is all your organs of elimination that the liver sends to be cleared from your body. These organs are the lungs, skin, kidney and bowls.
When there is a fault in this mechanism of elimination the end result can be Allergies, Asthma, Eczema, Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) or Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or phase seven.
What are our Treatment Options?
Thus in order to treat fully these conditions we need to support all phases. Options that would be customized for your child include:
- Test for Food Intolerances and Remove from the Diet
- Detox to cleanse the liver and or bowels
- Acupuncture-Adults only in a comparative study on treatment of type I allergic diseases; acupuncture therapy was shown to have extensive action to reduce allergic asthma, runny nose and chronic hives (Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 1993 Dec, 13(4):243-8.)
- Homeopathy- i. Allium Cepa – Research shows a significant reduction in symptoms of allergies with the use of one of the Naturopathic methods- Homeopathic treatment (lancet, 1986-881-6). ii. Another research study showed homeopathic remedies made from the causative agent or ortigens can improve nasal flow in allergy patients (British medical J, Taylor) iii. Thymus homeopathically has been shown to calm the immune response.
- Phytosterols (plant based sterols and sterolins) /Moducare –have been shown in research to decrease the over activity of the immune system. They decrease the specific immune factor (Interleukin 4) that ultimately causes the allergic response and the release of histamine.
- Brome lain– One of the theories about how it works is that it is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties. In one study researchers at the University of Connecticut found that brome lain reduced airway inflammation in animals with allergic airway disease.
- Nettle has been shown to be effective against hay fever.
- Echinacea- Asthma causes the bronchioles which carry air in the lungs to weaken. In this state the body is much more susceptible to respiratory viruses that cause the common cold. More than 80% of asthma aggravations can also be linked to these same viruses (J of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 2003, Feb., 111(2):215-225). One of the goals in management is thus to prevent the common cold in these individuals even more so. Echinacea may reduce the incidence of catching a cold by 58% and Echinacea when used in conjunction with Vitamin C reduces cold incidence by 86% (lancet, 2007).
- Vitamin C-powerful natural antihistamine activity. Helps control the release of histamine from mast cells.
- Quercitin-natural antihistamine activity (Garcia V, Arts IC, Sterne JA, Thompson RL, Shaheen SO. Dietary intake of flavonoids and asthma in adults. Eur Respir J. 2005 Sep;26(3):449-52.
- Lactobacillus Acidophilus- thought to reduce the potential for allergies.
- Betaine HCl- assists in the digestion of food and reduces the potential for food allergies.
- Omega Fatty Acids-Reduce arachidonic rich foods (egg yolks, shellfish and meat) which are related to inflammation. A German study examined data from 524 children and found that asthma was more prevalent in children with high levels of arachidonic acid. Increase intake of beneficial fats such as EPA (eicosapentanoic acid) from fish oil, and GLA (gamma-linolenic acid) from borage or evening primrose oil to further reduce arachidonic acid. (Mickleborough TD, Lindley MR, Ionescu AA, Fly AD. Protective effect of fish oil supplementation on exercise-induced bronchoconstriction in asthma. Chest. 2006 Jan;129(1):39-49. )
- Increase Fruits and Vegetables– A study examining food diaries of 68,535 women found that women who had a greater intake of tomatoes, carrots and leafy vegetables had a lower prevalence of asthma. High consumption of apples may protect against asthma. • Daily intake of fruits and vegetables in childhood decreased the risk of asthma. (Nja F, Nystad W, Lodrup Carlsen KC, Hetlevik O, Carlsen KH. Effects of early intake of fruit or vegetables in relation to later asthma and allergic sensitization in school-age children. Acta Paediatr. 2005 Feb;94(2):147-54. )
- Boswellia– has been found in preliminary studies to inhibit the formation of compounds called leukotrienes. Leukotrienes released in the lungs cause narrowing of airways. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study of forty patients, 40 people with asthma were treated with a boswellia extract three times a day for six weeks. At the end of this time, 70 percent of people had improved (Gupta I, Gupta V, Parihar A, Gupta S, Ludtke R, Safayhi H, Ammon HP. Effects of Boswellia serrata gum resin in patients with bronchial asthma: results of a double-blind, placebo-controlled, 6-week clinical study. Eur J Med Res. 1998 Nov 17;3(11):511-4)