Category Archives: Inflammation

Can eating eggplants (nightshades family) give you joint pain?

Potatoes, eggplant, tomatoes, and peppers are just a few vegetables that all belong to the nightshade family. “Nightshade” is a term coined because most of these vegetables either grow in the shade or bloom during night. The nightshade family also belongs to the Solanaceae family. The vegetables that are part of this family all contain a certain chemical that is toxic to the body. Due to these toxins, the body is not able to digest it correctly and it may lead to inflammation and joint pain.

Specifically, nightshades contain a group of chemical compounds called alkaloids. Alkaloids are used as the plant’s self bug repellant. These chemicals are a defense mechanism that defends against insects and other pests. In high concentrations, these chemicals can be toxic to humans if ingested. However, alkaloids are mostly concentrated on the stems and leaves of the plant, which humans typically do not eat. Therefore, at lower doses many people will not feel the effect of toxic chemicals that the nightshade vegetables possess. However, people who are suffering from an autoimmune disease or digestive issues may experience a different effect. For these people the chemicals in these plants are foreign to the human body and the digestive system does not know how to digest these compounds. Therefore, the body initiates an immune response, which is detrimental for a person with an autoimmune disorder.

These chemicals are a natural pesticide. Therefore, ingesting these vegetables can cause damage to the intestines and the cells that line the walls. This leads to a syndrome called leaky gut, which can cause a plethora of responses such as inflammation and joint pain. In order to prevent these immune responses, one must cut out ingestion of nightshade vegetables. Relieving one’s body from these toxic chemicals will prevent the initiation of an immune response. Ultimately, one will begin see the positive effects such as reduced joint pain and inflammation.

If you want to learn more about the effects of nightshade vegetables or if you are experiencing joint pain, please call Dr. Lee at (206) 319 – 5322 or visit Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncutre Center

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Filed under Food allergy, IBD, IBS, Inflammation, Leaky gut syndrome, seattle naturopath

Natural Care After a Car Accident

With the rainy weather approaching us, unfortunately the risk of being in a car accident rises. Traumas from car accidents can range from whiplash to life threatening conditions. After being involved in a car accident, one’s body is put in a very vulnerable state. This means that the care one puts into their body after this kind of trauma predicts not only the speed of recovery, but also the possibility to fully recover.

Typically, one is in a great deal of pain after an accident and therefore resides to pain medications to take care of the pain. However, there is a misconception when it comes to pain medication. Many believe that these medications will heal their body from the trauma that he or she endured when involved in the car accident because their pain will magically “go away.” However, these medications are actually not contributing to the healing process. What these medications truly do, is mask the pain that one is feeling. Taking pain medications can actually be detrimental to one’s recovery. When someone is experiencing pain, it is the body’s way of communicating that something is wrong and precautions need to be made in order for it to heal. With the addition of pain medications, the pain is masked and therefore one proceeds with daily activities that one normally would not be able to conduct due to the existing pain. This disrupts the healing process and therefore, recovery time is lengthening and the ability to properly recover is diminishing.

Recovering from a car accident using natural care adds to the body’s healing process. Natural care ensures that every aspect of pain is made aware of and is being treated in a correct and natural way. Nature treatments may include but not limited to acupuncture, cranioscaral therapy, trigger point injections, spinal adjustments, rehab exercises, and supplements. These treatments will not mask any of the symptoms, but it will actually treat them so that the body can fully heal and recover. If you have recently been involved in a car accident and want to be treated, please call Dr. Lee at (206) 319 – 5322 or visit Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center.

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Filed under car accident, decrease pain, headaches, Inflammation, seattle naturopath, trigger point injections, trigger points

How to get rid of trigger points with trigger point injections?

Lidocaine injections are effective in reducing pain especially in the upper back and the shoulder areas by targeting the trigger point within the muscle. Trigger points of the pain are nodules within the muscle that are the source of muscle spasms, musculoskeletal disorders such as myofascial pain syndrome, fibromyalgia, neck pain, tension headaches, and lower back pain. Trigger points can trap and irritate surrounding nerves and can radiate to various other locations in the body and extremities. Some general causes of trigger points originate from injuries, other acute traumas, and or the repetition of the same injury often found in individuals with office jobs or students due to slouching over in same position for hours at a time.

Trigger point injections break the trigger point in two ways. First, the needle itself from the injection manually stimulates a muscular release. Second, the lidocaine stops the pain cycle which allows the muscle to relax. Lidocaine is a numbing medication that has a short half-life so the body is able to metabolize the compound quickly and safely. Many patients find that Lidocaine injections are an effective alternative to surgery due to its noninvasive nature and fast results.

For more information about trigger point injections or if you are interested scheduling appointment, please contact Dr. Lee at 206-319-5322 or visit Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center for more information.

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Filed under decrease pain, headaches, Inflammation, seattle naturopath, trigger point injections, trigger points

How can trigger point injection helps with frozen shoulder?

Frozen shoulder (also known as adhesive capsulitis) is a condition when the shoulder’s motion becomes limited as if it was actually “frozen.” This loss of motion is due to the joint capsule, or the tissue around the joint, constricting down. This condition is caused by inflammation within the joint. This swelling makes the shoulder joint stiff and painful to move. Other reasons for frozen shoulder can be due to excess scar tissue and/or any shrinking or thickening of the joint itself. There are many sources of this condition such as:

  • Recent injury
  • Fracture
  • Lack of exercise or immobility
  • Diabetes
  • Recent surgery (immobilizing the shoulder for recovery)
  • Hyperthyroidism/hypothyroidism

Most symptoms of frozen shoulder are pain when moving the shoulder, increasing stiffness around the shoulder joint, and the inability to move or any limitation of motion of the shoulder. These symptoms can make it uncomfortable to complete daily tasks and some may experience trouble sleeping.

Treatments for frozen shoulder depending on the severity can range from physical therapy to injections. In fact, a trigger point injection (also known as TPI) is one type of treatment that can successfully relieve the pain that accompanies frozen shoulder and it also aids in releasing the stiffness. Trigger point injections are injections of lidocaine to an area, in this case the shoulder joint, which inactivates the trigger point, relieving the pain. With frozen shoulder, these injections will pause the nerve transmission of pain to the shoulder, and once it starts back up again the pain will have subsided. Ridding of the stiffness and inflammation, will in turn allow the shoulder joint to gain back its full range of motion.

If you are experiencing pain, stiffness, and/or a limitation in your shoulder’s motion or if you are interested in getting trigger point injections, please contact Dr. Diane Lee at Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center at (206) 319-5322.

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Filed under Arthritis, decrease pain, Inflammation, seattle naturopath, trigger point injections, trigger points

Why do trigger points lead to headaches?

A headache is a pain or ache in the head or neck. There are many factors that may be causing these aches such as stress, diet, anxiety, posture, neck injuries, or a combination of any of these. Based on these factors, one may be diagnosed with tension headaches or migraines. However, many of these headaches are due to trigger points and not just stress or poor diet. A trigger point is a traumatized area in the muscle that may feel like a tight band or knot. When pressed on, these trigger points will refer pain to other parts of the body. In this case, many trigger points refer pain to the head causing headaches. Since there are a variety of factors that play a role in causing headaches, eliminating a majority of those (stress, poor diet, etc.) may cause relief. However, trigger points may still be playing a part even though one may not be experiencing a headache.

Trigger points, if not treated, cause long-term effects. This means that when one is not experiencing a headache, trigger points will continue to sensitize the muscle. Once these trigger points are pressed on, they can refer pain causing a full-blown tension or migraine headache.

If one does not teat trigger points, one’s headaches will continue to worsen. One very effective treatment to headaches are trigger point injections. Trigger point injections (TPI) are injections of an anesthetic that numbs the area and blocks nerves from sending pain signals to the referred area. This injection halts the cycle, immediately giving relief. Continuation of TPIs will greatly reduce the intensity of the aches and the frequency of these painful headaches that trigger points cause.

If you are experiencing frequent and painful headaches and cannot seem to find a treatment that is working for you, call Dr. Diane Lee at (206) 319–5322 or visit Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center to learn more about trigger points and the success of trigger point injections with diagnostic ultrasound.

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Filed under Arthritis, decrease pain, headaches, Inflammation, migraines, trigger point injections, trigger points

Can food allergies lead to headaches?

A headache is something that almost everyone on the planet has endured at some point in his or her life. When people have a headache, they tend to think that it was brought about by the most talked about and most obvious triggers such as anxiety, noise, lack of sleep, medication, and dehydration. Although all of these are proven to be some popular causes of a headache, one of the most common triggers that tends to be overlooked is food and food sensitivities.

Food sensitivity is caused when the body incorrectly treats a certain food or food additive as a foreign substance, resulting in an immune response. When the immune system is triggered, it causes inflammation and increased blood flow to the affected area. The common factor in all headaches typically involves inflammation, which can potentially affect your head. The inflammation and therefore the headache will vanish once the triggering food is removed from the diet.

Many other foods can trigger headaches, even if you aren’t sensitive to the specific type of food. Some dairy products, especially cheese, contain a phosphoprotein called casein. Casein is a major trigger of migraines and headaches. They also contain a component called Tyramine. Tyramine can cause the nerve cells in your brain to release norepinephrine. This unusual amount of chemical change in the brain can be a major cause of headaches. Another food chemical that can cause headaches is Aspartame. Aspartame is an artificial sweetener that is commonly found in diet sodas. It is considered an excitotoxin, meaning that it causes spasms in the neurons, which eventually damage and burn out the neurons in your brain causing a painful headache. Alcohol is also a very common headache trigger. Alcohol increases blood flow to the brain and induces dehydration, both of which can cause headaches.

Cheese, artificial sweeteners and alcohol are just a few of foods that are notoriously known for causing headaches. There are several natural methods to help treat and prevent headaches without the use of pain relievers and over the counter medication. One of the most common is acupuncture, which has been used to treat headaches for thousands of years. Acupuncture works very well with sinus, tension, and sleeping disorder headaches, and is also effective for migraine headaches. Acupuncture can help relax the patient and has a lasting effect on the prevention of headaches. Unlike synthetic drugs, acupuncture has generally no side effects and is minimally invasive.

Another natural remedy for headache treatment and prevention is taking magnesium. People who suffer from migraines and headaches usually have much lower levels of magnesium than people who don’t suffer from headaches. Magnesium is an important element in your body that is involved in numerous cell functions. A lack of magnesium may play a large role in the upbringing of a headache due to changes in neurotransmitter reactions and inflammation. Magnesium works especially well for tension headaches by relaxing the soft tissue in your brain and therefore reducing headache symptoms. Magnesium is a safe, inexpensive and natural way to help treat and prevent acute and chronic headaches.

If you are suffering from headaches, there is a high possibility that it may be due to your diet. If you are interested in finding out what foods may be triggering your headaches and want to establish an effective and natural treatment plan, please contact Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center at (206)-319-5322.

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Filed under Allergies, Food allergy, Inflammation, Leaky gut syndrome

Can food allergies lead to weight gain?

Food allergies and weight problems are intimately related. If you are having difficulty losing weight, it may be because you have a food allergy or sensitivity preventing you to do so. Inflammation occurs in response to many different stimuli including injuries, irritants and pathogens. It is a process where your body’s immune system responds by sending proteins and white blood cells to the irritated area in order to repair the damaged tissue. Inflammation from food allergies inactivates leptin, which is the body’s main weight control hormone. Your immune system produces anti-inflammatory chemicals to offset inflammation, and these chemicals restrict the ability of leptin to function properly. When you overeat, the leptin levels in your body rise, which results in an increased metabolic rate and a decrease in appetite. If you have inflammation due to a food allergy, this process does not occur, and it leaves you with a slow metabolic rate and a hungry appetite.

Eating foods that trigger an allergic reaction and inflammation also cause secretion of epinephrine from your adrenal glands, which triggers a hormonal cascade that ultimately results in the storage of fat rather than the breakdown of fat. Epinephrine causes glycogen (stored glucose) breakdown in the liver, which increases the amount of sugar in your bloodstream. When high sugar levels are detected, insulin is released. High levels of insulin activate the enzyme lipoprotein lipase, which catalyzes the synthesis of fats. It also inhibits the enzyme triglyceride lipase, which is one of the important enzymes in the break down of stored fats.

If you have been struggling to lose weight and tried diet and exercise, there is a high possibility that it may be due to food allergies and intolerances. Food triggers can be easily identified by a simple blood test. If you are interested in identifying what foods could be causing inflammation and developing a personalized treatment plan, please contact Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center at (206)-319-5322

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Filed under Food allergy, Inflammation, Weight Loss