Category Archives: Inflammation

How to reduce allergy symptoms naturally?

An allergy is a heightened sensitivity to a foreign substance (called an allergen) that causes the body’s defense system (the immune system) to overreact when defending itself.


Normally, the immune system would only react if a harmful substance, such as bacteria, attacks the body. For people with allergies, their immune system is working too hard, and it reacts even when relatively harmless substances, such as pollen, are present. The severity of an allergic reaction can vary from mild discomfort to life threatening situations. General treatments for allergies include avoidance, use of anti-histamines, steroids or other medications, and immunotherapy to desensitize the allergic response.


Top three tips in reducing allergy symptoms naturally:

Neti pot know-how. The device have long enjoyed a reputation as a great natural way to flush out your sinuses- especially during allergy season. That healthy image became tarnished last year, however, when two people in Louisiana died as a result of a brain- eating amoebae found in the tap water. After being forced up the nose, the organism (naegleria fowleri) crossed the barrier separating the nasal cavity from the brain. But don’t toss your pot away yet. These were the first – and such complications are easily prevented. To play it safe, use only distilled water or boil yours from the tap then let it cool before using. Filtered water is fine too assuming the pore size is 1 micron or smaller    (check label or contact manufacture).


Vitamin C: The Natural Antihistamine.  Vitamin C enhances the action of the enzyme histaminase, which quickly metabolizes histamine. One gram of vitamin C reduces blood histamine by approximately 20%, and 2 grams of vitamin C reduces histamine by more than 30%, thus reducing the severity of allergic reactions.


Quercetin Bioflavonid. Quercetin is a plant bioflavonoid naturally found in wine, tea, outer layers of red and yellow onions. Quercetin stabilizes mast cells in allergic patients, and is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. For the best effect, quercetin should be taken in combination with vitamin C and high-potency bromelain. The growing number of people who choose not to eat lots and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables are undernourished with bioflavonoids, quercetin specifically. If they don’t consume more quercetin, they will be more prone to allergies.

If you are suffering from allergies and would like to reduce your symptoms naturally, please contact Dr. Lee at 206-3195322 or visit for more information.

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Filed under Allergies, Digestion, Eczema, fatigue, Food allergy, Inflammation

Confused by the different types of vitamin B12?

Looking for a safe and effective way to reduce to optimize health? The answer would be to eat right and exercise. One can also consider vitamin B12 injections as it can give you positive results as well.

Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin. It is a nutrient that is important for cell proliferation, nerve health, and carbohydrate metabolism. It is an essential nutrient needed to make red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout the body, the myelin sheath that surrounds nerve cells, and various proteins. It also plays a role in fat and carbohydrate metabolism.

As vitamin B12 injection is getting more popular, there is also the question of which type of B12 to get.

Hydroxocobalamin B12 is a natural and uniquely powerful form of vitamin B12. Clinical studies practice have shown it can help to improve cognitive function, fight fatigue, promote heart health and more. Studies have found that hydroxocoblamin raises B12 levels higher and lasts longer than cyanocobalamin (1,2). Hydroxocobalamin has a high affinity for cyanide. It pulls the cyanide out of the mitochondria of the cell and combines with it to form cyanocobalamin, which is then excreted in the urine. In 2006, hydroxocobalamin was approved by the FDA as an antidote for cyanide poisoning. Since cyanide is present in cigarette smoke  (and essentially reduces the cells’ ability to use oxygen), hydroxocobalamin would be a good option for smoker seeking a B12 supplement.

On the other hand, methylcobalamin may be help in preventing and treating chronic fatigue syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, peripheral neuropathies, Alzheimer’s disease, muscular dystrophy and neurological aging.

The most common form of vitamin B12 is called cyanocobalamin. However, over the last ten years, a number of central peripheral neurological diseases have been linked to a deficiency of a very specific cobalamin, the methylcobalamin form, that is required to protect against neurological disease and aging. The liver converts a small amount of cyanocobalamin into methylcobalamin within the body, but larger amounts of methylcobalamin are necessary to correct neurological defects and protect against aging.

Few substances have been shown to regenerate nerves in humans with peripheral neruopathies. However, a study in the Journal of Neurological Science postulated that methylcobalamin could increase protein synthesis and help regenerate nerves. The scientists showed that very high doses of methylcobalamin produce nerve regeneration in laboratory rats. The scientists stated that ultra-high doses of methylcobalamin might be of clinical use for patients with peripheral neuropathies.

1. Hall CA, et al. “The availability of therapeutic hydroxocobalamin to cells.” Blood. 1984 Feb;63(2):335-41.
2. Glass GBJ, et al. “Hydroxocobalamin V. Prolonged maintenance of high vitamin B12 blood levels following a short course of hydrooxocobalamin injections.” Blood. 1966. Vol 27, No. 2 pp 234-241.

Interested in B12 injection. Visit  Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center or call 206-319-5322.

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Filed under Allergies, B 12 injection, fatigue, Inflammation, vitamin injection, Weight Loss

Probiotics may help with IBS

Irritable bowel symptom, or IBS,  is a common functional disorder of the gastrointestinal tract characterized by abdominal symptoms such as abdominal pain and discomfort, bloating and change of bowel habits leading to either diarrhea or constipation. The exact cause of IBS is not clear, but stress, gastrointerstinal infections or antibiotics use are often triggers of the onset of IBS symptoms. One theory gaining ground is that it may be due to a shift in the balance of billions of bacteria which normally inhabit our intestine, towards those bacteria that produce excess gas and could possibly initiate an inflammatory response. The treatments of IBS include anti-diarrheals for diarrhea predominant IBS, stool softeners for constipation-predominant IBS, and antispasmodics for pain relief. However, these medications seem to only be able to provide temporary relief.

In one study, 52 people diagnosed with IBS were divided into two groups. One group was supplemented daily for 8 weeks with probiotic containing 25 billion live bacteria per daily dose. The second group received a placebo capsule. None of the participants knew if they were taking the probiotic or the placebo capsule. The following IBS symptoms were assessed every two weeks during the study period an again at 10 weeks. Two weeks after taking the probiotics, participants noticed decreased in days with pain, decreased in abdominal pain, decreased bloating, and improved quality of life.

The study suggested that supplementing large number of these beneficial bacteria may have the effect of “crowding” out the bad bacteria in the gut thereby helping to reduce gas production and pain.

Williams E.A., et al. Clinical trial: a multi-strain probiotic preparation significantly reduces symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome in a double-blind placebo-controlled study. Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2009:29:27-103

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Filed under Digestion, Food allergy, IBD, IBS, Inflammation, Leaky gut syndrome

What can do you to help bowel disease naturally?

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a general term used for Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis where inflammation of the bowel causes anemia, fever, and weight loss. Although each bowel disease is different, the symptoms are so similar that a proper diagnosis can be different.

The exacerbation of bowel disease and disorders in inextricably linked to fried, greasy foods; a low-fiber diet; a diet with too much processed foods; or eating too much food. When we treat our stomachs like garborators by eating junk foods and not chewing our food properly, the small and large intestines suffer the consequences. Stress aggravates the situation. In irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), the cause is unknown, but depression, stress and food allergies are main triggers. IBD is promoted by the immune system. Many research have demonstrated that the inflammatory factors secreted by the immune system are associated with the damage to the intestinal wall and increase inflammation seen in bowel disease.

Healthy tips to enhance healing:

  • Eliminate food allergies.
  • Aid digestion by taking digestive plant enzymes with every meal.
  • To promote digestion, add fresh-squeezed lemon juice to a cup of warm water.
  • Avoid coffee as it can aggravates the gut. Switch to green tea which as more antioxidants and less caffeine.
  • Take alone or in combination effective herbs to soothe your tummy including ginger, peppermint and fennel.
  • Consider seeing a chiropractor which may be able to provide some relief if there is a misalignment in your spine.
  • Consider seeing an acupuncturist which may reduce the need for surgery.



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Filed under Digestion, IBD, IBS, Inflammation, Leaky gut syndrome

Dr. Oz talks about the importance of Vitamin D

Why do Naturopaths concern about vitamin D levels? Because depending on where you live you might be not getting the adequate amount of sunshine to produce the powerful vitamin D.

Here are some reasons why?

Hypertension and Heart Disease
High blood pressure and heart attacks are more common in winter months and in locations farther away from the equator (conditions where sunlight is less ample). People with higher blood levels of vitamin D had naturally lower blood pressures. Vitamin D is known to lower a blood pressure raising substance in the body called angiotensin II. If your blood 25-OH-vitamin D levels is lower than 34 ng/ml your risk of heart attack is doubled, compared to people whose levels are above 34.
Low sunlight exposure and low vitamin D status is associated with increase risk of dying of numerous cancers including breast, ovarian, uterine, prostate, stomach, bladder, and lung cancers and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The researcher who made this connection suggested that 23,000 American lives could be saved yearly by adequate sunlight exposure and/or vitamin D supplementation.
Studies showed knee and hip arthritis worsened faster in patients with 25-OH-vitamin D levels below 30 ng/ml.
Studies showed vitamin D supplementation is equally or more successful in treating Seasonal Affective Disorder compared with use of light box therapy.
Pain: Migraines and Musculoskeletal pain
Women with migraines who test as deficient in vitamin D often have improvement in their migraines if they begin taking vitamin D and calcium daily. Several studies showed that patients with persistent musculoskeletal pain and low back pain had vitamin D deficiency and their pain improved when they took vitamin D supplements.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and Infertility
Calcium and Vitamin D supplementation helped all the patients with PCOS and infertility after vitamin D deficiency in one small study.
Multiple Sclerosis
It has long been noted that this autoimmune condition occurs more often at temperate zones, where there is less sunlight exposure. One study showed that calcium, magnesium and vitamin D supplementation helped reduce exacerbations in MS patients.
Other conditions
Diabetes, insulin resistance, epilepsy, Graves disease, ankylosing spondylitis, systemic lupus erythematosis, obesity, and rheumatoid arthritis are some other conditions that have been associated with deficiency of vitamin D and/or improvement with vitamin D supplements.
Your vitamin D level can be easily assessed with a simple blood test. Feel free to contact Seattle Naturopathic Center if you are interested in finding out your vitamin D level.

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Filed under Antiaging, Inflammation, Skin Conditions, Vitamin D

Eczema and Food Allergies Often Go Hand and Hand

Eczema causes an itchy and sometimes painful rash, blisters, and dry, rough skin. It is typically a chronic problem with times of improvement followed by worsening. Typical parts of the body are involved (e.g. arms, legs, hands, face) and there is usually a family history of allergy. One of the most common triggers that is often neglected = food allergens.

There’s a selection from the National Eczema Association:

I have been an eczema sufferer since age 17, and I am now 44. The eczema started on the inner elbows of my arms. Then my hands were affected; I would get these very small blisters that intensely itched, and then my fingers would swell and weep. In a Scratch Pad letter, a gentleman suggested going on an elimination diet. This meant eating nothing but chicken, broccoli, and cauliflower for about a week, then adding certain foods back in to the diet to see what was causing the itch. This was a very difficult thing to do! But after three days I noticed the itching on my hands was gone. After thinking the problem was wheat for a while, I finally pinned it down to tomatoes/ tomato sauce, and soda pop/coffee. Pinpointing a food was  difficult since my itching usually started the morning after eating an offending agent. A food diary can be helpful. Good luck on your journeys.

Ann Lee

Food allergens can be identified via eliminating suspected foods and reintroducing foods to see if there are notable symptoms. Another option of identifying food allergens is food allergy blood test. Blood test can show if food allergens create an immediate or a delayed response. For more information on Food allergy testing, please contact Dr. Lee at 206-3195322 or, Seattle Naturopathic Center.

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Filed under Allergies, Eczema, Food allergy, Inflammation, Skin Conditions

Can inflammation be the underlying cause?

Arthritis, gingivitis, heart disease and psoriasis are conditions that affect very different parts of the body, yet they all have something in common: inflammation. Inflammation also plays a role in dozens of other conditions, from allergies, eczema, bowel disease and autoimmune disorders like lupus to macular degeneration and memory loss.

Inflammation is your immune system’s first reaction against infection. The injured area often becomes hot, red, swollen and painful. The heat is produced by the increased blood flow to the injured area. Redness occurs because the battle and repair processes are underway. The area usually becomes swollen because of all the fluid and immune cells at the site. Pain is often the first indicator of inflammation.

Inflammation is an effective way of ensuring that invaders do not enter your body and create havoc, but when it becomes low-grade and chronic, your immune system’s army stay revved up and damages healthy issue in the crossfire. 

Stress, bacteria, viruses, parasites, environmental toxins, certain foods, smoking, high blood insulin levels and obesity are just a few of the factors that promote inflammation.

Foods you choose can either promote or prevent inflammation. Foods containing arachidonic acid, such as organ meats, beef, dairy products promote inflammation. Through a complicated process the body breaks down arachidonic acid into inflammatory compounds.

Emphasize on eating six servings of vegetables and one serving of fruit everyday. These are foods that have a low rating on glycemic index, meaning the body takes longer to break them down into blood glucose. They are the best choice for reducing inflammation.

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Filed under Allergies, Arthritis, Digestion, Eczema, IBS, Inflammation, Leaky gut syndrome, Skin Conditions