Category Archives: Inflammation

Importance of vitamin D in the Pacific Northwest

Vitamin D is important for good overall health with its wide range of benefits. Its primary role is to increase the movement of calcium into the bloodstream by promoting the absorption of calcium from food. This is why it is essential in bone growt

h. Some other health benefits of having a healthy level of vitamin D are: decreased inflammation, decreased risk of cancer, decreased dental cavities, prevention and treatment of depression, and reduced risk of diseases like multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis and heart disease.


What happens when vitamin D levels are low?

Seattle is at a latitude of 47° north of the equator, which sets up the population for widespread vitamin D insufficiency. Without vitamin D, bones become thin and brittle. Being vitamin D deficient also increases risk of cancer, diabetes, and osteoporosis. Low blood levels of vitamin D also relate to cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure. Multiple Sclerosis, which causes progressive nerve damage, has been linked to low vitamin D levels. Washington State has one of the highest multiple sclerosis rates in the nation, and it has been theorized that the low levels of sunlight in the winter contribute to this statistic.

How can you get vitamin D?

Vitamin D is often called “the sunshine vitamin” because our bodies synthesize it naturally through direct exposure to sunlight. This is the most natural way to get vitamin D and can happen very quickly, especially in the summer. How much vitamin D is produced from sunlight depends on time of day and where you live. You can also get vitamin D by taking supplements. This is a good way to get vitamin D if you can’t get enough sunlight or don’t want to expose your skin.

There are very few foods that naturally contain vitamin D. Some of these foods include fish with high fat content such as salmon, catfish and tuna. Milk and some cereals are usually fortified with vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency is extremely common especially in northern populations like the Pacific Northwest, where solar radiation in the autumn and winter is much too small to maintain healthy levels.

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 Allergies, Antiaging, Arthritis, fatigue, Inflammation, Vitamin D

Where you get your food allergy testing matters!

The problem with the standard food allergy tests, run by most doctors, allergists, and dermatologists is that they missing out very important food allergy reactions in the testing methods. Most clinics tests for IgE reactions only, which is only found in a small population. Most food allergies are not IgE mediated but are rather IgG reactions or sometimes IgA reactions, such as in celiac disease.

 

IgE hypersensitivity immune response is commonly known as a food allergy.  This reaction typically occurs very quickly (minutes to hours) after eating an offending food and symptoms are generally severe.  Many are aware of food allergies causing anaphylaxis (the most common example being peanuts and kids) but they may also experience itchy lips/tongue/throat, stuffy nose, headaches, belly ache, diarrhea, gas, bloating, skin reactions, and sudden fatigue.  This test is typically done through the blood or a skin prick test. However most adults have their ‘trigger food’ figured out because the reaction is so quick.  If ice cream causes immediate diarrhea, or strawberries create lip swelling, and peanuts close your throat – one does not easily forget. It’s usually fairly obvious because the symptoms occur so quickly to the offending food.

 

IgG and IgA food allergy response is different from an immediate IgE food allergy response in that symptoms may not show up for hours or days after ingested offending food allergens. This makes it very difficult to pinpoint exactly what foods are causing what reaction in the body especially as people tend to eat the same foods over and over.  Symptoms of an IgG and IgA response include: sore throat, stuffy nose, congestion, headaches, belly aches, constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, hormone issues, foggy head, headaches, weight gain, fatigue, joint pain, depression, behavior changes, anxiety, and skin issues (particularly acne, eczema, psoriasis).  How do you know if dairy products cause your mental fogginess or gluten causes fatigue or almonds increase your acne if you eat them everyday?


Testing for IgG and IgA food allergies is confusing for many healthcare providers as they are not typically trained on these types of reactions as they are neither obvious nor life-threatening. However food allergies, intolerances and sensitivities are gaining public awareness as people are removing offending food groups in order to help support autism/spectrum disorder treatment plans, chronic diseases, and reduce inflammation in the body with success.

 

For more information about food allergies, intolerances and sensitivities, please contact Dr. Lee at Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center or call 206-319-5322

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Filed under Allergies, Arthritis, Digestion, Eczema, fatigue, Food allergy, IBD, IBS, Inflammation, Leaky gut syndrome, Skin Conditions, Weight Loss

What supplements do you REALLY need? Find out with Micronutrient testing!

Are you taking too many supplements? Not enough? Nutritional status is a vital foundation of health and performance.

You may be deficient in some vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and/or other essential micronutrients and not even not even know it.

University research has shown that 50% of people taking multivitamins are still nutritionally deficient.

It is important to know your nutrient status, because it has been shown that vitamin, mineral and antioxidant deficiencies can contribute to degenerative processes such as arthritis, cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

 

Dr. Lee offers the MicroNutrient Test tests for 32 vitamins and minerals:

VITAMINS Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Biotin, Folate, Pantothenate
MINERALS Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc, Copper AMINO ACIDS Asparagine, Glutamine, Serine.
ANTIOXIDANTS Alpha Lipoic Acid, Coenzyme Q10, Cysteine, Glutathione, Selenium, Vitamin E, SPECTOX™ for total antioxidant function.
CARBOHYDRATE METABOLISM Chromium, Fructose Sensitivity, Glucose-Insulin, Metabolism.
FATTY ACIDS Oleic Acid
METABOLITES Choline, Inositol, Carnitine.

 

The MicroNutrient Test measures your body’s ability to absorb 32 vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other essential nutrients within your white blood cells. This non-fasting blood test tells you if you have a vitamin deficiency and gives you a plan for how to correct it.

More importantly, the results information can help you reduce the risk of illness and disease related to such deficiencies.

Did you know that about 50% of people taking multivitamins are STILL deficient?

The MicroNutrient Test can tell you which supplement to focus on – thereby eliminating your deficiency and any unnecessary spending on costly supplements.

You also need it because scientific evidence confirms that vitamin deficiencies are associated with disease processes and the overall conditions of your health. The MicroNutrient Test is the only test that takes a nutritional assessment and creates a plan to correct any deficiency negatively influencing customer’s health. Vitamin, mineral and antioxidant deficiencies have been shown to suppress immune function and contribute to chronic degenerative processes such as arthritis, cancer, Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

 

Micronutrient Test is More Advanced Than other Laboratory Tests

Before the introduction of the Micronutrient Test, many diagnosis and risk assessments were based on clinical observation and measurements of static levels of certain nutrients in serum. Static serum levels are not always representative indicators for assessing cell metabolism and utilization.

MicroNutrient Test offers a unique means to scientifically assess the intracellular requirements of micronutrients that play an important role in overall health and wellness. Micronutrient test measure the biochemical function of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants, providing a powerful clinical assessment tool. Our panels are designed to provide you with the most comprehensive nutritional analysis available.

 

What if I am deficient?

As the only lab that can offer a truly functional intracellular testing (Micronutrient Test), we also provide you with targeted nutrient repletion recommendations for those vitamins and minerals found to be deficient.

 

Why Nutritional Testing is Important?

1. Nutrient deficiencies are common, in fact 90% of people are deficient and 50% of those are already taking supplements

2. Vitamin deficiencies contribute to common degenerative disease like heart disease, stroke, cancer and Alzheimer’s.

3. Many prescription medications can cause nutrient depletions.

4. Having a strong antioxidant defense system protects you against heart disease, cancer and other chronic conditions.

5. There can be too much of a “good thing” — too many antioxidants can be harmful. The only way to know what you need is to be tested.

6. Simply taking a multivitamin may not be enough to meet your nutritional needs.

7. You might be over supplementing with unnecessary vitamins, minerals or antioxidants. Too much can be harmful.

8. Aging can be caused by a lack of nutrients.

9. Heaving healthy cells promotes strong immune function and optimal health for a lifetime

If you have any questions regarding to micronutrient testing, please contact Dr. Lee at 206-319-5322 or visit Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center

 

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Filed under Antiaging, B 12 injection, fatigue, Inflammation, Vitamin D, vitamin injection

How food intolerances affect your health?

The relative frequency of food intolerance and food-related complaints in the general populations is very high. Many food intolerances produce minimal symptoms, yet the long-term consequences are astonishing including thyroid disease, neurological disorders, increased cancer risk and accelerated aging.

 

Food intolerance is caused by a food substance that triggers a toxic reaction on contact with our intestinal cells. Contact with susceptible cells produces inflammation that can result in intestinal damage. The inflammatory cells release chemicals that cause our immune system to release antibodies against the offending food.


Some misconception of food intolerance

 

Food intolerances are diseases of childhood. Intolerances are more likely to be symptomatic in children but are found in adults of all ages. Food intolerances are perpetrators of ongoing intestinal inflammation, which may eventually exhaust the body’s defenses.


Food intolerances are only present in symptomatic patients. Food intolerances can be subjectively silent in many individuals. Nonetheless, they continue to drain our defenses and weaken our intestinal immune system. Food intolerance occurrence is underestimated in our symptom-driven health care system.


Food intolerances are simply intestinal irritations. Food intolerances can be more than a local intestinal problem, and may increase the risk of autoimmune diseases and cancer as well as accelerated aging.

 

Manifestations of Food Intolerance

 

  • Diarrhea or soft to loose stools are the most common digestive tract symptom
  • Constipation
  • Acid reflux
  • Changes in intestinal wall integrity
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Skin: hives, rash, eczema
  • Respiratory: asthma, nasal congestion, sinusitis
  • Brain: headache, migraine, sleeplessness, irritability

 

For more information about food intolerance and/or food intolerance testing, please contact Dr. Lee’s office at 206-319-5322 or visit us: Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center

 

 

 

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Filed under Allergies, Antiaging, Arthritis, Digestion, Eczema, fatigue, Food allergy, IBD, IBS, Inflammation, Leaky gut syndrome

Can Prolotherapy help me more than it can hurt me?

Steve Gebson* was a 63 year old male presenting with shoulder, elbow, wrist, and finger pain. He wanted to find out if prolotherapy can help. He has been multiple doctors, done numerous lab tests and imaging.  Steve has seen a rheumatologist and was given the diagnosis of osetoarthritis. He was told that that there is nothing they could do to help. He was been on Naproxen for 20 plus years and was advised to continue.

Steve’s shoulder pain all started about 5 years ago when he had ruptured his bicep tendon of his left shoulder. However, his pain substantially worsen about 6 months ago. There was no new changes about 6 months ago or new injuries. He was experiencing pain with lifting and even with brushing his teeth. He was also feeling hand and arm weakness, sharp and stabbing pain with elbows and fingers.

Steve rated his pain was worst on shoulders, then wrist and fingers, and finally the elbows. His shoulder pain was 6/10 (10 being worst and reports that he has a high pain tolerance).

After initial intake, it was found that Steve was on a pretty good supplementation regimen. He takes fish oil, glucosamine and chondroitin, vitamin D, vitamin E, and a combo of calcium, magnesium, zinc and has been taking them for numerous years.

Changes were made to his supplementation protocol to tailor to his needs by the end of the visit. Prolotherapy was also performed on both shoulders.

Steve returned for a follow up visit five days later. He reported a 60% improvement with his shoulder pain. There was no pain with brushing his teeth in the morning. He was eager to try prolotherapy for his wrist and finger pain.

* Name changed for confidentially reasons.

 

For more information about prolotherapy or would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Lee, please visit Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center or 206-319-5322

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Filed under Inflammation, Prolotherapy

Elite athletes turning to Food Allergy testing for Better Health

PR Newswire

DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla., April 18, 2012

Many professional athletes are turning to a new coach.  It’s not a conventional coach, it’s not even a human coach; rather, it’s a coach that instructs them in personalized dieting, a coach to help increase strength and normalize weight.  It’s a simple blood test for food and chemical sensitivity called the ALCAT Test.  Proponents claim that the ALCAT identifies adverse cellular reactions to foods and chemicals associated with inflammation. Experts agree inflammation causes chronic health problems including obesity.

 

So why is this of interest to elite athletes?  According to Roger Deutsch, test co-developer and author, Your Hidden Food Allergies are Making you Fat, “…avoidance of reactive foods might unblock insulin receptors, so food is burnt for energy and not stored as fat; decrease immune mediated muscle degradation and fatigue, and increase overall metabolic and respiratory function.  The results will be individual but all these things can arise from incompatible food triggers.”

Two of the most notable athletes to have taken the ALCAT Test are Minnesota Twins’ First Baseman Justin Morneau and Boston Red Sox’s Designated Hitter David Ortiz. Morneau is a former American League MVP and four time MLB All-Star.   Morneau’s experience was chronicled in the StarTribune wherein he states he was planning to ‘do everything I can humanly do to make myself feel better.’ The StarTribune also states: “While making the medical rounds last fall, Morneau also took the ALCAT Test to see if he had food allergies. He learned his body was sensitive, if not allergic to, sugars, gluten and dairy.” Morneau then lost 14 pounds in just a few weeks by following his new diet.

Athletes are always seeking new ways to enhance performance, and diet plays an essential role in their ability to do so.  Morneau states, “It’s not like I’ll choke or die from eating those things, but my body reacts poorly to them. It treats them as something I’m allergic to and fights the inflammation instead of the inflammation from an injury.”

The Red Sox David Ortiz was recently featured in a separate article titled, The Skinny on Big Papi’s Diet featured on ESPN.com. Even though Ortiz took the ALCAT Test for different reasons than Morneau, he had a similar experience, dropping 20 pounds in two months. Ortiz took the test because his “cholesterol had risen to dangerously high levels.” Since taking the test, and following its dietary guidelines, Ortiz said, “The results have been almost immediately noticeable.” He goes on to say, “I feel great” and “I can feel the difference when I swing a bat and when I work out, I don’t get as tired.”

Studies have shown dietary modification and food sensitivity testing to be a viable treatment modality for a number of chronic health problems.  Major League Baseball isn’t the only professional sport that has utilized the ALCAT Test.  Joe Rowgowski, Strength and Conditioning Coach for the NBA’s Orlando Magic, has been quoted as saying, “I’ve seen very good results with the ALCAT Test and often recommend it to the athletes I work with.”  In addition, Elite European Soccer Club, Juventus, was recently featured in a study titled Rational Management of Food Intolerance in an elite soccer club. This study was presented at the International Society of Sports Nutrition: 8th Annual ISSN Conference and Expo in 2011.

 

So what does all of this mean? This means your fork may actually be the best tool available for maximum performance. For the elite athlete, with all the available supplements, PEDs (performance enhancing drugs) and training methods perhaps it is indeed as simple as Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine.”  For the elite athlete or the occasional weekend warrior the best medicine may actually be finding out what foods are right for you.

ALCAT testing is available at Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center. Please call 206-3195322 for more information. 

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Filed under Allergies, Arthritis, Digestion, Eczema, fatigue, Food allergy, IBD, IBS, Inflammation, Leaky gut syndrome, Skin Conditions, Weight Loss

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 www.seattlenaturopathiccenter.com for more information.

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