Spring is sneaking up on us again! And for allergy sufferers, so is sneezing, runny noses, itchy eyes, and inflamed skin. Allergies are a disorder of the immune system caused by improper over activation of the immune response. Learn some techniques to get your immune system (and allergies) in check!
So, you caught that “cold” that’s going around? Great! Now, what can you do to get yourself feeling better, faster?
It’s that season again, and it seems like everyone around you is sick doesn't it? You walk through the hallway avoiding anyone who’s coughing, and ducking out of the way of peoples incessant sneezing. However, no matter how careful you've been, you’re still sick! It feels like there’s nothing you can do. Well fear not, you may be sick now, but there are lots of things you can do to get yourself feeling better faster!
- Drink lots of water: you've heard it all before, but it’s even more important when you’re sick. Part of the goal is getting your body to flush out whatever is making you sick, and you can’t do that without drinking LOTS of water.
- Make a cup of tea: boil some water, add some lemon, a little honey and a dash of cinnamon. The heat of the water mixed with the "diaphoretic" action of the ingredients will cause your body to sweat out anything that’s bothering you ("diaphoretic" = inducing sweat). The hot water will also help to break up some congestion you might be experiencing.
- Skip the dairy: regular dairy encourages mucus production and is just adding to the congestion you are already experiencing. Avoiding dairy until your better will help with congestion, and allow your immune system to focus on what’s really troubling you. This will shorten the length of your cold, and just make you feel much better!
- Skip the decongestant: your body is trying to get rid of offending agents through your secretions, making you better. By taking a decongestant you are suppressing one of the main mechanisms your body has to get rid of your infection. Let your body work its magic, and your cold will be shorter and lighter than those around you. Unless you have a medical condition that requires decongestant use (check with your doctor), then avoid it!
- Get lots of rest: give your body time to fight off whatever is making you sick and get back on track. The more you respect your body, and give it the time it needs, the faster you will be yourself again!
A diet that relies on processed foods is deficient in micronutrient intake and low serum concentrations of vitamin A, E, C, B12, folate and carotenoids. This diet is also lower in nutrients and essential fats, which are critical for healthy cardiovascular function, inflammatory balance and brain support.
An estimated 15.5% of couples in the United States experience infertility, with that number going over 20% for couples over 35.
There are some suggestions that fertility in the US has been declining over the past decades. Reasons include the "modernization theory", or the idea that couples are waiting longer to start their families, often until after 35, which is when fertility noticeably decreases.
Another reason includes environmental exposures. Lead, pesticides, and endocrine-disrupting chemicals (such as BPA, pthalates, and other "xenoestrogens"), alter normal hormone functioning and lead to decreased fertility. These environmental toxins may account for the declining levels of testosterone in men, which has been steadily declining 1% per year, which is the same rate of decline seen in sperm production.
Some studies show that despite the decreased sperm production, fertility levels have remained constant. But those numbers are no comfort to the millions of Americans struggling with starting their family. Some factors are uncontrollable. However, some factors, including exposure to environmental toxins, are more easily managed.
For an even more comprehensive list, check this out.
Food plays a vital role in overall health, but what you are eating may be affecting your fertility. Here at Kansas City Integrative Health, we understand the nutritional factors that contribute to infertility, in both males and females. Dr. Rues is a naturopathic health specialist, focusing on you and your starting family
The year 2014 has embraced a historic – and holistic – shift in health care choice.
Under a new provision in the affordable healthcare act, insurers are not allowed to exclude licensed health care professionals who want to participate in their plans. The intent is to give consumers greater choice among different types of health care providers. Patients are meant to have access to holistic health care professionals such as naturopathic physicians, chiropractors, and acupuncturists.
Holistic health care relies more on lifestyle changes and natural solutions and less on invasive procedures, surgery, and prescription drugs. 40% of Americans are taking greater control of their health by using holistic medicine. Within this 40% is a small but growing number who are seeking care from the “general practitioners of holistic medicine” known as naturopathic physicians.
Congress has declared the second week of October as Naturopathic Medicine Week, recognizing the ability of naturopathic physicians to “provide safe, effective, and affordable health care” and urged Americans to learn more about this form of medicine. So, the second week of October is a good time to visit a naturopathic doctor (ND) and size up see how this approach is potentially a fit for you.
The naturopathic approach emphasizes the body’s inherent self-healing ability – a clear divergence from conventional medicine, which tends to focus on managing sickness. As an ND myself, I emphasize the necessity of staying well by attending to such things as balanced nutrition, sufficient exercise, quality sleep, stress management, proper hydration, breathing patterns, and emotional health. These elements of preventive care are vital because more than 75 percent of health care costs in the US today stem from preventable chronic illnesses.
It’s stunning that nearly two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese…tens of millions are afflicted by conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes…and 70% of us report suffering from stress (which itself can lead to such problems as heart disease and depression). Our fast-paced, high stress, “Big Gulp” lifestyle has brought about this plague of chronic illness and an intense focus on sickness management. The result is that, while our country spends far more per capita on health care than any other nation, we rank just 37th in average life expectancy.
Naturopathic doctors have been around for decades; “pioneers…who have been practicing integrative medicine all along.” Today, 4,400 NDs hold a license, having graduated from accredited 4-year naturopathic medical schools. What I thrive on as an ND is working closely with my patients, guiding them toward a restoration of health. NDs in general use a range of non-invasive approaches such as physical medicine, oriental medicine, botanical medicine, mind-body medicine, lifestyle counseling, and nutrition counseling. I aim to be the future of medicine – focused on the whole person and empowering him/her to take a more active role in maintaining good health.
The symptoms of chronic illness, and the costs, are spiraling all around us. It’s important to realize that disease-causing pathogens are no longer the only or main threat to health. We are: our lifestyles, our love of fast food, caffeine, sugar, fat and, in general, life in the over-stimulated lane. People are discovering, though, that natural medicine is a better way than prescription drugs and surgeries to get on a healthier path.
So, please join with me the week of October 6-12 to celebrate Naturopathic Medicine Week. It really offers a glimpse of the evolution toward holistic care – and greater consumer choice.