Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) Facts

Used as a substitute to sugar due to its sweetening ability. Contains several sweetening compounds of which stevoside is the most potent. Has a sweetening effect that is 300 times that of table sugar with near zero calories. Documented ceremonial use by Indians in the 1400s. We have found a special use for it when treating patients with certain digestive problems.

What Supplements Can Help My Allergies?

That season is upon us again but in reality, allergy season is really all year round.

When we are talking about allergies, people usually think only of hay fever or skin rashes. Allergies however, can include a whole host of symptoms ranging from asthma to anaphylaxis. Many doctors and patients will often misdiagnose and mistreat a condition because they are unaware or unable to connect those symptoms with allergic reactions. Some of the more common symptoms include acne, depression, fatigue, headaches, collitis, and swelling of joints. In children, these include ear infections, learning disabilities and behavioral problems. A whole class of reactions known as brain allergies can affect cognition, memory and neurologic organization all of which go misdiagnosed under medical care.

Besides failing to recognize the majority of allergic conditions, the traditional diagnosis and treatment of allergies is highly ineffective. Standard medical testing for allergies include skin testing, serum testing, and elimination diets all which usually produce contradictory results. Treatment consists of desensitization (allergy shots), antihistamines (Seldane, Contact, Beconase, etc.), and avoidance. In my office, I have seen an almost unanimous dissatisfaction with the reliability and effectiveness of medical treatment for this condition even after years of shots and prescriptions.

The reason for this overwhelming failure is due to the inability of traditional medicine to attack the source of the problem. Traditional medicine targets the symptoms and not the cause of the condition.

To understand allergies, you must first understand some functions of the immune system. Its main job is to defend your body against foreign invaders. It must differentiate between what is harmless and what is a threat. Normally, it will attack an invader and dispose of it through the detoxification systems of the body (i.e. the liver, the kidneys, and the skin). If the immune system is exposed to a toxin or infection that it can't defeat, it will call upon back up systems which include corticosteroids, histamine, and IGE antibodies. It is the exhaustion of the mechanisms of defense that lead to abnormal sensitization and responses by the immune system. The system is over stressed and overreacts to things it normally would ignore. Normally, dust, mold, grass, and foods would be primarily ignored by the immune system, but once it is stressed out, all of the sudden these things become big problems. Just like a person who overreacts to a simple comment at the end of a stressful day, the immune system reacts in an inappropriate way because it too is stressed out. By targeting the symptoms and the allergens for treatment, you fight a losing battle because allergies can change from day to day. One day dust is okay and the next it is a problem. It is the body that has changed, not the dust. In addition, allergies are cumulative in that the more allergies you have, the more you become allergic to new substances.

The best way to treat allergies is to help the body detoxify and eliminate hidden food sensitivities. In our office we use lymphatic drainage techniques, structural balancing, nutrition and herbal medicine as our primary treatment. In addition, we have our patients bring in foods and skin products to test for sensitivity. Our testing is done by either tasting the food or rubbing the skin with the product and then evaluating for a neurologic response. The testing procedure is painless and because we test with the individual's own samples, it is flexible enough to differentiate between various brands of a food or product. Relief is immediate and within time the patient becomes unallergic to things once thought to be permanent.