Sports Physicals: Protecting Your Kids Before the Season Starts

As summer winds down, the preparation for school and team sports is heating up!  Before you know it, it will be time to shuttle kids back and forth to practice and games in between school and homework. Back-to-school prep for our young athletes is far more than new shoes, shin guards, athletic bags and water bottles. A Sports Physical should be at the very top of your list!

A PPE (Participation Physical Examination) determines whether it’s safe for your child to play a particular sport and is often required for participation in school or league sports. But even if a PPE isn’t required, it’s still highly recommended.

A Sports Physical consists of collecting a complete medical history as well as a physical exam.

A medical history will include questions about:

  • Family history of serious disease

  • Childhood illnesses such as asthma, diabetes, epilepsy

  • Previous hospitalizations or surgeries

  • Allergies (food, insects, seasonal)

  • Past injuries (broken bones, sprains, concussions)

  • Incidents of chest pain, dizziness, difficulty breathing or fainting

  • Medications, both prescription and over the counter, as well as herbal supplements

  • For female athletes, the regularity and ease of menstrual periods


During the physical portion of the exam, the doctor will:

  • Record height and weight

  • Take a blood pressure and pulse reading

  • Test vision

  • Check the heart and lungs

  • Palpate the abdomen

  • Check ears, nose and throat

  • Evaluate posture, joints, strength and flexibility

  • Make recommendations on how to optimize athletic performance either by seeking treatment or doing specific exercises


A Sports Physical will help diagnose health problems as well as help identify risk factors that are linked to specific sports making for a happier and healthier athletic season!

Call In Health Clinic to schedule your athlete’s Sports Physical.  Ask for our $25 back-to-school special (a $75 value). Onsite appointments are available for schools, teams and groups.

 

Pregnancy and Chiropractic

Is chiropractic safe during pregnancy?

 

“There are no contra-indications to chiropractic care during pregnancy,” according to the American Pregnancy Association.  And when you think about how long chiropractics has been around, it could be considered one of the safest procedures that can be performed during your pregnancy. While all chiropractic professionals receive some training in school with regards to the special needs of pregnant women, only some doctors, like Dr. Walker at InHealth Clinic, continue their training and work with pregnancy in their practice.

 

Why should I have chiropractic care during pregnancy?

 

As you go through physiological and hormonal changes, your body becomes the perfect environment for developing a child. This can sometimes cause physical stress, which can improve with chiropractic care. Keeping your back joints and pelvis from misalignment and keeping you comfortable means that your baby will have the optimal amount of room in the pelvis to develop. This also means your baby will be in the best position possible for delivery reducing the intensity of back labor during your birth and preventing dysticoa (difficult labor).  Additionally, keeping your spine and pelvis in alignment can reduce the occurrence of breech positioned babies.

 

What happens if my baby is breech?

 

A wonderful chiropractor, the late Larry Webster D.C., developed a specific chiropractic analysis and adjustment which enables the chiropractor to balance the women’s pelvis and reduce pressure and stress on the uterus so that the fetus will reach an optimal position which is head down in the birth canal.  The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics reported in July/August 2002 that the success rate of babies turning vertex was 82% using the Webster Technique. The technique is widely used and much more comfortable than the external version that is performed in many cases. The highest success in turning a breech baby is achieved at 36-38 weeks. Once it gets much past this, the success rate drops due to the baby’s larger size taking up more room in the uterus. It is always best to seek chiropractic care as soon as you are told your baby is breech.

 

When is the soonest I can see a chiropractor post-partum?

 

The soonest is immediately, however most women tend to wait about two weeks until they have had time to adjust to being a new mom and have healed vaginally a bit. Our office does make house calls for one special group -- our post-partum moms, whether for you or baby.  The earliest we have responded was four hours after a birth for a mom that had a C-section and the little one’s head was flexed to one side and not moving.  Mom was also having a burning low back pain, which was treated at this time.

 

What about preparing for labor? Are there things that I can do naturally?

 

Pregnancy may leave you concerned or tired. Here are a few things we treat with natural remedies.

 

  • Gestational diabetes – diet, minerals and botanical medicine

  • Stress – herbal stress reducing minerals

  • Preparing the uterus for labor – Uterine tonics

  • Breast soreness due to breast feeding – healing salves

  • Episiotomy healing – herbal poultices and sitz baths

  • Umbilical cord healing – salve and powder

  • Nutrition – vitamins, oils safe for pregnancy, and minerals

  • Preventing antibiotics for newborn – mom on a strong probiotic

  • Morning sickness – homeopathic remedies


 

We have more tools at our disposal, but the above give you some of the common needs of our patients.

 

Remember that chiropractic is safe as soon as you need it!  At inHealth, we are here to serve you during this very special time. If you have concerns or needs feel free to call our office, we never mind being a resource and promise to direct you to the best person to meet your needs.

 

Resources:

 

American Pregnancy Association:  http://www.americanpregnancy.org

BABI:   http://www.bayareabirthinfo.org/

Osteoporosis & Men: What You Need to Know


Most people think that osteoporosis is strictly a woman’s health concern. However, more than 2 million men suffer from this condition that causes bones to be brittle and prone to fracture. Men develop osteoporosis about a decade later in life than women, and though men have fewer osteoporosis-related fractures than women (one-third of all hip fractures occurs in men), they are more likely to suffer serious complications or death as a result.


According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation:




  • Up to one in four men over age 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis.

  • Men older than 50 are more likely to break a bone due to osteoporosis than they are to get prostate cancer.

  • Each year, about 80,000 men will break a hip.

  • Men are more likely than women to die within a year after breaking a hip.

  • Men can break bones in the spine or break a hip, but this usually happens at a later age than women.


What puts a man at risk?

In men, wrist fractures have been shown to be an important risk factor for having hip fractures later in life, whereas in women, a previous spine fracture is predictive of subsequent hip fractures. Other risk factors include:

 

  • Family history of osteoporosis

  • Use of steroid medications

  • Unhealthy lifestyle (smoking, alcohol use, lack of exercise)

  • Low testosterone or estrogen levels

  • Prostate cancer and its treatment

  • Immobility due to stroke or heart disease

  • Kidney, lung, gastrointestinal or autoimmune disorders

  • Chronic Disease such as Rhuematoid arthritis, colitis and chron’s disease

  • Medications like Dilantin, Blood thinners and corticosteroids


What should men do to prevent osteoporosis?

For men, maintaining good bone health starts with regular doctor visits to screen for bone mineral density and prostate cancer. Other essentials are:

 

  • Regularly scheduled weight-bearing exercise

  • Healthy, moderate-protein diets

  • Supplements including vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, and isoflavones to help prevent bone mineral losses


Men at risk for hormone-dependent cancers should always discuss supplementation plans with their doctor to ensure that the supplements and medications are working together for best effect.

 

Current Osteoporosis Medications and how they work.

 

Most medications are antiresorptive agents, which decrease the removal of calcium from the bone, it works by suppressing parathyroid hormone which is what takes calcium out of the bone.  Bone is a living dynamic tissue that brings in and takes out calcium and this is where we get calcium if our blood levels or muscle levels are to low.  Extreme athletes may actually harvest calcium from there bone so that their muscles will function more appropriately during extreme events like ultra-marathon’s.

 

The current medications that are in use are:

  • Alendronate (Fosamax)

  • Risedronate (Actonel)

  • Raloxifene (Evista)

  • Ibandronate (Boniva)

  • Calcitonin (Calcimar)

  • Zoledronate (Reclast)

  • Denosumab (prolia)


 

Some of the above medications are associated with increases in hip fracture so there are some types of medication doctors will use over others to prevent hip fracture call bisphosphates.  The following are bisphosphates; Fosamax, Actonel, Boniva and reclast.  This doesn’t mean they are completely immune to fracture but are less than other prescriptions.

 

It is still recommended that you do supplementation and lifestyle changes long before you have to seek the help of prescription medications due to side-effects that are present.

 

Eating your Calcium in foods?

 

Many foods we eat contain calcium and milk is one of them, however it is not the most bio-available source and can often pass straight through the system without ever being absorbed into the body itself.  Consider some of these foods instead for adding into your diet:

  • Dates

  • Bean sprouts

  • Beets

  • Bok-choy

  • Spinach, collard greens

  • Black eye peas

  • Quinoa flour, Amaranath flour


Click here to download the Man’s Guide to Osteoporosis from the National Osteoporosis Foundation.

The Chiropractic Approach to Low Back Pain

What is Back Pain?


Back pain is usually a pain that occurs in the lumbar spine and pelvic region otherwise know as you buttock.  The pain can occur from a tightening of muscle or joints that get jammed due to a specific incident or small injuries that occur over time from say construction work, running or desk jobs.

What is the Most Common cause of Back Pain?

The most common cause of back pain is related to repetitive strain injuries that occur on the job or during daily activities.  Working on the computer, cooking, sewing or any activity that keeps you repeating the same movements from the same position can be the culprit of that nagging back ache. The strain happens when either the muscles are tight and you are unable to stretch them, or when a joint is misaligned and the muscles become painful as they try to re-align the joint.

What are the Less Common types of Back Pain?

Degenerative Disc Disease, Arthritus, Herniation and neurologic conditions are all injuries that occur to the spine and more commonly in the low back.  These conditions will likely cause you great distress and you will need to seek a health care provider’s services.  The following symptoms can help you determine if it is a must to see your doctor:

  • § History of cancer

  • § Unexplained weight loss >10 kg within 6 months

  • § Age over 50 years or under 17 years old

  • § Failure to improve with therapy

  • § Pain persists for more than 4 to 6 weeks

  • Night pain or pain at rest

  • § Persistent fever (temperature over 100.4 F)

  • § History of intravenous Drug Abuse

  • § Organ Transplant

  • § Recent bacterial infection

  • § Major Muscle weakness

  • § Trouble lifting your foot

  • § Numbness and lower extremity weakness

  • § Anal Sphincture dysfunction

  • § Recent Trauma

  • § History of Osteroporosis


 

Basic ways back pain can occur:

 

  • Desk job

  • Osteoarthritis

  • Herniated disk

  • Gravity

  • Sports injury

  • Bacterial Infection

  • Fractures

  • Cancer

  • Repetitive strain

  • Jammed (misaligned) joints


 

Why See a Chiropractor instead of only Massage?

Chiropractic care helps re-align joints which stops the pain related to the muscles trying to push the joint back into alignment.  A typical response to this type of pain might be to stretch or get a massage.  While this might temporarily ease the pain, if you don’t re-align the joints, the muscles will loyally return to their job of trying to push the joint back into place and you will be back in pain once again.  This isn’t to say that Massage can’t be a terrific partner in getting rid of long term pain and it can we feel that massage and chiropractic can make an excellent team.

Getting adjusted not only will help relieve your low back pain, but offers other health benefits as well.  According to research by Sean M. Hannon, BA, DC, chiropractic adjustment can result in the following physiologic changes:

                     

  • § Increased strength

  • § Increased oxygen consumption capacity

  • § Increased range of motion

  • § Decreased pain

  • § Increase cardiac regulation

  • § Increased immunity


 

Considering these benefits, it is easy to see why athletes and other health conscious people seek out care regular chiropractic care. If you suffer from chronic or even occasional back pain, contact our office.  We can help!

 

Lagging Libido

  


What is Libido?

 

Libido is a person’s sex drive or interest in sexual activities. It is usually determined by a combination of hormones that our body secretes as well as neurotransmitters that cause us to desire sex in the first place.  Neurotransmitters are chemicals released in our brain and nervous system that stimulate different feelings as well as physical responses. This body chemistry is what makes up our libido.  One theory is that the sex response is a reflex, but emotions can override this reflex.

 

Why Do Women Struggle More With Loss of Libido?

 

Women tend to struggle more as a result of events, such as pregnancy, breastfeeding and menopause, that don’t occur in a man’s body. Women, at any stage in their life, can have a couple of factors that can decrease sexual desire.

  • Nerve or muscle damage during delivery lowers sensitivity in the genital area.

  • Breastfeeding lowers a hormone called estradial. This hormone is responsible for keeping the urogenital tract lubricated and supple and a deficiency can make sex painful. Breastfeeding also raises prolactin levels, which drops the level of testosterone, the main hormone that fuels our desire.

  • Sleep deprivation is a new mom’s constant companion. Sex, as with any activity requiring effort, requires energy to enjoy it!

  • Later in life, as women approach the onset of menopause, the decrease in both testosterone and estradial can radically reduce their sexual desire.


Doesn’t Everyone Experience a Drop in Hormones?

Both men and women experience a drop in testosterone as they age. This will cause a thinning of pubic hair and a decreased sensitivity to stimulation or a weakening of one’s climax. A decrease in overall hormones of both sexes, such as melatonin and DHEA, can lessen the enthusiasm for sex itself.  This can cause frustration in a relationship that can make the issue even more difficult to handle.

 

 

 

What Else Affects Libido?

Both sexes can experience a drop in sex drive. The following factors may need to be addressed with your health care provider.

  • Medications such as anti-depressants, some birth control pills, and blood-pressure lowering drugs

  • Weight gain

  • Stress

  • Relationship issues


What Type of Things Can I Do to Improve Libido?

  • Exercise regularly to increase in blood flow and endorphins

  • Eat healthy foods to maintain a healthy weight, boost energy and keep your hormones in balance

  • Reduce your stress. Consider seeing a life coach or counselor to talk things through, either individually or with your partner.


We have to remember that our reproductive function is not necessary for daily survival. When the body is struggling it will divert resources from this area and move it to more vital systems.

How Can I Reduce Stress when I’m Crunched for Time?

There are a few things you can try, even if you only have about 15 minutes a day. Sometimes it can be the best 15 minutes of your day! These are suggestions from the American Lung Association. You can find a copy at our office. http://www.ffsonline.org/assets/handouts/module-5/52-proven-stress-reducers.pdf

  • Allow 15 minutes of extra time to get to appointments.

  • Eliminate (or restrict) the amount of caffeine in your diet.

  • Relax your standards. The world will not end if the grass doesn’t get mowed this weekend.

  • Don’t rely on memory.  “The palest ink is better than the most retentive memory.” –Chinese Proverb

  • Get up 15 minutes earlier in the morning. Extra time helps make mishaps less stressful.

  • Get enough sleep.

  • Take frequent stretch breaks when you’re sitting a lot. 


It Can Be Frustrating.  We Can Help!

At inHealth, we can develop a comprehensive plan to deal with medication side effects, weight gain, stress, and even the hormone fluctuations that may create a lagging libido problem for both men and women. Our bodies perform best when they are in balance. Let us help you get there!

 

 

 

 

 

Infertility

Struggling With Infertility?

Infertility describes a couple that has not been able to conceive after having unprotected sex for at least one year. The cause of this emotionally draining problem can be one of many physical or chemical factors. At inHealth Clinic we’ve found that fertility is negatively affected by extreme stress which can wreak havoc with sex hormones, adrenal hormones and blood sugar levels.  Modern society values hard work and long hours without any consideration to how they affect a human being!

In most cases, fertility is most likely due to causes in a woman’s system.  A woman’s system is more complicated than a man’s with more things that can go wrong at any one time.  However this rarely means that there aren’t problems associated with both parties, that with some herbal intervention, can be fixed.

Some of the common causes of infertility are:

  • Endometriosis

  • Estrogen/ progesterone imbalances

  • Improper processing of hormones through the liver

  • A hostile uterine environment

  • Timing of sexual intercourse

  • Irregular cycles

  • Low sperm count

  • Adrenal fatigue causing a hostile environment within the body

  • Blood sugar dis-regulation disorders

  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome

  • Sexually transmitted infections

  • Delayed Childbearing


The average time that it takes to get pregnant is 3-6 months. However, a history of some of the above risk factors may make conceiving more difficult. The best plan for easy conception is to get your body healthy first. Then, if you haven’t gotten pregnant and you are wondering what to do next, we suggest being seen in our office.

During your appointment we will spend 90 minutes going over every detail of your health history.  What surprises people is that we won’t just talk about your reproductive function, but other areas of your health as well.  As you can see from the above list, problems like adrenal fatigue, blood sugar issues and stress can be the cause of your infertility as often as a true reproductive system issue.

One common approach to infertility is intrauterine insemination. Doctors will usually attempt this 3-4 times before recommending moving on to invitro-fertilization.  While these two procedures sound relatively simple, the hormones that a woman is placed on to stimulate increased egg release, as well as the strong hormones needed to maintain the pregnancy can leave a woman whose body is already stressed or under pressure even further away from conceiving.  At inHealth Clinic we work with our patients to make sure the body is optimally prepared to carry a child.  Even if natural solutions don’t work we can modify and work with you so that you will be able to sustain and conceive while doing IUI or IVF.

Here is a typical treatment program for infertility:

  • Stress reduction activities

  • Normalizing stress hormones both before infertility and those that occur with it

  • Acupuncture to improve pelvic blood flow or for improving sperm quality and quantity

  • Supplements for any vitamin deficiencies such as B12 or amino acids

  • Lab evaluation of hormone levels

  • Botanicals for balancing hormones or bringing levels back into place

  • Bio-identical hormone management


The above is just a sample as each treatment plan is developed specifically for each woman’s body and reasons for infertility. We are proud to have a history of success at inHealth Clinic and would like to help you on the road to parenthood. We offer a free 10-minute phone consult where we can determine if we can help you or if you would be better served with another professional.

Headache

What is a Headache?

Generally defined as a continuous pain in the head.  The medical term ranges from cervicalgia or neck pain to general Headache as a diagnosis.  Headaches can be hormonal and for example occur with a women’s cycle or they can be trauma related such as post concussive syndrome.  They can occur due to neck, back or jaw pain or be due to a hereditary condition.

What is the Most Common Type of Head Aches?

Headaches fall into two general categories, tension or migraine. The most common are tension headaches that come from tightness in the shoulders and neck. These headaches can come from prolonged sitting at a desk or poor posture. The tension headache starts from the base of the skull with pain above the eyes or even pain in the eyes. Some patients will have nausea and sensitivity to light leading to a misdiagnosis of a migraine. This type of headache is easily relieved by getting adjusted and by exercising to improve posture and decrease muscle tension. Regular adjustments can reduce dramatically decrease the incidence of tension headaches.

What are some of the Less Common Headaches?

Cluster headaches and migraines are less common and have varying pathological causes. Migraines usually begin in childhood, adolescence or early adulthood. Although much about the cause of migraines isn’t understood, genetics and environmental factors seem to both play a role. A man that has never had a migraine in adolescence and then gets one as an adult is a red flag for more serious problems and should bring to his health provider’s attention. Women more commonly have migraines, usually first occurring between the ages of 12 to 40 and declining after that.

Tension Headaches or Migraine?

There are some common ways to tell if you have a tension headache or a migraine:

Tension

  • Constant, dull pain, usually mild to moderate

  • Not incapacitating

  • Pain is often accompanied by muscle tightness in the shoulders and neck often on both sides of the head

  • May last an hour, a week, or anywhere in between

  • The pain is often described as a band of pain around the head, pressure behind one or both eyes “vise like pressure”

  • Some relief from over the counter medications or caffeinated beverages.


Migraine

  • Visual signs prior to headache

  • Familial history of migraines

  • Throbbing, intense pain, generally moderate to severe and often disabling

  • Usually one-sided, though the pain can move from side to side, and sometimes affects both sides

  • Pain is often near the eye of the affected side

  • May last hours, days, or even weeks

  • Often accompanied by visual disturbances and/or extreme sensitivity to light, sound, and odors

  • No relief with over-the-counter remedies


When should a Headache Lead me to call my doctor?

Some headaches can be a warning of something more serious. If you have any of the following symptoms, consult a doctor immediately.

  • An intense, severe headache that comes on quickly, without warning, especially if you are normally headache-free.

  • Sudden, severe headache if you suffer from kidney problems, heart disease or high blood pressure.

  • A headache following a head injury, especially if the headache includes feelings of nausea, dizziness, or blurred vision.

  • A headache accompanied by seizures.

  • A headache accompanied by memory loss, confusion, loss of balance, slurred speech or vision, pain in the neck, or numbness in arms or legs.


What can we do for Headaches in our Clinic?

Since headaches can be due to a specific incident of trauma or due to repetitive strain such as sitting hunched at your computer, we can use our extensive knowledge of the musculoskeletal system to reduce mm tension and joint mis-alignment which are common in the two scenarios.  We also do work with hormonal fluctuations that occur in both men and women to help them regulate their cycles and decrease cyclical headaches.  In some cases we have even found that food sensitivities are the cause of a lot of headaches and we do test for this in our office if this seems to be related to your condition.  Even hereditary migraine sufferers will get relief through manual medicine, even if every headache isn’t magically gone.

Graston Technique

How was the Graston Technique Developed?

The Graston Technique was conceived by David Graston, an athlete who suffered a debilitating knee injury and was frustrated by his lack of progress using traditional methods for rehabilitation. However, the origin of this technique is quite a bit older. In fact, many patients naturally call Graston “scraping”, which is the name of the ancient technique that was used by “medicine men” in many cultures. Graston is a new take on an old remedy that works very well.  What makes it more effective than it was 100 years ago is that through engineering and design, the tools are created using specific angles, which increases therapeutic usage on specific areas of the body.

Clinical studies and research at Ball State University and Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie, Indiana found that the controlled micro trauma induced through the use of Graston tools actually helped initiate healing. The structure of the tissue is rearranged, and damaged tissue is replaced by new tissue.  Healthy tissue forms an organized lattice much like a thick rope, which is made up of many smaller fibers.  Once the tissue is damaged, those small fibers become rearranged and turn into small knots. The Graston Technique acts much like an iron that goes into those small damaged fibers and straightens them out restoring an injured weak tissue to its proper strength. Clinical studies continue to document that Graston Technique generally results in better outcomes when compared to traditional therapies in resolving injuries that have failed to respond to other treatments.

 Do practitioners require certification?

Yes. Graston Technique is part of the curriculum at 49 respected colleges and Universities.  The certification is post doctorate work that a practitioner can participate in to achieve full certification.  Both Dr. Ho and Dr. Walker are certified and part of the GT Provider Network.

How do the Graston tools work?

The technique is delivered through the use of six hand held stainless steel instruments. A specially designed lubricant is applied to the skin to allow the instrument to glide over the tissue without causing irritation. The tool acts much like a stethoscope allowing the doctor to isolate adhesions and restrictions and then treat them with precision. The skin of damaged tissue will feel gritty or sandy under your skin; these are the adhesions on the muscle and fascia.  Graston has the advantage of penetrating tissue at a deep level much the same way a deep tissue or cross friction massage does, but with the added benefit of being more comfortable during the treatment process.

Does it hurt?

Patients may experience mild discomfort during the treatment and may also experience a bit of bruising. The bruising will look much like a small red area of dots. This is a common response from the body when a therapeutic process is taking place. Icing the area and rest should ease the discomfort. After you receive a treatment, gentle exercise will help to flush out any chemicals that are present in the body due to dysfunction and inflamed tissue. The exercise should be mild and not cause a great degree of discomfort to the treated tissue. Usually a 10-minute walk will do the trick.

ADD and ADHD

Currently the diagnosis for ADD and ADHD is becoming more and more common for students and children with extra activity.  The most common form of treatment is to give stimulant type drugs that enable the children to focus and harness their energy.  However we find that stimulants are not only hard on children’s health but also not a good long term fix.  What most parents want to know is what are the healthier and more of the long term options.  The answer is holistic medicine and diets can actually be a really great option to manage an ADD child.

The first option is diet.  Numerous amounts of children with ADD or ADHD have food sensitivities of some kind.  There are two types of immunoglobulin’s IgE and IgG.  IgE antibodies are the ones that cause an immediate allergic reaction.  An example of this is a child that eats a peanut and then has an immediate allergic reaction which can put them in danger of not being able to breath.  IgG antibodies are a delayed sensitivity that can cause numerous symptoms. The symptoms include but are not limited to: fatigue, behavior modification, headaches, Sore-throat, loose stool, constipation, mood changes and decrease in immunity due to body inflammation.

The second option is homeopathy.  Homeopathic medicine is very effective in treating not only ADD but also other childhood behavioral disorders.  This is a type of treatment that is easy for kids to take and produces remarkable results.  An example of Homeopathy is taking a specific symptom or personality and diluting compounds that would enhance that symptom.  By diluting the compound only a mild remnant remains and this stimulates a negative feedback loop causing the body to stop the over active symptoms of ADD.  This reaction helps the body to teach itself to adapt to its lack of concentration by knowing when it’s time to focus and when there is an appropriate time to be energetic.  This can be a very empower solution for both parents and child.

The third option is daily activity modification.  For most of us this can be very challenging as a parent since it requires you to get your child on a schedule that can sometimes be very strict.  This schedule would include exercise, a set bedtime and scheduled study or homework time.

Our office can help with any and all of these elements. We would love to answer any questions you have.

Allergies Part I : Overview

In California, every season can be allergy season. It’s hard to know whether sneezing and a stuffy or runny nose is a common cold or a reaction to the lovely tree outside your bedroom window.  With so many treatment options, we want to share InHealth’s tips on how to weather your allergic season, whenever it might be.

What causes an allergic reaction?

When any substance enters the body it is tagged as either “foreign” or “self”.  If the substance is tagged as foreign, the body’s immune system will attack it to protect you. The problem comes when your immune system attacks something that is either not harmful, or is something you are commonly exposed to such as trees, grass or wheat. Our body should not recognize these as foreign, but unfortunately that isn’t always the case.

Our immunity comes from cells that are made in the bone marrow.  We have two types of reactions; one is an immediate allergic response and the other is a delayed hypersensitivity. These two reactions are triggered by different cells that are produced in the marrow. The immunity cells live in the tissues around blood vessels and nerves, and in your blood stream. These are the areas that are most sensitive to an allergic material.

When a foreign substance is recognized, these cells surround the substance and release chemicals such as histamine that cause vaso-dilation and smooth tissue contraction with increased permeability to capillaries. This translates into basic symptoms, such as coughing, sneezing, itchy, runny eyes. A more delayed response might manifest as fatigue, bowel upset, and other nagging symptoms which can be prolonged due to tissue damage in multiple areas of the body.  These symptoms can eventually lead to chronic disease.

What happens to our cells when exposed to an allergen?

When an allergen gets in and attaches to the outside of a cell, the cell’s antibodies react with the protein of that molecule. If enough of the allergen, or antigen as is referred to in immunology, accumulates in the body, there is a major release of inflammatory chemicals. The cells will de-granulate and release the chemicals they have been producing such as:

  • Histamine

  • Interleukin 1-13

  • Gama-interferon

  • Transforming growth factor

  • Tumor Necrosis factor

  • Lymphotoxin


What symptoms do allergies cause?

  • Runny Nose

  • Itchy watery eyes

  • Hives

  • Throat swelling and difficulty swallowing

  • Vomiting and abdominal pain

  • Cramps

  • Hives

  • Rashes and eczema

  • Fainting or blacking out

  • Anaphylaxis

  • Congestion and difficulty breathing

  • Mental confusion and dizziness


What is an allergy versus a sensitivity?

Typically allergies occur when the antibody most present is the IgE reaction. This reaction can be towards foods like peanuts or environmental allergens like pollen and grass.  The symptoms are immediate and include, but are not limited to:

  • Swelling of the throat

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Vomiting

  • Fainting or blacking out

  • Tongue swelling

  • Hives

  • Rash

  • Itching


Food sensitivities are a delayed immune response that occurs with IgG reactions.  The delayed sensitivity usually occurs about 2 to 72 hours after the contamination often causing chronic inflammation. Symptoms can include:

  • Sore throat

  • Decreased ability to concentrate

  • Achy joints

  • Skin conditions (eczema, rash, hives)

  • Trouble sleeping

  • Gas, bloating

  • Constipation or diarrhea

  • Headaches

  • Trouble sleeping

  • Aggressive or hyperactive behavior in children

  • Colic and increased spit up


What are the most common causes of food allergies?

Milk and dairy, soy, wheat, nuts and eggs.

Why is it important to treat allergies?

A simple allergy, if not properly treated, can develop into more severe health problems.  As we understand in medicine today, many modern diseases have a strong correlation to inflammation, which can lead to ill health.  Some of these diseases are:

  • IBS

  • Crohn’s

  • Ulcerative Colitis

  • Fibromyalgia

  • All types of arthropathy

  • Rheumatoid arthritis

  • Heart disease

  • Cancer

  • Weight gain

  • Auto-immune diseases

  • Thyroid conditions


When you have an immune system that is allowed to run rampant with inflammation, you basically turn that body into an autoimmune reaction which can damage sensitive organs, the thyroid being one of the most sensitive. These are some of the reasons that ignoring an allergy or sensitivity can be potentially hazardous to our health. Perhaps not today or tomorrow, but down the road chronic inflammation will begin to damage all tissues and organs.

How do you test for allergies?

  • Grid testing

  • Blood Test

    • IgE

    • IgG




Conventional medicine uses the grid testing (scratch test) to diagnose environmental allergens. However, if you eat dairy and develop a stomachache a grid test will not necessarily result in a positive response. A blood test that is done specifically for the IgE and IgG antibodies can determine sensitivity.

How are allergies treated?

  • Anti-histamine

  • Anti-inflamatories

  • Modulating stress

  • Increasing cortisol levels that naturally block inflammation

  • GI tract healing to reduce reactivity

  • Remove food allergies

  • De-sensitization drops

  • Homeopathic drainage

  • Lifestyle changes

  • Dietary changes

  • Acupuncture to calm the nervous system

  • Shots

  • Vitamins


At inHealth, we try and diagnose the cause of the problem, which includes food allergy testing as well as herbal and botanical non-drowsy anti-histamine and anti-inflammatories. De-sensitization drops help the body adapt to an allergen without having a major reaction. This is the same philosophy as the injections given by your allergist, but you can administer them to yourself.  The process typically begins with environmental allergens and then moves to food allergens. We also make sure that your digestive tract is free of dysbiosis that may cause bad bacteria and yeast to infest your gut resulting in an overload on your immune system. We test this through stool samples and get specific results that allow us to attack the specific bugs plaguing you.