Why Is Everyone Talking About Indoor Air Quality?

Improving the overall indoor air quality of your home or business continues to be a topic at the water cooler. The kids are always sneezing, the house always seems so dusty, why does our office always smell so bad? Why are my hands so rough? Sound familiar?

To be honest the solutions are simple, but they won’t go away without some help. The first thing you should do is perform a simple indoor air quality assessment. You can do one by simply following these next few questions or get a free assessment done by one of your local Heating and Cooling contractors. Make sure they have something to do about indoor air quality. Some are now known as Indoor Air Quality consultants or IAQ’s. Here are some of the basic questions:

1. Do you notice any symptoms over all or when you are in certain rooms or floors of the house? Examples would be sneezing, coughing, shortness of breath, runny nose or eyes.

2. Are there any smokers in the house?

3. Do you have any pets? What kind?

4. Does anyone have any allergies or asthma?

5. What type of heating and cooling system do you have and how hold is it?

6. What kind of home filtration system do you have if any?

7. Do you run a dehumidifier anywhere in the house?

8. Do you run a humidifier anywhere in the house?

9. Do you have any signs of mold?

10. Do your windows ever condensate during the winter months?

So now I am going to suggest a few simple suggestions to possibly remedy your issues.

1. Check and change your air filters at least every three months and clean all the supply and return vents in your house at least once a year. This one is so simple and yet people don’t seem to follow it. If your filters are covered in dirt and dust there is no way for the air to properly circulate any more new dust or dirt and soon it just starts clogging up the filter which turns out to be bad for your furnace as well as you.

Here’s what the EPA says about home filters:

“Flat or panel air filters with a MERV of 1 to 4 are commonly used in residential furnaces and air conditioners. For the most part, such filters are used to protect the HVAC equipment from the buildup of unwanted materials on the surfaces such as fan motors and heating or cooling coils, and not for direct indoor air quality reasons.

Pleated or extended surface filters

Medium efficiency filters with a MERV of 5 to 13 are reasonably efficient at removing small to large airborne particles. Filters with a MERV between 7 and 13 are likely to be nearly as effective as true HEPA filters at controlling most airborne indoor particles. Medium efficiency air filters are generally less expensive than HEPA filters, and allow quieter HVAC fan operation and higher airflow rates than HEPA filters since they have less airflow resistance.”

There are also some filter additions that go above and beyond and depending on your situation, you should check them out. If allergies and dust are a concern, an air duct purifier with an ultra violet light could take care of your problems. They are known to kill mold, germs and viruses and the bulbs usually last about two years. A good filter and UV light can do wonders, but they have to be properly maintained.

2. So now let’s talk about your furnace and air conditioner. How old are they? If you have a system that is 15-20 years old, it may be time for an upgrade. The blower fan may not be circulating the air at full capacity any more. The condenser may not be cooling to where it should be. If you buy a new high efficiency furnace the comfort level and air quality can improve instantly simply because the blower is no longer struggling and the air is being circulated and filtered properly.

3. An Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV) exchanges stale indoor air for equal amount of fresh air outdoor air. It retains heat and moisture from exchanged air in winter, but pre-conditions and dehumidifies incoming air in summer so your home or office is more comfortable year-round. If you have smokers in the house, this is a great way to get the bad toxins in the air out? The (ERV) is also a great tool for removing condensation, mold, allergens, reducing radon particulates and just making the house or office just smell better.

4. Whole house humidifier- If you are experiencing dry air and skin during the winter, you are not alone. You may even think that little 5-gallon elephant vaporizer may even help you as it spews out mist in your bedroom while you sleep and it might, a little. Well instead of being selfish a whole house By-pass humidifier will typically do your whole family or employees the trick. They are easily installed and can start with dispersing as little as 7-12 gallons of water per day without you ever having to fill up another vaporizer again. These also work wonders on static electricity.

5. Whole house De-humidifier- Unless you live in a bad area or below the flood table you shouldn’t need a commercial solution like one of these, but sometimes it can help. If you are tired of constantly draining the portable basement system you are currently using, this could be your best bet. The basic whole house de-humidifier will take four times the water out the air typical dehumidifiers do and it will save energy and filter the air as well.

6. When it comes to mold some of the above solutions may help, but mostly with airborne mold. If you can see mold build up in your basement or in your bathroom it is recommended to contact a mold mitigation professional for an assessment. Mold left unattended could cause lots of damage. Damage you may not even be able to see because it is behind the drywall or paneling.

Every house and every concern is going to vary, but the above article should give you at least a heads up on whether you should be concerned about indoor air quality. When it doubt or to get a second opinion, you can always call up one of your local indoor air quality experts.

Discovering What’s Triggering Your Allergies

Allergies is the one health issue that seems to never go away. At least, not without the right lifestyle and diet changes. Naturopathic doctors have already found various methods to help people overcome their allergies forever. One type of natural allergy treatment is SLIT. This is a non-invasive method and works gradually over time.

If you or a loved one suffers from allergy symptoms, you can have testing performed by a naturopathic medicine doctor. Today, allergies affect one in every five people in America, and it’s on the rise. This is likely due to the increase in processed foods and other unhealthy lifestyle choices.

It’s important to have allergy testing done to pinpoint why your allergy symptoms are flaring up. Meanwhile, you can use the following ways to determine the source of your problems.

Pet Dander

You’d be surprised to learn how many people are living with pets that are causing their allergies. They have symptoms like coughing, sneezing, skin rashes and watery red eyes. However, few put two and two together quickly enough. If you notice similar symptoms when you’re around your own or others pets, then this could be the culprit. If you don’t want to get rid of your beloved pet, then a natural allergy treatment should be sought.

Dead and Live Cockroaches

No one wants to live with cockroaches, but they somehow creep their way into our homes anyway. Not getting rid of them quickly enough can lead to adverse reactions, like coughing, sneezing, itchy eyes, nose, throat and mouth. This is caused by the saliva and droppings of cockroaches, which act as allergens to certain people. The more roaches in an area, the more severe the symptoms.

Latex Gloves, Condoms and Bandages

Anything made with latex can sometimes cause adverse reactions. This includes products like gloves, adhesive bandages and condoms. These are known to cause allergic reactions, such as wheezing, hives, stuffy nose, problems with breathing and itching. It’s common for symptoms to arise after long-term use of latex items.

Gold and Nickel

You hear of people having adverse reactions to fake jewelry, but there are others who also have these type of reactions to gold and nickel jewelry. You may see signs of swelling, redness, dry patches or rashes. When the symptoms are left untreated, it can lead to cracked, dark, leathery skin. Some folks have extreme reactions to nickel found in different sources, such as food like chocolate and fish.

Red Food Coloring

This is can be found in all types of processed foods, including candies, cakes and soda. The symptoms seen with this allergen includes wheezing, diarrhea, vomiting, itchiness and hives. And it’s not just red food dyes that can cause this – purple, orange and pink dyes can also do the same. What causes the reaction is the pregnant cochineal bug that lives on prickly pear cacti used to create the pigment. It’s important to watch for allergic reactions to red dye, because they are sometimes known to be quite serious.

Medications

This is a tricky area because no two people are the same. One medication may cause adverse effects in you, but not the next person. Some symptoms can be life threatening, so it’s important to seek medical attention immediately, so you can get a substitute. The more mild reactions can be treated using steroids or antihistamines. The more severe reactions would require an EpiPen (this is good to carry on you just in case). Make sure to pay attention to the potential side effects of the medications you are prescribed.

Headaches, Hives & Heartburn? Histamine Could Be the Cause

Dealing with symptoms like heartburn, headaches and hives is no walk in the park. This is especially true if you have no idea of how to stop them. Most people, and even some conventional doctors, don’t know how to prevent or stop these type of symptoms because they don’t understand the cause. Anytime you’re trying to treat a problem, you must first find the root. This is exactly what we do in naturopathic family care.

One of the most overlooked health concerns in America is allergies. It’s chocked up as being an uncontrollable illness that can’t be stopped, only remedied with medications. Stats show about one percent of the population exhibits symptoms when faced with histamine overload. The symptoms normally include migraines fast heart rate, constipation, low blood pressure and diarrhea. The issue is that these symptoms can be related to a host of other underlying conditions, so it’s difficult to pinpoint histamine as a culprit.

Histamine Intolerance is a Real Disorder

Another way to look at allergies is as a histamine intolerance. This is a disorder that can cause the above symptoms, but are hardly ever linked to histamine. If you were to take allergy testing during these times, it would reveal it. At this point, you can ask a naturopathic family care doctor for natural allergy treatment, such as SLIT. This is a non-invasive treatment that can ease and reverse your allergy symptoms over time.

A Closer Look at Histamine

We hear the word histamine (or anti-histamine) all the time, but what is it really? Histamine is a part of a group that consists of small molecule neurotransmitter substance, like adrenaline, serotonin and dopamine. It’s always circulating throughout your body delivering messages to your brain. It passes between neurons and your nervous system. It can help regulate things like sleep, proper gut function and even sexual response.

When your body is exposed to allergens, it triggers an immune response (an influx in white blood cells), which releases histamines and causes inflammation (such as swollen eyes and skin rashes). Histamines can also be produced when you eat certain foods that contain histamine, as well as by gut bacteria.

Overcoming Intolerance to Histamine

The key is to train your body how to identify substances that aren’t harmful as friendly. This way, it will stop producing immune effects that trigger the imbalance of histamine. One way to do this is with the SLIT natural allergy treatment. A naturopathic medicine doctor can help you improve your diet and lifestyle during this process, so you can enhance the outcome of the therapy.

Everything You Need to Know About a Pulmonary Function Test

A Pulmonary function test involves a set of tests that help to measure the functioning of the lungs. It examines how well the patient is able to breathe and how effectively the lungs are capable of bringing oxygen to rest of the body parts. These tests are also known as Spirometry or lung function tests. Pulmonary function test cost is inexpensive in nature and can be performed at any diagnostic centre of India.

Why are these tests done?

A doctor may order these tests-

  • If one is suffering from symptoms of lung problems.
  • As a part of the routine test.
  • To evaluate the effectiveness of the ongoing treatment.
  • To assess if the lungs are functioning properly before surgery.

A Pulmonary function test is also ordered to test Asthma and several other vital lung conditions. Some of them are-

  • Allergies,
  • Chronic Bronchitis,
  • Respiratory infections,
  • Lung Fibrosis
  • Scleroderma- a disease that affects the connective tissue,
  • Bronchiectasis- a condition in which airways in the lungs are widened and stretched.
  • Sarcoidosis- a condition that causes inflammation to the lungs, liver, lymph nodes, skins, eyes and other tissues.
  • Pulmonary tumour, etc.

How to prepare for the test?To prepare for a PFT test, the patient needs to consult with the doctor regarding medications. The doctor might ask the patient to stop taking medicines before performing the test. One needs to make sure not to eat heavy meal before the test. This is because, a full stomach just before the test prevents the lungs from inhaling properly. A doctor also asks to avoid in taking food and drinks containing caffeine, such as – coffee, chocolate, tea, etc. One should also avoid smoking and strenuous exercise before the test. He or she should wear loose-fitting clothes.

What are the types of measurement used for a pulmonary test?

Pulmonary function test interpretation can vary from one laboratory to another. However, the types of information that are obtained from this test can be categorized into four groups-

  • Lung Volumes- The lung volumes help to measure the maximum volume of the lungs.
  • Flow Rates- Flowrates help to measure the maximum flow of air that passes in and out the lungs.
  • Diffusing capacity– Diffusing capacity measures the amount of air that can be transferred from the alveolar space to the blood stream capillary.
  • Maximal inspiratory and expiratory pressures- It helps to measure the applied strength of the respiratory muscles.

What are the risk of taking pulmonary function test?Pulmonary function test or PFT test possesses minimal or no risk and is safe for all. However, as because, the test requires one to breathe in and out quickly, people may feel nauseous and dizzy. It can cause problems if –

  • One recently suffered a heart attack.
  • One had a recent eye, chest, abdominal surgery.
  • The patient has suffered from a severe respiratory infection and heart-related disease.

The author is an avid health blogger who writes about diseases related to respiratory problems, related tests and treatment options.

Allergic Reactions – An Overview: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Allergic reactions can range from an irritating itch to a fatal outcome. But knowing how to handle such an emergency can make the vital – sometimes, the life-and-death – difference.

One peaceful Sunday afternoon you’re dozing comfortably in a deck-chair when a sudden scream fills the air and your kid brother, running towards from the direction of the public garden, crashes into your solitude. Your blood runs cold – his face is all red and swollen, and he’s gasping for breath. A bee has stung him and he’s one of those few people who are highly allergic to bee venom.

What do you do to treat an allergic reaction – whether it’s caused by a bee sting or fresh strawberries ‘n cream? Even if you’re a novice at emergency care, our step-by-step guide will tell you what needs to be done before you can reach a doctor.

WHAT HAPPENS – AND WHY

What exactly happens in an allergic reaction? An allergy is an over-reaction of the body’s defence mechanism to the introduction of a foreign substance; the symptoms include intense itching, swelling up of body parts, watering of the nose, and breathlessness.

Allergies are of several types, including delayed and chronic ones, but the present article is limited to the management of immediate types of hypersensitivity reactions that can cause a lot of damage in a short time if not treated promptly and correctly.

Materials that can be cause such severe, immediate allergies include:

  • Different kinds of proteins – edible (such as eggs and dals) as well as those used locally.
  • Anti-serum (Snake venom, Tetanus, Rabies etc.)
  • Hormones
  • Enzymes
  • Venom (Bee and hornet stings, etc.)
  • Pollen extracts
  • Foods (Milk, eggs, fish, wheat, strawberries, chocolates etc.)

THE SYMPTOMSSome common signs of allergy to look for are (System-wise):

Skin: Flushing and redness; itching; urticarial (large, irregular, raised patches with redness and itching); swelling of the skin over a part of the body; bite marks or sting punctures.

Eyes: Redness; swelling; itching; watering.

Respiratory Tract: Sneezing; watering of nose; coughing; breathlessness; chocking; tightness in the chest; suffocation; a sense of something stuck in the throat; inability to talk.

Gastro-intestinal: Vomiting; diarrhea; pain in the throat.

General: Anaphylactic shock – manifests itself in swelling of the face and body, sudden sneezing, dizziness, restlessness, nausea, suffocation and panic and unconsciousness – these symptoms can occur one after the other rapidly and the patient can die in minutes if emergency measures are not started at once.

(It is not necessary that you will find the symptoms of only one system in an allergy – a mix of symptoms may be found.)

Here’s how you deal with individual allergies (Source-wise):

ANIMALS

A person can be allergic to the dander, i.e. the fine scales and dust of dried-up skin and hairs on an animal, and can react violently to this alien protein. Cats especially can bring on a violent reaction – most commonly, rhinitis (watering of the nose) and asthma (or breathlessness) which could become severe. Some people are allergic to n animal’s saliva.

Remove the offending animal from the victim’s presence, and take the sufferer into an open area where he can breathe in fresh air. If he’s been licked, immediately wash the area with soap and water. Brush off all tell-tale traces of the animal’s hair from the person’s clothes. If the contact has been longer and the victim is sneezing or coughing violently and getting more and more breathless by the minute, give him an anti-allergy pill and take him to a doctor.

INSECTS

Bites and stings from insects like ants (especially fire ants), bees, wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets can produce severe allergic reactions in the susceptible; even through their venom is mild. Such reactions include urticarial, nausea, abdominal or uterine cramps, bronchospasm, massive swelling of the face and glottis, breathlessness, bluish skin due to lack of oxygen, low b.p., coma and death.

A word of caution – even normal people can develop severe allergic reactions if bitten in the mouth or throat.

Unlike wasps and ants, bees can leave their stings embedded in the skin. If you have a pair of tweezers, pull out the sting. Or scrape it off carefully with a sharp knife or needle. Do not scratch the bite; this will only spread the venom. If you have an anti-histamine cream or a steroid cream, use it. Even calamine lotion helps. If no cream is available, put ice or cold water on the sting.

Reassure the patient and make him lie down on his back. Loosen tight clothing around the neck and waist so that breathing is not restricted. Cover him with a rug or a blanket. Raise his feet by placing a cushion or folded coat below them. Do not offer the victim anything to eat or drink and don’t let him smoke – it may choke him further.

If breathing starts getting difficult or if he begins to lapse into unconsciousness, take him to a hospital immediately. While transporting him or waiting for help, turn him to one side so that he does not choke on his vomitus.

If he has stopped breathing, give him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation or chest compression by putting him flat on his back and placing the balls of your palms on his breast-bone and pressing down at intervals of a few seconds.

Some large caterpillars, especially Gypsy Moths, can cause severe reactions due to the chemicals in their hairs. Brush off the insect with a twig and remove the hairs by pressing down some leucoplast or cellotape or dough on the area and pulling up – do this in different directions till all the hairs have come off. If allowed to remain the chemicals in the hairs can cause more damage.

Put ice on the area, wash with a lot of cold running water, and apply anti-histamine or steroid cream. Swallow an anti-histamine tablet and go to a doctor.

FOODS

Some people can develop nasty, even fatal reactions to certain food stuffs. Some common culprits include protein-containing foods like nuts, cow’s milk, hen’s eggs, soya beans, fish and sea-food; sunflower seeds, chamomile tea, peanuts, bananas, sesame (til) oil and food additives like metabisulfites – which are common in beer and Chinese food.

Food allergies occur mainly in children.

Reactions may be classified as:

EARLY REACTIONS (Less than two hours): Asthma; Abdominal Pain; Vomiting; Urticaria; Anaphylaxis; Diarrhoea; Rhintis; Angio-oedema (Swelling); Dermatitis.

LATE REACTIONS (More than two hours): Asthma; Gastro-intestinal bleeding with anaemia; Growth retardation; Urticaria and Dermatitis; Alveolitis (Inflammation inside the lungs); Malabsorption, diarrhoea; Protein-losing enteropathy; Vomiting

Severe diarrhoea, including vomiting, can develop 12-36 hours after the ingestion of certain foods like cow’s milk. If this happens in infants who are being weaned for the first time, rapid dehydration can occur if remedial measures are not undertaken immediately. Plenty of fluid should be given orally and the international Oral Rehydration Therapy (ORT) which consists of one glass of boiled and cooled water + the juice of one lemon + 4-5 teaspoonsful of sugar + a pinch of salt should be stirred and sips of this given several times a day, as much as the patient can take. The initial vomiting should not be stopped because it might help to bring out some of the allergy-causing food.

Asthma, or sudden breathlessness, can be relieved by taking the patient out into an open space and making him do slow, deep-breathing exercises. An anti-allergy pill may help as also an anti-asthma. The patient should be reassured, calmed down and made to sit in a propped-up position as lying down may aggravate the asthma.

Abdominal pain can be relieved with a hot-water bottle, drinking plenty of water, and mint juice + honey or a tiny pinch of asafetida or aniseed.

Urticaria can be relieved by applying cold water and calamine lotion.

Sneezing can be controlled by pressing the area just below the nostrils with a finger.

Rhintis or watering of the nose will be relieved with an anti-allergy pill.

If swelling of the face, hands and feet begins, take the patient quickly to a hospital or to a doctor, because this is a serious portent.

DRUGS

Many drugs can cause mild to moderate allergic reactions like nausea, vomiting, loose motions, pain in the abdomen, rhinitis, asthma, skin irritation, urticaria, burning in the stomach, dark skin patches, white skin patches, headaches and watering of the eyes. Locally-used products like creams can cause redness and swelling of the skin and rashes.

Some drugs can even cause severe anaphylactic shock. These include Aspirin, Penicillin, Sulphonamides, Streptokinase enzyme (used in the treatment of heart attacks), Indomethacin Iodine dyes used for x-rays, Tetanus and Rabies Anti sera, Streptomycin and even Liver extract and Vitamins.

Some medicine like the anti-malarials – Chloroquine and Primaquine – and drugs like Nitrofurantoin and Ciplofloxacin (an antibiotic) can cause breaking up of the red blood cells if the person has a G 6 PD Enzyme deficiency in the blood.

Many asthmatics can suffer severe aggravation of their symptoms with certain drugs like the anti-inflammatory ones – Ibuprofen, Acetyl Salicyclic acid, Indomethacin, Mefenamic Acid. Many normal people can also get a bout of debilitating Asthma or Rhinitis with these drugs because they can cause obstruction of the upper and lower airway tracts, giving rise to a life-threatening episode.

When an allergic reaction to an injection occurs, starting with intense itching and swelling at the site of the injection, then generalized itching all over the body, urticarial rashes, tightness in the throat and other symptoms, immediately tie a rubber tourniquet 2” or so above the site of injection to prevent further spread (this method can be employed in a bee sting as well); then use all the methods suggested for treating anaphylactic shock while you’re preparing to take the victim to a doctor.

If a drug has been taken orally and causes early allergic manifestations, try to encourage or induce vomiting by giving the person a mugful of water into which a tablespoonful of salt has been added. If given within an hour of swallowing the medicine, quite a lot of the drug can be brought out, thus minimizing its effects.

Calm the patient and help him lie down with his head turned to one side, feet raised. Keep him warm.

Keep the mouth passage free from vomitus or any other obstruction.

If he’s conscious and not vomiting, give him plenty of water to drink; this will dilute the drug. If you have an anti-allergy pill give it to him. Even cold tablets can help in such a situation. If these are not available, give him a tablespoon of some antacid.

Make sure to take down the name of the drug that he has taken or retrieve its wrapper from the waste-basket before going to a hospital. Show the name of the drug to the doctor there so that he can give the necessary antidote.

Certain drugs can cause Dyskinesia – nerve complications like twisting, deviation or trembling of the lips and face into abnormal shapes and movements. The drugs that give rise to dyskinesia are anti-psychotics like Chlorpromazine, Trifluperazine, Stemetil etc. The treatment for dyskinesia is Dazepam tablets or injection.

For pruritus or itching of the skin, taking cool baths helps as well as applying grease or unscented oils to the skin just after a bath. Cool, loose cotton clothing also helps. Avoid extremes of temperature.

CONTACT DERMATITIS

Irritation of the skin can occur with detergents, creams, local medication, hair dyes, leather slippers, plastic objects, rubber gloves, solvents, cleaners, metal coins, jewellery, bleaches, insecticides, cosmetics, adhesives, petrol etc.

Wash the skin thoroughly with soap and water, and then rinse with plenty of running water. Cold milk soaks might be helpful, as also topical cortisone creams.

Useful Home Treatments for Constipation

Constipation is a condition of the digestive system where someone experiences tough bowel movements which happen less frequent than normal. Everyone has experienced constipation at some point in their life, and they can attest that it is not a very pleasant experience. Though it is not chronic, everyone would give anything to get their bowels back on track. The amount of time between bowel movements varies widely from one person to another.

Most people have them three times in a day while others have them twice or even once! However going for more than three days is enough to cause alarm. This is because food takes longer in the digestive tract which means the colon absorbs more water from the stool. This makes the stool hard and dry and therefore difficult and even very painful to eliminate.

Causes of Constipation

1. Low Amounts of Fiber in the Diet

Fibers act as cleaners to the digestive tract. Diets that lack fibers result in an unclean digestive tract. This, consequently, results in accumulation of food particles and wastes that block the passage and thus cause constipation

2. Physical Inactivity

People who are physically inactive, for example, those who are bedridden for several weeks, are more susceptible to constipation. This is because physical activity helps us maintain a high metabolism, and thus body processes such as digestion happen more rapidly.

3. Some Drugs

Some of the drugs that cause constipation include

Antacids that contain aluminium such as Basaljel
Diuretics such as chlorothiazide
Antidepressants such as imipramine
Narcotic pain relievers such as hydromorphone

4. Irritable Bowel Syndrome

People who suffer from this condition suffer from constipation more frequently

5. Aging

As we grow older, our metabolic rate slows down. This results in a reduced rate in body functions such as digestion and thus cause constipation

6 Not Drinking Enough Water

This results in more absorption of water from the food which makes the stool hard. The result is constipation

7. Not Emptying Your Bowels when Needed

Ignoring this vital call of nature means the stool spends more time in the colon. As a result more water is absorbed from it leaving it hard and dry.

The Remedies for Constipation

1. Add Fiber-Rich Foods to Your Diet

The main role of fiber in our body is cleaning the digestive tract. They clean up the system by scrubbing off food leftovers and waste particles and even soaking up the water, thereby treating and preventing constipation. Some of these foods include cereals, almonds, beans, barley, vegetables, and fresh fruits, among many others. You should also drink plenty of water

2. Mint or Ginger Tea

Research has proven mint and ginger to be handy home remedies to digestive problems. Methanol that is contained in peppermint has an antispasmodic effect which helps relax the digestive system’s muscles and thereby allow rapid movement of food. Ginger, on the other hand, helps the digestive tract generate more heat thereby speeding up digestion through increased metabolism as heat increases the metabolic rate.

3. Healthy Facts

Oils from avocados, nuts and olive oil help in lubrication of the digestive tract and hence ease constipation.

4. Lemon Water

Citric acid present in lemon juice helps stimulate the digestive system and also flush out harmful substances such as wastes. Taking a glass of fresh lemon juice every morning or adding lemon to your tea will not only help treat and prevent constipation but also make you drink more water everyday.

5. Coffee

Coffee is a good stimulant to your body. It works by increasing metabolism through heat and thereby speeding up your trips to the toilet. Other hot drinks work just as well.

6. Raisins

Other than being rich in fiber, raisins contain tartaric acid which helps loosen stools. Research shows that people who take raisins have their food go through their digestive track in half the time it takes people who don’t. When should you call your doctor? If you experience sudden constipation that is accompanied by belly pains, cramping, or you are not able to pass stools or gas, call your doctor immediately.

7. Water

Taking a cup of water after waking up is recommended. Water helps in peristalsis and therefore helps prevent constipation.

8. Massage

Massaging the abdomen also helps in relieving constipation. It achieves this by stimulating intestinal muscles that are involved during bowel movements.

9. Taking Honey

Honey is a natural laxative. Taking a cup of honey water will help loosen stools and hence prevent and even relieve constipation.

10. Using a Sitting Stool

Using a stool to sit on during defecation helps you adopt a squatting position which helps open up the colon more and helps achieve an easier and more effective elimination of stools.

A Few Ways To Relieve Spring Allergy Symptoms In Children

Before starting any treatment for spring allergy you need to visit a pediatrician to check if it is the allergy which is causing your child’s ailment or whether there is some other reason for the symptoms. Though there are no effective cure for spring allergies in children, there are a few ways in which you can make the little ones feel better.

These few tips have proven to be effective at helping curb spring allergy symptoms.

Keep Your Child Indoors

Staying inside the house is one of the best ways to avoid contact with the allergens. When the pollen count is high in the air, try to keep your child indoor. Pollen count is highest in the mid-morning or early evening or when there is wind.

Salt Water Treatment

Nasal congestion is one of the most painful symptoms of seasonal allergy. For relieving the congestion you can try out nasal irrigation with salt water. You can either buy the saline water from the medicine shop or create your own by mixing 8 ounces of water with 1 teaspoon of salt.

Make Your Child Drink Plenty Of Water

Continuous sneezing and blowing the nose can leave your kid feeling parched. So always keep a sipper jar handy to keep your baby properly hydrated.

Steam Therapy

It is okay to give the little ones some tub time provided the water is steaming hot. The steam from the water helps to alleviate the allergy symptoms. Only ensure that the water isn’t scalding hot.

Keep Your Room Cool

Turn on the air conditioner in your home and car to keep the pollens from making its way into your room.

Use A Humidifier

Your child would breathe a lot more easily if there is a little moisture in the air. If you are living in an area with dry climate then you might consider getting a humidifier.

Use A Cold Compress

If your child is bothered by the itchy eyes symptom then apply cold compress on the eyes and face. Cold compress is an effective way of dealing with soreness and itchiness.

Gargle For Sore Throat

If the child is suffering from sore throat then gargling with saline water could immensely help to ease the pain.

Hot Drinks Help Too

Lot of fluid intake helps to check the allergy symptoms. A ginger, lemon honey tea is a refreshing drink which also helps to relieve congestion and cold throat.

Use Petroleum Jelly For A Sore Nose

If your child’s nose is raw and sore from the sneezing then just dab some petroleum jelly to get rid of the soreness.

For immediate relief from spring allergy make an appointment at Pediatric Partners. Their team of pediatricians would carefully examine your child and suggest an effective remedy. Also check out our new page on Spring Allergies.

Food Allergies Versus Food Intolerances

When it comes to preparing food for a large crowd, it is important to consider people’s taste, as well as their health. This means creating menus that include both tolerant and allergy-free foods. People of all ages can suffer from food aversions and intolerances; and the severity of their condition can range on a wide scale, from very minor and uncomfortable, to very serious or fatal.

For the sake of safety, liability, and consideration, it is always important to prepare menu spread with everyone’s needs in mind. The first place to start is learning the difference between a food allergy and a food intolerance. This knowledge will help you better understand your potential menu options. Continue reading to do just that!

Food Allergies

A food allergy is perceived as a toxin in a person’s body. It triggers an exaggerated immune system response that affects multiple organ systems in an attempt to alert the body of the toxin. This can trigger additional physiological responses that overact and cause serious or fatal symptoms.

Food allergies are serious because some can lead to severe injuries or death. Even microscopic particles of food can cause an allergic reaction, even a fatal one. The most common food allergies include peanuts, shellfish, cow’s milk, soy products, wheat, hen’s eggs, and tree nuts like almonds, Brazilian nuts, hazelnuts, pecans, pistachios, and walnuts. These are called the “big 8” in the culinary world, and are the most familiar food aversions known to the general public.

Food Allergy Symptoms:

  • Hives
  • Red Skin
  • Swelling (face, eyes, cheeks, hands, feet, etc.)
  • Itching
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Anaphylaxis (difficulty breathing, dizziness and loss of consciousness, etc.)
  • Respiratory Symptoms

Food IntolerancesIn contrast to food allergies that affect the immune system, food intolerances affect the body’s digestive system. When a person consumes food they are intolerant to, the digestive system has trouble breaking it down. This can be caused by a number of reasons, primarily a lack of essential enzymes, sensitivity to food additives, and reactions to naturally-occurring chemical in food (i.e. mycotoxins). Food intolerances are not life-threatening, but they can cause major discomfort and illness. In minor cases of food intolerance, people can consume small amounts without experiencing any digestive issues. The most common intolerances include glucose, lactose, Tyramine, food preservatives, and food additives.

Food Intolerance Symptoms:

  • Flatulence
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating
  • Cramping
  • Fluid Retention
  • Abdominal Distention
  • Hives
  • Swelling
  • Migraines
  • Wheezing
  • Difficulty Breathing

When preparing food for a crowd, whether yourself or through catering services, be sure to keep both food aversions and intolerances in mind. There is a wide range of menu options that can do just that, so you won’t have to sacrifice variety and flavor!

Eucalyptus Oil Therapeutic Uses

Eucalyptus essential oil is a natural oil that comes from the Eucalyptus tree. This essential oil has many uses including therapeutic uses. Eucalyptus oil is used in many ways to help the body and mind. It also has practical uses.

One of the practical issues of Eucalyptus oil is for cleaning. Did you know Eucalyptus essential oil helps to get rid of mold? It does. Put a few drops on a cloth and wipe the place that has mold. No more mold! You may also make a cleaning solution to clean mold and other parts of the house such as bath tubs, counter tops and sinks. Mix a few drops of Eucalyptus essential oil with 1/4 cup water and a couple of tablespoons of baking soda. This makes a nice, non-toxic cleaning solution.

A very common therapeutic use for Eucalyptus oil is to help with respiratory problems. If you have allergies, a bad cold or sinus issues which cause you to have trouble breathing Eucalyptus essential oil can help. You can add a few drops of Eucalyptus oil to a bowl of hot water. Put your head over the bowl. Cover your head with a towel and inhale the Eucalyptus aroma. This will help your nasal cavity to open up and you will be able to breathe better. Many times an infection causes the nasal cavity to swell which is why there is trouble with breathing. Eucalyptus oil has healing properties that can reduce swelling in the nasal passage.

If you have a bad cold or need mucus in the lungs to break up you may wish to use a lotion or salve with Eucalyptus oil in it. Rub it on your nose and chest to improve breathing. You can make your own emergency therapeutic lotion by using an unscented lotion found at the store and adding a few drops of Eucalyptus oil. Mix together and apply to your chest. This lotion also works well for healing dry skin. Never apply essential oil directly to the skin. Never drink or ingest it directly.

Another common use of Eucalyptus essential oil is in bath salt or soap to help reduce pain in the muscles and joints. If you have Fibromalgia, Arthiritis or a pulled muscle, relaxing in a bath with Eucalyptus oil can help those muscles to feel better. You may wish to use a little Eucalyptus bath salt or Eucalyptus bath oil in your bath. This helps your mind to relax as well as your joints and muscles. Many times tense or strained muscles are the reason why your body is in pain. Eucalyptus essential oil has a strong smell so you don’t need to use much.

Why There Are More Allergies and Obesity Today Compared With Years Ago

That’s a hard question to answer because no one really knows. There are, however, differences in the approach to child rearing that may have an impact. In my young days, that were post WWII, children were given everything to eat and there was no thought of allergies. The closest my body came to one was that of dust from which sinus would result. No one in my family or anyone we knew, however, ever mentioned allergies.

Babies were reared with a taste of everything, even when they spat it out. Eggs were high on the menu as were nuts, fruits, vegetables of all types, and, of course, meat. My children were given exactly the same treatment. My babies received cows milk when they were weaned and nothing was held back by way of food.

My daughter, by way of contrast, read books to determine what her children should eat. They were denied eggs and lots of other foods. The result, which might have come from this practice, is that one of them is highly allergic to certain foods.

The other factors that entered the scene are books written by male doctors who stressed the importance of holding back on some foods for a young child. This coupled with the junk food that replaces the fresh or home cooked meals sees young children given things like soda drinks high in sugar, foods high in salt and other things, and sweets, such as icing coated doughnuts and biscuits.

Watching young mum’s feed these things to toddlers in shopping centres to keep them quiet while she concentrates on her purchases leads to other thoughts. Why take a child that young into these places where they see the junk food and scream their heads off to get them?

It might be hard for mothers to work their way through modern trials and errors to avoid health problems, but they need to wake up to what modern takes on child-rearing are doing. While such things may not be responsible for allergies it might be interesting for some practitioners to examine the present changes in this area compared to post war years. It might also help to understand the obesity problems that faces some adults.

Surely what children grow used to follows them into adult-hood. That may apply to those who can’t walk through a shopping centre without first visiting the junk food outlets. Interesting thoughts that should be examined further.

Norma Holt has knowledge that enables her to understand many issues. Political, social and behavioural problems are usually on her list for discussion as well as anything to do with the Spirit of the Universe and reincarnation, which she experienced. She is happy to hear from any of her readers.