Could Your Allergies Be A Food Sensitivity or Intolerance?

Could Your Allergies Be A Food Sensitivity or Intolerance?

We often blame our sniffling, sneezing, and watery eyes on those spring flowers, budding trees, and of course, grasses.  But for some of us, we have these allergic reactions year-round – can’t blame that on spring flowers and the budding trees.

Maybe it is not an allergy to something in our environment but to something that we have eaten.  That skin rash or sneezing after we ate something could be a food allergy.  Or, it could a food intolerance.

So, if you are not getting a response from taking medications like an anti-histamine, your symptoms might from a food allergy or food intolerance.

But is there a difference between food allergies and food intolerances?

What is a Food Allergy?

Most food allergies are followed with an immediate response and involve skin rashes, swollen lips, and/or tongue and in some cases stuffy nose.  They are also not “dose-dependent”; in other words, you only need to eat a bite to get a reaction.

You will have a higher chance of having a food allergy if you have environmental allergies as there is cross-reaction with environmental allergens and certain foods.

So, you are allergic to ragweed, there is a high probability that you will be allergic to cucumbers.

How can you tell if you have a food allergy?  Well, the immediate reaction is the first clue.  Eat a bite of an apple, get swollen lips, there is a good chance you are allergic to apples.

You can be tested for food allergies using a skin prick test but it is very inaccurate.  Blood or serum tests for food allergies are also highly inaccurate.

If you are going to test for food allergies, make sure that the test is testing for what is referred to as the IgE response, not IgG response.  How do you know?  Check with the lab or the practitioner that you are working with.

Most of the inexpensive and common lab testing for food sensitivities only test for IgG response which is very inaccurate.  Testing for food sensitivities is completely different than testing for food allergies.  Testing for food sensitivities tests for reactions to the sugars in food while testing for food allergies tests for the proteins in food.

Do your homework when looking for lab testing for food allergies or food sensitivities.  My favorite lab for just food allergies is Dunwoody Labs.  Contact me to learn more about testing and how you can get tested for food allergies.

Are Food Sensitivities the Same as Food Allergies?

In a nutshell, no.  First, food sensitivities are dosage-dependent and secondly, the reaction is delayed.  So that omelet with 3 eggs may take until the evening to get a response.   Food sensitivity reactions are usually constipation, diarrhea, headaches, joint pain, and brain fog versus the runny nose or sniffles.

The most accurate food sensitivity testing is MRT from Oxford Labs.  Why?  Because they test multiple immune responses to 170 foods and chemicals.   The MRT test is one of the few lab tests that tests for chemicals; some of these chemicals relate to food intolerances like tyramine (think red wine).

Included with this lab test is a comprehensive elimination diet and how to overcome food sensitivities with the LEAP program which is part of my Resolve Food Sensitivities Program.

But What About Food Intolerances?

The most common food intolerance that causes allergic-like symptoms in some people is histamine intolerance.  Most food intolerances are caused by lack of the enzyme or poor gut health (poor microbiome) which supports the breakdown of common food chemicals like histamine and lactose from dairy products.

Histamine Rich Foods Fermented

Histamine is found the highest in fermented foods, preserved meats, cheese, canned fish, and alcoholic beverages.  For some people, they will react with sneezing and sniffling after they consume enough histamine rich foods.  Other common reactions are:

  • Headaches, Migraines
  • Brain Fog
  • Nausea
  • Bloody Noses
  • Sniffling, Sneezing, Watery Eyes
  • Insomnia
  • PMS
  • Blood Pressure – Low
  • GERD, Heartburn
  • Skin Rashes
  • Psoriasis, Eczema

Almost all food intolerances are related to genomics – nutrigenomics.  Certain gene variants will reduce the enzyme function that breakdown food chemicals like histamine, lactose, sulfur, and tyramine.

Food intolerance testing – it is very challenging to test for food intolerances and it is usually a trial and error process.  You can test for histamine intolerance though Dunwoody Labs but other food intolerances are difficult at best to test for.

Ever Notice that We Get Allergies as We Get Older?

Maybe it is really is histamine intolerance?  Ever notice those “allergies” get worse as we get older?  There might be a connection here.

As we get older, our digestion can become impaired.  For one, we produce less gastric acid as we get older which means we don’t absorb nutrients from our or breakdown food very well.

It doesn’t help that we also start taking digestive aids like proton pump inhibitors like Prilosec or H2 blockers (Zantac); both of which lower stomach acid reducing the breakdown of foods.  This also leads to partially broken-down food in our digestive system which can feed opportunistic bacteria like yeast in our gut.

In some cases, our intestines become “leaky” where broken-down food actually leaks out and this creates an immune response which can result in food sensitivities, and intolerances.  Leaky gut is one of the key causes of us becoming intolerant to histamine in food.

Managing histamine levels depends on a healthy gut, balanced microbiota, and nutrients like vitamin B6.  It has been shown that some bacteria actually produce histamine and if you have an overgrowth this will make your more histamine intolerant.

Nutrients like vitamin B6 helps us to produce the enzymes known as diamine oxidase (DAO).  DAO helps to block the absorption of too much histamine and with a reduced function of DAO, it can lead to intolerance.

Looking for another alternative to OTC meds for allergies?  Try Allerstop today!

Nutrigenomics & Histamine Intolerance

For me, my discovery of my histamine intolerance was just using a food journal and trying to connect the dots to my migraines.  After a while, I realized that the combination of red wine, pizza was sure to trigger for migraine the next day.  All foods are high in histamine even the tomato sauce.

After getting my first genomic test it became crystal clear why had such a tendency towards histamine intolerance.  I had many variants in the pathway that helps to breakdown histamine or block absorption of histamine from food.

Histamine intolerance is related to gene variants in, MTHFR, vitamin B6, HNMT, COMT, and DAO.  And, if you have a reduced function in methylation, this also can impact your metabolism of histamine.

With my genomic solutions packages, you can get tested and evaluated for as low as $499.00 including the test.  Unfortunately, the 23and Me raw data no longer tests for the important histamine variants.  Get started today with my free 15 min. Complimentary Consult to learn more.

 What if You Are Histamine Intolerant?

A good journal is the first step to determining if you an intolerance.  Record your food and symptoms.  If fermented foods or other foods high in histamine, tend to cause a delayed reaction, then you might be histamine intolerant.  Remember food intolerances are dosage-dependent – it might take a whole day of eating high histamine foods before you get a reaction.

Still can’t seem to get to the underlying cause of your allergy symptoms?  Then start with a food sensitivities test – now offering stand-alone blood spot tests for as low as $249.00 through Vibrant America.  Eliminate those foods and see if the symptom subsides after at least 30 days.

 

Ginger and turmerica - anti-inflammatory

 

Can Healing Leaky Gut Resolve Histamine Intolerance?

Yes, in most cases healing leaky gut and rebuilding your microbiota can reduce histamine intolerance.  Healing leaky gut involves integrative testing to determine where your imbalances are.  And, how you need to start rebulbing your microbiota.

Genomic testing would enable you to target the nutrients that you need to make sure you are getting your diet to reduce histamine intolerance.  Learn more about my Genomic Solutions with my complimentary 15 min. consult. 

1. Histamine and Histamine Intolerance, Laura Manitz & Natalija Novak, Am. J. Clin Nutr 2007:85

 

Functional Nutrition Assessment

Package Price:  $399.00
Immune Support for the Coronavirus

Immune Support for the Coronavirus

Midst the novel pandemic of SARS-CoV2, we may find ourselves overwhelmed, confused, and scared. I want to assure you, there is plenty you can do, right now, in the comfort of your own home to support your body and immune system. In this article, I will be covering the importance of physical distancing, proper hygiene, whole-food nutrition, movement, stress-reduction, and self-care.

What is The Most Powerful Thing You Can Now?

The most powerful thing you can do right now is to stay home. Obviously, we’ll all need to get out of the house for grocery shopping and fresh air throughout the week, so it’s important that when you are around other people you maintain at least 6 feet of distance between you. Current research is showing that population-wide social distancing will have the largest impact on the reduction of COVID-19 cases.

If going out to the grocery store, it is now advisable to wear a mask.  I know it seems silly and definitely is awkward but the COVID-19  virus can stay airborne for up to 2 hours.  If someone had coughed in the snack aisle in Target 1.3 hours prior to you searching for microwave popcorn, you could contract the virus.  So please wear a mask.

But where can find face masks to order?  Basically nowhere at this point in time as any masks that are available are being sent to healthcare and essential workers.  You can easily make your own mask.  The CDC now has two easy ways to make a mask.  One is sewn while the other you can easily make without sewing using a t-shirt.

It is also now advisable to wear disposable gloves when going out to the store.  As of now, I take a pair for each store or place that I am going to.  After getting back into the car, I remove the gloves to be disposed of later.  Using a new pair for the next place that I go to.

Washing Hands Soap

Practice Good Hygiene Habits

Equally as important as social distancing is proper handwashing! Washing with soap and water is one of the key public health practices that can significantly slow the rate of this pandemic and limit the number of infections.

It’s not enough to just wash your hands though, it must be often, and it must be done completely. Twenty seconds is the rule of thumb to go by in terms of length — so enjoy your rendition of “Happy Birthday” or the “ABC’s” to know when time is up.

By the way, soap actually works better than just using hand sanitizers as it actually kills the virus.  Soap is more reliable at killing the virus, however, if soap is not available, then use a reliable hand sanitizer.  I keep hand sanitizer in my car to use when coming back from the store.

Whole Food Nutrition

Now more than ever it is crucial to fuel your body with nutrient-dense, whole foods. Focusing on high-quality protein, healthy fats, and vegetables in every color of the rainbow will provide your body with all of the macronutrients and micronutrients it needs to support and balance your immune system.

When grocery shopping, skip the processed foods filled with refined carbohydrates and sugars, as this will put even more pressure on your system. Instead, prioritize pasture-raised organic eggs and poultry, grass-fed beef, wild-caught seafood, nuts, seeds, and a variety of vegetables and fruits.

One of the key ways to support your immune system is to make sure you are aiming for 3-6 servings of vegetables per day.  Especially cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale, and cabbage.  They are coming into season in most areas of our country.  However, fresh vegetables may be in short supply with distributions in the food supply systems due to this virus.   The next best is frozen because they are frozen right away.  That is why I stocked up on some frozen vegetables to have on hand.

For some of us working at home, you might just be snacking more than you usually do.  Now is the time to try something different and skip the processed snack foods like popcorn and potato chips.  I just love Rebecca Katz's Anytime Bars.  Super easy to make and packed full of nutrition.

Should You Take Dietary Supplements?

There is nothing wrong with taking a high-quality multiple vitamin to support your immune system.  However, it may not be such a great idea to take large dosages of some nutrients like vitamin C and vitamin D.

With vitamin C, large dosages over 2000 mg. may cause digestive disturbances and also, lead to reduction of your own powerful antioxidants like glutathione.  Vitamin D is actually toxic as it is a fat-soluble and what your body doesn't use is stored in the liver.  Too much vitamin D can lead to toxic symptoms like too high of blood calcium which can be deadly.

Additionally, we now know that there is a big difference between “boosting” the immune system and supporting the immune system.  Too much “boosting” may not work in your favor and actually be harmful.  Want to learn more about your don't want to boost your immune system, “Why You Shouldn't Boost Your Immune System“.

If you are struggling with an autoimmune condition or feel that your immune system is challenged, then additional supplementation may be warranted.  Be sure to check with a qualified nutritionist to determine what is the best immune support through a Functional Nutrition Assessment. 

Woman Running

What About Exercise?

With all of the extra time being spent at home, gyms and tennis clubs closed, it may become tempting to just relax all day on the couch.   While this is a really important part of stress-reduction and self-care, this sedentary lifestyle must be balanced by exercise and movement. Studies show that moderate-intensity exercise reduces inflammation and improves the immune response to respiratory viral infections, like COVID-19.

The best thing you can do right now is to head outside, get some fresh air and go for walk or jog, remembering to keep your distance from others. Take this extra time to smell the flowers and listen to the birds!  Check out what spring plants are peeping their little heads like chives and garlic.  Our garlic is out full force with my chives growing rapidly despite the cold Spring we are having.

If you can’t get outside, YouTube has thousands of free exercise classes from yoga to kickboxing and everywhere in between. There are also plenty of mommy/daddy and me classes to include your children if you have little ones at home.

Natural Skincare Cosmetics

Stress Reduction & Self Care

Stress-reduction and self-care may seem inconsequential at a time like this, but actually, it’s vital for your health and well-being. Stress has been shown to suppress the immune system, making it more likely that you’ll fall ill during times of high stress. To counteract this, practicing deep breathing can have positive effects on immune function in health and disease because of its ability to reduce stress.

Stress reduction is a personal process that can look very different for each of us. For some, it may look like relaxing in solitude, while for others it may look like gardening, running, surfing, painting, coloring, or sewing. Whatever it looks like for you, just make sure you prioritize the time and engage in the practice of self-care by committing to doing the things you love the most.

While this novel pandemic has never touched our lives before, the important immune-boosting practices listed above have always been foundational aspects of our health. Now more than ever the focus should be on nourishing your mind, fueling your body, and boosting your spirits.

 

  1. Ferguson, Neil M, et al. “Impact of Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs) to Reduce COVID- 19 Mortality and Healthcare Demand.” Imperial.ac.uk, 16 Mar. 2020, www.imperial.ac.uk/media/imperial-college/medicine/sph/ide/gida-fellowships/Imperial-College-COVID19-NPI-modelling-16-03-2020.pdf?fbclid=IwAR2u67e-V_OllF0AzhOXDP_EyNNHUL2EB40_8FCh0jD_6P1WR5AkE2g4v2U.
  2. Jabr, Ferris. “Why Soap Works.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 13 Mar. 2020, www.nytimes.com/2020/03/13/health/soap-coronavirus-handwashing-germs.html.
  3. Martin, Stephen A, et al. “Exercise and Respiratory Tract Viral Infections.” Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Oct. 2009, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2803113/.
  4. Kox, Maltthijs, et al. “Voluntary activation of the sympathetic nervous system and attenuation of the innate immune response in humans.” David R. Vago, Ph.D., 24 May 2015, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4034215/.

 

Can Healing the Gut Heal Hormonal Acne?

Can Healing the Gut Heal Hormonal Acne?

Are you struggling with hormonal acne?

Most of us get those occasional bouts of embarrassing pimples during our teenage years.  But others struggling with more than just the monthly flare-ups or have acne well beyond their 30’s.

First, you start with the topical treatments which are drying and leaves your skin looking terrible.  Then you try oral antibiotics that work for some but what it is doing to your gut?

Hormonal therapy is the last resort for women struggling with severe acne.  There are, however,  negative side effects with medications like spironolactone.  Some of the negative side effects are electrolyte imbalances, breast tenderness, menstrual irregularities, and reduced libido.

Hormonal acne is where there is an imbalance in our hormones causing excessive sebum, oily skin and build-up of dead skin or abnormal follicular keratinization.  It is also a very pro-inflammatory condition of the skin causing the embarrassing red pimples or papules.

Whereas men are more affected, women especially those with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) can also struggle with hormonal acne.

Women are less affected due to estrogen.  Estrogen plays a protective role by reducing the production of sebum in the skin.  Increased sebum is one of the underlying causes of acne along with increased inflammation in the skin.

In addition, estrogen increases the production of sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) by the liver reducing free testosterone.  Free testosterone and androgens play a major role in the formation of acne.  Therefore, these hormones are the target of some medications.

There are currently over 300 different medications to treat acne.  Medications like spironolactone, decrease free testosterone and the production of a hormone known as dihydrotestosterone (DHT).  These are more effective on patients with hormonal acne as excessive DHT and free testosterone play a major role in acne vulgaris.

 

What other hormones are involved?

Whereas there is a great deal of research on sex hormones and their impact on hormonal acne, new research is showing that there are other hormones like insulin and insulin growth factor (IGF-1) involved with hormonal acne.  Insulin increases the production of sebum and reduces the production of SHBG.  This increases free testosterone and the promotion of acne.

A diet high in sugar or high glycemic foods increases the production of insulin.  Ever wondered why chocolate and sugary snacks were always to blame for your acne?  Now we know the link is not chocolate itself but foods high in sugar and processed carbohydrates.

We also know that there is a direct link to a high sugar diet and the health of our gut.¹  A diet that high in sugar and processed foods not only leads to digestive disturbances, it also can lead to imbalances in gut bacteria.

 

Does chronic stress have an impact?

Hormones involved in the stress response increases the production of sebum and increases inflammation in the skin.  This makes for the perfect recipe for increased pimples, infection and redness resulting in embarrassing acne.

We all know how chronic stress can impact our digestion and skin health.  But how does it affect our gut microbiota – the healthy bacteria in our gut?  Studies have shown that stress can imbalance our gut bacteria or microbiota.  And, now we know that an imbalanced microbiota can also impact our skin health creating the gut-skin axis.

 

Could healing the gut heal hormonal acne?

Over 40% of acne patients in one study had hypocholorhydia or low stomach acid.  Low stomach acid had been found to lead to a condition known as small intestinal overgrowth (SIBO).

SIBO can lead to multiple symptoms including IBS, gas, and bloat.  It was also found that SIBO was 10 times more prevalent in patients with acne rosacea.

Another study found that 57% of patients with acne had chronic constipation and had significantly lower amounts of healthy bacteria, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.   A decrease in healthy bacteria can compromise the intestinal lining and create heighten immune response.  This is one of the keys ways that food sensitivities are acquired.

Both SIBO and chronic constipation has been found to increase what is referred to as intestinal permeability or leaky gut.  Leaky gut can increase the release of toxins into the body creating inflammation and oxidative stress.

This also can increase the likelihood of decreased insulin sensitivity.  With decreased insulin sensitivity, insulin levels will increase thereby promoting acne.

What is the impact of high fat, high sugar and processed foods on the gut?

A diet that is high in processed and junk food has a huge impact on the health of the gut microbiota or microbiome.  Our healthy bacteria depend on fiber especially from root vegetables to grow and prevent bad bacteria from overgrowing.

Root vegetables like turnips, radishes, sweet potatoes and jicama have grown out of favor with the current Ketogenic diet craze.  What is that doing our bacterial gardens?  Check out my Top 10 Offenders to Gut Health.  

It is kind of like a garden – if you don’t feed the vegetables the right food they will not grow.  And, what grows instead – weeds.  If you have ever had a vegetable garden, you know what I am talking about.

The weeds or the bad bacteria thrive on sugar, processed foods, bad fats, and poorly digested foods.  Eventually, over time a poor diet, stress, toxins, and even medications will imbalance your bacterial garden.

What is the gut microbiota’s role in hormonal acne?

The role of our gut microbiota in hormonal balance is often overlooked.  We know that those healthy microbes play crucial roles in hormonal balance.  And, this includes maintaining optimal thyroid hormone levels.

  • Stress Management– Helps to improve mood and reduce stress’s impact on the body.
  • Glycemic Control – Improves your body’s ability to manage blood sugar levels.
  • Reduces Inflammation– Chronic inflammation is one of the hallmarks of acne.
  • Manages Oxidative Stress – A major cause of inflammation.
  • Controls Bad Bacteria – Keeps your bacterial garden free of “weeds”.
  • Sex Hormones – Helps to assure that estrogen and testosterone stay in balance.

Oral Probiotics – Do they work to heal hormonal acne?

Overall just taking probiotics will not work because of the limited strains that they contain.  Or, they don’t have the right strains for you.  Microbiome testing through Microbiome Labs is how you can determine what strains will work for you.

However, studies have shown improvement in acne with fermented foods.  One study with 56 patients showed improvement in acne with the consumption of a Lactobacillus-fermented dairy beverage over 12 weeks.

Dairy has been implicated in making acne worse but research as shown that fermented dairy like yogurt, kefir, and even fermented cottage cheese actually helps to heal acne.

Remember that diary-like milk, that has not been fermented is actually very high in sugar.  So, it is dairy or sugar?

It was also shown that adding lactoferrin (an anti-inflammatory milk protein) to a probiotic drink helped to further reduce inflammation in the acne lesions.  One of my favorite supplements for lactoferrin is Jarrows Formulas.

 

What about topical probiotics?

Our skin has it’s own microbiota and in most cases of acne, the balance of bacteria is disrupted.  There is some evidence that topical probiotics can help to reduce inflammation in the skin.  And, to rebalance the bacteria.

However, the science on this still too new in my opinion to start plunking down cash for products.  In addition, the products currently out there contain very few strains and not the right strains to be effective.

Instead, make sure to not use products that contain harsh chemicals such that can rid the skin of healthy bacteria and oil that helps to protect the skin.  Beautycounter’s CounterControl, is an excellent line of products that help to heal your skin.   And, look to the gut to help balance your skin’s microbiota.

 

Does healing the gut, balance hormones?

Hormonal acne involves not just an imbalance in hormones but in most cases microbiota imbalances or what is referred to as dysbiosis.  Using hormonal therapy to target those imbalances comes with a host of negative side effects.  But what if you could balance your hormones with restoring the gut?

The gut microbiota plays a crucial role in balancing our hormones including our sex hormones.  Sex hormone balance is highly affected by stress.  Excessive cortisol for one can lead to imbalances in both estrogen and testosterone.  Excessive insulin can imbalance our androgens, testosterone and cause excessive estrogen.

The gut microbiota plays a crucial role in managing stress hormones and helps to manage insulin levels.  By managing stress hormones and insulin levels, the gut microbiota, in turn, helps to manage estrogen, testosterone, and androgens.

How to heal the gut and heal hormonal acne?

To rebuild and restore the gut microbiota is much more than than just taking a probiotic.  Research shows that to very few of the probiotic that we take orally take up residency in the gut.  This is mainly because imbalances in the gut like overgrowth of yeast will not allow the new bacteria to take hold.

So you have started by removing the “weeds” and heal the gut to allow your new garden to grow.  And, you have to feed your new garden the right foods.

In most cases, the gut will be inflamed and compromised or what we refer to as leaky gut.  So not only do you have to remove the weeds, you have calmed the gut down.  This usually involved an elimination diet or a comprehensive food sensitivity program.

One of the ways to make sure that you can target the removal of the “weeds” with the right antimicrobial, is to complete a microbiome test.  I prefer the new test by Microbiome Labs which not only reveals what is your microbiota, it tests for our estrobolome which is the bacteria that manages hormonal levels.

After removal, rebuilding and restoring not just the microbiota but overall gut health.  Restoring healthy digestion is key to resolving hormonal acne.  My comprehensive Gut Hormone 28 Day Cleanse Program is a great way to start the restoration of your gut and hormonal balance.

 

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  1. Acne vulgaris, probiotics and the gut-brain-skin axis – back to the future? Whitney P Bowe, Alan C Logan
  2. Hormonal treatment of acne vulgaris: an update, Mohamed L Elsaid, 2016
  3. Potential Role of the Microbiome in Acne: A Comprehensive Review, Lee, et al J. Clin Med 2019

 

 

Survival Tips for Healthy Digestion During the Holidays

Survival Tips for Healthy Digestion During the Holidays

Holiday parties and food can really lead to digestive nightmares as we overindulge in food that we normally do not eat.  Or, we eat too much – after all, it is the holidays, right?

Appetizer parties and cookies replace normal meals. And pretty soon we are in the bathroom more than we like to be.  Or, we have overindulged with a rich meal followed by a heavy dessert.  Then comes the bloat, gas, heartburn and yes, diarrhea.

How do Holiday Meals and Parties Lead to Poor Digestion?  

First, we tend to eat food that is overly rich in fat and sugar.  Which is in all of those Christmas and Holiday cookies, baked goods and desserts.  Not to mention that ham, meat, gravy, fried foods, and mashed potatoes.  All rich in saturated fats which are harder to digest.

And, what do not eat during the holidays – foods high in healthy fiber, vegetables, and healthy fats.  We also tend to not consume enough water.  As we overindulge in wine, beer, punch or sweetened party drinks.  Or, for some us we drink too much coffee – ugh!

 

 

So How Can You Avoid the Common Digestive Woes This Holiday?

 

Water Glass

Drink Water

If there is one that that will help out with GERD, bloat and constipation is making sure you are drinking enough water.   With the stress of the holidays and the party food, we tend to forget to drink water and that can lead to digestive issues.

Make sure the water that you are drinking is filtered and drink between meals.  Drinking too much water during a meal can actually slow digestion down as it reduces stomach acid which is crucial for breaking down our food.

 

 

How to Avoid Heartburn

One of the major causes of heartburn or GERD is meals heavy in fat and sugar.  Holidays meals with heavy desserts are the perfect recipe for heartburn.  Heartburn is also a sign of food intolerance and hormonal imbalances. 

So how can you avoid GERD this holiday?

  • Avoid lying down after a heavy meal.
  • Make sure you are drinking enough water between meals.
  • Limit the usual suspects like dark chocolate and red wine.
  • Watch foods that are high histamines like wine, preserved meats, and fermented foods.
  • Make sure that you eating vegetables with your meals as this will actually help to reduce heartburn. We tend to forget the veggies like kale salad during the holidays.
  • Limit stress by saying, “NO” once in a while.

But, if you are struggling with heartburn, I like to recommend Alka-Seltzer Gold as it does not contain aspirin or any other NSAIDs.   You can also use Zinc Carsonine which is a great product that helps to naturally reduce the symptoms of GERD.

 

 

Don’t Skip on Fiber-Rich Foods

Don’t skip on healthy fiber or everything will slow down and this can lead to constipation.  Add in healthy fruits like apples, kiwi and berries.  Make sure to always get some root vegetables like beets for additional fiber.  Load up on salads at that potluck instead of rolls and bread.

Add color to your plate with vegetables and fruits.  This can be difficult in some cases – my last holiday meal, everything was white, beige and brown except for the asparagus.  So I loaded up on the asparagus.

 

 

Still, Struggling with Digestion After the Holidays?

After the holidays and we get back to normal eating, most digestive conditions resolve themselves.  But if you are still struggling with IBS, heartburn or gas and bloat then it might be time to try something different.

One of the causes of digestive conditions is hormonal imbalances which can also lead to food intolerances.  This makes things worse and creates a vicious cycle.

 

Both estrogen and thyroid can become imbalanced leading to heartburn, constipation, diarrhea, bloat, and gas.  This also can eventually lead to disruption in our microbiome – our healthy bacteria garden.

 

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