Tired of Eczema? Natural Treatments For Eczema!

Skin, natural treatment, psoriasis, atopic, allergies, asthma, naturopathic doctor

I think of our skin as an external reflection of what is happening internally. As naturopaths, our goal is to find the root cause of dysfunction to eliminate presenting symptoms. The causes of eczema may vary. But much of the research and successful treatment strategies go back to healing the gut and supporting the microbiome. Learn how to use natural treatments for eczema below.

Eczema, skin, itch, redness, inflammation, natural treatment, edina, woodbury, minnesota

What causes eczema?

Eczema can be considered “itchy from the inside out,” meaning there is inflammation in the GI tract. Inflammation is ultimately causing the skin to be excessively irritated. This leads to severe itching, dryness, and cracking; which can lead to infection.

Some children have a genetic pre-disposition to atopic disease (eczema, asthma, allergies). Genetics, combined with disturbed gut microbiome during birth through toddler years, can exacerbate the body’s ability to develop atopy. This disturbance can lead to multiple causes, including, but not limited to:

  • Antibiotics (*this is by no means stated to make any parent feel guilty for their child needing antibiotic therapy!!!)
  • Personal food sensitivities or intolerances
  • Digestive disturbance: acid reflux/acid blocking medications that affect proper breakdown of food particles
  • Excess inflammatory foods in the diet, sugar, etc.

The above considerations ultimately lead to an inflammatory response causing gut barrier dysfunction or “leaky gut”. Inflammation inside is then reflected symptomatically on the skin! The skin is trying to tell you to “look inside”!

Inflammation, naturopathic doctor, eczema, allergies, asthma, natural treatments

Natural treatments for eczema

What you can do – tried and true? BUT every case is very personal and what works for one, may not work for another:

  1. Optimize gut health for future pregnancies
  2. Support nutritionally: Reduce inflammatory foods and
    consider potential food sensitivities
  3. Reduce stress and consider the mental-emotional aspect:
    Stress is commonly associated with exacerbations
    in skin conditions. I have seen this correlation so often
    clinically, as well as with my own daughter and severe
    eczema outbreaks associated with anxiety after the
    loss of her dad. Apps for kids: “Stop, Breathe, Think”
    and Square Breathing
  4. Heal the gut: Zinc, Probiotics, vitamin D (if deficient), Turmeric, Fatty Acids / Fish Oil (I prefer Cod Liver oil because it contains Vitamins A & D, which are important for skin health and immune balance); GI demulcent herbs help to soothe and heal intestinal cells; Digestive enzymes may also be warranted in some cases.
  5. Topical treatments: I have TRIED SO MANY with little success (always caused more itching), but my favorite is Look, No X Ma. You can purchase it locally at Tailor Made Nutrition in Woodbury, MN. I also love  Frankincense, Lavender, and Rose essential oils as well.
  6. Oatmeal bath: 3/4 cup oats, ground finely, ½ cup baking soda, ¼ cup coconut milk or olive oil, 1-2 drops lavender and frankincense essential oil in tepid/warm water
  7. Restorative sleep is essential to skin / tissue healing
  8. Acupressure: LI 4 is a great point to apply lavender essential oil and massage. Location is on the highest spot of the muscle where the thumb and index fingers are brought close together.

    LI4: Our Great Eliminator

  9. Cell/tissue salts, homeopathy based upon symptom picture
  10. Testing considerations (depending on personal patient
    history per the discretion of your naturopathic
    provider)

    1. Food Sensitivity Testing to determine specific
      foods that are causing inflammatory response
    2. Comprehensive Stool Analysis to assess
      microbiome and digestion
    3. Micronutrient Testing to assess potential
      deficiencies within the cell

Julia Liebich, naturopathic doctor, natural treatment, digestion, anxiety, depressionWritten by: Dr. Julia Liebich

Still have questions on how to treat eczema naturally? Dr. Julia and Dr. Katie are ready to help. We are located in Edina and Woodbury, Minnesota. As Naturopathic Doctors, our goal is to address the underlying causes and use natural medicine for treatment.

Schedule appointments here

Immune Support 101 – ZINC

supplements, herbs, vitamins, minerals, natural treatments, naturopathic doctor, edina, woodbury, mn, covid, corona, virus

There are many natural treatments to boost your immune system and fight off infections – viruses and bacteria. You can even find some of these remedies in your very own kitchen! We are going to be posting different immune boosters to help keep your family healthy in the days and months to come. Most of these treatments haven’t been discussed in the news but deserve to be! Zinc is just one of the many great natural immune supports.

supplements, herbs, vitamins, minerals, natural treatments, naturopathic doctor, edina, woodbury, mn

Please know Dr. Katie and Dr. Julia are available for virtual video and phone visits right now and would love to help you and your family with any health concerns.

Today we are going to talk about zinc! I think about immune function first with zinc. I also think about zinc in children, elderly, and pregnant or breastfeeding moms as these populations are more likely to have low zinc levels.

“Those deficient in zinc, particularly children, are prone to increased diarrheal and respiratory morbidity [42,43].” [1] Studies show that zinc can inhibit the replication of viruses. [2]

The body does not store very much zinc. Most of it is not readily available which is why taking a supplement can be critical.

Zinc is a mineral like iron, calcium, magnesium, and copper. When taking a mineral in supplement form, it is important to think about dosage and timing, because they can compete with each other for absorption. Zinc can be taken daily in lower doses and slightly higher with an acute infection.

Vitamin C helps with absorption of zinc and iron. Studies show that people experience less symptoms and recover more quickly when taking zinc and vitamin C together. Zinc and iron on the other hand compete for absorption so they should be taken separately.

Benefits of zinc

  • Reduces inflammation
  • Reduces the risk of pneumonia and the common cold
  • Decreases rates of respiratory tract infections
  • Associated with taste and smell – low levels related to loss of taste and smell
  • Especially beneficial for children and the elderly as they are often deficient
  • Sperm production and testosterone metabolism
  • Reduces pregnancy complications
  • Burn and wound healing
  • Antioxidant

Foods high in zinc

  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Oysters
  • Sunflower and pumpkin seeds
  • Red meat
  • Chicken and pork
  • Oysters
  • Beans
  • Whole grains
  • Dairy

 I hope you learned something about zinc today and will begin to include it in your diet and supplements if you weren’t already. If you would like see what zinc supplement Dr. Katie recommends and how to purchase it you can click here

Katie Corazzo, naturopath, naturopathic doctor, holistic, homeopath

Dr. Katie is a Naturopathic Doctor practicing in Edina and Woodbury, MN. She specializes in natural treatments that address the root cause of disease. We offer 15 minute consultations by phone. You can schedule online.

 

 

 

  1. https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/12/4/1181/htm
  2. https://www.infezmed.it/media/journal/Vol_28_2_2020_9.pdf

How to Prevent and Treat Infections Naturally at Home!

Family, stress, anxiety, COVID, Cornovirus, immune, natural treatment, Edina, Minneapolis, Woodbury, minnesota

Written by: Julia Liebich, ND, DC

There is a great deal of uncertainty in the world currently and it is affecting each of us differently. We know there aren’t many medications (oftentimes, no medication) that treat viruses, so the best thing you can do is prevent infection and support your immune system if you do catch something. See below for natural treatments that you can utilize at home to provide optimal immune function with a focus on therapies that research has deemed best in fighting viruses. Please keep in mind that it is critical to use high quality supplementation for optimal absorption and effectiveness. We are also available for video or phone visits if you would like a personalized wellness plan.

If you are interested in purchasing any of these products online please consider supporting Dr. Julia or Dr. Katie by buying directly from them. Products will be shipped to you with free shipping on orders over $50. We would love your support during this difficult time.

First and foremost, focus on PREVENTION:

SLEEP

The key to immune function; when our bodies do not receive adequate sleep our immune function is compromised and the ability to fight infection decreases substantially. Consider sleeping at least 7 hours per night and keep a consistent schedule. 

Meditate, stress, anxiety, depression, natural medicine, naturopathic doctor, homeopathy

STRESS management

Psychological stress alters immune regulation and is directly linked to the body’s inflammatory response, this weakens immune function. Meditation and breathing exercises can have positive effects. Some top apps available to download: 

    1. The Mindfulness App
    2. Headspace
    3. Calm
    4. Insight timer
    5. Buddhify
detox, weight loss, hormones, cleanse

DIET

Essential to optimal immune function. Eliminate sugar and increase colorful vegetables (5-7 servings daily) and fruits (2-3 servings daily). Sugar consumption can cause the immune system reactivity to reduce by 5x its normal function. Ensure healthy protein and fat consumption (organic, wild, grass-fed when possible). Additional antioxidant / nutrient support can be found in a high-quality multivitamin and greens powders.

vitamins, herbs, homeopathy, naturopathic, natural medicine

Nutritional Supplementation 

  • Zinc: Inhibits viral activity. May cause nausea if consumed on an empty stomach. 
  • Vit C: Has been found to shorten the frequency, duration and severity of colds, as well as the incidence of pneumonia. High doses are oftentimes needed and should be discussed with your Naturopathic Doctor. 
  • NAC: a natural mucolytic, antioxidant, and supportive to the immune system. Combination formulas containing NAC, vitamin C, and mucosal support are available (NAC currently on backorder)
  • Melatonin has shown to inhibit inflammatory activity and reduces oxidative lung injury. Recommended dosing is 1-5g. Sustained release (SR ) to be taken at bedtime, non sustained release to be taken 30-60min prior to bedtime.
  • Vitamin D: anti-viral and supportive to the immune system. Also important for mood regulation in a cold state like Minnesota. *Consider DISCONTINUATION upon infection* due to possible effects on inflammatory cytokines
  • Sambucus/Elderberry: Anti-viral support, aiding in prevention or early stage infection.  While a very popular * consider DISCONTINUATION upon infection* due to possible “cytokine storm”
  • Vitamin A: anti-viral, supportive to the immune system. Please ask your naturopathic doctor for dosage recommendations before taking. 
  • Other immune supporting Herbs: Licorice Root, Adrographis, Astragalus, Quercitin
Julia Liebich, naturopathic doctor, natural treatment, digestion, anxiety, depression

Julia Liebich, ND, DC

As a Naturopathic Doctor and Chiropractor, Dr. Julia specializes in treating the root cause of disease using natural medicine. She truly listens to her patients which allows her to provide individualized treatments that achieve amazing results. Dr. Julia practices at Balanced Care in Woodbury and Edina where she serves patients throughout the twin cities.

5 Foods For A Successful Detox!

I hope you had a healthy and happy holiday! We had a lot of sickness go through our family, but I am grateful to be on the other side of it for now and was still able to enjoy Christmas with our family here in Minnesota. This was my son Macklin’s first Christmas which made it extra special for us.

The start of the new year is always a great time for reflection, new beginnings, big goals, and a diet reset. While I recommend doing a cleanse or detox a few times per year, this is always the most popular time to clear the system and break those left-over holiday sugar cravings.

When following any detox incorporating liver loving foods will help your body eliminate the toxins. The liver is where toxins are processed,  but the liver also helps metabolize hormones, medications, alcohol, fat, protein, and carbs. This powerhouse organ is crucial to a successful cleanse. Give you liver some love with the following foods and simple recipes!detox, weight loss, hormones, cleanse

  • Cruciferous veggies: Broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, asparagus, bok choy, kale
    • Roast a combination of these in the over with some olive oil and Coconut Aminos for a quick and easy recipe!

citrus, hormones, digestion, IBS, candida

  • Citrus fruits: Orange, lemon, lime
    • Simply eat a whole orange or drizzle fresh lemon or lime juice over salad or veggies. Add fresh lemon to your water or tea too.

Garlic, cleanse, detox, PCOS, infertility, immune

  • Sulfur foods: Onions, garlic, eggs
    • These immune boosters are easy to add to your cooking. Use fresh garlic!
    • Hard boiled eggs are a great snack option – make sure they are free range!

kale, greens, health, detox, weight loss

  • Green leafies: Kale, collards, beet greens
    • My favorite recipe can be found here. Buy kale and collards that are already chopped to save time.

tea, naturopath, wellness, holistic, homeopathy

  • Liver healers: Dandelion root tea, beets, asparagus, celery
    • Dandelion Root Tea has a pretty mild flavor and is an easy addition.
    • You can buy pre-made beets in the refrigerator section at the grocery store and add them to your salads.

Katie Corazzo, naturopath, naturopathic doctor, holistic, homeopath Dr. Katie offers customized 14 and 21 day detox programs designed to match your goals and lifestyle. She is located in Edina, MN treating patients throughout the twin cities and Minneapolis areas. Schedule a complimentary 15 minute consultation for more information.

Gas and Bloating: What You Can Do About it

ovulation, fertility, infertility, pregnancy

Stomach Pain

We all know that feeling. Maybe you ate something that didn’t agree with you or just too much. Perhaps you have a sensitive stomach. If you have stomach issues, you might find yourself looking for natural remedies for gas and bloating.

Many people are hesitant to use medicine to treat all ailments and for a good reason. There are so many ways to manage things naturally. Did you know you can use essential oils for gas and bloating?

If you are looking for ways to live a natural and holistic life, check out Balanced Care. We help our customers deal with a variety of conditions safely and effectively. Whether you want help with women’s issues, sports medicine, candida overgrowth, or something else, give us a call today.

What Causes Gas and Bloating

There are a variety of things that can cause you to feel gassy or bloated. The most common causes are overeating or eating certain foods that don’t agree with your stomach.

Whether that be certain vegetables or fried food, specific foods affect people differently.

Sometimes, drinking carbonated or bubbly drinks hurt your stomach. If you drink a lot of soda, beer, or sparkling wine, your stomach might react poorly.

Whatever causes your gas and bloating, the result is the same: feeling uncomfortable.

Symptoms of Gas and Bloating

Fat Men

If you are bloated or gassy, you might notice:

  • An engorged stomach
  • Gassy releases, either by belching or flatulence
  • Feeling gurgles in your stomach
  • Cramps in your stomach and intestines
  • Feeling incredibly full
  • Noticeable pressure in your abdomen
  • Slowed digestion
  • Feeling nauseous
  • Looking five to six months pregnant

If you have experienced any of these symptoms, you are probably looking high and low for relief. Before you head to the drug store or pharmacy for medicine with potentially harmful side effects, check out some natural remedies first.

Natural Remedies for Gas and Bloating

Herbal Medicine

The best natural remedy for gas and bloating is to keep gas and bloating from ever occurring! Avoiding certain foods or combinations of foods, as well as allergens can go a long way in preventing stomach problems.

There are a variety of natural remedies to try, though.

Avoid Foods that Cause Gastric Problems

While it might seem obvious, it is essential to avoid foods that cause you digestive problems. You know your body better than others. If a particular food has caused issues in the past, steer clear of it.

Specifically, it would be wise to avoid:

  • Vegetables like: broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts
  • Milk and dairy products
  • Garlic
  • Gluten or wheat products
  • Beans and legumes
  • Onions
  • Overly spicy foods

Drinking while Eating

Food

While it might be tempting to enjoy something to drink while eating, doing so could lead to indigestion.

Aim for limiting your liquid intake to less than one-half cup during your meal. Furthermore, avoid liquids for thirty minutes before and after you eat.

Massages

Massages often feel tremendous and relieve pain in your muscles, but they can also reduce gas when you apply appropriate pressure to your abdominal region.

To bring relief yourself, try rolling the base of hand around your stomach in a counterclockwise motion.

Physical Activity

Ensuring you move enough can help keep you regular. If you are feeling uncomfortable, take a walk, ride your bike, or go for a swim. Just do something to be active. Movement helps your body relieve any painful gas more efficiently.

Remaining sedentary can often cause digestive problems.

Proper Restroom Technique

While this sounds funny, there is a lot to the position of your body while relieving yourself. Do yourself a favor and Google “squatty potty.” Being in a squatting position allows your body to correctly align when sitting on the toilet, ensuring a complete elimination.

Probiotics and Enzymes

Breakfast

Taking a high-quality probiotic each day will keep a steady supply of good bacteria in your body, which helps in digestion. Ensuring a proper flora will prevent bloating, and gassiness and your body will absorb nutrients better.

Enzymes are also fantastic for fighting gas and bloating. Enzymes help your body digest parts of food that might otherwise be difficult. Taking enzymes right before you eat can be extremely beneficial.

Probiotics and Enzymes can also be found in different foods and readily available when eaten.

Eating Schedule

Eating smaller meals throughout the day might help with gas and bloating, as well. Large meals can make you feel full and uncomfortable.

Also, ensure you thoroughly chew each bite. Chewing food quickly or not enough allows more air to get into your stomach, meaning you feel gassy and bloated.

Take small bites and completely. Experts agree that you need to chew your food an average of 32 times is critical.

Essential Oils for Gas and Bloating

Medicine

You know what they say? There’s an oil for that! Thankfully, several oils can assist in bringing relief from gas and bloating.

Cardamom

Cardamom is a warm and inviting oil, and can help with digestive issues. Mix with the carrier oil of your choice and apply to your stomach area to bring relief.

Chamomile

Chamomile isn’t just for tea anymore. Chamomile essential oil has anti-gas properties as well as pain relieving properties, making it perfect for digestive discomforts. Applying a mix of chamomile and a carrier oil to your stomach can bring pain relief as well as gas and bloating relief. As a bonus, it can speed up digestion.

Fennel

While some people don’t like the licorice-like smell of fennel, it is a fantastic essential oil for bloating and gas. Fennel can ease a stomach ache or relieve vomiting, cramping, diarrhea, and other indigestion issues.

Mix fennel with a carrier oil and apply it to the bottom of your feet.

Ginger

It is probably no surprise that ginger essential oil can help with gas and bloating. It is common to drink ginger ale when you have a stomach ache. If your stomach is upset, or your digestion is slow, dilute the ginger essential oil in a carrier oil and apply to your abdomen.

Peppermint

Peppermint essential oil is not only cooling when applied, but it can also bring relief from heartburn, nausea, and other intestinal distress. Mix peppermint essential oil with a carrier oil and apply it directly to your stomach in a circular motion.

Call Balanced Care Today

If you haven’t found consistent relief from your gas and bloating problems, call Balanced Care.

Dr. Katie and Dr. Julia have years of experiencing bringing relief in natural ways to a variety of clients. Let us be your partner in your health journey.

PCOS Treatment: There is a Better Way

Blackheads

Blackheads

PCOS is the single most common hormonal disorder among women of child-bearing age in the United States. It affects approximately 7% of female patients, yet many women don’t understand the symptoms of the disorder or how to treat it.

Though PCOS is common, the general lack of awareness about the disease is due in part to the complex nature of the syndrome. The exact cause of PCOS isn’t known, but several factors are known to play a prominent role:

  • Excess insulin or insulin resistance
  • Low-grade inflammation
  • Heredity
  • Excess androgen (male hormones)

Do I have PCOS?

According to the Center for Young Women’s Health, PCOS can manifest in many different ways. Some women may have very infrequent and spotty periods, while others may have prolonged and painful menses. Many patients with PCOS have outwardly noticeable symptoms, while others do not.

Common PCOS Symptoms

Pimples

  • Irregular periods
  • Acne on face or body
  • Thinning hair
  • Weight gain, especially an “apple” body shape that stores body fat in the torso
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Infertility or repeat miscarriages
  • Sleep apnea
  • High blood pressure
  • Thinning of scalp hair
  • Hirsutism or extra hair, especially on the face and chest
  • Numerous skin tags
  • Acanthosis nigricans or dark patches of velvety skin on armpits and other areas
  • Depression or frequent mood swings

PCOS Natural treatment

Balanced Care is the best resource for learning how to treat PCOS with naturally effective solutions. At your office consultation, Dr. Katie or Dr. Julia will take the time to fully explore the issues you are having and come up with a personalized and holistic treatment plan.

Balanced Care’s doctors are well versed in treating PCOS with natural methods that are proven to be safe and effective. Depending on the needs of each person, your natural PCOS treatment plan could include:

Clinical Nutrition

At Balanced Care, we believe wholeheartedly in the healing power of a healthy and balanced diet. Nutrition is at the very core of naturopathic medicine. An abundance of fruits, vegetables, anti-inflammatory foods, and healthy proteins fats, plus a reduction in processed and packaged goods is the first step in achieving overall wellness.

Carrying excess weight can exacerbate the symptoms of PCOS patients and put them at a higher risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Together we’ll craft a PCOS diet plan that addresses your specific habits, whether it’s fighting a sugar addiction or figuring out how to consistently consume more whole foods. Losing just 10% of your body weight can have significant positive effects on your menstrual period and ovulation.

There many foods that naturally treat PCOS symptoms, such as:

  • Fenugreek seeds
  • Basil
  • Coconut oil
  • Cinnamon
  • Cumin
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Green tea

Holistic Healing

One of the most important things that set naturopathic medicine apart from other practices is its focus on the entire person – the physical, mental, and spiritual dimensions that make us who we are.

Physical

  • Getting enough movement and exercise, whether it’s working out in the gym, walking, gardening, or dancing in your living room – is essential.
  • Sleeping at least 7-8 hours a night is incredibly important for overall wellbeing. Deep sleep is highly curative, and being consistently sleep-deprived will impede progress on all of your goals.
  • Maintaining a balanced diet without feeling deprived of your favorite foods is a crucial component of a healthy life.
  • Maintaining a healthy biome of bacteria in your gut has been shown to improve PCOS outcomes

Mental:

  • Mitigating the stress of a busy life and allowing yourself time for self-care is critical.
  • Self-care can be accomplished in a vast variety of different ways, including healing with essential oils, meditation, yoga, journaling, and other intentional practices.
  • Not all coping methods are equally beneficial. Smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol or caffeine, and recreational drug use can all have a significant negative impact on your holistic healing.

Spiritual:Reflecting on your aspirations, how you plan to achieve them, and the progress you’ve made so far can help you feel grounded and secure in your life’s trajectory.

Supplements

At Balanced Care, our doctors will assess if you’re getting enough micronutrients from your diet alone and may prescribe supplements if it is in your best interest. The long and dark Minnesota winters cause many people to develop Vitamin D deficiency, which can have a significant adverse effect on mood and bone health. PCOS sufferers may also benefit from supplements such as:

  • Inositol
  • Zinc
  • Curcumin
  • Fish oil
  • Berberine
  • Salacia reticulate
  • Winter cherry
  • Saffron
  • Melatonin
  • Minoxidil
  • Probiotics

Detox/Cleanses

Detoxifying your body with a customized short-term regimen can be a powerful way to jumpstart your health journey. The accumulation of toxic substances could be holding you back from achieving your wellbeing goals. With the guidance of trained experts like Dr. Katie and Dr. Julia, Balanced Care

Botanical Medicine

Botanical and herbal medicine has been used to alleviate ailments and disease since Prehistoric times. As naturopathic doctors, our expertise in this area allows us to prescribes safe and effective treatments derived from nature.

Talk to the Professionals at Balanced Care

Healthy Diet

Finding doctors who genuinely listens to your symptoms and strive to understand the full picture of your overall health can be daunting.

At Balanced Care, compassionate, and expert naturopathic doctors Dr. Katie Corazzo and Dr. Julia Liebich have years of experience providing excellent holistic healthcare for women who suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Dr. Katie and Dr. Julia dedicate themselves to guiding your healing under the naturopathic principles of:

  1. Do no harm
  2. Trust the healing power of nature
  3. Identify and treat the underlying causes of illness
  4. Educating patients
  5. Treat the whole person in all its dimensions
  6. Prevent disease by promoting overall health

At Balanced Care, your health and wellness is our top priority. We pride ourselves on our ability to provide a superior clinician experience that is informative, welcoming, collaborative, and above all, effective. By harnessing the power of nature, we can help all of our patients live longer, healthier, and happier lives. Make your first appointment with Balanced Care today!

Combat Seasonal Allergies, Naturally!

allergies

‘Tis the season for allergy sufferers out there… both in adults and children.

allergies

What causes allergies, anyway?

Allergies are caused by an overactive immune response to substances in the environment that are generally harmless to most people. When the immune system recognizes something as harmful it creates an inflammatory response in the body that often drives the histamine pathway. Symptoms in allergy sufferers can be exacerbated by inhaling irritants, consuming certain foods, and / or touching substances that cause irritation. Allergic reactions to mold, spores, pollen, dust and dander can cause symptoms such as itchy, watery eyes, chest tightness, sneezing, runny nose, congestion, and headaches, which are heightened during the change of seasons.

What are some natural approaches that can help alleviate allergy symptoms.

Honey

1) Diet

EAT CLEAN!!! Avoid mucus forming, high histamine, and inflammatory foods, such as dairy products, bananas, mangoes, citrus fruits, chocolate, peanuts, eggs, red meat, food dyes and additives, sugar, and gluten to name a few… Personal food sensitivities also play a role in the inflammatory response and thereby further contribute to immune dysregulation. Local honey and bone broth may be beneficial, in addition to plenty of leafy greens, seasonal vegetables, wild caught fish, and fermented foods.

Essential oils

2) Essential oils

There are numerous single oils and blends that naturally support body systems involved in both the allergic (histamine) and inflammatory response in the body. Essential oils are excellent at alleviating symptoms. The following oils are well-known and have natural antihistamine properties: Lemon, Lavender, Peppermint

Oranges

3) Nutritional supplements

Vitamin C, bromelain, and bioflavonoids such as quercitin and hesperidin help stabilize mast cells that release histamine in the body (antihistamine effects).

Probiotics support GI microflora; a healthy microflora is crucial to proper immune function and modulation. Magnesium deficiency has been shown to heighten allergic response.

Herbs

4) Herbs

There are many options depending on treatment goals, but some of the most common allergy supporting herbs are: Stinging Nettles (Urtica dioica), Eyebright (Euphrasia), Butterbur (Petisides hybridus), Reishi, Astragalus membranaceous

Water

5) Hydrotherapy

Stimulates the immune and lymphatic systems, balances nervous system, and decreases congestion. Some of the best at home hydrotherapy treatments: constitutional hydrotherapy, contrast showers, warming socks, castor oil packs

Homeopathy

6) Homeopathy

Depending on symptoms, some top remedies to combat allergies are:

Allium cepa – bland discharge from eyes, burning discharge from nose

Euphrasia – swollen eyes with profuse burning discharge, bland discharge from nose

Sabadilla – violent sneezing, red, swollen eyelids, itchy nose

Pulsatilla – bland yellow discharge from nose, eyes; weepy, tearful disposition

Arsenicum album – burning tears, tightness in lungs, burning throat; restless worry

Nux vomica – evening congestion, blocked breathing, burning eyes with sensitivity to light, itchy ears, irritable and chilly

It is also important to support organ systems involved in the allergic response, such as the adrenal glands, immune system, and digestive tract to treat the root cause of dysfunction. Please consult a naturopath prior to initiating the above treatment strategies.

Julia Liebich

Dr. Julia Liebich is one of our Naturopathic Doctors practicing in Woodbury and Edina Minnesota, servicing the twin cities and Wisconsin. Specializing in treating the underlying cause using natural medicine, Dr. Julia creates customized treatment plans for each patient. Whether you have allergies, digestive issues, hormone imbalance, or cardiovascular problems, Dr. Julia can help. You can schedule an appointment by calling 612-564-2218 or scheduling online here.

Can Depression be Treated Naturally? Yes, It Can.

depression

depression

Fighting through depression can be an extremely trying challenge. You may struggle through day-to-day tasks, find getting out of bed difficult, or even experience physical symptoms. If you have a friend or loved one who is suffering from this frustrating condition, you probably think a lot about how to help someone with depression.

Finding ways to help your friend or loved one shows that you care and are there for support. Whether you’re looking into vitamin D deficiency depression or other causes and types of diagnoses, you may find yourself looking toward natural alternatives for treating depression.

While depression has many different facets, including different causes, symptoms, and levels of severity, sometimes natural treatments can alleviate symptoms and help you feel better. Finding a treatment that works for you and enables you to overcome the daily battle you face is essential to your well being.

Exploring alternative options may help you in discovering the best plan to treat your depression. Whether you’re looking for help for yourself or helping someone else with depression, natural treatments can be an excellent choice.

If you are looking for holistic ways to care for your health and wellness, you will love the Naturopaths at Balanced Care.

At Balanced Care, we have a strong commitment to using the least invasive and most natural treatments possible. We encourage our patients to trust their bodies and the healing power of nature. We want to give you the tools you need to live a healthy lifestyle and understand preventative medicine.

With individualized plans, we treat each of our patients holistically and with care. There are many natural alternatives to treatments for various diseases and conditions, and we are here to help.

When it comes to depression, if you are looking for natural treatments, take a look at these ideas and see how you can implement them into your treatment plan.

Start With Nutrition

Nutrition

Nutrition is at the base of the holistic approach to naturally treating many different conditions and diseases. Nutrition can lay the groundwork for a healthy lifestyle that presents in both physical and emotional aspects. Nutrition and diet can affect your mood.

Avoiding things like caffeine and alcohol can help make a difference in how you feel. While caffeine may give you the energy and pep, you think you need, and alcohol may cover your feelings, both only have short term effects and can trigger your depression. Both alcohol and caffeine can lead to mood swings, depression, and anxiety.

Ensuring you have a diet rich in magnesium and vitamin B-6 can help neurotransmitters in the brain produce more serotonin and dopamine. You can find natural sources of these vitamins in foods like legumes, whole grains, and green vegetables.

Exercise

Exercise and physical activity is a fantastic way to address some of the symptoms of depression. Not only are the physical benefits fabulous for your health, but the mental benefits are plentiful as well.

Aerobic exercise specifically is an efficient way to release endorphins as well as reduce stress. A regular exercise routine can help maintain your mood. Exercising doesn’t have to be strictly joining a gym or going for a run every day.

Explore your options for physical activity, and find the one you enjoy the most and fits in with your lifestyle the best. The benefits of physical activity will make a difference in your daily life and how you feel.

Stay in the Light

vacation

Sunshine is more than just something to enjoy while you’re on vacation. It’s necessary to help regulate your sleep cycle, produce serotonin, and help elevate your mood. When the sun is out, make an effort to take a morning walk outside, or find a way to soak up some rays.

If the weather isn’t conducive to spending some time outdoors basking in the sun, you might find yourself suffering from vitamin D deficiency depression or even Seasonal Affective Disorder.

During the winter months where sunlight may be scarce, you may feel tired and down due to the drop in serotonin levels. To remedy this, you can look into light therapy, which can give you the same benefits of sunlight artificially, allowing you exposure to light and vitamin D even on the most overcast or darkest days.

Natural Supplements

Several natural supplements can help bolster mood and help fight depression. Many of these natural treatments have been in use for several years. Your Naturopathic doctor can provide you with information about these helpful supplements.

St John’s Wort

St. John’s Wort is a traditional herb that can help with mild depression. The naturopathic professionals at Balanced Care can help you decide if this is an appropriate supplement to help treat your mild depression.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega -3 fatty acids help with brain development and promote brain function. Adding omega-3 fatty acids to your diet through fish oils or capsules is an effective way to increase your levels.

Folic Acid

Folic acid is found in leafy greens as well as fruits and grains. Folic acid may help with the effectiveness of antidepressants. You can find an oral supplement to take if you don’t get enough through your diet.

Let Balanced Care Help

Natural treatments for depression can help you feel more like yourself and help you fight this debilitating condition. With natural alternatives, you can empower yourself to take a healthy approach to your mental well-being and tackling your depression.

If you are searching for alternative methods for treating your depression and want something natural, let the professionals at Balanced Care assist you by developing an individualized treatment plan that’s right for you. We strive to treat each disease holistically and bring you the least invasive and toxic solutions.

Contact us today and set up an appointment to start your journey to natural wellness. We look forward to meeting with you and providing you with natural remedies and preventative care. We will help you reach your health goals and achieve the level of wellness you’ve been searching for, naturally.

Natural solutions for PMS

Angry Women

Angry Women

If you are a female from age 13 to 55, there’s a good chance you may have experienced PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) at some point in your life. PMS is a collection of symptoms, the hallmarks of which are:

-Bloating and other digestive woes

-Water retention

-Food cravings (like starch and sweets–chocolate being a favorite!)

-Headaches

-Fatigue

-Irritability

-Mood swings

If any of these symptoms sound familiar to you, we have dedicated this post to help you find PMS relief, naturally. At Balanced Care, we are committed to helping you work with your body’s own innate intelligence to return to a place of balance and ease when one or more of your body systems have taken a health “detour.”

Read on for several natural PMS solutions, or give us a call today to speak with one of our naturopathic professionals about a customized treatment plan for you.

When Does PMS Start?

Our female bodies are designed to run on a well-choreographed cascade of hormones during our child-bearing years. Even if you never become pregnant, this hormone cascade is what gives a general rhythm to each month as a woman. If our inner hormone dance derails, PMS symptoms are more likely to occur.

Here’s how the female hormone dance works:

-Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) is released by the pituitary gland in the brain, telling a follicle in the ovary to mature. A follicle is a tiny sac in your ovary that contains an egg.

-Luteinizing hormone (LH) is also released from the pituitary gland, sending a message to the mature follicle to burst from the ovary, sending an egg into the adjacent fallopian tube, this is called “ovulation.”

-During follicle maturation, estrogen produced in fat tissue, adrenal glands, and ovaries works to thicken the lining in the uterus in preparation for a fertilized egg traveling down the fallopian tube

-Another hormone called progesterone acts as a control to balance the effects of estrogen and ensure the uterine lining does not get too thick. Progesterone levels drop if the egg remains unfertilized by sperm. When progesterone drops, the lining of uterus the sheds, and this is a period.

PMS symptoms can begin after ovulation and before a period. PMS symptoms may be stronger a few years after menstruation starts at puberty and again during perimenopause, as early as age 35.

What to do When Your period Begins with an Exclamation Point

pms

PMS symptoms are a message from your body. If your PMS symptoms are intense, this can indicate that your body needs something it doesn’t have, like more or less of a particular hormone, or even a nutrient or mineral that can be easily added to your chemistry and may bring your body back to ease and balance.

Ideally, a period should “sneak up” on you gently, be with you for a couple of days, and then leave as quietly as it came on. Here are a few ways to begin decoding the messages your body is sending with PMS:

-Track your period manually or with a period tracker app

-Knowledge is power, and if you know when (or if) you are ovulating, it’s easier for us to help with solutions if your hormones are not dancing well together.

-See your doctor. To rule out severe conditions, it’s always a great idea to ask your doctor for a precise diagnosis before exploring treatment.

-Get a blood test. Hitting the lab for iron, magnesium, iodine, thyroid hormone, and female hormone panel are also necessary before beginning a treatment protocol.

(Psst.  At Balanced Care, we are happy to schedule a blood test as part of your  initial appointment with us.)

Managing PMS–Naturally

There are a variety of ways to minimize PMS symptoms while working to bring our period hormones into graceful collaboration. Try the following methods on your own while working with your health care team on long-term relief:

Exercise.

Exercise elevates mood and can alleviate pain by releasing endorphins in the body, our natural pain killers. Work out at a pace that feels good for you. A walk, a stretch, or an easy yoga class a few times during your premenstrual week may do the trick to calm your irritability, lesson headache pain, or decrease cramps.

Eat a balanced diet.

Even though food cravings can sometimes get the best of us before and during a period, do your best to eat  the following:

-Fruits

-Veggies (Especially green, leafy ones)

-Lean protein

-Healthy fats (Omega 3s as a priority)

-Whole grains


Also, try limiting these foods to help PMS symptoms:

-Caffeine

-Alcohol

Inflammatory foods,  like cow’s dairy and gluten

We know, this particular wellness step seems to be part of the treatment for just about every condition out there.  Even though the advice “eat a balanced diet” may sound cliche, supporting your whole system with nutrient-dense, whole foods is the foundation for living in balance and ease.

Once you have blood work done to find out if you have any nutrient deficiencies that could be worsening your PMS symptoms, you can add those nutrients in via food or supplements, with your doctor’s recommendation.

Some supplements that are proven to help with PMS symptoms are:

Magnesium ( for bloating and breast pain)

Vitamin D (can help improve mood)

Zinc (to control acne and improve immune function)

Iron (improves fatigue and can lighten heavy bleeding)

Calcium (may improve mood swings)

Periods are Natural, and Managing PMS can be Natural Too

Herbs

Remember that periods are a natural part of being female. Fluctuating hormones and the PMS symptoms that can accompany them are not necessarily a disease to be treated. Instead, they are the start of a conversation.

Your PMS symptoms should alert you to a hormone dance that could be out of balance.  The goal of naturopathic treatment at Balanced Care is to decode the language of your body into words and signals that you can readily understand and respond to.

At Balanced Care, we strive to make all your inner “arguments” into beautiful collaborations between your body and your mind. We pair this internal collaboration together with real-world tools and treatment protocols so you can live your best life–with or without chocolate cravings! Visit our website to get started on your PMS natural healing path.

Healing Pain and Inflammation–Naturally!

body massage

body massage

When you’re ready for natural pain relief

When you think about all the conditions and injuries out there, causing pain on the daily, you may wonder what your treatment options are. If you are like most adults, you probably already have a bottle of ibuprofen (Advil ®), acetaminophen (Tylenol ®), or naproxen (Aleve ®) just an arm’s reach away in your cabinet.

If you suffer from chronic pain, menstrual pain, or even the occasional “ouch”-worthy injury, you may be wondering if there are other options for pain relief beside NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), steroids, or opiates. At Balanced Care, we’re here to help. A natural approach to pain relief may be just what the holistic doctor ordered.

In this article, we’ve curated eight natural pain relief options for you to consider. If you’re curious about our services and how we can customize a treatment plan for you, be sure to schedule a consult with us, and together we can begin to help you find the relief you need.

What is natural pain relief?

A natural approach to pain relief means leveraging your body’s innate desire to be pain-free. Pain is a great teacher. Pain alerts us to injury, or that one or more of our body systems is not working optimally. Several natural pain relief modalities utilize our internal chemistry. Other methods use physical movement or other muscle manipulation to reduce inflammation and pain.

Remember, testing before treatment is best

When you notice pain in your body that is long-lasting, severe, new, or alarming in some way for you, it’s best to see your doctor first. If your pain accompanies a known or recent injury, it is essential to have proper diagnostic testing like x-rays, MRI scans, movement evaluations, blood work, or other diagnostics performed. Once you have a precise diagnosis, adequate treatment options rise for examination as well.

Prevent or reduce Inflammation

back pain

You’ve seen your doctor and got the tests to rule out severe conditions, and have acquired the recommended supports and resting protocol after injury. Now, what can you do to manage your pain and discomfort? Take steps to reduce systemic inflammation.  

Inflammation is our body’s natural response to an irritant or injury. The chemicals released by the body during an inflammatory response allows more blood to flow to the affected area, which can make the area hot, red, and swollen. Hormones released during the inflammatory response also irritate surrounding nerve tissue, which may cause pain. Taking natural measures to calm inflammation can reduce the pain you feel.

Stop Eating Inflammatory Foods

Several ubiquitous food sources can cause low-grade systemic inflammation. The biggest offenders are gluten and cow’s dairy. Watch out for these products that contain gluten:

Wheat, Barley, Spelt, and Oats, (unless the package says “gluten-free”, it may include some gluten particles).

Cow’s dairy is our most common form of dairy in the U.S. Dairy products (yogurt, cheese, or milk) are made from cow’s dairy unless the label says otherwise. Goat and sheep’s dairy are comparatively less inflammatory than cow’s dairy because they contain a different type of protein than cow’s dairy.

Choosing foods consistent with an anti-inflammatory diet may reduce the severity of your pain.

Exercise Gently

Consistently moving your body has been shown to help nearly every significant health condition. For example, in people with arthritis, a gentle and consistent movement like walking, biking, stretching, swimming, or even light dancing can help preserve or improve range of motion, reduce stiffness and swelling, and reduce pain symptoms.

People living with fibromyalgia may also relieve pain with exercise. A gentle walk or stretch can mitigate menstrual pain. Exercising (within healing protocols as suggested by your health care team) is required for re-gaining pre-injury levels of fitness and range of motion. These are just a few examples of how body movement can reduce pain.

Consider a Natural Herbal Pain Relief Supplement

Turmeric

There are a host of herbal remedies that reduce pain and inflammation. Here are a few of the most common anti-inflammatory supplements and topical products.

Capsaicin: The “spicy” compound found in peppers, capsaicin can be effective as a topical pain relief remedy.  This compound interrupts “substance P” (the neurochemical that transmits pain messages to the brain) transmission in our nervous system.

MSM: This sulfur-containing compound exists in humans, animals, and plants, and is sold extensively in pill form. The proof is in the science–taking this supplement can reduce pain and inflammation, as well as helping curb allergy symptoms and boosting immune function.

Turmeric: The curcumin in turmeric is touted as a potent anti-inflammatory.  Though the science is still unclear, taking supplement-grade turmeric may improve the following conditions:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Heartburn
  • Arthritis
  • Joint pain
  • Kidney problems
  • High Cholesterol

Turmeric as a supplement is best for adults who are not pregnant or nursing. Using turmeric as a cooking spice is generally considered harmless for most people. As always, check with your primary care physician or schedule an appointment with us for proper dosing suggestions.

Make Friends with Needles

Yes, it’s a thing. Commonly called acupuncture, getting “needled” can have some tremendous pain-relieving benefits. Here’s how acupuncture can help reduce pain:

  1. A needle is inserted just below the skin, along several key “meridian”, or energy points in the body.
  2. Once the needles are inserted, they remain in the patient for 10-30 minutes, while the patient relaxes in a chair or on a massage table.
  3. The going hypothesis is that the needles stimulate the surrounding nerves to send a hormonal message to the brain.
  4. The brain releases our natural pain-relieving chemicals (like endorphins), and we feel happier, and we may feel less pain.
  5. Try several treatments for best results.

Try a Relaxing “Mass-ahhhhhh-ge.”

See what we did there?  Now that you are picturing yourself breathing profoundly and sinking blissfully into the care of a licensed massage therapist’s experienced hands, perhaps you are feeling less pain already! Massage helps to:

  • Loosen tight muscles
  • Improve range of motion
  • Free up the adhesions that can build up between muscle layers (Myofascial release)
  • Quiet muscular “trigger” points–irritated bands of muscle commonly seen in the neck, shoulders, and other places where we tend to hold stress.

Next time you find yourself reaching for a bottle of your favorite pain relief drug, remember that there are a plethora of natural pain relief options that use your body’s own intelligence to come back into pain-free balance. Pain relief is best approached as a mosaic–a combination of tools will bring the best results. Contact Balanced Care today for an appointment. Together, we will find the best pathway to your well being–naturally!