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.

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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

Combat Seasonal Allergies, Naturally!

allergies

Natural Treatments for Seasonal 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.

Six natural treatments options for seasonal allergies:

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.

Where to Find Locally Sourced Honey

allergies

Honey for Allergies

There’s a more natural and delicious way to help your body through your seasonal allergies: Honey. Yes, honey for allergies.

allergies, natural treatment, histamine, local honey

Last week you were looking out your window at the doom and gloom of the winter. You longed for warmer weather as you added another layer just to head outside.  It has been a long, harsh, and cold winter, but there are hints of spring everywhere you look.

While you are out shopping, you notice the displays around the stores are decked out in floral patterns with clever, cheery sayings, and the end caps have fun outdoor items like herb gardens and gardening tools. You are feeling excited and refreshed with the change in season.

You continue walking along and you also notice the allergy medication has dominated one of the end caps. Then you remember: You love the idea of spring, but with all the new blooms comes all the pollen. With all the pollen comes all the sneezing. Oh, the sneezing. And that’s just the half of it.

You contemplate stocking up because you know how miserable you get. However, as you stand there with the medication in your hand you wonder: Am I going to be on allergy medication for my whole life? Is there an alternative option? Lucky for you, there is a more natural and delicious way to help your body through your seasonal allergies.

It’s honey. Honey? That’s right, honey for allergies. Perhaps this doesn’t come as much of a surprise because you might already use honey for other medicinal purposes, such as soothing your sore throat when you have a cold. Honey has a host of other benefits that help more than your cold.

Continue reading to learn about the benefits of using honey for allergies.

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What are Allergies and What Do They Do To Your Body?

Seasonal allergies, also called Allergic Rhinitis (nasal allergies), trigger your immune system to respond when a foreign substance like pollen is introduced to it. For some people, the response is mild, while others experience a more severe response. Allergies can affect all people from all different backgrounds, races, and genders. This can be  upwards of 50 million people each year. Just because they are common and affect so many people doesn’t mean allergies are any less annoying to combat.

The most common type of allergy is a seasonal pollen allergy. When things are in bloom, pollen is everywhere. When the wind blows, it carries the pollen from grasses, trees, and weeds long distances which will cover anything in its path. During allergy season it seems as though nothing is safe.

Your immune system must work so hard to keep your body functioning normally.

Common symptoms include

  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Congestion
  • A sore throat

There are other symptoms, such as fatigue, that aren’t as commonly talked about but can throw your whole body through a loop. It makes sense when you think about it. Your body is working tirelessly because your immune system is on overdrive. No wonder you are feeling so exhausted.

In addition, people can experience irritability, low productivity, and memory loss when they are in the midst of allergy season.

Seasonal pollen allergies are common, but it doesn’t mean you have to live with this discomfort the rest of your life.

Continue reading to understand the benefits of raw honey, and how it can help your allergy symptoms.

Honey, local, allergy, asthma, natural medicine, botanical, naturopathic, edina, mn, woodbury

Benefits of Raw Honey

Some experts believe that pollen from bees ends up in the honey. If people consume this honey, they will slowly build up immunity to and therefore be able to tolerate the pollen. While this might help slightly, this isn’t the main reason why local honey is beneficial for allergies.

Here is the deal with raw honey: It is packed full of nutrients, enzymes, sugars, minerals, amino acids, vitamins, and let’s not leave out its antiseptic and anti-fungal properties. Best of all, it’s jam-packed with polyphenols (infection-fighting antioxidants). So what exactly does all of this mean?

It means that honey can help your immune system which, as stated above, is working extra hard and causing you to be miserable, irritable, and exhausted. If honey can help your immune system, it can also help fight your allergies.

Additionally, honey can help with hay fever symptoms which tend to go hand in hand with allergies.

Local Raw Honey vs. Processed Honey

So what exactly is the difference between local raw honey and processed honey? For one, the look of the two kinds of honey is very different. Processed honey is very clear while raw honey is cloudy. This is because raw honey has not been heated or filtered.

When you buy local honey, you know exactly where it comes from because the farmers are local, and the bees are local. In addition, the pollen that ends up in the honey is from the local area, so you could be introducing small amounts to your body. As stated previously, the local pollen in the honey isn’t necessarily what helps your body with your allergies, but it is an added benefit that processed honey doesn’t have.

You just read about all the fantastic health benefits that raw honey has. While processed honey might have some of those benefits, most of them have been destroyed during the pasteurization process.

You will be doing your body a huge favor by using local raw honey instead of processed honey. You can generally find raw honey in your local grocery stores or specialty health food stores, but you will find that using locally sourced honey will be the least processed and you will get the most significant health benefits.

How Local is Local Honey?

In general, to be considered local honey it should be from your state. Use this search to find local honey near you.

At Balanced Care, we would like to provide you with the care you deserve to manage your chronic illnesses and seasonal allergies. Please contact us to find out how we can help you start feeling better today.

Should I Be Gluten Free?!

Gluten free, health, nutrition, naturopathic, digestion, food allergy, food sensitivity

Gluten, gluten free, health, nutrition, holistic, digestion, allergies, celiac

“Gluten Free”, “Celiac Friendly”, “Gluten Sensitive”, and “May contain Gluten” are a few phrases that are becoming more common in society today. But is this just another fad? Or is gluten a real problem?! First, let’s talk about what gluten is and the symptoms it may cause. Then I will discuss the difference between Gluten Sensitivity and Celiac Disease. And finally, what to do about it.

What is gluten and where do I find it? 

Gluten is a protein found naturally in all forms of wheat including barley and rye. Grains need the elasticity gluten provides to help it rise while keeping its shape.  Starch and binders often contain gluten as well and are used in various other products. Even the ‘paleos’ out there aren’t safe from gluten!

Gluten is not just found in grains, but also alcoholic beverages, cosmetics, some medications and supplements, soy sauce, lunch meat, imitation bacon and  seafood, sauces, and even brown rice syrup can contain gluten. Your friend, family member, neighbor, or even you might be sensitive to gluten, yet it is hidden everywhere!

Gluten has only been in the American diet for the past 300 years. May sound like a long time, but in terms of evolution, it is very short. In addition to this being “new” in our diet, it is also found more commonly in our foods. Now 90% of American foods contain gluten! Wow. Maybe too much of a something, isn’t such a good thing?

What is the difference between celiac disease and gluten sensitivity?

1/133 people in the US have the genetic condition, celiac disease. It is an autoimmune condition of the intestines. The immune system reacts to the gluten proteins found in food. This immune reaction results in injury and inflammation inside the intestines. Diagnosing celiac disease requires blood testing and an intestinal biopsy to confirm.

Delayed growth, poor appetite, and irritability are common symptoms seen in children. Adults might experience diarrhea, bloating, fatigue, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and/or infertility. Celiac disease is also linked to other autoimmune conditions including Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, graves disease, diabetes mellitus type I, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, and Addison’s disease. The treatment for celiac disease is the elimination of all gluten from the diet, a matter of life or death in some cases. Even 1/8 of a cracker can continue causing inflammation and damage to the intestine.

You might be wondering why avoiding gluten makes you feel better, yet you don’t have celiac disease. Well, you can still have a sensitivity to gluten. There are thousands of people avoiding gluten and have noticed that they have more energy, lose weight, and their digestion improves.

Gluten sensitivity is the same as a delayed food allergy where the symptoms may not present for 48 hours after ingesting gluten. Body wide inflammation can result in a variety of different reactions. The symptoms of a sensitivity are generally less severe than celiac disease and may include fatigue, chronic colds, skin problems, asthma, abdominal pain, arthritis, and/or ADHD. One way to figure out if you are sensitive to gluten is to avoid it. If you feel better, it is likely that you are sensitive to gluten or have celiac in rare cases. Blood testing is also available.

Gluten free, health, nutrition, naturopathic, digestion, food allergy, food sensitivity

Eating Gluten Free

People generally report losing weight and feeling better when on a Gluten free diet. I believe this is partly due to potential food allergies, but avoiding gluten also naturally results in a cleaner diet. A gluten-free diet requires diligent label reading – check out the ingredients in your products, you might be surprised! The good news? Veggies, fruit, brown rice, quinoa, eggs, grass-fed beef, free range chicken, nuts, and beans are just a few of the foods that are naturally gluten free! These are much better choices than bread, cereal, pasta, microwave dinners, cookies, crackers, and frozen pizza. Do you see my point?! Everyone can handle varying amounts of gluten in their diet, it’s up to you to determine how much YOUR body can tolerate.

Still aren’t sure whether you have celiac or gluten sensitivity? I can help you determine if you have a gluten sensitivity or celiac disease. I can also help you incorporate this often big change with more information.

Katie Corazzo, naturopath, naturopathic doctor, holistic, homeopath

Spring Allergies: 10 Tips to Jump into Spring Allergy-Free!

spring allergies

Spring brings beautiful flowers, green grass, sunshine and the anticipation of summer. And, for some, it can bring the symptoms of spring allergies: sneezing, congestion, red eyes, itchy skin and eyes, and ear congestion to name a few. As a sufferer of seasonal allergies myself, I have great empathy for those of you who experience this, as well. The good news is that it’s not too late to start your NATURAL regimen for spring allergies. Over the counter medications can have unwanted side effects (racing heart, drowsiness, digestive problems, etc); however natural medicine can provide relief without the unwanted side effects. The key is to start EARLY. See below for some tips to start today!

Flowers

In the mean time here are some tips:

1. Consider food allergy testing – food allergies can worsen your seasonal allergy symptoms

2. Increase your garlic and onion intake

3. Invest in a netti pot – I prefer the Neil Med Sinus Rinse  – regular salt works just fine

4. Use your netti pot

5. Keep the house free of dust – carpet, drapes, ceiling fans, etc. Wood floors are best. Use natural cleaning supplies – look HERE for more info.

6. Change the filters in your home – hepa filters are best

7. Increase omega-3 fatty acids (fish, flax, walnuts…) and veggies

8. Decrease sugar and red meat – inflammatory foods

9. Change your pillow case often and avoid buying a new mattress during this time

10. Visit me for more information and guidance on natural treatments for spring allergies!