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

Treating Adult Acne Naturally

treating adult acne natually

Facial

A shocking 45% of people over the age of 21 have acne, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, most being women. There are many causes for adult acne including lifestyle, diet, stress, family history, side effects of medications and hormone imbalance, but what about treating adult acne naturally?

Before we talk about treating adult acne, let’s first look at a few common causes.

Stress

We all have stress in our lives, some more than others, but how do we cope with the stress? When under chronic stress there is an increase in androgens like cortisol and testosterone. Research shows that cortisol and testosterone increases acne and breakouts. Incorporating stress-relieving strategies into our daily life can help maintain normal androgen levels which is important for sleep, skin, mood, and so much more.

Exercise

Your metabolism increases during and after a workout which helps rid the body of excess sebum production that causes acne. On the other hand, hormones can become stagnant with a lack of exercise which leads to hormonal acne. Maintaining an exercise routine at least 3 days per week can help prevent adult acne. Your pores open during a workout so be sure to rinse off as soon as possible to prevent them from filling with sweat and bacteria and causing a breakout!

Diet

Conventional chickens and beef are given hormones that large-scale companies use to increase size and output of animals. These same animals are also given antibiotics to prevent infections that spread rapidly in small living spaces. The hormones and antibiotics end up in the meat and milk we consume if we are not careful. If your acne is hormonal in nature, it may be caused by the animal products you are eating or drinking. To prevent this, purchase your meat locally from farmers who do not use hormones and let their animals graze. Look for grass-fed beef and free range chickens that are hormone and antibiotic free. As for dairy, choose organic and/or switch to a plant-based milk like almond or coconut milk.

Additionally, be wary of the types of oil you use. Peanut and vegetable oils are highly processed and could be contributing to your breakouts. Cook with olive oil or avocado oil instead, or even sauté in water or broth instead!

If meat or dairy is not be the cause of your acne, gluten, nuts or other food sensitivities may be the culprit. Whatever we put into our body will affect the outside of our body too.

Here are a few suggestions for naturally avoiding acne and breakouts:

  1. Eat a balanced diet full of fruits, veggies, fish and humanely raised lean meats. Choose organic when possible and try out plant-based milks.
  2. Exercise! Yoga, walking, swimming all help boost your metabolism while allowing you to de-stress your body and mind. Find something you enjoy and then do it at least 3 days per week.
  3. Be sure to have a good cleansing regimen both mornings and evenings. If hormones are causing your acne, balancing hormone levels naturally is crucial.
  4. If you aren’t sure what is causing your acne, book an appointment with Dr. Rachel or Dr. Katie. We can help determine what foods or hormones may be causing your acne.

Written by: Dr. Rachel Alioto

Dr. Rachel and Dr. Katie are Naturopathic Doctors in Edina and Woodbury, MN. We offer natural treatments to your health issues. Call us today for your complimentary 15 minute consultation 612-564-2218. We hope to hear from you soon!

Could You Be Suffering From Candida?

candida overgrowth, digestion, IBS, celiac, colitis

Candida Overgrowth (Or Candida Albicans)

The weather is finally warming up. For most of us this means that plenty of get togethers and an abundance of decadent food and drinks are right around the corner. For those of you struggling with digestion issues, however, just thinking about the food and beverages probably has your stomach churning. Digestive disorders can take the fun out of our most enjoyable moments. They don’t have to however. The faster we can pinpoint the cause, the sooner you can enjoy life normally again.

One disorder that has been getting a lot of attention lately is candida overgrowth or candida albicans, its official term. Candida is a type of yeast, or fungus, that is found naturally in the body. For the most part when the bacteria in your body is balanced, candida is not a cause for concern. However, if you are living with an overgrowth of candida or a lack of good bacteria in your gut, you may experience one or a number of symptoms that can wreak havoc on your body and spoil the fun at your future gatherings.

Digestion, IBS, celiac, colitis

Symptoms and Causes of Candida

Symptoms of candida can vary, but include anxiety, depression, yeast infections, diarrhea, constipation, gas, bloating, foggy thinking, fatigue, and skin issues. Like most ailments candida overgrowth can make you feel terrible. If you find yourself enjoying a couple of beers or other delights this season only to be followed by bloating and digestive discomfort, you may be suffering from candida.

Other common symptoms of candida include severe allergies, sugar cravings, and respiratory problems. Whether you are experiencing one or a few of these issues, candida can truly interfere with your quality of life.

So, what causes candida overgrowth? Eating a standard American diet that includes a lot of carbohydrates and highly refined foods is one of the many causes of candida. Candida feeds off of sugar and processed foods, allowing it to grow and take over your intestinal tract. Another cause of candida overgrowth includes the heavy use of antibiotics, which may have killed off the good bacteria while treating the bad. Birth control pills, stress and even chemotherapy are additional common causes.

Natural Treatment for Candida?

If you suspect that you may be suffering from candida, one of the simplest things that you can do is to change your diet. Eat a diet without sugar or yeast and full of fresh produce and quality protein.

Candida cleanses and diets are currently being marketed everywhere. Some cleanses include the use of probiotics. Although these diets may be beneficial to some candida sufferers, they might not work for everyone. The best thing to do is to work with your physician to determine what will work for you. This could save you money and possible disappointment.

Given the varying degrees of symptoms, candida affects its victims in many different ways.

Diagnosis

Sometimes candida overgrowth can appear visually on the tongue. If you take a look at your tongue and notice white coating it is likely that you have candida overgrowth. However, the only way to know is to get tested by a doctor.

Many candida overgrowth symptoms can be vague. Therefore, it can be hard to determine whether you are actually dealing with candida. Testing will help you determine and confirm whether candida is the true cause of your discomfort.

At Balanced Care we offer specific testing in order to find out whether or not you are truly suffering from candida overgrowth. If it turns out that you have other ailments but have misdiagnosed yourself as suffering from candida, this could potentially lead to more health problems. Testing positive, we will use natural remedies for candida or yeast overgrowth that are best for you.

 

naturopath, natural medicine, holistic, edina, woodbury

Gluten-Free Veggie Pasta: 5-Step Recipe

gluten-free veggie pasta

Do you struggle to find something to cook that your entire family will like, especially if someone has food allergies or sensitivities? If you are looking for something that is simple and tasty, try this gluten-free veggie pasta!

In an effort to find something to cook for my guy, I decided to try this recipe. I love pasta don’t get me wrong, but it is usually high in carbs and dairy. This recipe is vegan, dairy and gluten-free, but high in carbs. You can’t win them all, right? Add lentils, beans, or grass-fed ground beef to increase the protein content of this meal.

Ingredients

Gluten free pasta

1 large gluten-free tomato sauce (with no added sugar)

1/2 Fresh onion

1 Red pepper

1 small carton of mushrooms

1/2 asparagus bunch

Fresh basil

Olive oil

1/2 tsp salt and pepper

1 tsp Italian seasoning

2 garlic cloves

 

Directions

1. Cook gluten-free noodles according to the box. Be careful not to over-cook to prevent them from becoming mushy. I chose spiral noodles, but angel hair or bow tie would work.

2. Cut veggies – Julienne the pepper and quarter the mushrooms. Chop onions into quarter-inch squares. Break off the end of the asparagus at the natural break, discard the end, and chop remainder in half. Remove basil leaves from stem and chop into smaller pieces. I used about 1.5 bunches of the basil.

3. Saute onions and garlic in olive oil over medium heat until they begin to brown. Add in remaining vegetables, salt, pepper, and italian seasoning. Cook for about 5-8 minutes or until almost cooked through. Note: I used salt free tomato sauce and added about 1 tsp of salt into the veggies. 

4. Add in tomato sauce and let simmer for 5 minutes with the pan cover on.

5. Add noodles to veggie mix and serve immediately. Leftovers are great for lunch the next day!

And that’s it! 5 easy steps to gluten-free veggie pasta.

Optional: Add ground meat for those meat lovers.

Pasta, healthy, gluten free, dairy free

 

Gluten Intolerance and Candida: What’s the Connection?

Gluten

Gluten

One question that is starting to rear its head is this: What is the connection between gluten intolerance and Candida overgrowth. Why is this question being asked now? Because studies are showing that Candida overgrowth and Gluten intolerance appear to be showing up together.

If you are concerned that Gluten intolerance might be connected with your frequent vaginal infections or oral thrush, visit the professionals at Balanced Care and find the answers, and help, you are looking for.

Treating candida overgrowth is only part of the problem. Eating gluten-free snacks without knowing if gluten is the issue is a waste of time. Read on and see what naturopathic doctors are doing to find the connection and treat their patients, naturally, for gluten intolerance and Candida overgrowth.

Below you will read what one naturopathic doctor, or ND, does when he begins to work with a client who is having problems with Candida overgrowth.

Gluten Intolerance and Candida: What’s the Connection?

One of the first things I do when treating patients with Candida is put them on a strict anti-fungal diet. The goal is to restore immune function while eliminating any potential allergens, later adding foods back one at a time to find out which cause reactions. It’s not too surprising to find that a lot of my patients, while struggling to treat their yeast infections, also become gluten intolerant.

Why Do Gluten Intolerances Develop in Patients with Candida?

Candida

As you already know, a wide variety of commonly used grains – like barley, wheat, rye, oats, and spelt, (amongst others), contain gluten. Gluten is a protein, but it’s one that is very difficult to digest. Therefore, if the intestines aren’t functioning optimally, the process of trying to digest gluten can cause damage to the intestinal tract.

Those who are suffering from Candida already have desensitized immune systems and their intestines are already damaged by the Candida Albicans organism itself. The problem is that the Candida Albicans cell contains a protein that allows it to attach to the cell walls within the intestines.

This protein in Candida is very similar to the protein in gluten. When the Candida cells attach to the intestinal walls, change, and send out new spores, the immune system tries to respond. It not only begins attacking the protein in the Candida cell, but it begins to attack the protein in the gluten cells.

In other words, your immune system eventually gets to the point where it can’t tell the difference between the Candida and gluten proteins. The immune system goes into overdrive and you eventually begin to have allergic reactions to gluten products. Your body then tries to develop an auto-immune response, like celiac disease.

In short, there is always an explanation for relatively healthy people suddenly developing allergies and food sensitivities to items that never, ever bothered them in the past.

Treating Gluten Intolerance and Candida

While treating my clients with Candida, I often ask them to avoid all gluten products. I ask them to instead lean towards safer grains like quinoa, millet, buckwheat, and amaranth. A lot of Candida diet programs stress avoiding all grains, but I find that there are only a few very extreme cases (maybe 2% of all I’ve seen) where avoiding grains altogether is a necessity. As long as you’re avoiding gluten, usually for several months, you should respond well to your anti-Candida regime.

Focusing on Quinoa

Focusing on Quinoa

If I had to choose one grain for you to focus on, I’d pick quinoa. Quinoa looks like a little white seed and it puffs up a bit when cooked. Unlike most other grains, quinoa is considered a complete protein because it contains all of the essential amino acids your body needs on a daily basis. It’s also a fantastic source of fiber, which is also incredibly important while you’re working to cure your yeast infection.

Quinoa is pretty versatile, too. If you’re cooking it as a grain, you’ll want to wash it thoroughly first to get the soapy saponins off before you cook it. Use a fine mesh strainer or a cheesecloth and run cold water over and through the grains. If you forget, your cooked quinoa may and up tasting pretty soapy.

Quinoa is great served with vegetables, cooked and eaten like you would eat oatmeal, or mixed with beans. You can also get quinoa flour and make your own kinds of pasta.

A lot of my Candida patients find, after completely eradicating their yeast infections, that they are no longer sensitive to gluten. Many go back to eating gluten grains, in moderation, while others simply prefer non-gluten grains for health or preference reasons.

There will be exceptions to the rule, of course, and some people are genuinely allergic to gluten and will have to avoid it forever. You’ll still be amazed at the number of people who can reverse the immune response once their bodies are healed!

Candida Overgrowth Does Not Have to be Forever

As you see, a gluten-free diet can give some relief to the person who is suffering from Candida overgrowth. While removing gluten from your diet may be helpful, making sure the friendly bacteria are at work in your lower digestive system is extremely important.

If you are using prescribe antibiotics, engaging in the use of alcoholic beverages, anxious, or stressed out, it may be time to give the professionals at Balanced Care a call. Health is not about fixing one problem but being healthy and balance physically, spiritually, and emotionally.

If Candida overgrowth is disturbing your life, it’s time to make the call that will give you the health you are looking for.

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

How is your DIGESTIVE HEALTH?

digestive health, stomach pain, IBS, diarrhea, constipation

stomach pain, Digestion, IBS, diarrhea, constipation, reflux, stomach, probiotic, holistic

Do you ever have digestive problems? Have you talked with your doctor about them? Has your doctor every discussed you diet and what you should be eating to improve your digestive health?

If you have digestive problems and haven’t found relief, Naturopathic Medicine can help! I believe that our diet greatly impacts not only our health, but our digestion and the way we feel. I see patients who begin to make small dietary improvements that have a huge impact on the way they feel. In addition to feeling better and losing weight, improving your diet can reduce your risk of heart disease by 25%!

Everything we eat touches and interacts with our mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and large intestine; therefore it would make sense that what you eat impacts how you feel, right?! When we bombard our digestive tract with greasy or processed foods it creates inflammation in our body. The result? Leaky gut, food allergies, autoimmune disease, feeling tired after a meal, nausea after eating, headaches, upset stomach, IBS, and the list goes on! The good news? You don’t have to suffer any longer! Naturopathic Medicine works to uncover the cause of your digestive health problems and treat the issues that arise. Call or email me today to begin your journey toward improved digestion!