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

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.

allergy, pollen, edina, woodbury, naturopathic doctor, natural treatment

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.

Hormones and Infertility

Birth control, family planning, infertility, PCOS

Hormones, infertility, PCOS, ovulation, fertility, IVF, IUI

For most women, starting a family is one of the most joyous times in life. For some women, however the pain of infertility can turn one of life’s greatest joys into an emotional and heart-wrenching endeavor.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Survey of Family Growth, an estimated 7.3 million women have used infertility services[1]. This number is staggering. Some may believe that these women are just unfortunately unlucky. However, if we look into infertility in more detail we may find that women can reduce their chances of infertility through a number of methods, many of which are naturopathic in nature.

Birth Control and Infertility

Birth control, family planning, infertility, PCOS

From pills to patches and shots to IUDs, the variety of birth control currently available to women has grown. In addition, approximately 62% of women of reproductive age are using one form of birth control or another[2]. Most studies will tell you that birth control does not affect fertility, however when we alter the natural way our bodies were made to function, there is always a risk that something may go wrong.

Most birth control releases hormones into the body. When birth control is used for long periods of time and then discontinued once a woman is ready to have children, hormonal imbalance may result in the body.

Hormonal imbalance is one of the leading causes of female infertility. Symptoms that one may experience as a result of hormonal imbalance include irregular menstrual cycles, excessive or little bleeding, the absence of menstrual periods for long periods of time, pelvic cramps and excessive weight gain or weight loss.

If you are considering the use of birth control, non-hormonal options are a safer bet if fertility may be a concern in the future. If you suspect that you might be suffering from a hormonal imbalance or fertility issues, Balanced Care can help. We will run a thorough hormone panel to help determine any imbalances. Once identified, natural remedies will be recommended to balance your hormones and improve fertility.

PCOS

PCOS, infertility

Polycystic ovarian syndrome, better known as PCOS, is a health detriment that many women experience. PCOS occurs when cysts grow on the ovaries. As a result of this growth, hormonal balance and menstruation are disrupted, making it hard to get pregnant.

The cause of PCOS is not well known, but your risk of PCOS can increase if you are overweight or if PCOS runs in your family. PCOS causes infertility problems because it can interfere with your ovulation cycle. Some women with PCOS will ovulate occasionally, while others don’t ovulate at all.

PCOS symptoms include irregular menstrual cycles, excessive hair growth, acne and obesity. Women who are of normal weight can have PCOS too. If you are having infertility issues and can identify with the symptoms of PCOS, you may benefit from getting tested. Once diagnosed, we can help you determine the treatment for PCOS that will be most beneficial to you. We do everything we can to use natural remedies for PCOS treatment.

Secondary Infertility

What often gets overlooked when discussing infertility is the fact that some women who are facing infertility are already moms. When infertility strikes while attempting to conceive a second or third child, this is known as secondary infertility. Women undergoing secondary infertility did not have fertility issues when conceiving their previous children.

Although secondary infertility can be correlated with age, sometimes there are bigger issues that go undiagnosed. To determine the cause, consult your naturopathic physician if you are still unable to get pregnant.

In addition to getting pregnant, women experiencing secondary infertility may also have trouble carrying a baby to term. Both of these issues are hard to deal with. After having successfully birthed children, some women may be in a denial with regard to their fertility issues. However, like any health issue, it’s best to not wait too long to seek treatment.

The Emotions of Infertility

Struggling with fertility issues is incredibly emotional. The disappointment and sadness can be very intense.

At Balanced Care we do everything we can to use natural medicine to increase your fertility. Our goal is to provide you with natural healing remedies and help relieve some of the stress and frustration you are feeling. Get started on your natural fertility journey today.

 

Katie Corazzo, naturopath, naturopathic doctor, holistic, homeopath

Dr. Katie is a Naturopathic Doctor practicing in Edina and Woodbury, MN. The goal is to address the underlying cause using natural medicines and nutrition. Call to schedule 612-564-2218.

 

 

[1] https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/infertility.htm

[2] https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr060.pdf

Everyday Smoothie Recipe

everyday smoothie recipe

Smoothies are quick, easy, delicious, and nutritious! I use this everyday smoothie recipe all. the. time. Before or after workouts, and for a meal replacement when I am on the go.

Smoothie, healthy, breakfast, fruit, vegetarian, gluten free

Ingredients:

1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (Cashew, almond, coconut, flax)
1 scoop protein powder
1 scoop greens powder
1/2 tsp fish oil
1/8 tsp probiotic
1/2 cup frozen berries
1/2 cup spinach
Optional: ice

Directions:

  1. Add ingredients to blender or bullet
  2. Mix and enjoy!

Smoothie

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.

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!