Living with Allergies

Bob asked for info about successful living with seasonal allergies. I thought I’d spread the love and post my response as a blog.

The most important concept to understand when choosing what to do or not do to stay well is Total Load. The immune system is the opposite of all other body organs and systems. When we are stressed, all other systems slow down; the immune system revs up. Therefore, anyone with an autoimmune disorder (like seasonal allergies) needs to be extra careful to avoid unnecessary stresses.

The absolute easiest place to exercise total control is in your bedroom. For many people, creating an oasis is the ONLY thing they need to do. Having a place where the immune system can get a total rest is often enough for many people to get their total load down to where they are asymptomatic or able to control their symptoms with a minimum of medication.

Your best investment for allergy relief is a good air filter for the bedroom. I like the Aireox best. http://www.aireox.com/FAQ.html

We tried several other brands, but ended up giving them all away, because I much preferred the Aireox for looks, portability, quiet operation, and the ease and cost of cleaning the cartridges. I’ve got one in every room I use. They run continuously on low and apart from a funky switch (they replaced it free), I’ve had no problems with them, despite the fact that some of them have been running non-stop since 1984. I also don’t find a need to replace the cartridges anywhere near as often as they recommend, probably because I have to keep my house so allergen-free anyway. I put a date sticker on the top when I put in a new cartridge. The last time the air coming out of my bedroom filter started smelling less than fresh, the sticker was five years old!

Creating an oasis is a nuisance, but it’s worth it to do it right from the get go.  We found it much easier to just move ourselves into the smallest bedroom. I have to have everything I use super safe anyway, so only my clothes are allowed in. They don’t even get laundered with anyone else’s stuff. The further you go from my air space (esp the bedroom), the less careful we need to be. Dearest’s clothes and shoes are in what normal people would use for outdoor coats. Coats and boots are in the basement. When anyone comes in smelly, they have to strip down in the basement and change.

But I’m extreme. Most folks get much better with JUST a really good oasis. That 8 hours a day of true rest with no immune stress gives them what they need to be well during the hours they’re out and about. But you really MUST NOT keep anything in the bedroom that you wouldn’t put in your baby’s crib. Seriously. I know a woman who knew better, but ditzed out and not only got her clothes dry cleaned, but brought them home and hung them in her bedroom closet. Then she laid down for a nap. Hours and hours later, after the paralysis wore off, she was able to remove the dry cleaning and air her room out. Lesson learned!

You can improve your breathing by using essential oils in the bedroom at night. This is another place the Aireox is really nice. The outflow is on top, so it’s easy to put an inexpensive “ghetto diffuser” on it, let the air filter push the essential oils around the room. I find about 4 drops on the gauze is plenty for a small bedroom all night.

I get an enormous amount of therapeutic benefit from essential oils. Learning the therapeutic benefits of each oil takes time. I was scared to even try them, because I was so allergic to fragrances. Then, one day, I met this lovely aromatherapist who was so compassionate about my fear that I was able to relax and let her teach me safe ways to try out just one oil at a time. This not only proved to be a safe way for me to find oils I tolerate, but also an excellent method for slowly investing in and learning about aromatherapy.

One bottle doesn’t cost much, usually less than $10. Some are more  costly, including some I now wouldn’t be without, but there are plenty of good, inexpensive ones to get anyone started without breaking the bank. Essential oils are sold by the ounce and used by the drop. You get a LOT of bang for your buck with this stuff! AND it doesn’t harm you, the way drugs do. The right oil at the right time is just 100% good for you. Even better, aromatherapy has a nifty feature to help you self-prescribe. When an oil or oil mix is right for your body, it will smell appealing to you. With allergies, this can be a huge help in deciding what oils to test. If I find an oil offensive at first whiff, I just don’t bother going further.

For night time breathing relief, eucalyptus, any of the evergreens (e.g., pine) and tea tree are all good, easy to find and inexpensive. Before purchasing, read the sections in my album about safety and choosing a brand and vendor. I buy my oils from Aroma Thyme. It’s a woman-owned home business with good prices, fast service and a wide selection, including carrier oils, empty bottles etc. so I can mix my own blends.

Only one oil I know of has antihistamine properties, but I use it and get good results: Tansy Blue. It’s not as easy to find as the more common oils like Eucalyptus and Lavender, but Aroma Thyme has it. By itself, it has a kind of sickly sweet smell that I don’t care for but any other oil, even one drop, eliminates the cloying quality. Note: It’s seriously BLUE. I never use it in massage oils because it stains. But one drop in my diffuser at night with a few drops of Eucalyptus … it’s fantastic.

I do not use any prescription meds. I do use an OTC antihistamine (active ingredient: chlorpheniramine maleate). It comes in bulk bottles in a cheap generic form and it works well without side effects.

I boost its effectiveness with a good Vitamin C source. It’s essential to AND destroyed by the process of clearing an allergic reaction, so people who have allergies require much, much higher doses than RDA. I have been using and getting good results from this one for about 20 years.

http://www.naturessunshine.com/us/product/vitamin-c-tr-1000-mg-60-tabs/sku-1635.aspx

The main thing to look for in choosing a brand is not cost, but purity and bio-availability. Some brands (cheaper ones) put so much binder in the tabs (so they stay together in shipping) that the pills do not dissolve in the right place in your gut for best absorption. NSP is really good about this, as are other companies. But NSP is the one I know, use and can recommend. (GP probably has some good recommendations too!)

You really cannot overdose on Vitamin C. It’s water soluble, so any extra is shed not stored. Actually, the worst it’ll do to you is give you the runs. I knew a guy once who took 8,000 mg after exposure to fresh paint. He didn’t get any sloppy poop, so clearly needed it all. (The vitamins you need to be cautious about dosage with are the oil solubles. They get put into body fat where they can become toxic.)

I like the taste of Vitamin C, so bite the tablet and hold it under my tongue for a half minute or so to get some of the C straight into my blood stream. It’s acidic, so not something to suck on for long, but when you’re hurting and need relief fast, this helps.

Another good OTC remedy is Alka Seltzer Gold. It’s just the salts without any aspirin or other extras. You probably have to special order it. Ask a pharmacist. It has an amazing ability to clear an allergic reaction with just body salts. It is salt, though, so if you’ve got blood pressure problems or whatever, consult your physician about what doses would be safe.

Take care to make changes that feel right. Change is hard. Go about it prayerfully. Avoid implementing changes that are more stressful than they are worth. We are each a complex organism composed of inter-related systems — physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. Many studies (and common sense) have shown that we influence our bodies (esp the immune system!) as much with healthy or destructive emotions, thoughts and spirituality as we do with a bad diet, lack of exercise, etc.

Use as much care with feeding your mind and spirit as you do with feeding your body. It’s kind of pointless to go all organic in your diet, then read books or watch television that is filled with stuff that makes you feel angry or depressed. I saw a study once that showed people who had a favorite funny t.v. show to look forward to in the evening had more positive hormones in their blood ALL DAY. Laughter and positive emotions flood the body with good hormones so go out of your way to expose yourself to things that make you laugh out loud or feel all squishy inside.

 

Hope this barrage of information is more helpful than whelming! GD, feel free to add whatever you like. The rest of all y’all, ask questions. I’m happy to help!

37 Comments

Filed under Health & Nutrition

37 responses to “Living with Allergies

  1. chrissythehyphenated

    Whoops, Bob. Forgot to give you the info about the nasal irrigator I use and really like. http://www.neilmed.com/usa/index.php

    I use the plastic bottle with the black pediatric cap (in middle of picture on home page). It’s easy and comfortable. Some folks prefer a Neti pot, but I like the positive pressure and comfy tip on the NeilMed bottle.

    When the salt packets run out, you can buy them in bulk and keep using the bottle. I squirt my bottle with hydrogen peroxide sometimes to make sure I’m not shoving germs up my nose.

    The NeilMed cleans only the nasal passages … you squirt saline up one nostril and let it flood over and flow out the other. Then you do the other side. It’s not uncomfortable at all. It cleans out dust, pollen, and also hydrates, which I find helps a lot when my nose gets way too dry, esp in winter.

    If my sinuses gets really hurting, I will take my saline bottle (like they sell to contact wearers) in one hand and a clean tissue in the other, arch back as far as I can and drop 15 drops or so in each nostril, then quickly flip forward so my head is upside down. The saline goes all the way up into my sinus cavities.

    If I need help with the ones under my cheeks, I can tip my head to one side or the other and feel it run in. I stay upside down for a while then straighten and blow. This procedure looks really stupid, so best without an audience LOL. But it helps a LOT to clean out and open up the sinuses, which will become infected if they are allowed to stay plugged up for long.

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  2. Ting

    This is such good information. I should probably start by closing the windows, which may be all that I need at present, but you never know! 🙂 Each allergy season is different for me – some years are horrible, and others, like this one, are not too bad. I want to share some of the essential oils with my daughter, who is having autoimmune issues that are really taking a toll on her body. Anything that might help, you know….

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    • chrissythehyphenated

      Also share Total Load, esp with the coda that the immune system revs up under ANY kind of stress, not just the specific stresses that affect your particular autoimmune disorder. The way my mind works, I found all the data I gathered made more sense when I organized it under the umbrella of Total Load.

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  3. Chrissy, can you give me an idea how much the air filter costs? There are no prices listed on their website (or if there are, I couldn’t find them).

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    • p.s. It’s sorta funny that this post is filed under “loose pollen.” 🙂

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      • chrissythehyphenated

        LOL good one 🙂

        I compared prices at Amazon and at AromaThyme’s Amazon store.
        I get my essential oils from AromaThyme. I have had very good service and superior products from Debbie for years and years. But the same is true of Amazon. Also, they have the same sale price ($309) and shipping cost, but Debbie is about $30 cheaper because she’s in California, so no sales tax. Amazon has some base or other in New York, so I have to pay sales tax for them. If you don’t, it’s 6 of one, half dozen of the other.

        http://aroma-thyme.amazonwebstore.com/B0002T7TJE/M/B0002T7TJE.htm

        The unit comes ready to plug in and use. I run them on low 24/7 and just vac the outside when the holes in the metal sheathing get clogged with dust, which is easy to see. You don’t need a new filter cartridge until the air coming out the top smells stale. It looks like they’re running around $100 these days, but they last an incredibly long time, esp if you don’t smoke or use chemicals in that room.

        Even the ones in my office where I have my computer and the one on my craft table where I park anything smelly (incoming mail, recently glued jewelry, rolls of tape) last a lot longer than the company recommends. I go by my own sense of smell.

        TIP: Allergic people can smell things they are allergic to WAY more easily than other people. I once asked Dearest to pull around the car we were following on the divided highway, because the driver’s cigar smoke was giving me a headache. He didn’t smell anything and didn’t believe me, but I insisted. So as he pulled up next to the guy to pass, he paused and looked over. Sure enough … big honkin’ stogie.

        “How did you know?!”

        “I could smell it!”

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  4. GP

    Believe it or not, indoor air can be more polluted than outdoor air. Do don’t shut those windows too much.
    One of the things I have been asked by many people, is where to start. It all seems overwhelming. So I decided to give people little K I S S E S (Keeping It Super Simple =Success!)
    So I put together what I am calling the 12-12-12 project at preventcanswers.org (who says Herman wasn’t inspiring)
    Each month I try to give people a dozen new ideas for improving their health. Hopefully by 12-12-12, people will have picked up dozens of new habits and can celebrate feeling better than ever.

    Coincidentally, the April topic is toxins. Here are my April KISSES:
    http://preventcanswers.ning.com/group/121212project/page/april-2012-the-healthy-home

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    • chrissythehyphenated

      GP, I love your KISSES stuff! Is there a mailing list? I get AromaThyme’s Tip of the Day email and found it a wonderfully low stress way to learn new things about essential oils a little bit at a time.

      RE: windows, fresh air, etc. It is a constant struggle for me to balance the allergens outside with the need for fresh air. I learned a handy trick from a consumer’s tip site I can’t remember the name of:

      It does not cost you any significant BTU’s (heating, cooling cost) to run an exhaust fan for five minutes or less. This amount of time is enough to change over just the air, which does not hold any significant amount of energy by itself. Most of that is in the solid parts of your home, floors, walls, furniture, etc.

      Dearest installed a good ventilation fan in the bathroom, which is centrally located in my living area and put a timer switch on it. If I crack a window a teeny amount at each end of the house, then set the timer for 5 minutes, I can change over the indoor air even in mid-winter or on the hottest day of summer without either screwing with our electric bill (which is ginormous) or sucking in huge quantities of bad stuff.

      I do have to be careful what’s outside some days … we live in a pretty good area for clean air, lots of cross breeze, not many neighbors. And there is little interest here in pouring ChemLawn crap on the grass. But the lady on one side whose laundry vents my way sometimes uses scented dryer sheets which make me so sick and the guys across from us have asphalt driveways they seal and reseal, which takes a while to outgas.

      My dream solution would be a really good filter on an intake hole at one end of the house and a timer on a vent fan strong enough to suck through that filter at the other end. But that project has never made it to the top of the Honey Do List. I really need a new sink first. Darn thing has a crack … I have to dump out the bucket underneath and deal with mold control in the undersink cupboard on a daily basis.

      TIPS: After cleaning the pan, I put a small amount of white vinegar in the bottom before replacing it. Then I spray hydrogen peroxide up into the plumbing bits and dark corners and, when that isn’t quite enough, dribble some essential oils of Peppermint or Spearmint on the floor, which is bare wood at the back. Do not put undiluted essential oils on flooring or anything else that turpentine would damage. Turpentine is an essential oil and I find it a handy guide to what surfaces are at risk.

      BTW, mint also keep mice out of my cupboards. They come in through the plumbing access holes under the sink, but they HATE the smell of mint. You can also deter them from coming in to the house at all by planting a bed of mint in front of any access points you can’t close off.

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      • GP

        Chrissie, to get the emails, join my website (which I monitor so you will be approved) then join the 12 12 12 group. Then you will get an email when anyone adds stuff. I try to post each months info around the 12th. Feel free to add your own tips. You have some great ones!
        I have been going to lectures by a fantastic organic farmer. I will be posting his potients soon, for growing great veggies.

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      • GP

        As far as the air cleaner:
        I built my own house a few years ago. I was able to nix the forced air, put in radiant heat, tile floors, and I have concrete walls. It is a fortress. I feel so blessed, which is why I am not leaving IL in spite of the mess of this state.
        The problem with air tight homes is that they can be toxic. I put in this wonderful ventilation system called ALDES. It is also connected to all my exhaust fans, cooktop, baths. etc.
        I keep it running all the time to keep the air clean. As a result, I have very little dust in my house or build up of toxic fumes. Since it is just a fan system, it does not cost much to run.

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        • chrissythehyphenated

          You’re so lucky! I would LOVE to have this kind of house. Dearest designs them for other people.

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  5. GP

    Chrissy has really put together a lot of great information. It is certainly a minefield out there, which is why we need protective armor in the war to keep ourselves healthy. As she noted, not all supplements are alike, and some can do more harm than good. Here is a way to check to see if your multi is actually helping you or making it worse:

    By putting an apple in water with a supplement, you can actually see the amount of oxidation. If the apple turns black, that is an indication that the supplement is probably bound with petroleum based products. Yuck. Our cars may need motor oil, but we don’t! The reason Usana fairs so well is that they patented a way to use olive oil extract to bind tablets. This adds even more antioxidant value.
    If any of you try the apple test with other supplements. I would love to see pics of the results.

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    • chrissythehyphenated

      EW! That is so nasty! And AMAZING how much difference there is from brand to brand. I never trusted One a Day because of the smell. Dunno what it was, but opening the bottle just whelmed me with “BAD.” I am so grateful for my appliance repair guy who steered me to Nature’s Sunshine back in 1985 ish. I remember trying to interest a gf with super allergic kids … they HAD to be homeschooled, first one missed more than 50% of the days her first and only year in school. She blew me off, then went to a new doctor who said that his patients got better on NSP but did not on brands that supposedly had the exact same ingredients.

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      • GP

        Quality of ingredients sure makes a difference. Have you ever seen the nutrisearch guide to supplements? They are a Canadian company that evaluates over 1500 supplement lines in North America on 17 criteria. Nature’s Sunshine rates a 2 out of 5, which is better than the 0 one a day and centrum get. But Usana wins their gold standard award and is rated 5 out of 5. Check out the book on Amazon. It is a wealth of information about supplements.

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  6. GP

    For those of you with autoimmune issues, I cannot express enough how important detoxifying is. It will take a lot of work, but eventually you will feel better and have very few allergic reactions, if any.
    If you can possibly afford it, try a far infrared sauna. I use a portable one from momentum98.com that is fantastic and a fraction of the cost of the big wooden units. It isn’t pretty, but it sets up in minutes, uses very little energy, and I like the fact that my face is out so I do not breathe in any fumes. Some of the wooden boxes “offgas” with resins and such and actually can be worse if you are very sensitive. The FIR sauna is a healing light that is unexplainable. It is like bathing in the warm sunshine, without worry about burning. I sit in mine almost every night before bed, and I sleep so amazingly better. I have become friends with the owner of momentum98. I do not sell his saunas, but if you decide to buy one, he will give my friends a discount and free shipping.
    Once I got the toxins out (sweating in the FIR, Hepasil for the liver, colon cleanse, etc.) I began to loose weight. That is because toxins build up in fatty tissues, making it almost impossible to lose weight. Once those toxins are released, the fat will melt (of course, you need commit to healthier foods and exercise as well).
    One more bonus is that I no longer need deodorant. Yes, you heard me. Once you get the bacteria out of the body, your sweat doesn’t stink, which means I do not have to worry about putting more toxic deodorants on my body!

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    • chrissythehyphenated

      I can attest to the value of detoxing! I went through a hospital-supervised one, then a year of at home with medically supervised supplements, exercise and sauna. I think it’s a big reason why I’m still alive. God blessed us with an unusually high income that year, no doubt to pay for this treatment. I learned a lot about how to do it on my own, so keep up with maintenance detox.

      My favorite plan is the Dr. Natura Colonix and Toxin Out programs. It is by far the most effective and gentlest program I’ve personally tried. I did the full three months of both the first year and try to do a month maintenance each year. I’m really broke this year, so the kids got together and gave me a month for my birthday. I’m almost done and feel a WHOLE LOT better than I did a month ago!

      http://www.drnatura.com/?gclid=CN2MysO6v68CFcjb4Aodu1Szww

      My kids did the program when they got back from the Middle East and discovered they had brought back parasites. They were having a real problem functioning, what with urgent calls to the porcelain throne from cramping diarrhea. The program cleaned them out and fixed them up without forcing them to take time from work. Since they had to go to Army PT throughout, I think that alone testifies to how gentle it is. Most of the program is in capsule form. However, the powder and tea are delicious, so even those bits are pleasant. The only drawback is the cost, but even that is very low when you consider how much you gain in energy and well being after doing it.

      http://www.drnatura.com/?gclid=CN2MysO6v68CFcjb4Aodu1Szww

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      • Wow, thanks for all the great info, Chrissy! I bookmarked all these sites and plan to begin using the things you suggested as my budget allows. I plan to get the air purifier for my daughter soon, as spring is usually a bad time for her. I’m assuming when she starts using it, she will have to keep the door to her bedroom closed?

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        • chrissythehyphenated

          I air my room out in the morning, but other than that, mostly keep it closed, yes. When it’s really hot, I may have to open it, but putting a gallon bottle of frozen water next to the filter (on something to catch condensation) can lower the temp a LOT so I go with that first.

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        • chrissythehyphenated

          Since you’re trying to help a teen-ager, I’m guessing she might have cosmetics issues. Also scented laundry products. If you choose the latter, you can easily switch those out for comparable brands without ruffling her angst-ridden hormones.

          It’s totally worth it. Laundry products can leave an amazing amount of oil-based fragrance embedded in your garments that you inhale and absorb all day and all night. It’s a major source of easily-removed chemical contamination stress. IMHO, Tide is the absolute worst. Funnily, Tide Free and Gentle (formerly Free and Clear) is my kids’ choice for getting their clothes odor free before they come visit.

          They personally use safe products, but pick up smells just sitting on other people’s furniture and it can be hard to wash out. TIP: A hot dryer is more effective at odor removal than washing. One time, my girl came home from visiting a friend. All she did was sit on the couch. I could smell Tide up the back of her legs, butt, back and in the hair on the back of her head. It’s pernicious stuff. And NOT safe for anyone. I don’t care how well it cleans.

          But if what she uses on her face, hair and arm pits is loaded with toxic crap, you may need the grace of God and some seriously diplomatic skills to switch her to safer brands.

          We were all diagnosed before the girls were old enough to know better, but even then, when they got into teen beauty needs, they would sometimes ditz out and buy something that made me sick. Now they realize THEY feel better when they use their good products, so we all share tips about what brands are best.

          When my one got married locally, she sent a list of safe products to all of her bridesmaids so after the wedding (I couldn’t attend), she, the groom and her entire wedding party came here to see me, take pics and let me admire their finery! 🙂

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          • chrissythehyphenated

            Oh … my point is … there are safe, healthy alternatives to every cosmetic product any fastidious teen-ager could want.

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          • I switched to perfume-free/dye-free laundry products when my kids were little. My son almost never got rashes, but the three girls all had very sensitive skin and broke out in rashes from perfumed detergents. And anyway, all the perfumes and dyes they put in laundry detergents and fabric softeners just pollute the water, so who needs them? My teenager and I use Desert Essence face wash, and we use Tom’s of Maine aluminum-free deodorant (unscented). I try to keep everything as simple and natural as possible. Same with our diet — real food, not manufactured stuff. We don’t do drugs and we go to the chiropractor regularly. We are pretty healthy for the most part, with her seasonal allergies being the major exception.

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            • chrissythehyphenated

              You’ve given your allergic kid the best gift ever with that healthy lifestyle! Those are brands we use as well. Dearest really loves his Aveeno shaving foam or gel … I swipe it when I can be bothered to scrape down my legs. For cleaning, we get something from the health food store for dishes and I use that for the floor etc. Other than that, just baking soda, white vinegar and hydrogen peroxide take care of most everything. Granny’s Spot Remover is really safe and a blessing when I need it. Not sure what Dearest does the laundry in these days, but I tolerate it fine.

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      • GP

        I could not see the prices from that site Chrissy, but you can do detoxing for a reasonable amount. You can get a kit to do coffee enemas at a lot of drug stores. It is not fun, but it really cleans out the colon. Also, magnesium and vit C will clean out the colon. Just drink lots of water. Usana has a great detox program too. And the iodine itself does a lot of detoxing. I tried one of those herbal things once, but they did nothing.

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        • chrissythehyphenated

          I tried a coffee enema once. Also a colonic. Both were too harsh for my body. I haven’t tried Usana, so cannot comment on that. I did try the NSP herbal detox program and it caused a lot of unpleasant cramping. It’s one of only two NSP products I have not liked.

          Dr. Natura has two programs – Colonix and ToxinOut. They are $55 to $70 ish for a one month box of each. The program is fairly simple, everything you need for each program is in the box with a booklet about how much to do at what time of day. I made my own chart for the fridge which helped since I hate having to get my glasses and can’t see in the morning anyway! LOL

          I decided to try the Dr. Natura after reading a lot at their site. So much of what they did just made common sense, like the anti-parasitic/anti-fungal herbs are taken first thing with a glass of water, then you wait 15 minutes or so to eat. This gives the herbs max access to the walls of the gut where the bad buggies reside.

          The next thing you do is eat breakfast with the Colonix powder, which is mostly fiber (psyllium husks I think). I eat yogurt for breakfast so just stir it in. It makes a bulk bundle that follows the bug killers through and sweeps the dead buggies out.

          Later on in the day, there are herbal preparations to help fortify and detoxify. And in the evening, there are pro-biotic capsules to seed good flora in those areas of the bowel walls that were cleared of bad flora in the morning. Also, a nice tea to help stimulate a gentle bowel event the next morning.

          I think one thing that really sold me on Dr. Natura was the good customer support. The site has so much info. I felt like I was in good hands and that if I had a problem, I would get help quickly.

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          • Psyllium husks are great — I started using them about a year ago. I buy them at the same bulk foods store where I get my oatmeal, brown rice, spelt berries, etc. — it saves a bundle. My daughter and I take a tablespoonful of the stuff a day, mixed in a glass of juice. We call it our psyllium cocktail.

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  7. GP

    One last comment, (as you can tell, I am very passionate about two things, politics and health):
    The other link to restoring my health has been the iodine protocol, which has been developed by a team of docs including Dr. Guy Abraham, Dr. David Brownstien, and Dr. Georg Flechas. Iodine is the only way to detox the body of toxic halides like chlorine, bromine and fluoride. Here is a link to a couple of videos:
    http://preventcanswers.ning.com/video/iodine-deficiency-linked-
    to-cancer-part-1

    http://preventcanswers.ning.com/video/iodine-deficiencies-linked-to-cancer-part-2

    http://preventcanswers.ning.com/video/all-about-iodine

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    • GP

      Here is a link to the “iodine protocol” guide which I use. It is a bit tricky to grasp at first, and is not something to start without totally understanding, but if you have autoimmune issues, you probably have thyroid issues, and iodine is a life saver.
      http://steppingstonesliving.com/resources/iodine/

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    • chrissythehyphenated

      I am really looking forward to starting my iodine, GP. You mentioned the last time we went on a health blog comment binge (I love these!) that it can trigger a detox, so I decided not to whelm my body by starting it during my Dr Natura month. Another week and I’ll be done with the good doctor and can start my iodine. I can’t wait to report to you on how it affects my symptom and energy levels.

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  8. Ting

    I am so interested in this, but it kind of scares me because my daughter’s immune system is attacking her endocrine glands. The thyroid is already gone, the pancreas is almost gone and she has become insulin dependent in just a few short months since she was first diagnosed. Next up are the adrenal glands, and probably the ovaries. It is all so complicated and scary that I am worried to just start her on sme kind of regimen without the endocrinologist’s involvement, since everything they are treating is so interrelated. I will ask about all of this at the next appointment in May. I just wonder how it will interact with the medications that she has to take now, just to live.

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    • GP

      Ting
      Since your daughters problems are so serious, you might want to consult with Stephanie Buist ND. She is the owner of the iodine yahoo group, which you should also join. It is an amazing group of people who help each other, but you can only talk about iodine. Stephanies link is the steppingstones one above. She is a thyroid cancer survivor. She will do phone consults, but I would learn as much a possible first, so you don’t waste your phone consult on basic questions.
      It is essential that the iodine protocol be followed exactly. That means taking the companion nutrients, understanding “salt loading”, lots of vit C, and possibly doing a liver detox first, which is what I did. If you start to fast on the iodine and the liver is clogged, the toxins will just recirculate. I had some reactions like headaches, lethargy and itching at first. Everyone is different. But going back and reading the iodine group answered a lot of my questions. Of course, you are all welcome to contact me with questions as well, but most can be answered by reading the links, and Dr. Brownstiens’s book “Iodine, why you can’t live without it” and his other great book on healing the thyroid.
      And if anyone wants to simplify the protocol, one of the reasons I finally started using Usana was that they include all of the companion nutrients in their essentials and are pharmaceutical grade, so they work. Plus, no toxic fillers.
      It has been such a joy to see others take this on and improve their health. Just be aware that your doctors will tell you iodine is dangerous. Send them to Dr. B’s site and tell them to read his Iodinephobia blog!
      Ting-are you saying they just keep taking her organs? Damn that is maddening. Why don’t they just fix them. The thyroid needs iodine, not destruction.

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      • GP

        Just want to add, if iodine was dangerous I would be dead by now instead of thriving for the first time in decades. And I have no fear of ever getting breast cancer again, because I believe my hypothyroid was one of the main causes. Every woman I have ever meet with bc had thyroid issues. It is also linked to prostate cancer. Fix the thyroid and the chances of getting cancer diminish.

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      • Ting

        They are not removing the organs – it is just that the antibodies are destroying their function, which we are told cannot be reversed, so this will be for the rest of her life. I am definitely going to ask about this at our next appointment in about 3 weeks.

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    • chrissythehyphenated

      I really hope her endocrinologist is supportive of patients efforts to do supportive lifestyle changes. When Mama Buzz had her goiter at age 11, I was totally freaked, but her endocrinologist was fantastic. It makes such a difference. If he is not helpful, the best I can suggest is you look here. These are the doctors (M.D.s) who saved my life:

      http://www.aaemonline.org/

      There is a search engine at the top left for finding someone in your area.

      The ones I went to were Dr. Sherry Rogers (started out in allergy, switched to Environmental Medicine when she got Multiple Chemical Sensitivities herself), Dr. James Miller (Family Medicine for 20 years, then went to a conference and got so excited about Clinical Ecology – aka, Environmental Medicine – that he eventually did it full time) and Dr. Doris Rapp (pediatrician who became a pediatric specialist in the field and has written a bunch of books I depended on raising my kids). None are near you, but I did this guy:

      http://www.warrenmlevinmd.org/

      Also, I am putting your dd on my special “nag a day” prayer list. 🙂

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      • GP

        Iodine was standard of care for Goiters for decades, until the drug companies got involved and started to spread lies that iodine is dangerous. Iodine prevents it! It also will get rid of uterine fibroids and fibrocystic breasts. I cannot believe how it has changed mine!

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