Monthly Archives: December 2013
Trying to determine what foods you may be allergic to takes time. It also takes patience and help from a Naturopath Doctor practicing natural medicine. The doctor will give you nutritional counseling to figure out what foods are causing you problems.
Using an elimination diet
If you want to use the natural methods, then you can start with the elimination diet. You will have to keep a diary of the foods you are eating. You will also have to carefully read all food labels plus ask questions to servers about any food you have doubts about when eating out. You will monitor any symptoms you have during and after eating. If you have a reaction, remove the food from your list. If your symptoms disappear after removing it, then the food is suspect. By talking to the doctor during counseling the doctor will recommend replacement of same value nutrient foods. This is to make sure you are still eating healthy.
After a period of time, you will be asked, under supervision, to slowly add the eliminated foods back into your diet. By adding them one at a time and waiting to see if there is a reaction, you’ll be able to see what symptoms belong to what foods. When you do add foods back in and if you have a reaction, write down the symptoms. This food then is confirmed to be a trigger food. The doctor will then have you stop eating the suspect foods. If the symptoms clear up for good, then you know these are foods to avoid.
Other food issues
Some people are allergic to additives. The main ones which cause problems are: glutamates, preservatives, additive colors and flavors. When undergoing the elimination diet, these additives should be eaten sparingly. If necessary, the additives can be tested one at a time in foods you would like to try or eliminate.
If you have lactose, whey or casein intolerance, this can cause some issues in your diet as well. Lactose is a milk sugar that causes intestinal distress. Whey and casein are proteins in milk that cause food sensitivities. Drinking lactose free milk, does not prevent reactions to casein and whey. A common mistake is to drink lactose free, hoping it will correct a sensitivity to milk. Unfortunately it won’t. Other milk alternatives like hemp, almond coconut or soy milk may be suitable replacements.
Even if you have food intolerances, you can work around them and identify them with the help of a good Naturopath doctor. By working together you can find the source of the food problems, eliminate them and feel better.
There is a surge of people who are opting to use botanical medicine instead of prescription medicine. Some questions that are asked are: Does botanical medicine really work? What is the risk factor? Are Naturopath doctors really safe to go to? So here’s some information to help you decide about botanical medicine.
Do botanical medicines really work?
Botanical medicine is also called herbal remedies. However, the term botanical medicine includes more than just herbs. The term also applies to the plant parts used as in bark, roots, seeds and stems. Now scientists aren’t really sure in some cases whether it’ the whole herb which works or just parts of the herb, but there are factors which affect the quality of the herb. Contributing factors can be the climate and the soil the herbs are grown in, when they are harvested, and how they are processed.
Botanical medicine can be very effective when used properly. For example, aloe is used for sunburn, minor burns and skin irritation. Ginger is used for nausea and motion sickness. Peppermint tea can be drunk to settle an upset stomach. There are many herbs and many uses for them when using natural medicine.
What risk factor is there?
As with any medicine, botanical or otherwise, there are risk factors. You have to tell your Naturopath doctor or your physician of any other drugs you are taking. Mixing herbs and drugs together that have similar actions can be dangerous. For example, if you’re taking a blood thinner, you cannot take the herb gingko because it is a natural blood thinner. Some commonly used herbs like Milk Thistle ( a liver support herb) and St. John’s wort (a natural anti-depressant) can have interactions with many medications.
Are Naturopath doctors licensed?
A Naturopath doctor uses natural medicine as an approach to illness and wellness. A licensed Naturopath doctor has attended four years at a naturopathic medical school. The doctor should be well versed in all aspects of nutrition, vitamin supplementation, homeopathic medicine and botanical medicine. You can ask about the doctor’s training and certification also. You can also find a reputable doctor on the website of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians.
Botanical medicine when used in a program that includes nutritional counseling, stress reduction and proper exercise can be effective towards helping you become a happier you.