Monthly Archives: April 2021

Acupuncture for Allergies

Overview

Acupuncture was developed by traditional Chinese medical practitioners to treat a wide range of health problems. Once only used in Eastern cultures, it has gradually gained acceptance by medical professionals in the West. Acupuncture is now commonly used to treat everything from pain, stress, and nausea. Lesser-known uses, such as the treatment of allergies, are also gaining popularity.

History of Acupuncture

Acupuncture is an ancient practice that started in what is now China. It’s based on the belief that life energy, called qi, pronounced “chee,” flows throughout the body along pathways called meridians. By inserting thin needles at specific points, called “acupuncture points,” skilled practitioners seek to restore the flow of energy to eliminate pain and other ailments.

Western medicine doesn’t accept the traditional explanation of acupuncture’s mechanism of action. No evidence that meridians exist has ever been documented by modern science, but despite ongoing questions regarding how it works, science has shown that at least in some instances, it does work. Pain relief is one example. Controlled clinical trials have shown that acupuncture can relieve pain, sometimes better than drugs, in conditions such as chronic lower back pain, migraines, neck pain, and post-operative pain.

Acupuncture and Allergies and Eczema

What about using acupuncture for the treatment of allergies and eczema? Preliminary research indicates that acupuncture may help allergy and eczema symptoms.

Researchers at the University Medical Center in Berlin conducted a large, multi-center studyTrusted Source of the effectiveness of acupuncture for the treatment of seasonal allergic rhinitis, or hay fever. The study divided 422 people into three groups for two months: one group received acupuncture treatment, the second received “fake” acupuncture, with needles placed in random, meaningless spots on their bodies, and the third group only took antihistamines. At the end of the study, the group that received acupuncture therapy reported greater relief from symptoms than the other two groups.

However, the group receiving the fake acupuncture treatment also reported relief of their symptoms, though not as much as the group receiving acupuncture. Furthermore, four months later, as a follow-up, the difference between the effectiveness of the real and fake acupuncture treatment groups was less pronounced. This suggests a placebo effect may have taken place with the people receiving acupuncture, in anticipation of its beneficial effects.

In another studyTrusted Source, researchers were unable to support or disprove the use of acupuncture as treatment for hay fever.

Other studiesTrusted Source have looked at the effectiveness of acupuncture as a treatment for atopic dermatitis. Atopic dermatitis, also called eczema, is an itchy rash that can be caused by irritants like soap or lotions. They found that acupuncture significantly reduced itchiness in some patients. They noted that preventative acupuncture did not work as well as concurrent acupuncture.

Outlook

In a reviewTrusted Source of published trials, researchers concluded that there is some evidence to support the claim that acupuncture is beneficial and cost-effective as an additional treatment for seasonal allergic rhinitis. However, at this time, there is insufficient evidence to conclude that acupuncture is effective as a stand-alone treatment. This conclusion echoes what other scientists who have previously reviewed the existing evidence have determined. So while the study results are promising, present evidence is mixed, at best. More studies are also needed to evaluate acupuncture as a treatment of eczema.

If you’re interested in acupuncture therapy, start by talking to your doctor. They may be able to recommend a center or practitioner.

ORIGINAL POST – https://www.healthline.com/health/allergies/acupuncture#outlook

Low Oxalates Foods May Help Reduce Auto-Immune Disease Risk, Autism and Fibromyalgia

Ronald Grisanti D.C., D.A.B.C.O., DACBN, MS, CFMP

Oxalate (or oxalic acid) is a compound found in a variety of plant-based foods. Under a microscope, oxalates are jagged in structure and look somewhat crystalline.

During metabolism, oxalic acid combines with other minerals like calcium, sodium, magnesium, and potassium to form compounds like calcium oxalate and sodium oxalate in the kidneys. This in turn may be responsible for mineral deficiencies.

One of the most common issues with increased oxalates in the urine (hyperoxaluria) is the formation of kidney stones. However, if the body struggles to eliminate oxalate it can accumulate as crystals anywhere in the body. Commonly it accumulates in blood, then the eyes, bones, skin, muscles, blood vessels, heart and other organs.

High oxalates have also been linked with autism and inflammatory bowel disease. It can also be an underlying issue in those with ongoing gut problems or irritable bowel syndrome.

Tissue destruction, fibromyalgia and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus are all issues that can be related to oxalates because oxalate in tissues trigger the inflammasome reactions of the body’s innate immune system.

As a side note, the thyroid will also suffer as oxalates can bind to T3 and disturb thyroid function.

The following list of vegetables should be helpful in identifying foods high in oxalates

Low Oxalates Foods May Help Reduce Auto-Immune Disease Risk, Autism and Fibromyalgia

As you can see from the list above your favorite spinach (> 900 mgs of oxalates) green smoothie may be contributing to a host of health issues!

Low oxalate diets involve eating less food that’s high in oxalates. Foods high in oxalates include certain types of fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, and legumes.

On a low oxalate diet, you should limit your oxalate to 40 to 50 mg each day.

Summary

Whether for kidney stone prevention or to address other possible chronic health conditions, a low oxalate diet may be the solution.
On a low oxalate diet, you may notice a decreased risk of kidney stones, improved mineral absorption, diminished joint and muscle pain, improvement in fibromyalgia, autism symptoms and improvement of autoimmune symptoms.

ORIGINAL POST – https://www.functionalmedicineuniversity.com/public/1734.cfm

The Gene That Makes the Ketogenic Diet Dangerous

Ronald Grisanti D.C., D.A.B.C.O., DACBN, MS, CFMP

With all the craze about the ketogenic diet it would behoove one to know if they are a candidate for this type of diet.

First for those not familiar with the ketogenic diet here is a short summary:

The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that in medicine is used mainly to treat hard-to-control epilepsy in children. Here are 8 additional benefits:

  1. Triglycerides Tend to Drop Drastically
  2. Increased Levels of ‘Good’ HDL Cholesterol
  3. Reduced Blood Sugar and Insulin Levels
  4. May Lower Blood Pressure
  5. Effective Against Metabolic Syndrome
  6. A Greater Proportion of Fat Loss Comes From Your Abdominal Cavity
  7. Improved ‘Bad’ LDL Cholesterol Levels
  8. Therapeutic for Several Brain Disorders (Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease)

Now with all of these benefits the scientific literature has investigated if indeed this type of diet is beneficial for all people.

Well it may ultimately come down to your genes. Most specifically, your APOE genotype.

The three different types of APOE genes are as follows:

APOE2 – Best suited to a High Fat / Low Carb Diet (saturated fats are good)
APOE3 – Suitable For Both
APOE4 – Best Suited For A High Monounsaturated Fat / Low Carb Diet (Avoid Saturated Fats)

Research studies have shown that APOE4 carriers are most effected by high cholesterol, and benefit more from a low saturated fat diet, instead using monounsaturated fats,  low carb diet, whereas APOE 2 carriers suit a high fat low carb diet, regardless of the saturated fats.

So what should you do?

Ask your doctor to order the APOE genotype blood test and see if you are in fact a carrier of the APOE4 gene.

If you are a carrier of the APOE4 gene, I recommend decreasing your consumption of saturated fats and focus more on monounsaturated fats.

ORIGINAL POST – https://www.functionalmedicineuniversity.com/public/1721.cfm

Acupuncture Can Lower High Blood Pressure

Reviewed by Gary D. Vogin, MDFROM THE WEBMD ARCHIVES 

June 11, 2001 — Some people swear by acupuncture. They’ll tell you how a few painless sessions as a human pincushion cured vicious migraines or relentless back pain. Others remain skeptical, dismissing the ancient practice as mumbo jumbo. Now, scientists investigating its actions in heart disease have found not only that acupuncture works, but why and how. One day, they tell WebMD, that blood pressure medication might be replaced by a few pins and needles.

John C. Longhurst, MD, PhD, first became interested in acupuncture on a research trip to China. “I met an investigator who’d been doing work in acupuncture for years. I saw that he was a very good scientist,” he says. “I, like most scientists, thought acupuncture was a lot of hocus pocus. But when I saw his work, I knew there was something to it.”

Once home, Longhurst, a professor of medicine at the University of California, Irvine, College of Medicine, began the first of four investigations into the underlying mechanisms of acupuncture.

In it, his team tested cats with heart disease. “We showed that acupuncture helped the animals by reducing ischemia — the lack of oxygen to the heart” caused when blood vessels are blocked, he says. That was hard evidence that the therapy worked. Next, they tried to determine how it was happening.

In acupuncture, invisible pathways connecting one body part to another are called meridians. “They are located over major [nerve] pathways that are accessed when you put a needle in,” says Longhurst. Stimulating the pathway “sends impulses to the brain, activating different areas.” Some affect pain, “which explains why acupuncture can control pain,” he says, “and others regulate the cardiovascular system.”

One such area, just above the spinal cord in the brain stem, regulates release of adrenaline — a chemical that makes hearts pound and blood pressure soar. But when they induced an “adrenaline rush” in animals, acupuncture “prevented this from occurring. It blocked the effect,” says Longhurst. Hearts beat normally and blood pressure remained low.

In the third study, the team found they could reverse acupuncture’s heart-healthy effects by injecting cats with a synthetic version of naturally occurring opioids — brain chemicals that produce a “runner’s high,” kicking in when we’re in severe pain. “So, we’re narrowing it down, getting more specific and detailed in terms of what’s going on,” says Longhurst.


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A fourth study is underway in human subjects, he tells WebMD, but it’s still too early to draw any conclusions.

The ultimate goal of this work is to help the huge number of patients with ischemia, high blood pressure, and irregular heart beat, or heart arrhythmias, he tells WebMD. “The current meds have a lot of side effects. If we can reduce [their medication needed] with acupuncture, that would be great.”

Experts agree it’s not a far-fetched idea. “There has to be something more to acupuncture than the placebo effect or hypnosis,” says Joseph Alpert, MD, Flinn Professor of Medicine and chairman of the department of medicine at the University of Arizona in Tucson. “My colleagues have seen people have open heart surgery with only acupuncture, no anesthesia. This is not a bunch of malarkey,” he tells WebMD, “it’s real.”

Pascal J. Goldschmidt, MD, FACC, chief of cardiology at Duke University, agrees. “It’s not an accident that people have been doing acupuncture for so long,” he tells WebMD. The findings are “pretty clear that it’s not a placebo effect. Acupuncture seems to be having a relatively specific effect on the control of blood pressure.”WebMD Health News

ORIGINAL POST: https://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/news/20010611/acupuncture-can-lower-high-blood-pressure