Allergies

UTIs in Children: How They Happen and How to Treat Them When They Do

UTIs in Children
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) can be common for many children. They occur when bacteria travel into the urethra (i.e., the tube that connects to the bladder) and multiply. Children, and in particular girls, have shorter urethras which make it easier for bacteria to travel through and attach to the bladder. Normally, urine is sterile, meaning it does not contain any bacteria. However, bacteria from the anus can find their way into the urethra and cause a UTI—the bacteria E. coli is most often the cause of urinary tract infections. Symptoms  Depending on your child’s age, it may be difficult to tell when a UTI has developed. Usually, the bacteria will cause swelling and irritation in the bladder and urethra. This leads to the following symptoms: » Belly pain  » Pain and/or burning with urination  » Having to pee frequently (sometimes it’s just a few drops) » Fever » Foul-smelling urine  » Cloudiness or blood in the urine » Back pain (this can be an indication of a more severe  infection) In babies, symptoms of a UTI are similar to those of other infections, including fussiness, crying, and fever. Babies may also experience blood in the urine. Prevention If your child suffers from chronic UTIs, prevention is key to breaking the cycle; good hygiene especially for females is vital.  Top 4 UTI Prevention Tips Do not use any soap in and around the urethra and vulva for females; water alone is best for cleaning. Do not use any harsh or fragranced soaps for males.  After using the washroom, females should wipe from front to back (not back to front). This will prevent the spread of E. coli to the urethra. Wear breathable underwear, preferably cotton.  Do not hold your pee - holding it can allow bacteria to more easily grow within the bladder. Diet also plays a role in the prevention of UTIs. Studies show that no particular diet causes UTIs on its own, but certain foods can affect the health and environment of the bladder, making it more susceptible to UTIs. Food and beverages linked to an increase in UTIs: » Sugary beverages » Meat (particularly poultry and pork) can increase the acidity  of the bladder, which provides a better environment for bacteria to grow Bladder irritants to avoid during an infection: » Coffee and tea » Artificially-sweetened beverages  » Carbonated beverages Bladder irritants are not linked directly to an increase in UTIs, but they can increase discomfort and even cause symptoms similar to a UTI. Cutting out certain foods can be difficult, especially with your little ones. The great news is that you can also add food and drinks to their diet to help in prevention.  Foods That Help Water - This should be the main source of hydration for our little ones. Breastfeeding - Studies show that breastfed infants have a 50 percent lower risk of developing UTIs compared to non-breastfed infants. Unsweetened 100% cranberry juice - Cranberries contain certain molecules that block bacteria from being able to attach to the bladder and urethra, which reduces the risk of developing a UTI by 20 percent.5 Try sweetening it yourself with a little bit of honey or maple syrup, and dilute it with water to make it more palatable.  Freshly-squeezed berry juice - Just like cranberries, other berries (like blueberries) contain the same molecules that prevent bacteria from attaching to the bladder. Fibre - People who consume high-fibre diets, which improve constipation, are less likely to develop a UTI. This is partially because constipation increases the risk of UTIs. Examples of fibrous foods include apples, berries, avocados, broccoli, peas, sweet potatoes, lentils, chia seeds, flax seeds, chickpeas, and brown rice.  Diagnosis If you suspect your child has a UTI, please consult a medical professional immediately. Getting treatment as soon as possible will help minimize the severity of the infection. Your doctor may diagnose a UTI by assessing symptoms and testing a urine sample for bacteria.  Treatment If it turns out your child has a UTI, the best course of action is to consult your family doctor, pediatrician, or a walk-in clinic to assess the need for antibiotics. The prompt introduction of antibiotics will allow for clearance of the bacteria from the bladder before the infection spreads further down the urinary tract. In addition, drinking lots of water can help flush the bacteria out of the bladder.If you are concerned about the side effects of antibiotics, these can be addressed with a visit to your medical or naturopathic doctor. The most common side effects are loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, dizziness, and allergic skin reactions.You may consider adding a probiotic to help mitigate these side effects. Supplementation Probiotics - Lactobacilli-type probiotics are dominant in the bladder. Studies show that taking probiotics can reduce recur ...

Colloidal Silver – Is it Safe, and Does it Work for Infections?

Colloidal Silver for Infection
First of all, yes, it does work for certain infections – colloidal silver has proven anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties.  This is promising news, considering the harm and dangers of antibiotics + antimicrobial resistance. Silver has long been used to address bacteria / bacterial infections for centuries, and has known active properties against both gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria.  Colloidal silver presents an effective treatment option for those looking to deal with a bacterial or viral infection – of course, this should always be done after consultation with a healthcare practitioner and should not be used to replace antibiotics in more serious bouts of illness or infection.  Now, is colloidal silver safe?  Most information out there online regarding colloidal silver seems to be conflicting and confusing at best – there are countless testimonials from people claiming silver helped them through severe infections or the first sign of illness. At the same time, there are plenty of well-known health sites or regulatory bodies that warn about safety concerns (like the FDA).  First, let us establish that colloidal silver is a “solution” of water that contains the suspended silver in nanometer-sized particles that are readily absorbed. The total silver content of the solution should be expressed on the supplement you purchase as “ppm” or parts per million. This is the same as mg of silver per liter of water (mg/L). Silver has been used as an antibiotic up until the early 1940s – this is thanks to various processes that occur once silver is ingested. Silver nanoparticles enter bacterial DNA, attach to bacterial cell membranes directly, and block the cellular process known as cellular respiration within the cells of organisms.  Ionic silver is not the same as true colloidal silver. Always ensure you purchase true colloidal silver when looking for a supplement – these do not contain additives, and the solution should only contain nanometer-sized silver particles and purified water.  Colloidal Silver is Safe for the Gut and Does Not Destroy “Good” Gut Bacteria After ~28 Days of Use As for colloidal silver being safe, there is plenty of debate online surrounding the use of silver internally. Those noting adverse effects like argyria (turning blue) are often not referring to pure colloidal silver, but rather low-quality, inexpensive products that contain silver that is not a nanoparticle.  Generally, when used for 10-14 days internally, it was not shown to cause any adverse side effects, nor was it shown to alter the gut microbiome. This means that even after 28 days of reported use, the diversity of “good” gut bacteria was not altered, destroyed, or changed by colloidal silver. This is a huge deal, especially when compared to the impact of traditional antibiotics on the microbiome.  Our stance is that colloidal silver will absolutely work as a potential antibacterial supplement, but it needs to be used/implemented short-term (10-14 days ideally; maximum of 28 days) on a strict dosage as indicated on the product.  Dosing Colloidal Silver, and a Word of Caution When it comes to dosing colloidal silver, most supplements are sold as a liquid tincture with a dropper. Depending on the condition, colloidal silver will be applied differently – generally, most practitioners will recommend against taking it for more than 14 consecutive days at a time.  Dosages may range depending on the concentration of the suspension itself. Always check/consult with the bottle or container for the most accurate dosing instructions.  2-5 drops can be applied topically to the skin for infections, wounds, and irritation.  5-10 drops can be taken internally, per day, for immune system support or to combat an infection. 1-2 drops can be placed in the eye directly for cases of pink eye.  Colloidal silver is always sold as a solution of purified water that contains nanometer particles of suspended silver. While silver has been demonstrated as safe, long-term or excessive prolonged use of colloidal silver may lead to some undesirable side effects – stick to recommended dosages, and only use it for the duration or period of time you need it for (I.E., recovery from a viral infection).  Colloidal silver can be applied topically or ingested internally – ensure to opt for a high-quality pure silver product, such as those sold on our website. 

Ingredients & Toxins To Avoid When Skin Care Shopping

Our Skin is the largest organ of our body and it literally absorbs everything that we put on it. I am a firm believer of using products that are as natural as possible. I personally like to keep things simple and it is also better for mother earth as well.  My natural skincare Journey started in 2009 and has been on this clean journey ever since. The journey evolved over time with my Eczema prone skin. If you have any questions about transitioning to a natural beauty and skincare regime, please feel free to reach out. I have coached women over the years on understanding their bodies and selecting effective natural skincare. Changing your personal care products might seem very overwhelming and daunting at first. However, I promise it isn’t. How To Transition To Natural Skincare Products?  You may have so many questions running on in your mind.  Where should I start? You ask.  What products should I buy?  Should I throw away every single product that I currently have?  What products should I buy first?  Sorry to break it to you, I just want you to realize that there are toxins in almost every single consumer product we are using on our bodies.  Everything ranging from your toothpaste, shampoo, hand soap and body lotion all have toxins.  When it comes to making small changes on making a shift towards using better for you skincare and beauty products. Here is how I like to tell people to start. First, think of the products that we put on daily and don’t rinse off. These products stay on your body the longest and can easily enter our bloodstream.  So my recommendation is to definitely start there and start looking in your bathroom! For example body lotion, face cream, eye creams since it is closest to your eyes and foundation and sunscreen.  Our facial skin is rather sensitive, so our facial skin needs proper care. Our skin needs optimal hydration and adequate nutrition to remain healthy. However, the products we use may not always prove to be good for our skin, body and planet over time. Certain ingredients may include harmful chemicals so we need to be aware of them and start avoiding key ingredients ASAP.    Top 3 Products To Avoid In Beauty Products: Parabens The first one you should be aware of is parabens. This preservative is used in personal care products to increase their shelf life and essentially is added to prevent bacteria from growing. As your body absorbs these parabens, it attaches itself to your cells and disrupts the natural processes in the body. Medical researchers have found that there is a link to reproductive, neurological and skin irritation problems. You can identify parabens on product labels written in forms such as: ethylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben, benzylparaben and butylparaben and etc. Silicone Another ingredient you should be aware of is “silicone. In a lot of conventional makeup stores, some makeup artists might argue that silicone does nothing to harm the skin. That it doesn’t suffocate or irritate the skin or allow bacteria in the air to penetrate it, while giving the skin nothing but a smooth even texture. That is why this ingredient is widely used in a lot of makeup bases formations and allows for makeup to be evenly applied. There is nothing wrong with that.  However, what the problem is that silicon DOES NOT allow anything to enter or exit the skin either. Silicone just ends up locking everything into the skin. Everything including oil as well as dead skin cells which potentially ends up causing acne and clogged pores. It will worsen the already acne-prone skin. It clogs the pores as it’s not easily washable. It has to be properly removed so that the skin can breathe or it will become dehydrated and you end up with premature wrinkles!  Synthetic Fragrences Yes, that nice scent has a hidden cost, who knew?! The mainstream branded luxury face cream may smell all flowery and natural but in reality not all fragrances are naturally extracted. They are made through various chemical combinations in a lab. Most companies that sell a custom signature scent have what is called a “trade secret” where their exact recipe of this fragrance is only labeled as fragrance. In fact, they can basically mask hundreds of toxic components contained in the mixture. Because mainstream companies are hiding the ingredient list to avoid full disclosure it is really at the risk of our health. Anyone can be allergic to any of the ingredients contained in the fragrance and may have a reaction on your skin.  Strong fragrances might be your favorite but it can cause serious headaches and nausea for others. While you may think harm from a fragrance to your skin might be invisible, the harm over time is real. The International Fragrance Association has listed over 2000 ingredients which have been used since 2011.  Other Ingredients To Avoid When ...

Spring Cleaning Your Home & Body for Allergy Season

Many of us are excited to have springtime in full-swing and the weather steadily heating up. But with new grass and budding flowers just around the corner, there comes a dreaded time for approximately 10-30 percent of the population. That’s right, it’s almost allergy season. Over-the-counter medications like Claritin and Reactine can work wonders in many allergy sufferers. Natural remedies such as quercetin and Petascites hybridus (or butterbur) can do the trick for runny noses, itchy eyes and sneezing. But what else can we do to proactively calm the body’s immune system and lower our allergy burden? A good place to start is by looking at our homes and our bodies. Here are some tips and tricks to consider for your house and your diet as we enter the allergy season: Purchase an air purifierIt has been proven that indoor air actually has more pesticides, solvents and chemicals vs. outdoor air. Although pollens and fresh-cut grass tend to be out in the yard, we bring those allergens inside with us on our clothes and on the soles of our shoes. Many people with asthma, allergies and sinus concerns will benefit dramatically from using an air purifier in their bedroom or main area. For the best results, ensure that your air purifier has a charcoal filter and a HEPA filter. Do a thorough house cleaning and dustingThis may be an obvious tip but be sure to clean those hard to reach places that often get missed like the baseboards, above the fan blades, behind the headboard of the bed, on top of the fridge and high-rise appliances. Further, avoid toxic cleaning products, opting for the less harmful vinegar based solutions. Consider removing your wall-to-wall carpetingCarpeting is a haven for allergens, dust and chemicals. Whether you live in a new or old home, stop debating the benefits of carpet removal. It’s time to replace your carpets with hardwood or laminate flooring and alternately use decorative  throw rugs that you can easily wash or shake out. Don’t permit smoking inside your home or carThe chemicals and toxins in cigarettes are well known to seep into walls, carpets and household materials. This means that even if you are not the one smoking, you’re getting exposure and your immune system, liver, sinuses, lungs and all other systems are carrying that extra burden. Reduce your cosmetic exposure, or find toxin free makeup brandsMost cosmetics are riddled with chemicals that can negatively impact your hormones and your overall health. When it comes to allergies, if you are using excessive amounts of cosmetics then your body will be busy focusing on detoxifying these chemicals and balancing hormones rather than fighting off allergens. These chemicals have names like parabens, pthalates, sulfates, FD&C and D&C (synthetic colors). Avoid perfumes, scented laundry detergents and fabric softenersThe same goes for air fresheners with solvents like toluene, or shampoos and soaps with parabens and sodium lauryl sulphate. If you want yourself and your home to smell fresh, consider essential oils or all natural candles instead. If you have visible mold, have a remediation company get rid of itThis can be costly depending on the extent of mold exposure, but it may be one of the best investments you ever make for your allergies and for your overall health! Mold exposure is linked to dozens of health symptoms including sinus congestion and allergy control. Start with the obvious mold that you can see and also places that would have lots of water exposure (such as the shower or the basement). Increase your consumption of raw broccoliRaw broccoli contains a highly potent antioxidant compound known as sulforaphane. This compound is one of the best natural ingredients known to stimulate liver detoxification abilities, meaning that it allows your liver to better fight off and eliminate the allergens that come through your system. Keep in mind, though, that the broccoli cannot be cooked because this kills the enzyme myrosinase which is responsible for activating sulforaphane. Consider switching key produce items to organicAccording to reports from www.ewg.org certain fruits and vegetables are well-known to be highly pesticide-laden. This is just more work for your liver to handle and is, once again, increasing your body’s toxic burden. Common examples of the most pesticide-laden foods include strawberries, apples, spinach, grapes and tomatoes. If you follow these steps now and continue them throughout allergy season your body will be in a much better place to fight off the allergens and recover quickly when you do have exposure. As a side benefit, these changes will benefit your hormones and energy levels, meaning that your overall health will skyrocket! Many of these changes will improve the health of your family and house members, too! Let us know if you have any natural tips and tricks that have made your allergy season more ...

Stop Sneezing Fits With Natural Allergy Relief

A natural routine to stop sneezing fits every allergy season Spring has sprung, and while others are gearing up for picnics in the park, you’re stocking up on tissues. If your springtime routine includes sneezing, watery eyes, an itchy throat or congestion, you know how badly seasonal allergies can affect your life. Learn how to naturally manage your symptoms and stop sneezing fits. What are allergies? Allergies are an inflammatory response from the body. When you encounter something you are allergic to, such as pollen, your body recognizes it as an invader. As a result, your immune system release antibodies specific to that allergen. These antibodies attach themselves to immune cells called mast cells, that trigger the release of histamine. Histamine is the reason you get an allergic reaction. Histamine is the culprit behind your red itchy eyes, the sneezing or the hives. How to stop sneezing fits There are a number of natural remedies that can help stop sneezing fits. Using a combination of supplementation and food as medicine with some minor lifestyle adjustments, you can create a well-rounded holistic routine to get through your allergy season. Natural supplementation options Spirulina – Spirulina is a blue-green algae that was traditionally used by the Aztec civilization. It’s often highlighted for its plant-based protein and iron content. What many people don’t know, is that spirulina can also help to relieve symptoms associated with hay fever. That includes symptoms like sneezing, sniffing, or nasal congestion. Test tube and animal studies have shown that spirulina functions by stopping the release of histamine that causes symptoms. Bee Propolis – Bee Propolis is a resin that bees use to seal the cracks in their hive. It’s a potent source of antioxidants used in Herbal Medicine to relieve throat and mouth infections. Bee Propolis is a great option for soothing a sore throat from constant sneezing and coughing. Keep inflammation in check Eat your omega-3s– Essential fatty acids are fats you need to eat because your body can’t make them. There are two types of essential fatty acids, Omega-3s and Omega-6s. And while we often eat enough omega-6 in our daily diets, our consumption of omega-3s is often far too low. Eating more omega-3 fatty acids is important because omega-3s help to regulate the inflammatory response. Omega-3s are in fish, nuts and seeds. Chia seeds and flax seeds are particularly great plant-based sources. You can also supplement with omega-3s if you don’t eat these foods often enough. Use turmeric – Some herbs have incredible anti-inflammatory benefits, and Turmeric is definitely a superstar in this category. Turmeric contains a flavonoid called curcumin that supports liver detoxification while combating inflammation. It’s easy to use in a number of dishes, and a little goes a long way. Black pepper also helps with absorption. Try mixing it into scrambled eggs, or use it in your stir-fries. Try home remedies Eat local raw honey – Though there hasn’t been much research to prove its effectiveness, anecdotally, local raw honey may help to reduce the intensity of seasonal allergy symptoms. The idea behind it, is that the honey will introduce your body to small amounts of pollen from your area, allowing your body to slowly adapt. It’s an easy enough little experiment to try if you’re an allergy sufferer yourself. But remember, it’s key that you’re choosing local so the pollen you’re exposed to is consistent with the pollen in your region. It’s also ideal to start this prior to allergy season so your body has that period of low exposure with the time to adapt. Use a Neti Pot – Neti pots are like miniature teapots that work to rinse out nasal passages with a saline solution. You pour the neti pot into one nostril, the fluid travels through the nasal passage and flows out of the opposing nostril, flushing out excess mucus and allergens such as pollen. Still overwhelmed by your sneezing fits? Plan ahead. Knowing what time of year seasonal allergens will peak in your local region is key when preparing for allergy season. Making minor adjustments in your day to day life can help you to avoid contact with allergens during peak seasons. Try keeping your windows closed when possible during times when allergen levels are highest in the environment. Avoid outdoor activities on windier days. Wind can increase the number of airborne allergens increasing exposure. Allergens can follow you indoors on your skin, clothing and hair. Wash pillow cases and linens often to reduce allergens. Try an indoor air purifier to help filter air reducing allergens you’re likely to breath in your indoor space.   References: 1. http://drhoffman.com/article/alternatives-to-antihistamines-2/ 2. http://umm.edu/health/medical/altme ...