Spring is here in Tahoe and the initial signs of the green cloud is making its mark by means of sneezing, congestion, itchy eyes, scratchy throat, runny nose (why does the nose run and the feet smell?) and other bothersome symptoms. Seasonal allergies also called Hay Fever and Allergic Rhinitis can make you miserable during this time of year. The more annoying companion to seasonal allergies is Asthma, which can get much worse during this time. Many people use over the counter antihistamines like Claritin, Allegra, and Zyrtec to control the allergy symptoms but there are many natural treatments for seasonal allergies that have no sedating side effects like the OTC antihistamines.
If you are only suffering from allergies for a month or two during the whole year than I would recommend the following natural treatments for dealing with symptoms; but if you suffering for 4-6 months or even most of the year from various environmental allergies than the end of this article will discuss a more permanent solution for allergies called the AllergyEasy Program.
The goal of treatment for managing the symptoms of seasonal allergies is to reduce exposure and to reduce the histamine response caused by environmental allergens or antigens.
It can be hard to reduce one’s exposure to environmental allergens but keeping your hair washed, having an air filter in your bedroom, keeping windows closed, minimizing outdoor activities especially when pollen counts are high or wearing a mask are all the tricks to reduce the total antigen burden. Rinsing the mucus membranes with a Netipot or Nasopure system (google for website) is very helpful for cleaning out the sinuses of antigens and it is an inexpensive treatment. Do this treatment as directed twice a day.
The natural anti-histamines can be very effective like Quercitin (flavonoid), Bromelain, Stinging Nettles (Eclectic Institute capsules are the best), Butterbur among others. Vitamin C, fish oil, and antioxidants like elderberry and blueberries are effective for helping to reduce allergy symptoms. It is also important to decrease sugar and alcohol consumption during this time.
In addition to the above, another very important treatment for seasonal allergies is supporting the adrenal glands that produce cortisol. This hormone is important for energy and reducing inflammation in the body. It is common to feel very fatigued during allergy season because the adrenal glands are not producing enough cortisol. I commonly replace this hormone for my patients during this time, which helps not only with their energy state but also to control their allergy symptoms.
The AllergyEasy Program is a more permanent solution for environmental allergies. It involves drops under the tongue using a universal serum of antigens daily for up to a year. No testing is needed because the serum contains all of the allergens that most people are reactive too like pollen, molds, cats, grasses, etc. I have found this program to be very effective with an 85% success rate and it is easy to do requiring only 3 minutes a day. The drops are similar to the shots but much more effective. The idea is to desensitize the immune system to these benign substances in the environment; retrain the immune system to stop reacting to these harmless things and to focus on the important things like viruses, bacteria, and cancer cells.
Effective Treatment With Ozone Gas To Treat Chronic Bladder Pain
Ozone gas infused into the bladder has proven to be a very effective treatment for Interstitial Cystitis (IC). Based on my clinical experience, treating approximately 30 women and 2 men with this condition; I have seen an 80% success rate at curing this condition. It is estimated that the prevalence in the United States is estimated at 3.2 to 7.9 million women and 1-4 million men struggling with IC without any real reversal of this condition. Most IC patients end up managing this condition as a chronic disease. Ozone gas works its miracle by healing and restoring the function of the bladder lining/wall. A leaky bladder lining leads to inflammation in the muscles of the bladder causing pain, urinary urgency and frequency.
What are the symptoms of IC? Bladder pain is the hallmark symptom, particularly as the bladder fills with urine. Pain can also occur throughout the pelvis. Urinary frequency is found in 92% of patients with IC. Urgency is also common. IC patients struggling with urgency often rush to the restroom to avoid and/or reduce pain. In contrast, Overactive Bladder (OAB) patients struggling with urgency run to the restroom NOT to reduce discomfort but to avoid leakage and/or becoming incontinent. OAB has no pain only urgency. It is not unusual for patients to struggle with sleep due to the constant urge to urinate (nocturia). Intimacy may also provoke pain and discomfort (dyspareunia).
What is the cause of IC? The cause of IC from my experience is due to an identifiable trauma or injury to the bladder or pelvic region, such as a bladder infection, pelvic radiation treatments, childbirth (pelvic floor dysfunction), and pelvic scar tissue caused by surgeries. Bladder infections are the most common injury. Certain foods, environmental allergies, IBS, Alcohol and stress seem to trigger IC flares but typically this is not the cause of IC, these are only aggravating agents after the injury to the bladder has occurred. Most cases need an injury event to the bladder before they are diagnosed with IC.
How is IC diagnosed? There is not a specific blood or urine test to diagnose IC. A cystoscopy (camera placed inside bladder) with biopsy of the bladder wall can be done to diagnosis IC but it is not necessary or recommended unless the diagnosis is unclear after ruling out bladder infections, kidney stones, prostatitis, and vaginitis among others. Generally, six weeks in the absence of a bladder infection and without a positive urine culture is diagnostic for IC.
How is IC typically treated? Elmiron is the only FDA approved oral medication for IC. It works by providing a protective coating to the bladder wall that prevents urine, bacteria, and other irritating substances from penetrating the bladder wall.
Bladder instillations are another common treatment option. During a bladder instillation, the bladder is filled with medication via a catheter. The solution is held for 20-30 minutes (dwell time) before being drained via the catheter or voided. Some treatments are thought to coat and protect the bladder, while others are thought to suppress inflammation.
Heparin is used as a bladder instillation treatment. It is believed to act as a bladder coating. One study did 25,000 units of Heparin instillation twice weekly for 3 months with 72.5% of patients reporting a significant relief of symptoms but they can to continue treatments to maintains its benefit.
Another treatment is called Urgent PC neuromodulation system, also called percutaneous tibial nerve neuromodulation (PTNS). The treatment involves using a needle electrode placed near the ankle as an entry point, the electrical impulse travels along the tibial nerve to the nerves in the spine that control pelvic floor function (sacral nerve plexus). The purpose of this treatment is to dampend the nerve response to the bladder. This treatment can be effective but is not addressing the root problem, injury to the bladder wall. Treatments last 30 minutes and are weekly for 12 weeks along with maintenance treatments. This treatment is about 55% effective at controlling IC symptoms.
How do you treat IC with ozone gas? The treatment involves the instillation procedure as described above but ozone gas is used as the medication. The bladder is drained of urine via a urinary catheter. Next, the bladder is pre medicated with the IC solution that includes a mixture of procaine, homeopathic anti-inflammatory called Traumeel, Heparin, and sodium bicarbonate. The catheter is removed and this solution is allowed to sit in the bladder for 30 minutes before placing the catheter again to allow the IC solution to drain. The final step is to infuse the ozone gas in the bladder, which is allowed to sit for 30 minutes. The procedure takes about 1 hour and repeated 2-4x per week for 3-6 weeks. I send patients home with two herbal supplements called Bladder Tonic and Bladder Ease to help further heal and repair the bladder wall.
How does Ozone work? The ozone gas works by stimulating the cells of the bladder wall to heal and repair their function. Once the bladder wall is damaged it becomes hard to restore function without the help of a stimulating agent, ozone seems to work very well at doing this. The exact reason for how well ozone gas works is unclear but I can tell you it works.
Call the office today to get more information about this natural and very effective treatment to permanently resolved your IC condition.