Most classically trained physicians, including primary-care, allergists, pulmonologists, and otolaryngologists (including me) are starting to understand that chronic airway-digestive inflammatory disease (CAID) is caused by chronic inflammation and that the various diseases that make up CAID are connected. Yet practitioners outside of traditional Western medicine have always believed that the systems of the body
EAST HEALTH REMEDIES
Acupuncture originated in China more than 5,000 years ago and gradually spread across the entire Asian continent and to the West. It is believed to be the longest continuously practiced form of medicine in the world. In the United States, acupuncture’s use has been on the rise since James Reston’s landmark article describing his experience with postsurgical pain and acupuncture, which was published
Each individual will experience acupuncture differently. For most, acupuncture is relatively painless. You may be aware of a small discomfort once the needles are inserted, and you may experience a sensation of heaviness or mild aching after the treatment. This feeling is often desirable because it indicates that chi has been activated. Typically, results will be evident within six to eight treatments over a 2-month period, although chronic conditions may require
Although acupuncture is most frequently sought as a treatment for physical pain such as back or neck ache, its traditional use is to treat a wide variety of conditions, ranging from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) to allergies, asthma, and sinusitis. This is one of the many reasons I think it is an effective option for CAID sufferers. Among the conditions
Acupuncture has been shown to be effective in treating both acute and chronic asthma. In Chinese medicine, asthma is thought to be caused by external wind and cold influences or by excess heat, which is characterized by excessive sputum. The approach to dealing with asthma is relatively straightforward, with treatment directed toward
The difference between acupuncture and acupressure is that acupressure points are stimulated by hand rather than through the use of needles. There are a few useful techniques that can be done at home to alleviate symptoms of acute sinusitis.
You can apply pressure to some of the acupressure points the next time you have a sinus headache or infection. When using these points, apply a moderate amount of pressure
Chiropractic care is an alternative healing method for alleviating the nervous system from any interference, also known as subluxations of the spinal column. Both chiropractors and traditional medical practitioners agree that the nervous system acts as the body’s communication center, sending messages from the brain to the rest of the body through nerve roots.
Homeopathy is a system of medicine that is widely practiced in Europe and is now finding its way around the world. I do not personally practice homeopathy, which requires specific training to accurately prescribe remedies. However, I often work with practitioners. Anecdotally, I have heard good reports. A study on the efficacy of homeopathic treatments has shown them to be more effective than taking a placebo. The success of homeopathy
When you see a homeopath, he or she will take into account your constitutional type before prescribing a remedy. This means assessing a person’s physical, emotional, and intellectual makeup as part of the diagnosis. Then a remedy will be prescribed and a course of action outlined.
Homeopathic medicines are products made by homeopathic pharmacies in accordance with the processes recognized by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration. The substances may be made from plants, minerals, animals, or even from chemical drugs. Each of these substances is diluted carefully until little or none of the original remains. Some of the most common remedies for CAID symptoms
Osteopathic medicine is also based on a philosophy that treats and heals the entire patient, as opposed to a crisis-oriented approach. Osteopathic philosophy stresses the importance of the body’s own natural healing powers as well as the importance of the musculoskeletal system in general health. It is a truly holistic medical approach. Its founder, Andrew Taylor Still, was a Civil War surgeon who was discouraged by the overuse of medication during his day.
Studies in the United States and abroad have shown that osteopathic interventions can help CAID sufferers. In the case of sinusitis, osteopaths believe that the thick mucus produced in the sinuses is not adequately drained and the unequal pressure leads to pain. Because the nerves
responsible for the sinuses begin in the thoracic (chest) area and pass through the neck,
Mesotherapy has been used in France for over 50 years and is recognized by the French Academy of Medicine. The French believe that it is a safe and effective modality for the treatment of a wide range of medical conditions, including CAID. This type of treatment has not yet achieved widespread acceptance in the United States.
The basic premise of mesotherapy is to use the smallest
Naturopaths practice many of the techniques used by other practitioners and believe in healing by restoring strength to the individual rather than by curing specific diseases. They have a strong reverence for the healing power of nature. The goal for all practitioners of natural healing is to stimulate the body to heal itself.
Functional medicine blends biochemistry, anatomy, and naturopathy into an approach that is both conceptually and practically useful for the treatment of CAID. One of their key premises is that a leaky gut or increased intestinal permeability underlies chronic inflammation.
There are two types of allergies. The first is a sudden onset reaction, as when someone with an allergy to ragweed is exposed to the allergen and quickly develops a rash, shortness of breath, nasal congestion, and sneezing. A second, more insidious form that usually goes unrecognized is a delayed-onset reaction. In this form, the individual may notice only some fatigue, bloating, “mental fog,” or an exacerbation of chronic pain and congestion.
The gut normally maintains a balance of different types of bacteria. The good bacteria are symbiotic: They help digest food and form substances
such as butyric acid, the “fuel” for the cells lining the gut wall. The bad bacteria are usually held in check by the large numbers of good bacteria, which are able to get to most of the ingested
An active infection by a parasite, fungus, or bacterium can wreak havoc on the gut lining. Candida or yeast-related disorders can also wreak havoc in the body. There are numerous diets and theories about yeast infections in the gut, and how they weaken the immune system. These are intimately related to fungal conditions elsewhere in the body.
(Functional medicine advocates refer to this as the 4 Rs.)
1. Remove: Eliminate infections that are found. Stop taking antiinflammatories and drinking excess alcohol. Begin an allergy elimination diet, which removes toxins in food that may trigger
an inflammatory response. (The elimination diet is given at the end of the category.)
2. Replace: Add fiber, digestive
The following list includes only a few of the substances that functional medicine practitioners use for CAID symptoms. They believe that if taken daily, these nutrients will reduce symptoms and restore a normal intestinal permeability.
■ Probiotics. As mentioned in category 4, these helpful bacteria are crucial for intestinal health. They are even more crucial for treating CAID, for which antibiotics
The “remove” aspect of functional medicine (the first of the 4 Rs) includes dietary changes, particularly when there has been a history of antibiotic misuse. When necessary, I send patients to holistic practitioners who prescribe the following allergy elimination diet as a way to cleanse my patients’ internal systems before more aggressive treatment, including prescription medications or surgery is initiated. This type of diet eliminates - for 2-3 weeks - most
This is called an “elimination diet” because you will be removing certain foods and food categories from your diet. These modifications allow your body’s compromised detoxification machinery to recover and begin to function efficiently. The dietary changes help the body eliminate or “clear” various toxins that may have accumulated due to environmental exposure, foods,
Eat only the foods listed under “Foods to Include” and avoid foods listed under “Foods to Exclude.” If you have a question about a particular food, check to see if it is on the food list. Avoid any of the
permissible foods if you know you are intolerant or allergic. Pay attention to the following guidelines as you choose your foods each day:
■ You may use leftovers
■ Corn starch in baking powder and any processed foods
■ Corn syrup in beverages and processed foods
■ Vinegar in ketchup, mayonnaise, and mustard is usually from
wheat or corn
■ Breads advertised as gluten-free that contain spelt, kamut, or rye
Functional medical practitioners believe that a low level inflammatory state contributes to bronchial irritability and the likelihood of bron - chospasm. An analysis of 2,000 children showed that 80 percent had decreased acid output, suggesting that these children may have been predisposed to food allergies. These allergies may increase gut permeability, thus both increasing the level of inflammation as well as increasing the number of bronchostrictive