Halloween Can Be Very Scary — If Your Child Has Allergies or Hypersensitivities!

Halloween can be scary indeed — particularly the day after as attested to by every teacher I’ve ever met.  You’ve heard the stories — or perhaps you’ve even happy_jack_o_lanternwitnessed them personally.  Why is it most young children behave so badly:  Allergies/hypersensitivities to the chemicals called “salicylates” that permeate the candy they’ve been given, along with a whole lot of sugar.  Both salicylates which include food coloring (especially yellow dye #5 and #6) and flavorings spike a chemical in the brain called “glutamate”.

Here’s an excellent peer-reviewed journal article entitled Sensitivity to food additives, vaso-active amines and salicylates: a review of the evidence

Here’s some information from http://fedup.com.au/factsheets/additive-and-natural-chemical-factsheets/salicylates:

What are salicylates?

Salicylates are chemicals that occur naturally in many plants – they’re a kind of natural pesticide – to protect the plants against insects and diseases. Salicylates are just one group of the hundreds of compounds in foods that can have varying effects on us, depending on how much we eat and how sensitive we are.

     What kinds of foods/products are they found in?

Salicylates are found in foods from plants: most fruit, some vegetables, herbs, spices, tea and flavour additives. For example, citrus fruit, berries, tomato sauce and mint flavouring are naturally high in salicylates and so are processed foods with those flavours.

Salicylates are also found in medications, fragrances, industrial chemicals, plastics and some pesticides, and can cause adverse effects when inhaled as well as eaten.

     What are some of the symptoms of salicylate sensitivity?

  • headaches or migraines
  • itchy skin rashes such as hives (urticaria), eczema and others
  • irritable bowel symptoms – reflux in babies or adults, nausea, vomiting, stomach bloating and discomfort, wind, diarrhoea and/or constipation
  • bedwetting, cystitis
  • asthma, stuffy or runny nose, nasal polyps, frequent throat clearing,
  • behaviour problems such as irritability, restlessness, inattention, oppositional defiance, symptoms of ADHD
  • sleep disturbance – difficulty falling asleep, night terrors, frequent night waking, sleep apnoea
  • anxiety, depression, panic attacks
  • rapid heart beat and arrythmias
  • tinnitus, hyperacusis, hearing loss (hyperacusis is a sensitivity to noises)
  • joint pain, arthritis, and more ….

As you can see from the last list, uncorrected salicylate sensitivity can result in many profound changes, and can continue into adulthood with many serious effects long-term.

The Feingold Diet Program has a great deal of information on this problem, especially in relationship to ADHD.  For more information, go to their website – www.feingold.org.  A good piece of information to download is their “Blue Book”.

There is also a connection between salicylate sensitivity and sulphite sensitivity, as noted on this youtube channel.

One of the worst salicylate food colorings are yellow dye #5, also known as tartrazine, which is known to produce symptoms of ADHD and other bad effects.

So, if your child gets any symptoms noted above, even after Halloween, you should bring them in and have them checked for salicylate or sulphite sensitivity.

PS.  For more information on food colorings and other food chemicals, this Slate article entitled “Food Doesn’t Have to Wear Makeup” is worth a read.

New Research Discovers That Depression is an Allergic Reaction to Inflammation

New research is revealing that many cases of depression are caused by an allergic reaction to inflammation.  Tim de Chant of NOVA writes: “Inflammation is our immune system’s natural response to injuries, infections, or foreign compounds. When triggered, the body pumps various cells and proteins to the site through the blood stream, including cytokines, a class of proteins that facilitate intercellular communication.  It also happens that people suffering from depression are loaded with cytokines.”  Inflammation is caused by obesity, high sugar diets, high quantities of trans fats, unhealthy diets in general, and other causes.

Read more here:  http://www.feelguide.com/2015/01/06/new-research-discovers-tha-depression-is-an-allergic-reaction-to-inflammation/

There are many natural substances that can counteract inflammation and by extension depression.  Rhiola is one, as noted in this article Roseroot may have potential as alternative treatment for depression:

“For 12 weeks, each participant received either standardized roseroot (rhodiola) extract, sertraline or a placebo. The researchers measured changes in the participants’ depression during this period.

“The researchers found that although the participants receiving sertraline were more likely to report improvements in their symptoms by week 12 of their treatment than participants receiving roseroot extract, the differences were not statistically significant.

“In comparison with participants receiving a placebo, patients taking roseroot had 1.4 times the odds of improvement, whereas patients taking sertraline had 1.9 times the odds.

“However, far more patients receiving sertraline (63%) reported side effects than those receiving roseroot (30%). This finding suggests that roseroot may have a more favorable risk to benefit ratio than sertraline for treating mild to moderate depression.

“These results are a bit preliminary but suggest that herbal therapy may have the potential to help patients with depression who cannot tolerate conventional antidepressants due to side effects,” says Dr. Mao.”

In addition to Rhodiola, other natural anti-inflammatories work well such as curcumin and saffron and many others.  It seems nature does not want us to be depressed, and offers many alternatives through it’s abundance, if only we’ll listen.

However, as a postscript on the subject of depression, recent information has now indicated that the drug group called “statins” which are used to treat cholesterol problems may be a new cause of depression as noted in this article from Psychiatric Times journal:

“For more than a decade, Golomb and her team have researched the effects of statin medications.

“ ‘Some individuals taking statins report problems with anxiety and depression, but far more report problems with irritability and changes in personality,” Golomb told Psychiatric Times.

“ ‘An analysis of 324 e-mails of individuals taking statins who reported adverse effects found about 30% reported mood changes (depression, anxiety, irritability),” she said.

“In a survey of persons citing statin adverse effects, Golomb reported that nearly two-thirds (65%) of the 843 respondents endorsed increased anxiety or irritability and 32% endorsed an increase in depressive symptoms as part of the adverse-effect complex they attributed to statins.”


Be Kind to Yourself!

An article on Futurity.org entitled “Going Easy on Yourself May Improve Health” showed that being tough on yourself can have ramifications in the production of inflammation in your body-mind — the #1 killer of mankind.  Here’s an excerpt:

“Then, the participants took one stress test a day for two days and their levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6), an inflammatory agent linked to stress, were recorded before and after each test. After the first stress test, participants with higher self-compassion had significantly lower levels of IL-6.

“On the second day, Rohleder and his team found something unexpected. Those with low self-compassion had higher base levels of IL-6 before the test, suggesting that they may have been carrying the stress they experienced the day before.

“ ‘The high responses of IL-6 on the first day and the higher baseline levels on the second day suggest that people with low self-compassion are especially vulnerable to the adverse effects of this kind of stress,” Rohleder says.”

Interleukin 6, according to Wikipedia, is related to the following diseases:

Role in disease

IL-6 stimulates the inflammatory and auto-immune processes in many diseases such as diabetes, atherosclerosis, depression, Alzheimer’s Disease, systemic lupus erythematosus, multiple myeloma, prostate cancer,Behçet’s disease, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Advanced/metastatic cancer patients have higher levels of IL-6 in their blood.

IL-6 is also implicated in depression:


The epigenetic (factors that alter gene expression) effects IL-6 have also been implicated in the pathology of depression. The effects of IL-6 on depression are mediated through the repression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression in the brain; <snip>

Downregulation of BDNF, therefore, may cause decreased connectivity in the brain. Depression is marked by altered connectivity, in particular between the anterior cingulate cortex and several other limbic areas, such as the hippocampus.[45] The anterior cingulate cortex is responsible for detecting incongruences between expectation and perceived experience.[46] Altered connectivity of the anterior cingulate cortex in depression, therefore, may cause altered emotions following certain experiences, leading to depressive reactions.[46] This altered connectivity is mediated by IL-6 and its effect on epigenetic regulation of BDNF.[42]

So, to keep your brain working effectively and to have a happy life, reduce your IL-6 by taking it easy on yourself!  We need to have the attitude of little Jessica here.

How to Increase Your Performance in Life

A new article posted March 23rd on Bloomberg.com exclaims:
Athletes to CEOs Finding Food Sensitivities Can Mar Performance

The article talks about a blood test for allergies called the “Alcat Test“, which, for a measly $800, you can have a 320 foods, food additives and other substances tested.

But the fact that Bloomberg’s is recommending it to its readers is laudable.  Allergies and sensitivities CAN and DO affect your performance — at school, at the office, at sports, and in all the other areas of your life.  That’s why that is the focus of my practice!

If you know of anyone who would like to have their life and performance enhanced, have them call us!  Our initial evaluation can save them at least $675 for starters.  Or, we can send them for this test if they wish.  In any regard, this only tells part of the story — the other TWO parts are:  1)  How do I eliminate the allergy?  and, 2) how do I prevent future allergies.

Social Rejection Can Cause Physical Pain

An interesting article today from Yahoo Health entitled “Social Rejection Can Cause Physical Pain” which talks about an experiment of people experiencing actual physical pain as the result of rejection.  Here’s some really good advice noted in the article:

To recover from that pain, it’s best to rely on healthy coping skills that allow you to better relate to people or avoid those you can’t seem to get along with, says psychologist Jeffrey Rossman, PhD, director of the Life Management at Canyon Ranch in Lenox, Massachusetts, and a Rodale.com advisor. “Don’t give up trying to connect with others and try not to be hard on yourself. Learn what you can from your experience.”
Here are some ways to cope with social rejection—or avoid it in the first place:
Don’t take it personally. There is some logic to that old standby, “It’s not you, it’s me.” There are a lot of reasons why relationships end, or never get going in the first place, says Rossman, and often it has nothing to do with you. “A boyfriend may be afraid of making a long-term commitment for reasons that are entirely about him,” he says. “His ending the relationship may be because he’s not ready for the kind of committed relationship you are wanting and ready for.” And the same holds true when you try to make friends with people who seem uninterested in becoming your friend. If you’ve tried to befriend a coworker or neighbor who continually rejects your efforts, move on. “You can’t be friends with everyone, but you can be friends with a few people you are compatible with,” Rossman adds.
Look inward. That being said, sometimes it is you. Rossman notes that there are certain personality types that are more susceptible to rejection than others. They usually fall into the “Type D” group, “d” meaning “distressed.” These people are usually more prone to worry, irritability, and gloom, and they’re more socially inhibited than others. Also, “they tend to not share these emotions with others, because of fear of rejection or disapproval,” Rossman adds. If you fall into this group, try to spend time with current friends who are more outgoing. Their social ease may make it easier for you to develop new relationships
Research shows: Be true to yourself and you’ll be happier with others.
Find self-esteem boosters. One of the best ways to protect yourself against the painful effects of rejection is to improve your self-esteem, says Rossman. You can always exercise, which has been found to boost body image and self-esteem. Another way to boost your self-esteem is to find a hobby or activity that makes you feel good about yourself, whether it’s volunteering at a nearby animal shelter or taking an art class at the local community center.
Know the warning signs. DeWall notes in his study that negative and painful reactions to social rejection could lead to aggressive or antisocial behavior. Even if you don’t feel like you’re in pain every time you get rejected, Rossman says there are a few warning signs that might indicate that you’re handling it badly:

1. You find yourself withdrawing from people and forgoing activities you have enjoyed for fear of rejection.

2. You expect rejection and then feel resentful of other people.

3. You end relationships in order to reject others before they can reject you.

4. You provoke conflicts in order to find a reason to end a relationship.

5. You turn to unhealthy behaviors to help you soothe your hurt feelings, such as excessive emotional eating or drinking, drug use, or overspending.

A friend of mine was very successful in the life insurance sales game.  When asked why he was the most successful sales person for a major life insurance company, he said this: ”  Most people put in 8 hours filled with rejection.  Then they quit.  I knew I was going to get 8 hours of rejection, so I figured I’d work 10 so the last two would be productive.”  Everyone (in his business) has a certain amount of rejection that s/he must endure daily, then you get the payoff.  Rejection can either build you up, or tear you down.  It’s really your choice as to who is boss of your limbic system.