Archive for the ‘Natural Allergy Support’ Category

Mast Cell Activation Syndrome!

Friday, June 15th, 2018

 

Does histamine control your life?   Are you even aware that it might?  You might have MCAS!!

Much of this information comes from Dr Tania Dempsey and Dr Jill Carnahan in the States….  but it is a Syndrome worth thinking about if you’re simply not getting on top of your pain, allergies, nervous system stresses etc….  Many doctors in Australia are totally unaware of this condition.

What is Mast Cell Activation Syndrome?

Mast cells, a type of blood cell, play an important role in the body’s immune system. They reside in all body tissues and form part of the body’s initial defence system. Mast cells react to foreign bodies and injury by releasing a variety of potent chemical mediators, such as histamine, when activated. In a healthy person these chemicals will act beneficially to protect and heal the body, but in a person with MCAS these same chemicals are inappropriately triggered and released and have a negative effect on the body. Amongst the triggers are a variety of different foods, exercise, chemicals, fragrances and stress. Many sufferers struggle to identify their triggers and continue to discover new triggers for many years after diagnosis.

MCAS forms part of a spectrum of mast cell disorders involving proliferation and/or excessive sensitivity of mast cells, it has been identified since 2007. It features inappropriate mast cell activation with little or no increase in the number of mast cells, unlike in Mastocytosis*.  MCAS causes a wide range of unpleasant, sometimes debilitating, symptoms in any of the different systems of the body, frequently affecting several systems at the same time. The onset of MCAS is often sudden, affecting both children and adults, sometimes in family groups, mimicking many other conditions and presenting a wide-range of different symptoms that can be baffling for both the patient and their physician. Often there are no obvious clinical signs since MCAS confounds the anatomy-based structure underpinning the traditional diagnostic approach. Very often Mast Cell Activation Syndrome is hiding in plain sight.

Mastocystosis:  very rare and NOT what we’re talking about here…

Mastocytosis involves inappropriate mast cell activation AS WELL AS an increased number of mast cells. It is a rare but relatively well known mast cell disorder and is currently easier to diagnose than MCAS.

Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS): When Histamine Goes Haywire…

Mast cells are present in most tissues throughout the human body, especially connective tissue, skin, intestinal lining cardiovascular system, nervous system, and reproductive organs. They are part of the allergic response designed to protect us from threat and injury.  When the body is exposed to a perceived threat, the mast cells secrete chemical mediators, such as histamine, interleukins, prostaglandins, cytokines, chemokine and various other chemicals stored in the cytoplasm of the cell.  These chemical messengers produce both local and systemic effects, such as increased permeability of blood vessels (inflammation and swelling), contraction of smooth muscle (stomach cramps and heart palpitations), and increase mucous production (congestion, sneezing, etc).   Historically, we thought of mast cells only in relation to an allergic or anaphylactic response.  We now know they play a profound role in immune activation, development of autoimmunity and many other disorders, such as POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome).  Sadly we are seeing a large increase in patients presenting with mast cell disorders and MCAS.  I believe it is in part do to the onslaught of more pervasive environmental toxins, moulds and chemicals.

Withouts mast cells, we would not be able to heal from a wound.  They protect us from injury and help the body to heal.  Unfortunately, overactive mast cells can cause a variety of serious symptoms.

Symptoms of overactive mast cells may include:

  • skin rashes/hives
  • swelling/oedema
  • flushing
  • asthma
  • itching
  • abdominal pain
  • nausea/vomiting
  • diarrhoea
  • wheezing
  • shortness of breath
  • heart palpitations
  • anxiety, difficulty concentrating
  • headaches
  • brain fog
  • low blood pressure
  • fatigue

Mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS) is a condition symptoms involving the skin, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, respiratory, and neurologic systems. It can be classified into primary (clonal proliferation or mastocytosis), secondary (due to a specific stimulus), and idiopathic (no identifiable cause). Proposed criteria for the diagnosis of MCAS included episodic symptoms consistent with mast cell mediator release affecting two or more organ systems with hives, swelling, flushing, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, low blood pressure, fainting, heart palpitations, wheezing, red eyes, itching, and/or nasal congestion.  For a diagram of all of the varied symptoms histamine can cause, click here.

Triggers may be medications, foods, supplements, hormones, opioids, stressors (physical or emotional), cold temperature, heat, pressure, noxious odors, chemicals, insect bites, trauma or environmental toxins.

We commonly see mast cell activation syndromes associated with CIRS (chronic inflammatory response syndrome) in response to biotoxins, such as mould, inflammagens, and lyme-related toxins.

Low MSH and Mast Cell Disorders?

As mentioned above, we frequently see histamine intolerance and MCAS in patients with mold-related CIRS (chronic inflammatory response syndrome).  It is interesting to note that a common finding in CIRS is low MSH.  According to this study in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, alpha-MSH plays an immunomodulatory role during inflammatory and allergic reactions of the skin.  In addition, there is evidence that MSH induces mast-cell apoptosis(cell death).

Definition of Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS)

  1. Typical clinical symptoms as listed above
  2. Increase in serum tryptase level or an increase in other mast cell derived mediators, such as histamine or prostaglandins (PGD2), or their urinary metabolites,
  3. Response of symptoms to treatment
Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS)

Mast cells can be activated by both direct and indirect mechanisms as a result of exposure of the host to pathogens.

Diseases Associated with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS)

  • Allergies and Asthma
  • Autism
  • Autoimmune diseases (Hashimoto’s thyroiditis,  systemic lupus, multiple sclerosis, bullous pemphigoid, rheumatoid arthritis and others.Eczema
  • Celiac Disease
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • CIRS (chronic inflammatory response syndrome)
  • Eosinophilic Esophagitis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Food Allergy and Intolerances
  • Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD)
  • Infertility (mast cells in endometrium may contribute to endometriosis)
  • Interstitial Cystitis
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Migraine Headaches
  • Mood disorders – anxiety, depression, and insomnia
  • Multiple Chemical Sensitivities
  • POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome)
Mast cells are known to be the primary responders in allergic reactions, orchestrating strong responses to minute amounts of allergens. Several recent observations indicate that they may also have a key role in coordinating the early phases of autoimmune diseases, particularly those involving auto-antibodies.

Mast cells are known to be the primary responders in allergic reactions, orchestrating strong responses to minute amounts of allergens. Several recent observations indicate that they may also have a key role in coordinating the early phases of autoimmune diseases, particularly those involving auto-antibodies.

Lab Tests for Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS) – many of these are as yet unavailable in Australia …  Possibly histamine is as yet the only available, but chat to Georgia about what our Naturopathic Labs can offer….

  • Lab tests specific to mast cell activation for suspected MCAS may include:
    • Serum tryptase (most famous mast cell mediator)
    • Serum chromogranin A
    • Plasma histamine
    • Plasma PGD2 (chilled)
    • Plasma heparin (chilled)
    • Urine for PGD2 (chilled)
    • PGF2a
    • N-methylhistamine
  • Tryptase is the most famous mast cell mediator. Serum tryptase value is usually normal in MCAS patients, but sometimes it is elevated.  Tryptase values that show an increase of 20% + 2 ng/ml above the baseline level are considered diagnostic for MCAS.
  • Chromogranin A is a heat-stable mast cell mediator.  High levels can suggest MCAS, but other sources must first be ruled out, such as heart failure, renal insufficiency, neuroendocrine tumors and proton pump inhibitor (PPI) use.
  • Heparin is a very sensitive and specific marker of mast cell activation.  However, due to its quick metabolism in the body, it is very difficult to measure reliably.
  • N-methylhistamine is usually measured in a 24 hour urine test to account for the variability in release over the course of the day.
  • Prostaglandin D2 is produced by several other cell types, but mast cell release is responsible for the dominant amount found in the body.  PGD2 is less stable than histamine and metabolized completely in 30 minutes.
  • Other less specific mast cell mediators that are sometimes abnormal in MCAS patients include Factor VIII, plasma free norepinephrine, tumor necrosis factor alpha, and interleukin-6.

Treatments to reduce MCAS symptoms and lower histamine

  • H1 Blockers
    1. hydroxyzine, doxepine, diphenhydramine, cetirizine, loratadine, fexofenadine
  • H2 Blockers
    1. Famotidine (Pepcid, Pepcid AC)
    2. Cimetidine (Tagamet, Tagamet HB)
    3. Ranitidine (Zantac)
  • Leukotriene inhibitors
    1. Montelukast (Singulair)
    2. Zafirlukast (Accolate)
  • Mast cell stabilizers –
    1. Cromolyn
    2. Ketotifen
    3. Hyroxyurea
  • Tyrosine kinase inhibitors – imatinib
  • Natural anti-histamines and mast-cell stabilizers
    • Ascorbic Acid
    • Quercetin
    • Vitamin B6 (pyridoxal-5-phosphate)
    • Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil, krill oil)
    • Alpha Lipoic Acid
    • N-acetylcysteine (NAC)
    • Methylation donors (SAMe, B12, methyl-folate, riboflavin)
  • Certain probiotics decrease histamine production
    • Lactobacillus rhamnosus and bifidobacter species 
  • DAO Enzymes with meals – UmbrelluxDAO
  • Decrease consumption of high histamine foods (more on histamine-restricted diet)
    • Avoid alcoholic beverages
    • Avoid raw and cured sausage products such as salami.
    • Avoid processed or smoked fish products. Use freshly caught seafood instead.
    • Avoid pickles
    • Avoid citrus fruits.
    • Avoid chocolate
    • Avoid nuts
    • Avoid products made with yeast and yeast extracts
    • Avoid soy sauce and fermented soy products
    • Avoid black tea and instant coffee
    • Avoid aged cheese
    • Avoid spinach in large quantities
    • Avoid tomatoes, ketchup and tomato sauces
    • Avoid artificial food colorings & preservatives
    • Avoid certain spices: cinnamon, chili powder, cloves, anise, nutmeg, curry powder, cayenne pepper

References

  1. Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, A Review
  2. Mast cell activation disease: a concise practical guide for diagnostic workup and therapeutic options
  3. Presentation, Diagnosis and Management of Mast Cell Activation Syndrome by Dr. Afrin
  4. Histamine and Gut Immune Mucosal Regulation
  5. Dr. Theoharides presents “Mast Cell Disorders”
  6. Diagram of Histamine Symptoms
  7. Mast Cell Aware
  8. A Tale of Two Syndromes
  9. Mold Histamine Connection

Why Kinesiology at New Leaf Natural Therapies

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

Our Kinesiologists at New Leaf are all multi-skilled and have a combined 28 years experience in kinesiology:

Madonna Guy 20 years
Georgia Kilpatrick 8 years

 

Kinesiology is a process which helps us to access the innate knowledge within the body.  It’s hard to explain, but it uses muscle testing which accesses what your body needs to heal…  We can use kinesiology to support:

  1. Learning Problems.  Our practitioners do a process called LEAP and NOT which support better processing of information for our kids with auditory processing issues, dyslexia, ADHD etc
  2. Behavioural Issues:  We all support the nervous system to cope better with behavioural problems – there are many reasons for this, and kinesiology can help to target what’s going on with the brain, gut, immune system and start the process of rebalancing our kids…
  3. Endocrine/Hormonal Issues.  Within the processes of kinesiology there are ways to help to re-boot the hormonal systems of the body, which are often activated by a huge stress/trauma or a toxic overload of some sort.  Kinesiology can help to target the cells/organs which are dysfunctional and re-balance the energy in these organs.  Are you sick of Infertility? PMT? Pain? Being grumpy?  Depression?
  4. Immune Balancing:  There are kinesiology processes which support boosting the parts of the body associated with better immunity, thereby helping the body have less symtoms of allergy, intolerances, cold and flu…
  5. LEAP:  Learning Enhancement Acupressure Programme – this process helps to re-integrate pathways in the brain that are dysfunctional.  The entire process may take anywhere from 5-20 hours depending on how neurologically out-of-whack the body is.
  6. NOT:  Neural Organisational Technique – this process re-organises the neurology in the body and can be used to support structural problems such as jaw and hip pain, scoliosis, whiplash and neck problems, chronic back pain.  Just about all arthritis starts with an imbalance in the body.
  7. Energetic Healing:  When our energy is out of balance, ‘blockages’ occur in the body.  Kinesiology can target ”weird energy” like chakras, auras, figure 8 energies, negative attachments that are causing problems for you overall.
  8. Nutritional Kinesiology:  Do you absorb your food?  Supplements?  Protein?  Carbohydrates?  Sugars?  Kinesiology can find out which organs are affected negatively by your foods and supplements and help your body accept and absorb nutrition better.
  9. Toxicity Work:  We can use kinesiology to find the pathways in the brain, liver, kidneys which are being blocked by toxins such as lead, mercury, cadmium, aluminium…  This can cause chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, just about any health problem.
  10. and so much more….

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Madonna Guy ND
New Leaf Natural Therapies
3348 6098
Wynnum Brisbane

Salicylate Sensitivities… Side-effects and Symptoms…

Monday, June 4th, 2012

So… you’ve been thinking you might have a salicylate sensitivity…  Many symptoms may be linked:

  • cystitis, urinary tract infections
  • rashes, eczema, hives, welts
  • itchy eyes, itchy skin, histamine reactions
  • asthmas, stuffy and runny noses
  • nasal polyps

We’ve also seen things like ADHD, ADD, ODD linked to intolerances and sensitivities…  Headaches and migraines, bloating, burping, belching…

Oh my goodness, the list goes on. And although we work with substances such as these with a combination of homeopathics, natural supplements, kinesiology techniques, microcurrent – we know we can work to boost immunity in the long term, thereby relieving symptoms and improving quality of life!

Madonna Guy ND
Chief Clinician
3348 6098

Health Issues for Children: we can help!

Friday, May 25th, 2012

Children’s health is anything but simple these days. A mothers instinct often tells us one thing, but then we are told the opposite…

Following doctors and societies instructions – having anti-biotics, vaccinations, breast feeding whilst on anti-depressants or other medications, giving medications such as Ritalin and dex-amphetamines, using drugs such as steroids daily… All with our vague knowledge of the side-effects but being told everything’s going to be okay.

We have many years experience in working with children’s health problems successfully. Take a look around you, and it seems like every second family has a child with some major health problem going on…

  • Cancer of all types
  • Skin issues – eczema and dermatitis, rashes and hives, acne and scarring
  • Allergies – hay fever and sinus problems, tummy upsets, diarrhoea and constipation, ADHD
  • Autism and aspergers
  • Dyslexia and Learning problems, auditory integration issues, problems with maths and spelling
  • Behavioural issues, concentration problems, poor memory
  • Childhood anxiety and panic attacks
  • Asthma, bronchitis, poor immunity

Phew!! What a list! Honestly, we are happy to support any child’s health and vitality with any child with any condition. With our combination of experience and expertise we can put together a programme to suit your child and help health and happiness come as quickly as possible.

We use a combination of techniques that help us to help your child:

  • NOT Neural organisational technique: this is a process that helps reorganise the neurology of your child, head to toe.
  • LEAP Learning enhancement acupressure programme: this is a specific programme for the brain – which targets areas of the brain and helps them to function more easily…
  • Allergy Assessments: we use diagnostic tools which help to improve immunity and reduce inflammatory reactions to substances causing symptoms in the body such as hayfever and sinusitis, ADHD, eczema and dermatitis, tummy upsets and chronic exhaustion
  • Naturopathic supplements that help to boost the bodys nutritional status and heal faster

We can help! Call us on 3348 6098 to make an appointment…

Madonna Guy ND

New Leaf Natural Therapies

3348 6098

Let’s Talk Allergies!!!

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Aren’t allergies annoying!  They can make the best day the worst in a flash…  How do you suffer?

We treat individuals, not allergies!  But we have had success with:

  • hives, welts
  • eczema
  • dermatitis
  • acne
  • tummy pains: bloating, burping, belching, wind, flatulence, diarrhoea, cramping
  • hayfever and sinusitis
  • ADHD or hyperactivity
  • Chronic fatigue, mood swings, aches and pains from head to toe…
  • Asthma, bronchial asthma, stress
  • Depression, anxiety, panic attacks

Seems like a big list, doesn’t it?  But these are the obvious symptoms of allergy that people really understand.  But allergies can be linked to cancer, diabetes, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, cystic fibrosis, aspergers, autism, you name it, it can be affected if your body doesn’t cope with a substance…

Now medically, the AMA and TGA have decreed that natural therapies can’t treat allergies, diagnose allergies or improve allergies in any way, however we find in our clinic with a whole-body approach we get great relief from the symptoms…

Would you feel better getting through hayfever season more easily?
Would it be easier if you didn’t need to go to the toilet 10 minutes after eating spices?
What about those welts that appear every time you mow?

We look at the individual – so many things are linked to allergies:

  • the body being too acidic:  there’s a white blood cell (that we find in live blood screenings) that nature has designed to drop acid on half-digested particles that have ended up in the bloodstream.  This morning I saw a young, vital man with 21% of eosinophils in his blood (it should be less than 4%), but his only symptoms are tiredness and crankiness…  We need to find his untreated, unfound substances that are lowering his body’s energy – they’re probably not allergies, but there’s definitely something going on!!
  • poor digestion – dairy and wheat are classic – the dairy and wheat ‘particles’ are about 8 x larger than what should be released into the bloodstream – no wonder so many people have an immune response to these substances
  • toxicity – the more toxic our body is, the more overloaded our body becomes and the more dysfunctional our detox organs become.  Our detox organs are the gut, the immune system, the kidneys and liver, not to mention the skin and the lungs!

There are so many things that lead to allergies, this is why natural therapies are so good for treating the underlying CAUSES of allergies, not the allergies themselves:

  • by boosting the gut and liver function the body will be able to eliminate toxins more easily, break down foods more easily and start to regenerate and heal correctly
  • using kinesiology to reduce the stress associated with allergies. How often has someone you’ve known has an asthma attack under stress, a hyperactive outburst when the stress gets too much, or had diarrhoea when you hear bad news…
  • using live blood screenings and cellular analysis and various urine tests to find kidney function, acid levels, dodgy gut bacteria levels…

Give us a call, and start the process!!

Madonna Guy ND
3348 6098

Have you tried New Leaf’s approach to allergies?

Sunday, May 6th, 2012

Do you suffer from allergies? Taken a bucket load of anti-histamines in your life? See the coming of change of seasons as time in your life when you’ll be in pain and suffering for weeks on end – or are you watching someone in your world suffer every day and can’t find a solution?

We use a combination of processes/evaluations at New Leaf Natural Therapies so that we are looking at the whole you. Did your allergies start with an emotional trigger? Did they kick into action with a house-move, change in job, when you did renovations? Was it after an operation when your resistance was down.

All of these questions, and more, can be useful in determining what to do to support your body in dealing with the allergies you suffer.

We may offer/suggest any of the following for our clients:

  • live blood screenings – our trained practitioners can point out the level of inflammation in your body – signs of issues associated with the gut, the liver, cell membrane inflammation, dehydration issues and immune system compromise.
  • different kinesiology treatments which can help reset the amygdala (stress re-activation), reduce fight and flight response to allergy, boost all the major organs of the body so that allergies are much less likely
  • specific therapies to individual allergies such as homeopathics and flower essences to support reducing the body’s inflammation caused by a specific allergy.
  • naturopathic supplements to boost immunity, reduce inflammation, reduce gut and liver stress and detoxify toxins such as parasite/bacterial particles which create an allergic environment.

Below is a short list (there are literally thousands) of things that can be looked at over a period of time at New Leaf – it’s amazing how once the immune system starts being more functional, how so many symptoms can improve.

Substances we work with at New Leaf are…

  • pollens, grasses, weeds, trees, flowers, dust/dust mites, cats & dog allergies
  • sugar, wheat, dairy, nuts, eggs, shellfish
  • fruits, citrus, salicylates, amines
  • flavours, preservatives, MSG, colourings, chlorine, fluoride
  • minerals, cosmetics
  • latex
  • herbs and spices
  • paints, plastics, smoke
  • medications
  • nightshades
  • caffeine
  • plastics
  • yeasts, soy


Signs and Symptoms of Allergy

Sneezing, itchy eyes, itchy nose, congestion, post nasal drip.

Itchy skin, dry skin, skin rashes.

Bloating, cramping, burping, flatulence, indigestion, constipation, diarrhoea.

Headaches, insomnia, hyperactivity, ADHD, irritability.

Muscle pain, weakness, fatigue.

Give us a call to see if we can help you!

Madonna Guy ND
New Leaf Natural Therapies
3348 6098
Wynnum, Brisbane, Australia

Baby Health Problems – we treat both bubs and mums!

Saturday, May 5th, 2012

Did you know that most babies health problems can be looked after naturally? With our wide range of skills with our team members there’s not much we can’t help improve naturally, without side effects!

There are ways to support baby’s health naturally, including:

  • baby allergies
  • baby eczema
  • baby dermatitis
  • reflux, heartburn and tummy pain
  • diarrhoea and constipation
  • intolerances and energy mismatches to many foods, chemicals, preservatives etc
  • gut problems such as gut permeability and poor digestion
  • not sleeping properly

We use a combination of processes and supplements which complement each other and mean that we get the fastest results for you and your family:

  • kinesiology/muscle monitoring processes that allow us to find out what’s wrong with bub as quickly as possible
  • muscle monitoring processes that can target allergies and intolerances and boost the body’s ability to cope with these substances – whether they be foods, chemicals, formulas, creams
  • live blood screening (where necessary) to have a look at bub’s immune function and inflammation levels – this gives us a great starting point and let’s us see changes and improvements as they are happening

Call us today to find out how we can help,

Madonna Guy ND
New Leaf Natural Therapies
Wynnum Brisbane

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  • 3348 6098