Healthy Living

Articles to Better Your Health

Understanding Asthma and Allergies

Understanding Asthma and Allergies
Allergies are a result of an immune system gone haywire:
The immune system mistakes a typically harmless
substance for a harmful invader. Your immune system then
makes antibodies against the substance, which launches the
release of histamines and other chemicals that cause allergic
reactions such as sneezing, itchy and watering eyes, runny
nose and other miserable symptoms. Allergies also can
cause symptoms that involve your skin or digestive system.
Some of the common allergy culprits are pet dander, dyes,
detergents, mold and pollen. Some foods, insect stings and
medications can trigger allergies, too.
While asthma and allergies are separate conditions, they’re
related. People who have respiratory allergies are more
likely to have asthma, and having asthma increases your
risk for developing an allergy.
Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that causes airway
obstruction. Allergies, smoke and air pollution can
trigger asthma and cause the airways to become inflamed.
As the airway swells, less air flows to the lungs while mucus
production increases. This causes symptoms like wheezing,
coughing, chest tightness, and trouble breathing.
Standard allergy and asthma treatments often include
steroids, antihistamines, nasal sprays, prescription
medications or allergy shots. But building your defenses
through good nutrition is another option.
Tackling Asthma and Allergies Through Nutrition
Findings published in the journal Thorax show low
dietary intake of vitamins A and C may increase the risk
of developing asthma. At the same time, a new study
from Tanta University in Egypt shows a combination
of omega-3 essential fatty acids, vitamin C and zinc
may improve symptoms of asthma in children. The
researchers note that omega-3s and zinc each have
anti-inflammatory effects, while Vitamin C, a potent
antioxidant, may reduce attacks in the lungs from
bacteria, viruses or other sources.
Clearly, supplying your body with optimum nutrition is a key
step in keeping your immune system functioning properly to
fight the development or symptoms of allergies and asthma.
The anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3s have
been shown to benefit the immune system and have a
positive effect on allergies as well as asthma. Omega-3s
can be found in GlucAffect™, ReversAge®, and Relìv
Now® for Kids.
Vitamins A, C, E and zinc, enzymes, garlic and cayenne
also have been shown to help strengthen the immune
system to reduce allergy symptoms. Relìv Now®,
Relìv Classic® and FibRestore® are good sources of all of
these nutrients, plus other beneficial herbs and enzymes.
These nutritional products also contain bromelain, an
enzyme with anti-inflammatory properties shown to help
manage asthma and other allergy responses.
Probiotics offer another option shown to be effective in
decreasing allergy development. Probiotics, also called
“friendly bacteria,” are live microorganisms similar to
beneficial microorganisms found in the human gut. These
include Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium.
Probiotics stimulate the immune system to help your
body protect itself. Good sources of probiotics include
SoySentials®, which contains Lactobacillus acidophilus,
and ReversAge, which includes both Bifidobacterium and
Lactobacillus acidophilus.
High fiber diets also encourage probiotic growth in the
digestive tract. FibRestore is loaded with 10 grams of
soluble and insoluble fiber per serving, providing a third
of the recommended daily amount.

This article was writtne by Sources:
For a complete list of references for this issue, please view
the special addendum posted on the Science & Health Today
web page, >> The Products >> articles &
research >> Science & Health Today.

If you would like to purchase Reliv products please contact me through my web site I look forward to hearing from you!

Yours in Acheiving Optimal Health!


Reliv Independent Distributor (for Life)


May 26, 2011 Posted by | Allergies, Alternative Health, children, Food Allergies, Health, Health and Wellness, kids vitamins, Men's Health, Nutrition, Reliv, Soy, Wellness, Women's Health | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

What’s the Difference between Food Allergies and Sensitivities?

Well, this article spiked my interest… Oh boy! Sit back and buckle up… you may not like what I have to say on this topic.

I have been in the food industry for over 15 years. I have been a Chef for 4 years and work in a location where we handle over 20+ Food Allergies/Intolerance/Dietary Restriction and so much more a day. And no I do not work at a hospital… though there are day I swear I am more of a food doctor than a Chef. I have been taught and educated by guest and the company I work for on food allergies. I am tested every 3 months to make sure I understand how to handle food allergies.

I have worked for my company for over 9 years now. Back when I first started I barely saw an allergy. They were few and far between. But about 5-6 years ago there was an allergy explosion and it is only getting worse. We started to see an increase in the number of allergies coming into the restaurant. On average I receive 140 emails a month letting me know when someone is going to dine in my location with an allergy. This does not include the ones that I find out about once they sit down to dine.  So the number of allergies goes up or down depending on the meal period.

This brings me back to the question…

What’s the difference between a Food Allergies and Sensitivities?

This article makes some really valid points. Good medical advice and the need to remove the offending food from your diet. This I get and totally understand. But… what is going to happen when you remove all food from your diet? Will you starve? The one thing we need is fuel… and fuel for humans is food. Your car doesn’t run without gas. Your A/C doesn’t work with out Freon. Plants don’t grow with out nutrients and water.

Why do we need food? Well, it contains vital nutrient to keep us alive!!! Yet we continue to put crap into our bodies. By all means I am not perfect. I do enjoy the occasional fast food but it is not my only source of food. We don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables. And don’t tell me we do… cause it is a lie. I hear it all the time from parents.. my child only eats hamburgers…. hot dogs… chicken nuggets… oh and everything comes with fries. I am truly shocked every time when I hear a child request fruit or vegetables. It is not the norm!!!

The other day we served a table of 9 guest… only 1 guest had a vegetable on the plate. Everyone else had a double starch… rice/fries or mash/fries. We treat fries like it is a vegetable… guess what?!? ITS NOT!!! McDonald’s doesn’t sell burgers… it sell fries! And it makes a mint off you and me.

So where am I going with all of this? Here is my stand. We don’t get enough nutrients into our bodies. We are nutritional starved. Sensitivities are our bodies way of telling us that something is not right. We are deficient in the vitamins and minerals that make up the human body. We are living organic beings that are living on chemicals. Our body will always reject what it can’t process.

I have witness friends with sever allergies to peanuts/tree nuts/dairy. That today no longer have these allergies. I have seen intolerance go away. Sensitivities disappear.  Why and how you might ask. They improved their nutritional intake. I was starting to become lactose intolerant not too long ago, but today enjoy all the dairy I want with not upset stomach or bathroom run. 🙂

I have improved my nutritional intake and started feeding my body what it needs to maintain itself. I am giving it the tools to build my immune system, fight off disease, and keep me healthy. I value myself and want to make sure that I am not facing the aches and pains of those around me. I am not a fan of medical drugs because they only mask the pain and don’t take care of the body. The side effects sound horrible when I think … if I just feed my body optimal nutrition and it will take care of itself. Go read… Food for thought, Your Human Body Value?

Tell me that YOU are not worth investing in? Tell me that YOU are not a priceless human? Tell me that you would rather be unhealthy? Tell me that you would rather spend $1000’s trying to feel sick and helpless? Tell me that YOU like the side effects of your medication?

Get out of your own way and start taking some action to correct your health. Stop asking the government to do it for you. You can get back your health or a least get back a better quality of life, if you start taking care of yourself. Get UP! Get Moving! Invest in your NUTRITIONAL health and start living the life you really want!

You want to change your life… take optimal nutrition. If you want to impact and change the lives around you share this information. Stand up for YOUR LIFE!

If you found this to have value… share it with others.. tweet it, post to facebook, stumble it…

If you have a strong opinion share it also! I want to know what you are thinking. We don’t have to agree and that is the amazing thing! I am here to cook your food, to fuel your body. I am here to share nutrition because our agricultural standards have changed. I want to nourish the world. I hope you come with me on this journey.

Cheers to YOUR optimal health!

Katrina van Oudheusden

Please Note:

I am aware the there are severe food allergies. Dairy, Egg, Peanut, Tree Nut, Shellfish, Gluten, and Fish are the top 7 that we learn about. I know that they are life threatening and always respect and make every effort to keep you safe. I also know that there are many of you out there that are severely allergic to other foods.  I have met many of you that have educated me on your food allergies and I thank you for this education. You have helped me grow as a Chef and have allowed me to cook you foods that make your feel just like everyone else. I always want you to have an amazing experience and I promise that you will always be my first concern when taking care of your allergy. My pledge is to make sure that no one gets sick on my shift. Your health and life is too important to me.

September 13, 2010 Posted by | Allergies, Food Allergies, Health, Health and Wellness, Nutrition, Wellness | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Food Allergy or Intolerance?

It it a Food Allergy or Intolerance? I always ask this question when taking care of guest with food allergies. 8 out of 10 would be an intolerance. I am told that they have an allergy but when they say they can have it baked into food then it is an intolerance.

So I am going to share with you the great article I found. Here is some of the medical information between an intolerance and a food allergy.

This article comes from Dr. Daniel Moore from Allergies

Allergy or Intolerance?

Most reactions to food are probably not allergic in nature, but rather intolerance. This means that there is no allergic antibody present against the food in the person. Intolerance can be classified as toxic and non-toxic. Toxic reactions would be expected to occur in most people if enough of the food was eaten, examples include alcohol, caffeine or in cases of food-poisoning. Non-toxic food intolerance occurs only in certain people, such as lactose intolerance, which is due to the deficiency of lactase, the enzyme which breaks down the sugar in milk and dairy foods. Patients with lactose intolerance experience bloating, cramping and diarrhea within minutes to hours after eating lactose-containing foods, but do not experience other symptoms of food allergies.

Non-allergic Immunologic Reactions

A less common form of non-allergic reactions to food involves the immune system, but there are no allergic antibodies present. This group includes celiac sprue and FPIES (food protein induced enteropathy syndromes). FPIES typically occurs in infants and young children, with gastrointestinal symptoms (vomiting, diarrhea, bloody stools, and weight loss) as the presenting signs. Milk, soy and cereal grains are the most common triggers in FPIES. Children typically outgrow FPIES by 2 to 3 years of age.

Common Childhood Food Allergies

Milk, soy, wheat, egg, peanut, tree nuts, fish and shellfish compromise more than 90 percent of food allergies in children. Allergy to milk and egg are by far the most common, and are usually outgrown by age 5 years. Peanut, tree nut, fish and shellfish allergies are typically the more severe and potentially life-threatening, and frequently persist into adulthood.

Cross-Reactivity and Cross-Contamination

Cross-reactivity refers to a person having allergies to similar foods within a food group. For example, all shellfish are closely related; if a person is allergic to one shellfish, there is a strong chance that person is allergic to other shellfish. The same holds true for tree-nuts, such as almonds, cashews and walnuts.

Cross-contamination refers to a food contaminating another, unrelated food leading to a “hidden allergy”. For example, peanuts and tree nuts are not related foods. Peanuts are legumes, and related to the bean family, while tree nuts are true nuts. There is no cross-reactivity between the two, but both can be found in candy shops and in a can of mixed nuts, for instance.

Diagnosing Food Allergies

The diagnosis is made with an appropriate history of a reaction to a specific food, along with a positive test for the allergic antibody against that food. Testing for the allergic antibody is typically accomplished with skin testing, although can be done with a blood test as well.

The blood test, called a RAST test, is not quite as good of a test as skin testing, but can be helpful in predicting if a person has outgrown a food allergy. This is especially true since in many cases the skin test can still be positive in children who have actually outgrown the food allergy.

If the diagnosis of food allergy is in question despite testing, an allergist may decide to perform an oral food challenge for the patient. This involves having the person eat increasing amounts of food over many hours under medical supervision. Since the potential for life-threatening anaphylaxis exists, this procedure should only be performed by a physician experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of allergic diseases. An oral food challenge is the only way to truly remove a diagnosis of food allergy in a patient.

I hope you found this article educational. Would love to hear your thought so please comment below. Also feel free to share this article with you family and friends with Twitter or Facebook.

Cheers to You Optimal Health!

Katrina van Oudheusden

September 5, 2010 Posted by | Allergies, Food Allergies | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Parents and Physicians Warned About “Alternative” Food Allergy Tests

Warning for allergy test?

The scariest thing that can happen for a parent is for their child to be sick. And in the drive to find out how to make them feel better we look for alternative means. But the warning has gone out to parents and physicians that alternative food allergy tests may not be accurate at all.

Daniel Moore MD had this to say.

Unfortunately, none of these tests are valid for the diagnosis of food allergies, and more often than not lead to inappropriate elimination diets resulting in possible nutritional deficiencies. This has become such a problem in the United Kingdom that the National Health Service issued a warning about these useless tests, and initiated an education program to teach doctors and parents about the appropriate evaluation for food allergies.

In my opinion, only board-certified allergists are truly qualified to evaluate, diagnose and treat food allergies, particularly in young children.

I have to agree with the Doctor on that one… board certified are the way to go. It all comes down to trust.

I am starting to become more and more of a believer that it is the lack of nutrition that is creating these allergies. I have never seen an array in all my years of the types of foods that people are allergic too. I think I have almost touched every food/drink that someone is allergic to. And you know what the funny thing is… No one has ever said that they were allergic to water or soda??? Interesting…

Thank you for taking the time to read this and I invite you to share your thoughts and comment below.

Cheers to Your Optimal Health!

Katrina van Oudheusden

August 10, 2010 Posted by | Allergies, children, Food Allergies, Health, Health and Wellness | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Research Shows Pycnogenol May Help with Allergies

There is good news for people that suffer with hay fever. A recent study shows that pycnogenol many prevent or reduce hay fever. Published findings have demonstrated Pycnogenol’s beneficial effects in cardiovascular health, osteoarthritis, skincare, cognitive function, diabetes health, inflammation, sports nutrition, asthma and allergy relief and menstrual disorders, among others.

An estimated 60 million people in the U.S. are affected by allergic rhinitis, commonly known as hay fever, according to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology. Hay fever is an allergic inflammation of the nasal airways that causes itching, swelling, mucus production, hives and rashes. A study published in the June 14, 2010 issue of Phytotherapy Research demonstrates Pycnogenol® (pic-noj-en-all), an antioxidant plant extract derived from the bark of the French maritime pine tree, substantially improves the symptoms of hay fever.

“Allergic rhinitis is often mistakenly believed to be a trivial health problem, while people suffering from hay fever may disagree as they experience a dramatic impairment to their quality of life,” said Dr. Malkanthi Evans Scientific Director KGK Synergize Inc., a lead researcher on the study. “This study confirmed that taking Pycnogenol® naturally relieves eye and nasal symptoms of hay-fever patients owing to lower pollen-specific antibodies, particularly for ocular and nasal distress.”

In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study conducted by KGK Synergize, Inc.,60 subjects between the ages of 18 and 65 began treatment three to eight weeks prior to the onset of birch allergy season in Ontario, Canada. All subjects tested positive for birch pollen allergies, a seasonal trigger of hay fever, as determined by skin prick tests. Patients were assigned to a Pycnogenol® group or placebo group according to a computer-generated, randomized schedule. Neither the patient, the investigator nor research staff was informed to which test order the subjects were assigned. Subjects were instructed to take either one 50 mg Pycnogenol® tablet or one placebo tablet twice daily, once in the morning and once in the evening throughout the allergy season. Patients were allowed to use non-prescription antihistamines as needed and recorded usage and dosage in treatment journals. The study was approved by an ethical committee as well as the “Health Canada” authorities.

Blood was collected before and after treatment throughout the entire birch pollen season for the measurement of birch specific IgE antibodies. Upon recognition of a specific allergen the IgE class of antibodies stimulates the release of histamine, an inflammatory mediator responsible for the hay-fever symptoms. During exposure to pollen allergic people develop higher levels of the corresponding IgE antibody, which goes along with increasing hay-fever symptoms. Comparison of birch specific IgE levels from the start of the trial and the end of allergy season showed an increase of 31.9 percent in the placebo group but only 19.4 percent in the Pycnogenol® group.

To read more on this article go to Medical News Today

Side note:

I didn’t know much about Pycnogenol until a few years ago when Reliv International came out with a nutritional supplement for Diabetes. One of the key ingredients is pycnogenol and so when I see it start to become more popular in the health industry, I am shown again that Reliv really is on the cutting edge of technology when it comes to nutrition.

Did you find this educational? Do you have any thoughts to share? What are you doing to achieve optimal health? Please feel free to comment below and share this blog with your family and friends.

Cheers to Your Optimal Health!

Katrina van Oudheusden

June 26, 2010 Posted by | Allergies, Health, Health and Wellness, Nutrition | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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