(from Dr Cobi’s new book Refresh, Revive, Restore 10-Day Detox-coming soon)
- ½ cup hummus
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 1 Tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup fresh dill
- Sea salt and black pepper (to taste)
- 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
- 8 cups Kale leaves
- 1 zucchini, diced
- 1 cup frozen edamame, thawed
- 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
- ½ cup raw cashews
- 1 Avocado, sliced
- 4 green onions, chopped
- In a jar, combine hummus, lemon juice, olive oil and dill- season with sea salt and black pepper. Shake well and set aside. You may need to add 1 Tbsp. of warm water to thin depending on the consistency of your hummus.
- Heat coconut oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add kale, zucchini and sauté until kale is just wilted. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Divide kale and zucchini between bowls and top with edamame, green peas, green onions, cashews and avocado. Drizzle with dill hummus dressing.
Adrenal fatigue is thought to be one of the many health issues that can be attributed to our high-stress lifestyles.
STRESSED? TIRED? CRAVING SUGAR? CAN’T SLEEP?
These symptoms can be related to the constant stress we feel in our lives. We know that stress can have a huge impact on our health and wellness. The adrenal glands produce hormones in response to any type of stress so that we can respond appropriately. Adrenal fatigue or “HPA (Hypothalamus, Pituitary, Adrenal) Axis Dysregulation,” is a popular topic due to the ever-increasing stressors in our lives.
The adrenal glands look like walnuts that are located on top of the kidneys. These important glands produce many hormones, including the stress hormones, Cortisol, DHEA and Adrenaline to name a few.
Adrenaline and Cortisol are the stress hormones that give you the commonly known “adrenaline rush”. This feeling is known as your body's "fight or flight" response. The release of hormones in the fight or flight response is your body's normal reaction to stress. Stress can sometimes be positive, like when it helps you to swerve your car and prevent a crash. Once the stress is removed or resolved, the fight or flight response dissipates and your body goes back to normal.
Unfortunately, for many people the stressors do not get resolved and they often become chronic. The adrenal glands do not differentiate between “types” of stress. They respond equally to all forms of stress including mental and emotional stress as well as pain, inflammation, blood sugar imbalances, environmental, digestive and toxic stress.
DO YOU HAVE ADRENAL FATIGUE?
Your adrenal glands can become depleted from over-secreting stress hormones on such a regular basis and dysfunction can occur. In the case of adrenal fatigue, the level of Cortisol that is produced is much less than optimal. Many symptoms like fatigue, difficulty sleeping, mood swings, weight gain, joint pain, allergies, anxiety, sugar cravings, frequent infections such as colds and flus are signs that your adrenals are overworked. The following questionnaire will help to determine your adrenal health status:
ADRENAL HEALTH QUESTIONNAIRE
The following questionnaire will help to determine your level of adrenal fatigue.
Read each statement and decide its degree of severity based on the ranking system below.
1= Occasionally (1-4 times per month)
2= Moderate in severity and occurs moderately frequently (1-4 times per week)
3= Intense in severity and occurs frequently (more than 4 times per week)
****Fundamentals of Naturopathic Endocrinology Michael Friedman, MD pg. 218-220
- I get dizzy or see spots when standing up rapidly from a sitting or lying position.
- I urinate more frequently than others and may need to get up at night.
- I feel as though I might faint or black out.
- I have chronic fatigue.
- I have mitral valve prolapse or get heart palpitations.
- I often have to force myself in order to keep going.
- I have difficulty getting up in the morning.
- I have low energy before the noon meal -approximately 11:00 a.m.
- I have low energy in the late afternoon between 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.
- I usually feel better after 6:00 p.m.
- I often feel best late at night because I get a “second wind.”
- I have trouble getting to sleep.
- I tend to wake early (approximately 3:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m.) and have trouble getting back to sleep.
- I have vague feelings of being generally unwell for no apparent reason.
- I get swelling in the extremities such as the ankles.
- I need to rest after times of mental, physical or emotional stress.
- I feel more tired after exercise or physical activity either soon after or the next day.
- My muscles feel weak and heavy more that I think they should.
- I have chronic tenderness in my back area near the bottom of my rib cage.
- I have a weak back and/or weak knees.
- I have restless extremities.
- I am allergic to many things such as foods, animals and pollens.
- My allergies are getting worse.
- I get bags or dark circles under my eyes which may be worse in the morning.
- I have multiple chemical sensitivities.
- I have asthma or get regular bouts of bronchitis, pneumonia or other respiratory infections.
- I have dermatographism (a white line appears on my skin if I run my fingernail over it and the line persists for one minute).
- I have an area of pale skin around my lips.
- The skin on the palms of my hands and soles of my feet tend to be red/orange in color.
- I tend to have dry skin.
- I tend to get headaches and a sore neck and shoulders.
- I am sensitive to bright light.
- I frequently feel colder than others around me.
- I have decreased tolerance to cold.
- I have Raynaud’s syndrome (extremely cold hands/feet).
- My temperature tends to be below normal when measured with a thermometer.
- My temperature tends to fluctuate during the day.
- I have low blood pressure.
- I become hungry, confused or shaky if I miss a meal.
- I crave sugar, sweets or desserts.
- I use stimulants such as tea or coffee to get started in the morning.
- I crave food high in fat and feel better with high-fat foods.
- I need caffeine (chocolate, tea, coffee, colas) to get me through the day.
- I often crave salt and/or foods high in salt such as potato chips.
- I feel worse if I eat sweets and no protein for breakfast.
- I do not eat regular meals.
- I eat fast food often.
- I am sensitive to pharmaceutical or nutritional supplements.
- I have taken steroid medications for a long term or at a high dose.
- I have symptoms that improve after I eat.
- I tend to be thin and find it difficult to put weight on.
- I have feelings of hopelessness and despair or have been diagnosed with depression.
- I lack motivation because I do not feel I have the energy to get things done.
- I have decreased tolerance toward other people and tend to get irritated by them.
- I get more than two colds per year.
- It takes me a long time to recover from illness.
- I get rashes, dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis or other skin conditions.
- I have an autoimmune disease.
- I have fibromyalgia.
- I have had mononucleosis or been diagnosed with Epstein Barr virus.
- I do not exercise regularly.
- I have a history of large amounts of stress in my life.
- I tend to be perfectionist.
- My health is negatively affected by stress.
- I tend to avoid stressful situations for the sake of my health.
- I am less productive at work that I used to be.
- My ability to focus mentally is generally impaired.
- Stressful situations hinder my ability to focus.
- Stress causes me to become overly anxious.
- I startle easily.
- It can take me days or weeks to recover from a stressful event.
- I tend to get digestive disturbances when tense.
- I tend to get unexplained fears and phobias.
- My sex drive is very low or non-existent.
- My relationships at work and or home tend to be strained.
- My life contains insufficient time for fun and enjoyable activities.
- I have little control over my life and I feel “stuck.”
- I tend to get addicted easily to drugs, alcohol or foods.
- I suffer from post-traumatic distress disorder.
- I have or have had an eating disorder.
- I have gum disease and/or tooth infections or abscesses.
- I have symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS)- for women only
- My periods are irregular and/or affected by stress- for women only
Under 40: Very slight or no adrenal fatigue
41-80: Mild adrenal fatigue
81-120: Moderate adrenal fatigue
Above 120: Severe adrenal fatigue
The following action steps are essential for achieving optimal adrenal health and stress management:
ACTION STEPS FOR OPTIMAL ADRENAL HEALTH
- Get tested- Salivary Adrenal testing will help to determine your level of adrenal fatigue. (This test is available through Dr Cobi).
- Find an outlet for your stress -exercise, dance, art, music etc.
- Recognize your stress- learn to identify your stress before it consumes you.
- List all your stress and eliminate the stress that you can change.
- Balance your blood sugar by eating every 3-4 hours.
- Eliminate the top dietary stressors-gluten, sugar, alcohol, caffeine and dairy.
- Get adequate rest, sleep and gentle exercise -walking, stretching, swimming etc.
- Take adrenal restoring herbs like Licorice root, Ashwagandha, Relora, Rhodiola, Siberian ginseng and Schisandra- Adrenomend, Exhilarin
Take supportive nutrients such as Vitamin B-complex, Vitamin C, Magnesium, Fish Oils and Vitamin D3.
- Take adrenal cell extracts to boost adrenal function- Cortrex, Adrenplus 300
The delicate symphony of hormones that occur within the endocrine system can be easily disrupted in many different ways. The sheer act of aging can result in the endocrine system being upset.
As reproductive functions play out over time, hormone levels naturally decline. If the hormones decline too quickly, this can trigger the onset of early menopause and can cause other hormone imbalances associated with the change of life. Lifestyle habits play a major role in the pace of hormonal decline and premature aging.
Hormone balance is deeply connected to many different factors including nutrition, exercise, detoxification capabilities, obesity and stress levels. At midlife, the already overstressed adrenal glands must take over much of the hormone production previously handled by the ovaries. Chronic stress which exceeds the body's capabilities causes excess cortisol to consequently flood the system and disrupt the total hormone production.
The body sacrifices its own progesterone in order to make even more cortisol in response to the chronic stress. This depletes the key balancing hormone progesterone with obvious implications for estrogen dominance. Prolonged stress deteriorates our bones, atrophies our muscles, decreases strength and energy, lowers libido and overwhelms our immune system. This puts women at serious risk for severe menopausal symptoms as well as chronic illnesses and autoimmune diseases. Many women's ailments are linked to specific hormonal imbalances which can be triggered by any one or a combination of the following:
- Stress and overexertion
- Not enough time for relaxation and play
- Improper breathing
- Improper diet- excess saturated or hydrogenated fat, sugar, refined carbohydrates, meats, dairy, toxins in fish
- Nutritional deficiencies- such as vitamins B5, B6, C, zinc, selenium, magnesium, tyrosine, tryptophan, essential fatty acids
- Food sensitivities
- Environmental allergies
- Infectious organisms and/or imbalances in intestinal flora
- Intestinal toxins, such as yeast toxins
- Impaired liver function or liver stagnation
- Elevated blood sugar
- Excess alcohol
- Exposure to electromagnetic chemicals, including PCB's, dioxin, pesticides, phthalates, Bisphenol A, PVC, fire retardants, parabens in cosmetics
- Exposure to hormone-disrupting chemicals or hormonal excess in utero
- Pharmaceutical drugs, birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy
- Heavy metals, particularly cadmium, mercury and lead
- Lack of exercise or excessive exercise
- Light at night
- Lack of exposure to sunlight
- Shift work
- Obesity or being underweight
- History of emotional trauma or abuse
- Negative thought patterns and emotions
Top Lab Tests to Uncover Hidden Road Blocks to Weight Loss
Thyroid Panel - Imbalances of the thyroid are connected into many female hormone issues. These can include unwanted weight gain, breast cancer, uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, endometriosis, infertility, postpartum depression, and miscarriage, PMS and cycle abnormalities. Hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid is often linked with adrenal fatigue, estrogen dominance and progesterone deficiency. A dysfunctional thyroid can affect almost every aspect of health. It is one of the most under-diagnosed hormonal imbalances together with estrogen dominance and metabolic syndrome. A complete thyroid profile includes free T4, free T3, TSH, and TPO and can indicate the presence of an imbalance in thyroid function. Hypothyroidism include feeling cold all the time, low stamina, fatigue (particularly in the evening), anxiety, depression, low sex drive, weight gain, and even elevated cholesterol
Adrenal Panel - The main function of the adrenal glands is to provide stress coping and survival responses. Higher and more prolonged levels of circulating cortisol (like those associated with chronic stress) have been shown to have negative effects, such as:
- Impaired cognitive performance
- Dampened thyroid function
- Blood sugar imbalances
- Decreased bone density
- Sleep disruption
- Decreased muscle mass
- Elevated blood pressure
- Lowered immune function
- Slow wound healing
- Increased abdominal fat
Female Hormone Panel - Dr. John Lee, the world's authority on natural hormone therapy, coined the phrase "estrogen dominance". This condition occurs when deficient, normal or excessive estrogen levels are not equally balanced with progesterone. Estrogen and progesterone work synergistically with each other to achieve and maintain hormonal balance in the body. The main cause of many hormonal issues is not the absolute deficiency of estrogen or progesterone but rather when estrogen dominates the hormonal pathway over progesterone. This domination of estrogen causes weight gain, especially around the
Food Allergy Panel - The presence of antibodies in the blood to certain foods comes from deep within the immune system. Consuming allergenic foods on a regular basis results in escalating inflammation in the body which can result in weight gain. Blood testing for food allergies can reveal the hidden allergies that are contributing to
Insulin Resistance Testing – Insulin resistance is a condition in which normal amounts of insulin are inadequate to produce a normal insulin response from fat, muscle and liver cells. This can be a major underlying cause to unwanted weight gain. This occurs because the process by which glucose passing through the cell wall with the help of insulin to be converted into energy becomes impaired. As a result of this impairment glucose remains in the blood stream causing an increase in blood sugar which is then sent to the liver for once there, the sugar is converted into fat and carried via the blood stream throughout the body. This process can lead to weight gain and obesity.
All of these tests are available at Essential Health Natural Wellness Clinic. Book an appointment to uncover your roadblocks to weight loss.
WHAT ARE XENOESTROGENS?
In 1991, the field of xenoestrogens was first introduced to the world. Xenoestrogens are foreign estrogens as “xeno” literally means foreign. Not found in nature, man-made toxins are estrogen imposters that make their way into the body, pretending to be our own estrogen. They mimic the effects of the real hormone but over-stimulate cellular activity to an uncontrollable extent. Xenoestrogens are present in our soil, water, air and food supply as well as in personal care and household products. Xenoestrogens accumulate in the fat tissues of our bodies and have the capability of locking into our own estrogen’s receptor sites. Xenoestrogens are highly toxic and harmful to our body and are one of the top causes of hormone imbalances!
HERE ARE SOME INTERESTING FACTS TO CONSIDER:
By the time the average North American woman has completed her morning routine, she has exposed her face, body and hair to over 126 chemicals from 12 different products.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 60% of what you put on your skin enters your blood stream and every organ in your body within 26 seconds!
The average North American contains 148 synthetic/toxic chemicals stored in the body.
Only 11% of the 10,500 chemicals in cosmetics have been tested for safety!
Xenoestrogens are not found in nature as they are man-made toxins that are estrogen imposters.
Xenoestrogens mimic the effects of the real hormone but overstimulate cellular activity to an uncontrollable extent.
There are 70,000 registered chemicals known as estrogen disruptors (xenoestrogens)!
HOW TO REDUCE YOUR EXPOSURE TO XENOESTROGENS IN YOUR HOME
According to Environmental Defence, you should avoid the following eleven toxic ingredients:
- Artiﬁcial Musks
- Coal Tar Derived Colours
- BHA & BHT
- 2 Formaldehyde Releasing Agents
- Silicone Chemicals
- Bisphenol-A (BPA)
Avoid canned foods that are lined with plastic coating that contains Bisphenol-A (BPA)
Avoid processed and packaged foods and choose packaged goods in glass or paper containers
Purchase grains, nuts, dried fruits and beans in bulk and store in glass or stainless-steel containers
Try these brands: San Remo Organics, Eat Wholesome Food Co., Amy’s Organics, Pacific, Trader Joe’s and Imagine
SIDE NOTE- BPA- WHY YOU NEED TO AVOID IT!
The Environment Defense recently set out to test 192 food cans that were collected from major retailers in North America and this is what they found:
17 of the 21 cans we tested contained BPA in the inner lining
All three Canadian retailers included in this study sold food cans with BPA, including BPA in their private labels (President’s Choice, No Name, Great Value, Compliments and Signal)
All of Campbell’s food cans tested contained BPA
Broth and gravy cans were the most likely (100 per cent of tested cans overall) to contain BPA
Corn and peas cans were the least likely (41 per cent of tested cans overall) to contain BPA
Many companies are replacing BPA-based resin with problematic types including polyvinyl chloride (or PVC which is a known carcinogen), polystyrene (a possible human carcinogen) and polyesters resins – all related to plastics
BPA was officially declared toxic in Canada in 2010 but it clearly still lurks in most of our canned food sources. BPA has been shown in repeated scientific studies to greatly increase the risk of breast and prostate cancers, infertility, early puberty in females, type-2 diabetes, obesity, asthma and impaired neurological development in children. Purchase BPA free canned goods only!
Avoid all pesticides, herbicides and fungicides
Choose organic, locally-grown and in-season foods
Peel and thoroughly wash non-organic fruits and vegetables
Buy hormone-free meats and dairy products to avoid hormones and pesticides
Try these brands: Organic food delivered right to your door- www.spud.ca; www.bluemoonorganics.com; www.chefsplate.com
COOKING AND PLASTICS
Do not heat food in plastic containers
Only use glass containers when heating foods
Avoid Styrofoam containers as they contain BPA (drinking coffee out of a Styrofoam cup causes the BPA to leach out into the coffee)
Avoid Teflon-coated nonstick pans which, if overheated, can release endocrine-disrupting compounds
Try these brands: Click here for the top 10 nonstick pans http://www.allcookwarefind.com/Non-Stick/
Store your food in glass, ceramic or stainless-steel food storage containers
Some plastic cling wrap is made from PVC (polyvinyl chloride) which contains several types of xenoestrogens and other endocrine disruptors and should never touch food
Do not microwave food in plastic containers
Do not leave plastic containers, especially your drinking water, in the sun
If a plastic water container has heated up significantly, throw it away
Do not refill plastic water bottles
Avoid freezing water in plastic bottles to drink later
Try these brands: Click here for a variety of safer food and beverage storage options https://well.ca/categories/natural-food-drink-storage_2902.html http://www.naturalathome.com/product-category/food-storage-containers
Click here for more information on water filtration systems https://wellnessmama.com/8079/water-filter-options/
Use chemical free, biodegradable laundry soap and avoid dryer sheets- try adding ½ cup of baking soda to the rinse cycle for softer laundry
Use chemical free household cleaning products
Choose chlorine-free products and unbleached paper products- toilet paper, paper towel and coffee filters
Use a chlorine filter on shower heads and filter drinking water
Try these brands: Use this link to order Norwex cleaning products and partial proceeds go towards the Dr Cobi Scholarship fund to help those in need with health issues-http://sandraoben.norwex.biz/en_CA/customer/party/2009734
Click here for Do It Yourself Recipes http://greatist.com/health/27-chemical-free-products-diy-spring-cleaning
HEALTH AND BEAUTY PRODUCTS
Most people do not have the resources to replace all their products at once. Start with the products that you use the most often. Examples include: moisturizer, sunscreen, mascara, soap, face wash, deodorant, makeup, lip products, shampoo, conditioner and toothpaste.
The following 3 tools will help you to determine if what you are using is toxic to your body:
- Download and print the Environmental Defence’ s wallet-size green beauty guide. Check out the ingredients of your products to determine if they contain any of the top 10 body care toxins!
- Get the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Skin Deep database app. This will help you to scan and search products for their toxicity ratings and find better alternatives.
- Download the Canadian app called Think Dirty Shop Clean. This app scans products and ranks them according to their toxic ingredients corresponding to their “dirty meter”. It often provides a cleaner alternative as well. The products are ranked in the following scale:
3 or below is safe to use
4-6 need replacing with a better product once it runs out
7-10 needs immediate replacement (especially if pregnant)
HERE ARE TIPS TO GET YOU STARTED:
Avoid creams and cosmetics that have toxic chemicals and estrogenic ingredients such as parabens and stearalkonium chloride
Minimize your exposure to nail polish and nail polish removers
Use naturally based fragrances such as essential oils
Use chemical free soaps and toothpastes
Choose organic and natural feminine hygiene products
Choose natural tooth paste
Use chemical free Hair care products
TRY THESE GREEN BEAUTY BRANDS:
What can be done...
Stress is an unavoidable fact of life. Fortunately we have physiologic systems in place to help us cope in our response to stress. When our bodies are under stress, our adrenal glands produce hormones in order for us to respond to the stress. The adrenals or stress glands produce the hormones cortisol and DHEA which create the short and long term hormone responses. The adrenals also produce adrenalin which stimulates the instant stress hormone response otherwise known as "fight or flight". Chronic exposure to stress can result in what is known as the General Adaptation Syndrome, which has three major stages.
In the Alarm stage, bursts of the hormones cortisol and adrenaline are released in response to a stressor, resulting in the traditional "fight, flight or freeze" responses.
In the resistance stage, the body uses high cortisol levels to free up stored energy that helps the body physically resist the stressor. It is now known that a prolonged resistance stage may increase the risk of developing stress related diseases. If cortisol levels remain elevated, symptoms may include feeling tired but wired, having difficulty sleeping, weight gain around the waist, high blood pressure, hair loss, muscle mass loss and anxiety. Excess cortisol also interferes with the action of other hormones like progesterone, testosterone and thyroid which further creates more imbalances and increasing symptoms.
At this stage, the adrenals are either depleted from producing too much cortisol or are reacting to the detrimental effects of high cortisol. This reduces the cortisol production significantly. Symptoms of low cortisol include fatigue (especially morning fatigue), increased susceptibility to infections, decreased recovery from exercise, allergies, low blood sugar, a burned out feeling, depression and low sex drive.
How can you tell if you have Adrenal Fatigue?*
You may be suffering from Adrenal Fatigue if you regularly experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Depression and/or anxiety
- Increased abdominal fat
- Tired for no reason
- Trouble getting up in the morning even when you go to bed at a reasonable hour
- Feeling rundown or overwhelmed
- Lowered immune system
- Increased startle response
- Food cravings
- Blood sugar imbalances
Adrenal function can be measured through a saliva test called the Adrenal Stress Index or ASI and can be done by a natural medicine practitioner. The ASI measures the levels of the adrenal hormones throughout the day in order to get a true account of the fluctuations that should occur. Levels of DHEA and cortisol vary according to the level of stress and for how long that stress has been occurring.
Increasing cortisol production is the normal response to stress and is highly desirable as long as the stress is removed and the adrenal glands can recover. Ongoing, unremitting stress means the adrenal glands and the whole body is in a constant state of alert, does not get time to recover, and eventually becomes exhausted. Identifying which stage you are in is extremely important in order to have the right treatment plan implemented.
With proper treatment most people can fully recover from Adrenal Fatigue. Improving your weakened or exhausted adrenals should include several measures including:
- Reduce consumption of refined carbohydrates like white bread and high sugar foods. Refined carbohydrates cause insulin to be released. The release of insulin triggers the release of more cortisol, which causes further stress on the adrenal
- Eliminate caff Caffeine stimulates the release of adrenalin which in turn increases the stress response.
- Relieve and reduce emotional stress as much as possible. Learn stress management techniques and practice them
- Get to sleep by 10pm every night and sleep in as often as life permits. At least 8 hours of sleep are needed to properly rest the adrenal glands. It is important to not watch television or review work or other stressful material while in bed as these activities may raise cortisol
- Visit a natural health practitioner and have a specific supplement and treatment protocol designed for your specific needs. There are many vitamins, minerals and nutrients that will help to dramatically improve the state of the adrenal glands and bring the body back to
Being plagued by the unbearable symptoms of seasonal allergies does not have to be a life-long battle. Whether it is your friend’s cat or the spring pollen that causes the sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose, wheezing and more, a holistic approach will treat the underlying cause- the immune system.
It is suggested that 60% of the population suffer from some type of allergic response. As we subject our bodies and immune systems to more stress, this number is rising. In truth, anybody can be allergic to anything and the reactions can express themselves in any area of the body. The question remains, why are some people affected while others are left unscathed?
An allergic predisposition may be inherited if one of both parents has allergies. The 3 most common allergenic reactions know to be inherited are hay fever, asthma and eczema. A person with one or more of this triad is said to be “Atopic”. Atopic individuals have a strong family correlation even though the form may switch or even skip a generation. Atopic individuals have up to 50% more T-Helper cells (immune cells) and therefore react more rapidly to low levels of offending invaders. Studies also show that low levels of digestive enzymes and depleted levels of immune cells in the lining of the gut permit easier entry of allergens into the blood stream.
Any factors which impair immune function will predispose a person to allergies. These factors include stress (emotional or physical), poor nutrition, smoking, drugs (prescription or recreational) and over-consumption of artificial and processed foods.
Our immune system manifests the allergy symptoms as a way of detoxifying the body of what it sees as invaders. This response is not normal and occurs mainly in those who have a hyper stimulated or overly sensitive immune system.
Treating allergies with pharmaceuticals is a purely symptomatic approach with dependency on the drugs often occurring. There are many undesirable side-effects of the drugs which often lead to the need for more drugs to treat the side-effects. This cycle continues to weaken the immune system and the allergies tend to get worse each year.
The holistic approach to allergies is the rebalancing and the regulation of the over- stressed immune system through the use of herbs, nutritional supplements and nutritional changes. Once the immune system is functioning optimally, it will not continue to produce the same strong reactions and then allergies decrease and most times disappear.
During seasonal allergy issues, avoiding certain foods can dramatically help to reduce symptoms. The main foods to avoid if you are experiencing allergy symptoms include: wheat, sugar, dairy, peanuts, corn and soy. Patients often report a significant reduction in symptoms when avoiding these food triggers.
A netti pot can also be very helpful. Rinse nasal sinuses twice daily with warm water and ½ tsp. sea salt to help to clear sinuses of all allergens.
Dr Cobi’s Top Picks for Seasonal Allergies
Allergiplex- Dissolve 1 under the tongue 1 time per week to prevent allergies or 1 time daily to treat allergies.
Histaeze- This is one of my favourite products! Take 2 capsules 2 times daily to treat allergies. In many cases, this works better than most pharmaceutical allergy treatments.
Quercetin Hi P- This compounded product (available to patients only) is the highest dose Quercetin product on the market. Quercetin is a natural anti-histamine.
Hydrastis Nasal Spray- Spray 1-2 times into each nostril for immediate relief!
Pleo Muc Eye Drops- Place 1-2 drops into each eye as needed for relief of itchy eyes.
Allergy Desensitization Program- Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT)
Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) treats the cause of allergies by giving small doses of the allergen to the patient. Exposure to these small doses over time increases the immunity or tolerance to the allergens and reduces the allergenic symptoms.
HOW DOES SUBLINGUAL IMMUNOTHERAPY WORK?
Dr Cobi Slater has joined forces with a compounding pharmacy specializing in allergy desensitization. A customized formula is compounded for each patient. SLIT is given as drops under the tongue. The patient will take 1 drop under the tongue twice daily (that is it!). Research shows then when an allergen is presented this way, the immune system learns to tolerate the allergen. The result is less allergy symptoms when the body is exposed to the allergy source such as airborne pollen or pet dander.
SLIT OR ALLERGY SHOTS?
Like injection therapy, SLIT directly changes the body's ability to react with allergens. Allergy shots are effective, but need to be given in a physician's office. This inconvenience results in high drop off rates for many patients. Sublingual immunotherapy offers a great alternative treatment option for people reluctant or unable to undergo allergy shots.
WHAT ARE MY CHOICES?
Pre-seasonal: a quick buildup of antigen 30 to 60 days prior to and throughout the offending allergen season (this is done yearly).
Co-seasonal: Year-round treatment for an average of 2-3 years to eliminate allergy symptoms for good.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO SEE RESULTS WITH SLIT?
The vast majority of patients’ experience marked symptom relief within the first few months of starting treatment. As with all allergy immunotherapy, long term, lasting results require 2 to 5 years of treatment (average length of treatment is 3 years). Research shows that committing to the full therapy can result in permanent symptom relief. No more allergies!
SLIT IS PROVEN!
With over 60 clinical trials proving efficacy, endorsement from the World Health Organization, the World Allergy Organization and the Cochrane Collaboration, SLIT is proven to be effective, safe and well tolerated.
HOW DO I GET STARTED?
Book your appointment with Dr Cobi to discuss your custom compounded allergy desensitizing program.
Here is what a few patients had to say......
''My son absolutely refused allergy shots so we decided to try the drops. I can't believe the difference. He is no longer suffering at night with sneezing and itchy eyes and his snoring has stopped entirely.
- L. Martin, Calgary AB
"Thanks to allergy drops I no longer have to rely on antihistamines for relief of my grass and tree allergies. I can enjoy golf again."
- K Grant, Victoria BC
"I am so relieved and happy that I can now live allergy free with my dogs now that I am on the SLIT program!"
- M Cartin, Maple Ridge, BC
Cold laser therapy, otherwise known as low level laser therapy (LLLT) is a painless and non-invasive physical therapy procedure that has been scientifically proven to increase healing in a targeted area by over 400%! LLLT is approved by Health Canada as an effective procedure to manage chronic pain and it has been shown to achieve long-term results when other therapies have failed. Laser therapy at Essential Health involves a Class 3 laser, which is today’s standard in LLLT care, producing effects on everything from skin and muscles to nerves and bones. The laser therapy technicians at Essential Health are certified and have extensive experience and are always working under the supervision of Dr Cobi.
Conditions commonly treated by laser therapy:
- Accidental Injuries
- Bulging and Herniated Discs
- Calcifications (e.g. Bone Spurs)
- Carpal Tunnel
- Discongenic and Vertebrogenic Radiculopathy
- Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow)
- Fractures with Soft Tissue Injury
- Knee Injuries
- Ligament and Tendon Tears
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Repetitive Strain Syndrome
- Rotator Cuff Injury
- Spinal Stenosis
- Sports Injuries
- TMJ Dysfunction
- Torn Muscles
- And more….
A laser therapy appointment at Essential Health will involve:
- An initial assessment and screening by Dr Cobi, who will also oversee the entire treatment.
- A personalized and detailed treatment plan that includes approximately 10 sessions (typically, 3 visits per week), depending on your body and health.
- Sessions of approximately 30-45 minutes each during which time you will be required to wear eye protection and a trained cold laser technician will apply the painless treatment.
- Other recommendations to help you heal quickly and naturally.
Laser Therapy FAQs
What is laser therapy?
Low Intensity Laser Therapy is the use of low intensity lasers to treat musculoskeletal injuries as well as chronic and degenerative conditions.
This advanced technology utilizes super-luminous laser diodes of specific wavelengths to treat tissue with photon energy. These particles of energy are absorbed by the mitochondria within a cell. Mitochondria's function is to produce a fuel called ATP. Laser therapy increases the amount of ATP produced in the mitochondria thereby greatly accelerating the body’s natural healing process.
How does laser therapy work?
Laser arrays are placed in contact with the skin allowing light energy to penetrate tissue where it interacts with cells resulting in restoration of normal cell function. This enhances the body’s natural healing abilities, reducing inflammation and pain, improving range of motion and reducing the need for medications and even surgery.
Low Intensity Laser Therapy does not heat or cut tissue. Unlike many pharmacological treatments that mask pain or only address the symptoms of the disease, Laser Therapy treats the underlying condition or pathology to promote lasting healing.
Is laser therapy safe?
Yes. Hundreds of research studies have shown Laser Therapy to be safe and effective. Laser Therapy is non-invasive, non-toxic and non-thermal. Laser Therapy is beneficial rather than harmful to tissue.
Does it hurt? What will I feel?
No, the procedure is non-invasive, non-toxic and non-thermal. As opposed to high-intensity lasers, the lasers used in this procedure are considered cold lasers as they do not produce heat and have no associated discomfort.
How long does a treatment take?
Depending on the area being treated as well as patient factors, treatments typically take between 30 to 45 minutes.
How many treatments are necessary?
The average number of treatments required is 10 but will vary with regard to the individual problem as every patient and condition responds to Laser Therapy uniquely.
Are there any contraindications?
The only instances in which laser therapy should be avoided are treating over the womb of pregnant women and over the site of a cancerous tumor as the research on treating these areas are limited.
Please note that it is NOT a contraindication to have pins, metal plates, plastic or pacemakers.
What else will I need to do alongside laser treatments?
Nothing is necessary to do alongside laser treatments. If stretching or other exercises are needed, they will be prescribed on an individual basis. Laser therapy is a passive treatment; all you need to do is show up, we will do all the work. The great thing about it is that the healing effects of the laser continue to work long after treatments stop. Low intensity laser therapy initiates a process that lasts long after ‘the lights go out’.
Are treatments covered by extended medical?
Many extended medical plans do cover laser therapy. However, it varies between plans so you should check with your provider.
How much do laser therapy treatments cost?
A single treatment of 1 area is $50. A double treatment of 2 areas is $75.
Call our clinic to book your laser therapy appointment at 604 467 9554.
Healthy, tasty and quick...the perfect combination. Serves 4.
- 12 oz. salmon fillet
- 6 cups spinach
- 1 avocado (cubed)
- 2 Tbsp. walnuts (chopped)
- 2 Tbsp. sunflower seeds
- 2 Tbsp. dried cranberries
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes (halved)
- 4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp. dried dill
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 1 tsp. pure maple syrup
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- Combine all ingredients and mix well
- Brush the salmon with 2 Tbsp. of the vinaigrette.
- Place the salmon on a baking sheet and broil in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until it flakes easily.
- Divide salmon into 4 pieces.
- Toss the spinach in a large bowl with the remaining vinaigrette.
- Divide the spinach among 4 plates and top with the remaining ingredients.
- Place salmon on top of spinach salad.
A lack of sleep affects just about everything in your body and mind. Inadequate sleep increases the risk for many health issues such as: diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancer. It also slows the metabolism, causes weight gain, hormone imbalances and inflammation. The impact that a lack of sleep can have also extends to mood regulation as well as memory and decision-making skills.
Did you know that lack of sleep may even negate the health benefits of your exercise program?
The three main purposes of sleep include the following:
- To restore our body and mind. Our bodies repair, grow and even “detoxify” our brains while we sleep.
- To improve our brain's ability to learn and remember things, technically known as “synaptic plasticity”.
- To conserve some energy to use for future needs.
In 2006 a study that followed more than 68,000 women for 16 years looked at the “Association between Reduced Sleep and Weight Gain in Women”. It found that those who slept five hours or less a night were more likely to gain more weight than those who got seven hours of sleep a night. Insufficient sleep dulls brain activity, specifically in the frontal lobe which is responsible for impulse control and decision making. This can most certainly lead to poor decisions due to a lack of mental clarity when it comes to food choices. In addition to the dampening of the frontal lobe, the brain’s reward center is stimulated when there is a lack of sleep. Stimulation of this area causes a person to look for something to make them feel good and this is often sugar and carbohydrate laden foods that feel comforting.
There are 2 very important hormones that control our appetite center and a lack of sleep can cause an imbalance in these hormones leading to weight gain and/or weight resistance. Sleep deprivation increases a hormone called ghrelin which triggers appetite and decreases one called leptin which signals that you are full.
SIGNS OF SLEEP DISTURBANCES
Difficulty sleeping can be a short term situation or can turn into a chronic problem. The following list describes issues related to chronic sleep disturbances:
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Difficulty waking up in the morning
- Daytime drowsiness
- Micro sleeps or “nodding off”
- Zoning out in a conversation or task
- Altered memory or judgment
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty making simple decisions
- Clumsy and/or slower reaction times
- Feeling emotional for no apparent reason
- Snoring (sleep apnea)
- Routinely falling asleep within 5 minutes of lying down
- Waking up frequently during the night with difficulty returning to sleep
TIPS FOR SLEEPING WELL
Below are some tips to help you get the sleep you need. It is also important to remember that getting too much sleep (over 9 hours) can be just as unhealthy.
- Get tested! Find the underlying cause to your sleep issues. If you have tried all of the tips below and you continue to suffer with insomnia- get tested. A simple hormone imbalance or food allergy can be the underlying cause of your sleep issues. Contact our office to book an appointment.
- Consistently maintain regular bedtime and waking up hours as much as possible.
- Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
- Get to bed no later than 11pm- go to bed 15 minutes earlier each week until you reach no later than 11pm.
- Avoid caffeine consumption (tea, cola, coffee, chocolate) after 12pm.
- Exercise regularly.
- Avoid daytime naps.
- Avoid eating a meal 3 hours before bedtime (a light snack can help avoid hunger pangs and aid sleep).
- Avoid alcohol as the body metabolizes alcohol while we sleep- even just one ounce within 2 hours of bedtime will disrupt sleep.
- Avoid stressful or noisy distractions while trying to sleep (noisy clocks, bright lights, uncomfortable clothes or bedding).
- Create a relaxing bedtime routine.
- Take a relaxing bath with lavender and chamomile aromatherapy added to the bath water.
- Turn the lights down low throughout the house or light candles. Turn off the screens as the electromagnetic rays from computer screens, TVs etc. are very stimulating.
- Make sure your room is as dark as possible-turn alarm clocks away from your head- use blackout curtains if light is entering through the windows.
- Turn the heat down- maintaining an average of 21°C (70°F) in the bedroom has been shown to be the best temperature for the production of the sleep inducing hormone melatonin.
- Remove clutter- keep your bedroom as neat and clutter- free as possible.
- If you get up to go to the bathroom during the night, keep the lights off- any light that enters the iris of the eye can shut down melatonin production.
- Keep a journal- if endless mind chatter is keeping you up, then write down your thoughts or to do lists in a bedside journal to allow your mind to calm down.
- Sleeping with pets or children can be very disruptive for sleep- have them sleep in their own beds.
- Use the bed for sex and sleep only -no TV, laptop computers etc.
- Try one of the following natural, non-addictive sleep aids to help you to sleep: