Ottawa Functional Medicine – Dominick Hussey – Centretown and North Gower

4 Strategies To Help Histamine Related Menstrual Headaches

Many of my clients report headaches that correlate with their menstrual cycle. These clients assume that their headaches are an indication of an underlying hormonal problem. This conclusion is logical and possible, but another common underlying cause is histamine intolerance.

I recently had a client say to me. “I have been getting headaches.” “Do the headaches correlate to any foods you are eating”, I replied. ” No,” she said. “But they do appear to relate to my menstrual cycle.” “In particular, they occur on day 13 of my cycle and occasionally a few days before my period begins.

Interestingly, the timing of the headaches coincides with two peaks of estrogen in the menstrual cycle.

The first peak is the highest and occurs towards the end of ovulation. The second peak occurs a few days before the start of menstruation.

Estrogen decreases the levels of Diamine Oxidase (DAO) the body. DAO is one of the main enzymes in the body that breaks down histamine.

Histamine is a compound that the body produces in the presence of allergens and gut and systemic infections such as Lyme disease.

Chronic or longstanding infections will lead to a buildup of histamine in the body. An excessive accumulation of histamine will lead to symptoms such as headaches.

Therefore if you have an underlying infection with a related high level of histamine, a peak in estrogen and an associated drop in DAO will lead to a spike in histamine.

If you think that you suffer from histamine related menstrual headaches, the following strategies may help.

Strategies to help lower histamine related menstrual headaches

For tackling histamine related menstrual headaches, there are two categories of treatment: symptom-reducing and root cause resolution.

Symptom-reducing

1. Take a Diamine Oxidase (DAO) supplement

If you get histamine related menstrual headaches, try taking a DAO supplement a day or two before you expect your symptoms. I recommend Seeking Health Histamine Block.

2. Avoid high histamine foods

High histamine foods include fermented vegetables and dairy, processed meats and food additives. Avoiding high histamine foods a few days before and during the days you expect your headaches to occur may help reduce symptoms.

3. Take Vitamin C and Quercetin

Quercetin and Vitamin C both help to lower histamine in the body. Taking both nutrients a few days before and during days that you expect your symptoms may improve. I suggest taking Design for Health Stellar C, which contains both Quercetin and Vitamin C.

Root cause resolution

As we discussed above, the body produces histamine in the presence of allergens and infections such as gut infections and Lyme disease. Chronic or longstanding infections will lead to a buildup of histamine. Functional medicine practitioners can help identify and treat underlying infections. Gut infections that can cause excess histamine include Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) and parasites.

Disclaimer

This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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3 Natural Ways Of Preventing and Treating Food Allergies and Sensitivities

3 Natural Ways Of Preventing and Treating Food Allergies and Sensitivities

In this article, I am going to discuss ways of preventing and treating food allergies and sensitivities.

Some people have the perception that food allergies and sensitivities are more prominent than in the past.

For example, when I was a child in the 1970’s, we were never told about the dangers of bringing peanuts to school. Today, I hear from the parents of my child clients that this is commonplace.

However, despite hearing this observation, is the issue increasing or we are merely more aware of it.

Scientific research shows us that the incidence of celiac disease is much higher than when I was a child. Researchers can show this increase by analysing old blood samples and applying the modern day diagnostic criteria.  What they found is that celiac disease is over four times higher today than it was a half-century ago.

So why is the incidence of food allergies and sensitivities increasing?

To answer this question we must first look at why some people develop allergies and intolerances, and some people do not.

Eggs and Liver

Over the past fifty years, we have seen a change away from particular foods including a reduction in the consumption of eggs and liver.

When we remove foods from our diets, this will have a detrimental effect on our nutritional status.

Our immune system requires certain nutrients to work efficiently, and without them, it can become over-reactive, and we can develop allergies and intolerances.

Two essential nutrients for a healthy immune system are retinoic acid and prostaglandin E2.

Retinoic acid is a molecule that we make from retinol. Prostaglandin E2 Is made from arachidonic acid an omega-6 fatty acid that we also find in animal foods.

Retinol is found mainly in liver and cod liver oil with smaller amounts in egg yolks and dairy fat. Arachidonic acid is found primarily in liver and egg yolks. Therefore a reduction in the consumption of liver and egg yolks has probably played a role in the increase in food allergies and food intolerances.

Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs

Another important consideration is the increased use the over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin. These drugs block the enzyme COX in the body. The enzyme COX converts arachidonic acid into the prostaglandin E2 which we require to ward off allergies and intolerances.

If we are in pain, out of all the NSAIDs from a research point of view, the safest one is aspirin.

How Can We Use This Information?

Regarding food intolerances, I think it is more accessible to prevent them than to fix them. To avoid the development of food intolerances of, we need to introduce both liver and eggs into the diets of our children from an early age. For example, beginning with eating liver once or twice a week and eating egg yolks every day or every other day.

Secondly, avoid the unnecessary use of the NSAIDs. There are many natural and safer alternatives to NSAIDs. I suggest seeking out a local Naturopathic Doctor or Homeopath for advice.

As I mentioned above, there is no easy way to fix food intolerances. The first thing to do is identify which foods you cannot tolerate and cut them out of your diet. My preferred method of determining food intolerances is to carry out a food elimination diet. I also find muscle testing a useful tool.

If you suspect that gluten is an issue, it is essential that you rule out celiac disease. Celiac is a serious medical condition which means you must be very strict with the avoidance.

Similarly, if you are anaphylactic to a food such as peanuts, complete avoidance is imperative. Unlike Celiac disease, it may be possible to treat food allergies even if they cause anaphylaxis. I recommend you look at Natural Allergy Treatment which I have found very effective.

If food intolerances do not induce a medical condition or very uncomfortable effects, it may be possible to reintroduce them over time. I suggest trying to reintroduce foods after say 3-4 months. If there are several foods then introduce them one at a time over a week.

You may also try consuming the foods in a predigested form. For example, if you have a problem with nuts, try soaking them and sprouting them. If you are dealing with grains, try using sourdough grains, long-fermented grains, and so on.

Disclaimer

This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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Why do not medical doctors understand chronic Lyme Disease - Dominick Hussey

Why do medical doctors not understand chronic Lyme Disease?

When you study Lyme disease, there are main types. Firstly there is acute Lyme disease, where usually somebody gets bitten by a tick, and they become acutely sick. Acute Lyme disease is not very common. The majority of people do not become significantly ill following a tick bite. Like with myself, it is much later, when their immune system becomes weaker, that they begin exhibiting chronic symptoms.

Chronic symptoms include everything from anxiety to joint pain.  That is very confusing for doctors because they have been trained to diagnose and treat acute illness.

Medical doctors did a fantastic job for me when I broke my arm, or when I recently developed a blood clot in my lung. However, when a person walks into a doctors office with a list of 20 to 30 symptoms and all the lab tests are normal the majority of doctors do not have the time or training to uncover what is happening. Furthermore, when faced with chronic conditions they have a limited and often ineffective number of therapies to help.

For example, with chronic Lyme disease, scientific research shows that current antibiotics do not work very well. Furthermore, the testing for chronic Lyme disease is at best mediocre, especially in Canada.  Often the test results are borderline or equivocal which Canadian doctors do not know how to interpret.

This situation means that many people who have chronic Lyme disease have to figure it out for themselves. People have to search online or read books to unravel the roots of their symptoms.

This approach is something I had to do for myself. I had suffered from chronic anxiety for 17 years without understanding why. Conventional medicine had provided some help through medication but zero for looking at the cause.

If you suspect you have chronic Lyme disease and only have access to a conventional medical doctor, you need to be mindful of their limited knowledge, time and treatment options. When approaching a doctor mention just a couple of the most troublesome symptoms, rather than overwhelming them with a 20 or 30 symptoms. By using this approach, the doctor will be able to give you a better diagnosis and treatment protocol.

Disclaimer

This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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Does Chronic Lyme Disease Exist? - Dominick Hussey

Does Chronic Lyme Disease Exist?

According to Health Canada, the Centre for Disease Control in the USA and most physicians chronic Lyme does not exist. If this is true, then why are so many people having symptoms that they attribute to the Lyme bacteria?

There are many reasons why mainstream medicine does not recognise chronic Lyme disease including:

  1. The Lyme bacteria is difficult to find once it has been in the body for some time making testing difficult.
  2. Many people with acute Lyme disease do not exhibit symptoms and may get ill months or sometimes years later.
  3. If you do exhibit acute symptoms and you are treated with antibiotics you may or may not get ill again.

Many of the people I see in my clinic who have Lyme disease do not recall getting a tick bite. These people are often chronically ill with a whole spectrum of symptoms, and at some point, they experience some symptom that makes them or their doctor suspect they carry the Lyme infection.

Typically these people also carry other microbes known as Lyme co-infections. So, when looking at somebody with Lyme, it is essential to look for the presence of co-infections.

So, the thing that causes most confusion among doctors is that when they look at microbial illnesses, they expect to treat and cure them with antibiotics. This approach originates from more virulent microbes like the bacteria that would cause pneumonia. In such cases, you would test for the bacterium, treat with antibiotics, test for it again, the infection has gone, and the patient’s symptoms have gone.

The Lyme bacteria, however, are different. The microbes that cause pneumonia, for example, are extracellular bacteria. Extracellular means they reside outside the cells. These bacteria colonise in the lungs or on the skin, and they have an invasive infection.

In contrast, with Lyme disease, the bacteria are intracellular, which is challenging to treat because it does not respond well to antibiotics.

Often people can have a positive test for Lyme in the beginning and later not have one because once they get into the tissue and not in the bloodstream detection is very challenging. So, the infection can be there but not be visible. For this reason, doctors often refer to the Lyme bacteria as a stealth infection.

An older research study took a group of people who had all the symptoms of Lyme, had a negative test in the beginning and was treated with antibiotics for six to nine months. These people were again tested, this time using tiny tissue samples. The results showed that one-third of the people had the presence of Borrelia, the Lyme bacteria.

The results of this study suggest that our testing is not very accurate. Furthermore, the bacteria can be in the body, not respond to antibiotics and still cause symptoms.

So, yes, I do believe chronic Lyme disease does occur, and an increasing number of holistically minded doctors are beginning to agree. Also, there have been numerous recent studies published with the words “Chronic Lyme Disease” in the title.

Unfortunately, it will take several years for this research to come into the consciousness of mainstream medical doctors.

Disclaimer

This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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Lyme Disease - Why Antibiotics Often Fail - Dominick Hussey - Ottawa

Lyme Disease – Why Antibiotics Often Fail

The standard medical regimen for Lyme disease is three weeks of antibiotics. However, when those three weeks are over, even if you still have symptoms, your physician is likely to discontinue your treatment thinking three weeks of antibiotics is sufficient to kill eradicate the infection.

Many Lyme literate doctors feel that six weeks of antibiotics is most appropriate for treating Lyme disease since the bacteria are very slow growing.

While most bacteria in your body replicate every twenty minutes, the Lyme bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi are replicated every one to sixteen days. This replication time is much slower than a bacteria that would cause a sinus infection.

Long-term Effects of Antibiotic Use

Some people end up taking antibiotics for months or even years with little or no improvement. When taking antibiotics, they can kill off a lot of your healthy bacteria, which are essential for having a robust immune system and ability to fight off infection naturally.

Up to 80% of immune function comes from your gut making these healthy bacteria essential for a robust immune system.

Long-term antibiotic use can also cause kidney and liver damage as well as many other harmful side effects.

As a functional medicine practitioner, I have witnessed the long-term effects of using antibiotics including:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia

Some of the new research has suggested that the Lyme bacteria have become immune to several of the antibiotics that are usually employed to treat Lyme disease.

Some of these Lyme organisms are called Persister cells, and they have developed ingenious ways to alter hundreds of their genes to survive antibiotics. These Persister cells appear to grow at a slower rate than other Lyme bacteria giving the antibiotics less time to eradicate these bugs.

The Effectiveness of Antibiotics in Treating Lyme Disease

If you have acute Lyme disease then taking antibiotics is an appropriate treatment and eradicate the infection and prevent them from causing long-term damage to your body.

According to the CDC in the US, however, 20% of people with acute Lyme disease will fail antibiotic treatment and go on to develop persistent Lyme disease.

The evidence for treating chronic Lyme disease has not been very encouraging. Some studies have found no advantages of using antibiotics in chronic Lyme disease. Other studies have shown that any benefits were lost shortly after stopping the antibiotics.

Natural Options For Treating Lyme Disease

If you have been on the roller-coaster of antibiotics, then it is time to look at other options.

In his book, The Lyme Solution, Dr Darin Ingels, ND outlines the natural ways he used to treat himself for Lyme disease and thousands of his patients. I use this same approach to help my clients who have Lyme disease which includes:

  • Teaching people how to eat the right foods to help nullify the infection
  • Natural ways to improve the gut health and your immune system
  • Improve detoxification
  • Encourage deeper, restful sleep
  • Employing alternative therapies to help balance your immune system

Disclaimer

This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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