Do you have a Histamine Intolerance?

Do you have a Histamine intolerance?

Do you experience unexplained headaches, migraines or symptoms like a runny nose or itchy mouth? How about hives, abdominal cramps or irregular menstrual cycles? Does your face flush or do you have difficulty regulating your body temperature? Are your symptoms improved after taking anti-histamines like Zyrtec? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you could have a histamine intolerance.

What is histamine?

Histamine is a chemical compound that is involved in the immune system response. It is often associated with seasonal allergies, food allergies, and symptoms like headaches, nasal congestion, sneezing and difficulties with breathing. Sometimes you may experience symptoms that aren’t associated with the environment, such as a runny nose, sneezing, itching after wine or certain foods like bananas, avocados or tomatoes.

Histamine has an important role where it helps the body to communicate with the brain, alert the immune system to a potential threat, and launch an inflammatory response. 

 

What is Histamine Intolerance?

Histamine intolerance can occur when the body is unable to break down histamine properly. One of the ways the body deals with histamine is through the Diamine Oxidase (DAO) enzyme which inactivates and metabolises histamine. 

If you don’t have enough DAO or its ineffective, histamine can be absorbed through the intestines causing a wide range of symptoms. The symptoms such as those in the list below can often occur following the consumption of foods and drinks that contain a large amount of histamine. 

Common Symptoms of Histamine Intolerance: 

  • Fatigue
  • Headaches/migraines, Anxiety
  • Difficulty falling asleep/easily woken
  • Sneezing, itching, nasal congestion
  • Abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting
  • Hives, tissue swelling
  • Difficulty breathing, vertigo, dizziness
  • Abnormal menstrual cycle
  • Vertigo/dizziness
  • Hypertension, 
  • Difficulty regulating body temperature
  • Irregular heart rate
 
There can be many reasons that cause an increase of Histamine or difficulty breaking down Histamine. Some of these include allergies, digestive imbalances or damage, enzyme deficiency, or a diet too high in histamine-containing foods. 

Can you test for Histamine Intolerance?

The good news is your Naturopath can organise a lab test for histamine and DAO levels. A high ratio of histamine/DAO signifies that you may be consuming too much histamine and that you may not have enough DAO to break it down.

How do you reduce Histamine Intolerance?

To combat this, your Naturopath would look at your lifestyle and diet factors, aiming to boost your enzymes and minimise the histamine load. 

 

Working with a Naturopath will enable you to find out what the root cause for your histamine intolerance is, and your Naturopath will be able to design a personalised dietary or supplement protocol to help restore balance to your body and to your symptoms.

Perimenopause & Menopause

Being female and getting to your mid to late forties means you may be starting to wonder what menopause is going to be like for you. Will you suffer from the dreaded hot flushes, mood swings and weight gain or will you cruise through the change of life gracefully? The answer to this question will be different for each woman depending on her genetics, stress levels throughout life, any other medical conditions, surgeries and any hormonal issues throughout the fertile years. The important thing to remember is that menopause will be much easier if you take care of your body and adrenal glands in particular during your thirties and forties.

Menopause is a time of hormonal transition, as the ovaries gradually stop functioning and cyclically producing reproductive or sex hormones. Perimenopause signifies the start of this transition phase and can last several years prior to actual menopause.

Signs you could be going through perimenopause include:

  • Highly variable hormone fluctuations
  • Cycles becoming, shorter, longer or totally irregular
  • Bleeding becoming lighter, unpredictable or heavy.

Menopause is defined once a woman has ceased having a period of at least 12 months. Most women will reach menopause between the ages of 45 and 55 and still have over a third of their lives to live beyond that, so it’s important to manage this transition in the least stressful way possible. The severity and duration of menopause symptoms vary greatly and may include:     

  • Hot flushes & night sweats
  • Bloating and or weight gain
  • Crawling and itchy skin
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Sore breasts
  • Fatigue
  • Urinary problems
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Mood swings/anxiety/depression
  • Low libido
  • Brain fog or memory problems

Aside from these symptoms once a woman has been through menopause, she is more susceptible to stress on other organs and systems including the heart and cardiovascular system, bones, thyroid, adrenal glands, pancreas, pituitary and nervous system. Once menopause occurs and the ovaries have ceased function, the female body now relies on the adrenal glands for the production of sex hormones to assist health, stamina, and vitality throughout the rest of life. The adrenal glands are also responsible for stress hormone production throughout life and this is why it’s so important to manage the stress response in middle age to make the transition into menopause smoother.

What must be remembered is that menopause is a normal process of life. This transition is part of natural ageing and as with most health conditions, prevention is better than cure. To help make the transition through menopause smoother, put practices into place early in life to ensure optimal hormonal, nervous system and cardiovascular health.

Natural Menopause Treatment

If you are experiencing perimenopause or the symptoms of menopause, the good news is, most of the time hormone replacement therapy is not necessary. There are herbal, nutritional and lifestyle supports that can help reduce unwanted symptoms and help you continue to live a full and vital life. Pairing some useful natural therapies with the right diet is very effective in helping to ease menopausal symptoms.

Dealing with menopause can be an incredible stress on your life. At Brisbane Natural Health we love working with women during this transition, helping them to regain their energy, balance their moods and get back living a life that they love. Call us on 07 3367 0337 and make an appointment with a naturopath or acupuncturist at our Brisbane clinic to help.

Primary Dysmenorrhea: A Traditional Chinese Approach to Period Pain

Amongst the multitude of treatment options for those experiencing primary dysmenorrhea (period pain which is not attributed to any other pathology such as: endometriosis, fibroids etc.), traditional Chinese medicine and the complimentary medicine approach excels in the management and treatment of symptoms.

From the western perspective, primary dysmenorrhea is one of the most prevalent and disabling gynecological disorders with no identifiable aetiology. It is a disorder which is said to incur an economic impact on a global scale, with an estimated 600 million work hours and 2 billion dollars lost annually in the USA alone. One study recorded as many as 50% of women were affected by primary dysmenorrhea and another 10% experiencing symptoms severe enough to render them incapacitated.

Despite this, other than ruling out secondary dysmenorrhea, the conventional medical approach can offer little insight to its origin. The level of understanding with regard to causative factors from a TCM point of view is more comprehensive in comparison.

In TCM gynecology, the Liver organ and Penetrating vessel, also known as the Chong Mai, are crucial in the free flow of Qi and Blood. Free flow = a painless existence.

The Chong Mai flows through the uterus and is also known as the sea of blood.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture reduces pain in women with dysmenorrhea

Acupuncture, Tui Na (Chinese remedial massage) and Chinese herbs work to harmonise the flow of Qi and Blood in the uterus by treating meridians on the body. There are however, plenty of things that we can do to ensure free flow without even getting to the point of disease! A diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods, an abundance of physical activity and relaxation exercises, nourishing sleep habits and an avoidance of drugs and alcohol will all benefit the Chong Mai and help to keep the menstrual cycle in balance. This also applies to the treatment of subfertility with Chinese medicine. A healthy cycle is a good way to ensure a healthy pregnancy.

Many women are led to believe that it is quite normal to have a huge amount of pain during menstruation and that it is normal to pop a few pain killers or take oral contraceptives to avoid this. According to the old Chinese texts, this is only a modern pathology. Normal periods are pain free and regular in length.

Conventional medicine, although efficient in its pharmacotherapy, lacks the availability of a lasting solution for primary dysmenorrhea and a youth of periods spent fighting pain with prescription medication or pain killers, often leading to undiagnosed complications with fertility, is pretty common unfortunately.

There is a stack of research out there that shows the efficacy of acupuncture and Chinese herbs in dramatically improving the quality of life and level of pain that women are experiencing. Generally, studies show the best results are had over a 3 month treatment regime for chronic cases. The added benefit of an individualised diagnosis and treatment, is that the effects are seen on a more than symptomatic level. Accompanying symptoms such as referred lower back pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, headache, fatigue, anxiety, and dizziness were also alleviated from acupuncture. TCM treatment is also found to have lasting effects on pain relief of up to a 3-6 month follow up period.

Hugh Hayward – Chinese Medicine Doctor, Acupuncture & Chinese Herbalist, An Mo Tui Na and Qi Nei Tsang

Sciatica

Many people have heard of the term sciatica, however it is a very commonly misused and misunderstood term. It covers more than just leg or back pain and can become quite debilitating if left untreated.

Sciatica is actually a group of symptoms and not a diagnosis in itself. The technical meaning of sciatica is dysfunction of the sciatic nerve caused by other spinal structures starting at the nerve root.

This means that actual sciatic pain comes from the nerves that exit the spine, typically at the base above the pelvis (L5-S1), and is most often caused by one of the following:

• Lumbar subluxation (malposition of a joint)
• Lumbar disc herniation
• Degenerative disease
• Spondylolisthesis (where one vertebrae is sitting forward over another)
• Spinal stenosis (where the passage that the spinal chord sits is narrowed)
• And a few others.

The pain associated with sciatica is typically a shooting ‘nerve’ pain that travels quickly down the leg. It often travels down the back of the thigh, past the knee and towards the ankle.

One cause that is a little different from the others is called Piriformis Syndrome. The piriformis is a muscle in the area at the back of the pelvis and in about 15% of the population, the sciatic nerve actually runs through this muscle. That means that when the piriformis is tight or inflamed, it can cause sciatic symptoms even though it’s affecting the nerve further from the spine compared to other more typical causes.

Sciatica

Many people experience sciatic pain differently and may need varying types of treatment. Chiropractic should really be one of the first choices when deciding what to do about your potential sciatica. This is because it’s non-invasive, natural and effective for many cases. The way chiropractic works to reduce sciatica is by decreasing the stress on the nerves at the base of the spine by making sure that each spinal segment is positioned and moving as it should be.

Exercising, along with chiropractic adjustments, is also paramount in the treatment of sciatica. Chiropractic is great for taking stress off the nervous system and helping spinal flexibility, but doing core exercises will help keep your lower back strong and supportive between adjustments at the beginning of treatment and long into the future when you’re maintaining your spinal health.

If your case needs further investigation, our chiropractors at Brisbane Natural Health will help to guide you in the right direction so you can address the issue in a timely manner.

Dr Beau Billett – Bachelor of Applied Science (Chiropractic), Masters of Clinical Chiropractic

What is Bodytalk?

Bodytalk is a comprehensive healthcare system based on energy medicine that looks to restore internal communication in the body and thus, restoring health by focusing on the cause rather than the symptom.

Bodytalk is based on the premise that the body can heal itself just as long as internal lines of communication remain intact. Internal lines of communication means our hormonal, neurological, energetic, circulatory systems and so forth.

Stress can cause these internal communications to become compromised and thus create disease. Stress to the body can mean a variety of things. There are external stressors such as work, family, finances, deadlines etc. Then you can have internal stressors such as acute or chronic health conditions, emotional blockages/build up, trauma, your dietary practices etc.

Any one of these types of stress alone or even in combination will have some effect on the body’s lines of communication, whether in the short term or over a period of time. The body already has a number of daily tasks to perform in an order of priority. It is not so hard to imagine that it can be unable to complete all of these tasks efficiently if the system is not working at an optimum level.

Stress

Stress can cause internal communications to become compromised thus causing disease.

Bodytalk practitioners use a subtle form of biofeedback to locate these areas of stress and mis-communication. These areas of focus are in order of priority for the overall function of the body. Each Bodytalk session has a cumulative health effect on the body meaning that subsequent sessions are building upon the progress of the previous session rather than starting again. The practitioner will build a formula of links from the Protocol chart that form an energetic circuit and when ready, will use a series of non-invasive techniques with tapping. Tapping on the head tells the brain to make the repair to the circuit and tapping on the heart stores the information.

To ensure the best outcome for the client, built-in questioning at every session includes queries for referrals to another practitioner or modality, any changes to diet or lifestyle at home are required and if or when the client may return for follow up treatment.

An offshoot to the Bodytalk system is Veltheim Method Lymphatic Drainage (VMLD) – a relaxing, safe and effective technique to support the lymphatic system. This in turn impacts the immune system, the organs, hormones and circulation.

Our lymph system serves every cell of the body so poor drainage has far reaching effects.

This type of treatment can reduce swelling, helps the body to drain toxins and cell wastes, improve arthritic symptoms, joint pain and period pain.

It is a simple and relaxing treatment that can be done over clothes and even off the body where we will look at emotional and energetic blockages that are impacting normal lymph circulation.

Makensi Caldwell – Certified Bodytalk & Holographics Practitioner, Bachelor of Nutritional Medicine

Headaches and Remedial Massage

Headaches and remedial massage

The most common headaches are vascular and muscle tension headaches.

The presence of throbbing or pounding pain is often the result of swelling and constricting blood vessels.

With muscle tension headaches, it is common to find a dull, constant ache due to the tense muscles.

The use of drugs is not always effective and can cause irritating side effects and sometime serious ones if not used correctly.

A fantastic and effective solution for headaches is remedial massage. It relieves pain by relaxing the tense muscles, causing them to place less pressure on the nerves and blood vessels that supply them. The German magazine “Vital”, after a survey conducted among experts of the health sector, came to the conclusion that remedial massage therapy can be more effective than analgesics or pain relieving medication.

 

Massage for headache relief

A fantastic and effective solution for headaches is remedial massage.

 

Remedial massage, used in conjunction with stretching and targeted exercises, minimizes the discomfort caused by headaches without side effects.

Scientists argue that trigger points massage – a technique in which localized finger pressure is done on the painful area on the body – could bring important benefits to people who suffer from headaches and migraines. A self-trigger points massage can be taught for use when the patient is not able to get to the clinic for a massage appointment.

To optimize your massage treatment, it is important to drink a glass of water before your massage session and keep your body hydrated for 24 hours immediately after the treatment. Water helps flush out the toxins that are released during your massage.

Norman Sossi – Adv. Diploma Remedial Massage, Italian Masters Degree in Physiotherapy, French Masters Degree in Osteopathy

 

Balinese Massage

Prepare yourself for a dynamic, sensory experience.

Balinese massage is ancient traditional form of deep remedial massage and is designed to work almost every muscle in the body. It can last from an hour to two hours, depending on the patient’s specific areas of concern. This technique combines the best holistic techniques from several different cultures, such as China and India, and emphasises the importance of bringing the body into balance.

Balinese massage promotes the flow of blood, oxygen and energy throughout the body via several techniques; the result is the relaxation of body and mind. The techniques used during the massage appointment include shiatsu acupressure movements, such as press-point and palm/finger pressure, and standard massage techniques like kneading, sliding, short and long exploration.

This massage goes deep into the muscle tissue. The acupressure helps to relax the muscles, stimulates the body’s ability to heal itself, and relieves pain and tension. The reflexology works on the feet, hands, ears and indirectly addresses organ problems away from the point of pressure.

The use of warm essential oils and strong scents helps to relieve stress, relax the muscles and soothe the mind. Different kinds of oils can be used for different problems. The therapist can decide which is the best oil to use after discussion with the patient and their particular issues.

The final result will be a release of deeply tense and knotted muscles. It is perfect on achy joints and muscle strains, and especially beneficial for sporting injuries.

Massage vs Myotherapy – What’s the difference?

A massage is a massage right? Anyone who gets massage regularly knows that this is definitely not the case! Massage therapist vary in their skills, expertise and techniques. Personal preferences and experience are part of the reason why there is variation, but a large part of it lies with the education that a massage practitioner can have.

A remedial massage therapist has studied massage, including hands on techniques, physiology and muscular anatomy. It is possible in Australia to get a certificate in massage in just 6 months. Of course, at Brisbane Natural Health we require our massage therapists to have a minimum of and Advanced Diploma in massage (usually 1 1/2 years in a reputable institution) to ensure they have the background training to help our patients. There are many fantastic massage therapists who get great results with patients.

Chronic or serious issues are often better dealt with by a Myotherapist / MST.

Musculoskeletal Therapy (MST), otherwise known as myotherapy, differs from Remedial Massage in that therapists are trained to critically evaluate and assess a presenting musculoskeletal condition, identify the causes and contributing factors, and develop a holistic management plan that will provide an effective result. As well as the hands on treatment you may also get an exercise prescription, be coached on postural awareness and have your condition explained to you in greater detail. Although there are some massage therapists which do these things it is usually self taught rather than learned in their studies. A Musculoskeletal therapist or myotherapist studies for 3 years to obtain a Bachelor degree in Health Science.

Both Remedial Massage therapists and Myotherapists can help you with tight muscles, pain and discomfort. If you have a specific or chronic condition, often seeing an Myotherapist first will help you gain a better insight to the cause of the issue and what you need to do to fix it. Myotherapists are often better at finding the cause of the issue and identifying if you need to be referred to other therapists. This is particularly helpful if you have a chronic condition that is slow to respond to treatment.

If a relaxation massage is what you’re after then a Remedial Massage Therapist is the way to go. We usually find even in our relaxation massage patients there is some tightness and knots to work out – so it ends up being a combination of both!

To make an appointment with a Remedial Massage Therapist or Myotherapist at Brisbane Natural Health, call us on 07 3367 0337 now!

Chiropractic For Neck Pain

Can chiropractic help with neck pain?

Yes! Our chiropractors help patients overcome neck pain every day. Chiropractic is clinically proven to be of help with neck pain. Besides us getting excellent results for our clients in this area, here is what researchers have found:

A randomised controlled trial involving 183 patients with neck pain compared chiropractic, physiotherapy and general practitioner (GP) care (counselling, education and drug therapy) over 52 weeks. The study found that chiropractic resulted in faster recovery than physiotherapy or GP care. As well as this, it was found that the total cost of chiropractic over the other therapies was about one-third of the other interventions.

— Korthals-de Bos et al (2003), Cost effectiveness of physiotherapy, manual therapy, and general practitioner care for neck pain: economic evaluation alongside a randomised controlled trial, British Medical Journal

A study involving 272 participants evaluated the effectiveness of chiropractic vs. pain medications or exercise recommendations. After 12 weeks, 57% of those who received chiropractic care had a 75% reduction in pain, compared to 33% of the medication group. After 12 months, 53% of the drug-free groups reported at least a 75% reduction in pain, compared to just a 38% pain reduction from those on medication.

— Bronfort et al. (2012), Effectiveness of manual therapies: the UK evidence report, Annals of Internal Medicine

 So how does it work?

Chiropractic works for neck pain by removing blockages in the cervical (neck) spine, which can lead to surrounding muscle tension and pain. When the joints are not moving freely, it can cause inflammation and tightness around the site. As well as moving the joints back into alignment, our chiropractors will help to release the surrounding muscles to help relieve pain in the area.

But, it’s not always about the neck. The shoulders and lower back can also play a role in neck pain, due to the resulting misalignment. Our chiropractors will look at the whole body and will also give you some basic stretches to do at home to help relieve the situation.

Will I need X-rays?

Our chiropractors will likely order X-rays to look at your spine. X-Rays allow our chiropractors to pick up any structural abnormalities, degradation or other issues that could be contributing to your neck pain. Getting a diagnosis for your pain is important, as we don’t want to just treat the symptoms.

How long will it take to get better?

Most patients begin to notice changes in their neck pain in the first couple of weeks of treatment. To correct the problem may however take several months, depending on the severity. Initially your body will need more treatment to respond, then as things stabilize, your treatments will become less frequent.

What about massage?

Massage can be an important factor in recovery for those with neck pain. We know that muscles and bones work together, so we offer all new chiropractic patients a complimentary 30 minute massage to evaluate the state of your muscles and recommend a course of treatment based on this.

You can make an appointment at our Brisbane clinic by calling 07 3367 0337 or using the online booking button below to make your own appointment online.

 

 

chiropractic and neck pain