Seasonal allergies, also known as allergic rhinitis, can take the enjoyment out of our changing seasons. Many rely on antihistamines for symptom relief, but what if we could address the root cause for a more sustainable solution? As naturopathic doctors we take a holistic approach, focusing on why your body reacts to allergens.

DIAGNOSTIC APPROACH:

Diagnosis starts with a detailed discussion of your symptoms. Acute symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, and congestion. For many of my patients who have seen different doctors before, more chronic symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, brain fog, and post-nasal drip tend to be more troublesome to manage on their own.

Laboratory testing into the following areas can reveal underlying imbalances:

Food sensitivities:

  • Certain foods can exacerbate allergies.

Gut health:

  • A disrupted gut microbiome can contribute to inflammation possibly leading to worsening seasonal allergies.

Nutrient deficiencies:

  • Vitamin D, magnesium, and omega-3s play a role in immune function and are important for maintaining balance and feeling better. Research suggests it can improve immune function [1].

Often patients come to me without any workup surrounding these issues and have only been offered medication instead. While many first-line treatments focus on symptom relief, I have found that this approach can mask deeper health concerns. Our more sustainable approach aims to both manage symptoms in the short term and address the underlying cause.

TREATMENT APPROACH:

Once we establish possible contributing factors after careful lab testing and evaluation, we have the opportunity to provide a refined treatment strategy. Here are some evidence-based treatments I have relied on:

Dietary modifications:

  • Identifying and eliminating food sensitivities can significantly reduce symptoms.

Supplementation:

  • Tailored supplements can address nutrient deficiencies and support a healthy gut microbiome so symptoms do not return in future years. Quercetin, for example, is a natural antihistamine found in apples, onions, and green tea [2]. Studies have even shown that probiotics may reduce allergy symptoms in children [3].

Elimination of Environmental Toxins:

  • Exposure to mold or chemicals can trigger allergy-like symptoms.

Lifestyle changes:

  • Stress management and adequate sleep to improve immune function.

Finding the root cause of your seasonal allergies takes time and personalized attention.  As your doctor, I can partner with you to create a customized plan.  Let’s work together to navigate allergy season, not just manage it. Ready to explore a more lasting solution? Schedule an appointment today!

REFERENCES:

  1. Vitamin D and immune function: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21527855/
  2. Quercetin for Allergic Rhinitis: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27187333/
  3. Probiotics and childhood allergies: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30425779/

Your gut microbiome is a complex ecosystem of bacteria, fungi, and other microbes that live in your gut. These microbes play a vital role in your overall health, including your digestion, immune system, and mental health. A healthy gut microbiome is essential for gastrointestinal health. When your gut microbiome is out of balance, it can lead to a variety of problems, including:

– Constipation
– Diarrhea
– Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
– Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
– Food allergies and sensitivities
– Obesity
– Certain autoimmune diseases

Traveler’s diarrhea, a common type of food poisoning, is an illness that occurs when you travel to a new country and come into contact with unfamiliar bacteria. It can cause symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and abdominal cramps. Traveler’s diarrhea disrupts your gut microbiome in several ways. Firstly, it can kill off beneficial bacteria in your gut. Secondly, it can allow harmful bacteria to grow out of control. Thirdly, it can alter the balance of bacteria in your gut. These changes can lead to various problems, including an increased risk of other infections, flares in IBS/IBD or other autoimmune diseases, and even changes in food allergies and sensitivities. Research has shown that some people may even experience changes in the ability to digest certain nutrients due to temporary changes in the lining of their digestive tracts.

If you are concerned about the effects of traveler’s diarrhea or other changes in your gut microbiome, we can help you improve it in several ways:

1. Gut microbiome testing: We can discuss testing your gut microbiome to identify the types of bacteria present and their proportions. This information can help identify any imbalances in your gut microbiome, and we can develop a multifaceted treatment plan to correct them.

2. Probiotics and other supplements: Taking probiotics and other supplements that can help improve your gut microbiome can restore balance and enhance your overall health. We can assist you in selecting the right supplements tailored to your specific needs.

3. Dietary changes: I always recommend dietary changes that can help improve your gut microbiome. A healthy diet includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can feed the good bacteria in your gut and promote their growth. We can work with you to create a personalized diet plan that is right for you.

4. Stress management and sleep hygiene: Stress and sleep deprivation can both disrupt your gut microbiome, so it is important to manage these factors if you want to improve your gut health. We can provide you with specific and evidence-based recommendations on how to reduce stress and improve your sleep.

If you are interested in improving your gut microbiome, I encourage you to schedule a consultation with me. During our visit, we can assess your gut microbiome, develop a treatment plan that is right for you, and answer any questions you have about how to improve your gut health and overall well-being.

As a doctor, I’m often asked by my male patients how they can improve their energy levels and achieve more. Although many factors contribute to helping men optimize performance, testosterone is one of the most important.

Testosterone is a hormone that plays a key role in many aspects of a man’s health, including energy production, muscle growth, and sexual function. When testosterone levels are low, men may experience symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, and erectile dysfunction. Fortunately for many men, testosterone levels can be significantly improved. 

Evidence-Based Lifestyle Treatments for Male Energy Levels

There are a number of ways to increase testosterone levels through a combination of relatively simple interventions. Here are some evidence-based tips that can help:

  • Exercise regularly. Exercise is one of the best ways to improve your overall health and well-being, and it can also help boost testosterone levels. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week. [1]
  • Eat a healthy diet. A healthy diet is essential for maintaining optimal energy levels and overall health. Make sure to include plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your diet. [2]
  • Get enough sleep. Sleep is essential for both physical and mental health. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night. [3, 4]
  • Manage stress. Stress can have a negative impact on your health, including your testosterone levels. Find healthy ways to manage stress, such as exercise, yoga, or mindfulness practices like meditation. [5, 6]
  • Get regular medical checkups. If you’re concerned about your testosterone levels, talk to your doctor. They can order a blood test to check your testosterone levels and rule out any underlying medical conditions.
  • Consider supplementation. There are a number of supplements that can help boost testosterone levels, such as D-aspartic acid, zinc, and magnesium. However, it’s important to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements since they can interact with certain medications or may not be the right strategy for you. [7-10]
  • Consider testosterone replacement therapy. If you have low testosterone levels and are experiencing symptoms, your doctor may recommend testosterone therapy. Testosterone therapy can help improve your energy levels, sexual function, and overall well-being. [11, 12]

If you’re looking for more personalized solutions to improve your energy levels and achieve more, I encourage you to schedule a free consultation with me today.

I can help you assess your testosterone levels, create a customized testing/treatment plan for you, and identify any lifestyle changes that may be necessary to improve your health. Together, we can create a plan that includes the right foods, exercises, supplements, and even medications that may be just what you need to feel more like yourself.

Schedule your consultation today and let’s start feeling better!

References:

  1.  Kraemer, W. J., Ratamess, N. A., Hymer, W. C., Nindl, B. C., & Fragala, M. S. (2020). Growth Hormone(s), Testosterone, Insulin-Like Growth Factors, and Cortisol: Roles and Integration for Cellular Development and Growth With Exercise. Frontiers in endocrinology, 11, 33. https://doi.org/10.3389/fendo.2020.00033
  2. La, J., Roberts, N. H., & Yafi, F. A. (2018). Diet and Men’s Sexual Health. Sexual medicine reviews, 6(1), 54–68. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sxmr.2017.07.004 
  3.  Liu, P. Y., & Reddy, R. T. (2022). Sleep, testosterone and cortisol balance, and ageing men. Reviews in endocrine & metabolic disorders, 23(6), 1323–1339. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11154-022-09755-4
  4.  Wittert G. (2014). The relationship between sleep disorders and testosterone. Current opinion in endocrinology, diabetes, and obesity, 21(3), 239–243. https://doi.org/10.1097/MED.0000000000000069
  5. Bedgood, D., Boggiano, M. M., & Turan, B. (2014). Testosterone and social evaluative stress: the moderating role of basal cortisol. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 47, 107–115. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psyneuen.2014.05.007
  6. Kutlikova, H. H., Durdiaková, J. B., Wagner, B., Vlček, M., Eisenegger, C., Lamm, C., & Riečanský, I. (2020). The effects of testosterone on the physiological response to social and somatic stressors. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 117, 104693. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psyneuen.2020.104693
  7.  Lopresti, A. L., Smith, S. J., Malvi, H., & Kodgule, R. (2019). An investigation into the stress-relieving and pharmacological actions of an ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) extract: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Medicine, 98(37), e17186. https://doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000017186
  8. Roshanzamir F, Safavi SM. The putative effects of D-Aspartic acid on blood testosterone levels: A systematic review. Int J Reprod Biomed. 2017;15(1):1-10.
  9. Maggio M, De Vita F, Lauretani F, et al. The Interplay between Magnesium and Testosterone in Modulating Physical Function in Men. Int J Endocrinol. 2014;2014:525249. doi:10.1155/2014/525249
  10. Te, L., Liu, J., Ma, J., & Wang, S. (2023). Correlation between serum zinc and testosterone: A systematic review. Journal of trace elements in medicine and biology : organ of the Society for Minerals and Trace Elements (GMS), 76, 127124. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtemb.2022.127124
  11. Storer, T. W., Basaria, S., Traustadottir, T., Harman, S. M., Pencina, K., Li, Z., Travison, T. G., Miciek, R., Tsitouras, P., Hally, K., Huang, G., & Bhasin, S. (2017). Effects of Testosterone Supplementation for 3 Years on Muscle Performance and Physical Function in Older Men. The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism, 102(2), 583–593. https://doi.org/10.1210/jc.2016-2771
  12. Barbonetti, A., D’Andrea, S., & Francavilla, S. (2020). Testosterone replacement therapy. Andrology, 8(6), 1551–1566. https://doi.org/10.1111/andr.12774