Seasonal Allergies, Vitamin C, and the “Pollen Tsunami”

According to US allergist Dr. Clifford Bassett, the late start to spring has created a “pollen tsunami”. Rather than gradually arriving over the course of the season, the different pollens are coming out all at once, and as a result, seasonal allergy symptoms are much more intense for this year’s sufferers.

Allergies are created by a histamine response. Histamine is an organic compound found in mast cells, a type of white blood cell. Histamines are important in the body, but allergens can destabilize mast cells and cause them to dump histamine into our blood stream in quantities that aren’t helpful.

At that point, histamine can then cause the itching, hives, congestion, runny nose, watery and red eyes, headache, fatigue, confusion, and irritability that we associate with seasonal allergies. Voilá.

Which is why an anti-histamine works: it blocks the action of histamines at the cell level, which in turn decreases your symptoms.

But what if you’re facing the tsunami and your anti-histamines aren’t keeping up, or you’d prefer to not take them?

Vitamin C and Allergies

We’ve written about allergies in the past, particularly with respect to the connection between your gut and your allergies.

However, there’s also research on the usefulness of various nutrients in the treatment of these symptoms, with some positive results:

These studies illustrate what we see in practice every allergy season: vitamin C working to decrease a patient’s overall reactivity to the seasonal pollens. That makes the allergy season much easier to handle with fewer anti-histamines.

To learn more about how vitamin C can help you, book an appointment with your naturopath, or call the clinic at 705-444-5331.

A Food Guide We Can Truly Love

Just about every Canadian is familiar with Canada’s Food Guide, the omnipresent “rainbow“ of foods in classrooms across the country.

Through it, kids are taught to eat a certain amount of servings of each food group. The idea is, of course, that if you do, you’ll be healthier.

Well the food guide has been around since 1942 and the health of Canadians seems to be going in the wrong direction

Brazil, in developing their new food guide, decided to look at the question “What is healthy eating?” in a different way. As result, they have been said to have developed one of the best models in the world.

The guide doesn’t focus on servings or different food groups, so much as food quality, and cooking and eating practices that support health.

One of the most interesting things about the process of developing this new food guide is that Brazil did not allow the food industry to be part of the initial consultation at all. They were only allowed to comment during the public consultation stage.

Here it is in a nutshell:

  1. Make natural or minimally processed foods the basis of your diet
  2. Use oils, fats, salt, and sugar in small amounts when seasoning and cooking natural or minimally processed foods and to create culinary preparations
  3. Limit consumption of processed foods (like crackers or cereal)
  4. Avoid consumption of ultra-processed foods (like pop and chips)
  5. Eat regularly and carefully in appropriate environments and, whenever possible, in company
  6. Shop in places that offer a variety of natural or minimally processed foods
  7. Develop, exercise and share cooking skills
  8. Plan your time to make food and eating important in your life
  9. Out of home, prefer places that serve freshly made meals
  10. Be wary of food advertising and marketing

You can read the whole document here.

Online Booking at StoneTree Clinic

After weeks of practice and preparation we are pleased to introduce you to our newest team member, Jane.

No, Jane isn’t a smiling new face at the front desk. Those great faces are still there. “Jane” is a software program that brings on-line booking to the patients of StoneTree Clinic. You can try it out here.

How Online Booking Works
Many of our patients have busy lives, and self-care is often the last thing they’re thinking about during their hectic daytime hours. It’s not until the evening, after all the chores are done, that we remember, “I need to book an appointment!”

Now, instead of waiting for a time when you can call during business hours, you can book your appointment on-line. You pick the time and date that works for you, and you can do it at any time of day.

For example:

  • Keep forgetting to book that visit with your naturopathic doctor? Do it from anywhere, anytime here.
  • Want an appointment for our next Well-Woman Visit day on May 16? You can book it here.
  • Need an IV Vitamin C because you’re coming down with something? Book it here.
  • Need to do a spring cleanse? Book your colon hydrotherapy here.

It’s wonderfully easy to use, and Jane works with your phone, your tablet or your desktop computer. Plus, Jane will send you reminders in the way that works best for you–email, text or a personal call from us.

As with any new team member there is a learning curve and training pains. Bear with us as we learn to use Jane in the best way to bring you better service and care. And, of course, you can still call us just like always at 705-444-5331. 🙂

Any feedback, please let us know!

You can meet Jane, and book your next appointment at StoneTree here.

Surviving a Teen Girl

If you are currently living with a female human between the ages of 12-19, and feel as though you are living with an alien at best, or a demon at worst, you’re not alone.

The teenage years are a confusing time for parents. Where once was a happy and engaging girl now stands an eye-rolling, sullen teen. Where once stood a child who you had absolute control over, now stands a budding individual who wants to call her own shots.

This call of independence is normal, but it can be absolutely frightening to parents when the consequences of getting it wrong–drugs, eating disorders, teen pregnancies–become a bigger deal. Even though we navigated through that time (which seems like a long time ago), we’re reluctant to give the reins to our kids because the stakes seem so high and their behaviour so immature that we can’t believe they can actually get it right.

51o4hqwNSHL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Enter Dr. Lisa Damour PhD and her book Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood.

This highly accessible book puts into plain and easy to understand language the normal behaviour of the teenage girl, and gives parents a real understanding of what is really going on behind those closed bedroom doors and those vacant, rolling eyes.

This book is a must read for any parent dealing with teen girls. Not only will it give context to the behaviour that makes you want to pull your hair out, but it offers solid advice on how to effectively engage with your daughter, when it’s time to worry, and what to do about it.

Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood