Food Allergy vs Sensitivity

Food Allergy vs Intolerance

Many people do not know the difference between a food allergy and a food intolerance or sensitivity. Food allergies are quite rare thankfully as they can be life threatening.  Food intolerances are milder and hard to pinpoint, although their effects are troublesome and many times attributed to other things and possibly sometimes as diseases.  I hope after reading this article you will know the difference between food allergy vs intolerance, so you can start your healing journey.

Food sensitivities and food allergies are not digestive issues. People erroneously believe that the stomach is implicated with sensitivities and allergies. Food sensitivities and food allergies are immune system reactions.

Our spleen is responsible for characterizing threats to the human body and send out the white blood cells needed to deal with the threat.  Most threats are handled quickly and efficiently by our immune system.  With food allergy and intolerance, the immune system is confusing some foods as foreign invaders.

WHAT HAPPENS WITH A FOOD ALLERGY?

Our immune system reacts to a certain food as a threat and creates a histamine response that can be life-threatening.  Food allergies are more common in young children, but adults can acquire a food allergy at any time.

Symptoms of a food allergy can be mild to severe. Reactions to the specific food can range in severity. One exposure may trigger a mild reaction and the next can be severe, so avoiding the food altogether is the only solution unless under the care of a qualified allergy specialist.

The most severe type of allergic food reaction is called anaphylaxis which is a life threatening condition. This type of reaction can come on within minutes and can be fatal.

Which brings me to my next point.  Food allergies come on sudden where there is usually no doubt what the trigger food is.

90% of most food allergies are caused by these foods:peanuts

  • Wheat
  • Soy
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Peanuts
  • Tree nuts
  • Fish
  • Shellfish

Typical Allergic Responses:food allergy

  • Vomiting and/or stomach cramps
  • Hives
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Cough
  • Tight throat, trouble swallowing
  • Swelling of the tongue, affecting the ability to talk or breathe
  • Weak pulse
  • Pale or blue coloring of skin
  • Dizziness or feeling faint
  • Anaphylaxis, a potentially life threatening condition.

WHAT HAPPENS WITH FOOD SENSITIVITIES/INTOLERANCE?

Food sensitivities or intolerances are used interchangeably, but there is no difference in meaning.  Food sensitivities can take days to appear and their symptoms can be many things. Food sensitivities do not trigger a histamine reaction like food allergies, so none of the reactions listed for allergy above will be the same for a sensitivity/intolerance.  There is an immune system reaction however due to the body believing the offending food to be a threat.

People have a hard time believing that a food sensitivity can take so long to appear because they confuse sensitivities with allergies.  Again, allergies take seconds to minutes to appear, and food sensitivities can take days.

Because a food sensitivity can take days to appear, it is often very difficult to know what the trigger food is. If you suffer from any of the below, it’s time to take food sensitivity seriously.

  • Chronic headaches/migraineheadaches
  • Brain fog
  • Joint pain/arthritis
  • Bloating
  • Excema
  • Depression/anxiety
  • Weight gain
  • Post nasal drip
  • Tight muscles
  • Canker sores
  • Heart racing
  • IBS
How To Determine If You Have A Food Sensitivity/Intolerance

Elimination Diet – Is the gold standard in determining if you suffer from food sensitivities.  The best way to do an elimination diet is to work with a qualified practitioner to keep you accountable and to make sure you are completely eliminating the food. Food labels can be confusing to read and misleading, a professional knows what to avoid. But you can surely do it yourself as long as you understand how to do it. I recommend this program to start you off.  Always do an elimination for a period of 4 weeks with no more than 2 two foods at a time with 100 percent cold turkey elimination. Absolutely no cheating. Then introduce one food at a time back leaving a couple of days before introducing the next.

IgG or IgG4 Food Testing – No blood test is completely accurate when determining food sensitivities. The body has many ways in which it can react to food and some do not include antibodies.  But food testing is a great way to find out those foods that you have a high reaction too. A total IgG food antibody panel is essentially measuring when the immune system is reacting to a common (and perhaps quite healthy!) food as though it were a foreign invader. You can order your own blood tests here.

There are other blood tests available that measure IgE and IgA.  These tests are not necessary for basic food sensitivity answers.life extension food sensitivity test

You Have A Food Sensitivity, Now What?

When your test results come back and you find you are sensitive to a couple of foods or maybe even many foods, what is the next step?  Eliminating the food(s) is obvious but is there anything else you can do and do you have to eliminate the food forever?  Yes, there are ways you can heal your gut and as a result, heal your sensitivities.  Food sensitivities are not forever. Once you heal, you can add the offending foods back in if desired.

Healing your gut involves healing the lining of your stomach. The lining of your gut can become inflamed due to medicines, food sensitivities, bacteria overgrowth among other reasons. When the lining is inflamed or irritated, the tight junctures of the lining become less tight and as a result, it allows big particles of food and other substances to get into the bloodstream where there is an immune system reaction. This is called Leaky Gut or Increased Intestinal Permeability. Nothing other than nutrients and tiny particles should be passing through the gut and into the bloodstream.

Supplements to heal the gut:

The supplements listed below should be taken in order to heal intestinal permeability and recover from food sensitivities.

  1. Vitamin D. The first step is to make sure your vitamin D levels are optimum. Sub optimum or a deficiency in D causes intestinal permeability.
  2. L-Glutamine. L Glutamine has been shown in studies to heal the lining of the gut and tightening up the junctures.
  3. Probiotics. Probiotics help balance the ratio of good to bad bacteria resulting in less irritation to the lining of the stomach.
  4. Quercitin. Another supplement with healing properties for the lining of the gut.
  5. Curcumin (Meriva formula) Helps with inflammation
  6. Vitamin E

Foods To Heal The Gutbone broth

There are definitely food choices that can help to heal leaky gut.

  1. Bone broth. Homemade or purchased is a fantastic food for healing your gut.
  2. Vegetables include prebiotic fiber that good bacteria will feed on to balance the ratio of good to bad bacteria.
  3. Okra
  4. Chia seeds
  5. Flaxseeds.

Eliminating your trigger foods is important. Even if gluten did not show up on your IgG food panel, it is wise to eliminate all gluten foods while healing your gut.  Gluten is an inflammatory food and should be avoided.

In conclusion,

Food allergies are different than food sensitivities. Food allergies are immediate responses that include the release of histamine. Allergic responses can be mild to severe or life threatening. The non-tolerated food is normally easy to figure out. IgA panels are for food allergy determination.

Food sensitivities can take days to appear and pinpointing the offending food can be tricky.

Food elimination is the gold standard in determining food sensitivities, but food panel testing such as IgG and IgG4 can be very valuable. Once a food sensitivity is determined, healing the gut is the course of action to take to eliminate food sensitivities. Food sensitivities are not lifelong afflictions.

I hope this article gave some clarity on food allergies and sensitivities.

Please comment below, I love to hear your results and feedback.

a0e284_ffef60fd9f084d2ab53dd3aa576055fc-mv2_d_1201_1800_s_2

Linda is a Certified Functional Health Coach

 

 

Stomach Bloating Remedies

Natural Stomach Bloating Remedies

That uncomfortable feeling of a protruding belly can be caused by many dietary factors, but thankfully bloating is usually not a serious condition.  If bloating accompanies other symptoms such as pain, fever, blood in the stool, irregular periods, swollen lymph nodes or unexplained weight loss, a doctor’s visit is in order.  You may be surprised to know that there is natural stomach bloating remedies that can resolve your issues without resorting to over the counter medications.

Contrary to what you might think, bloating is not caused by excess fluid in the stomach like water. Fluids don’t ‘collect’ in your stomach. If you are retaining fluid, the fluid buildup is generally around the stomach, extremities, and joints.

Barring fluid retention due to other issues, generally bloating is a problem with digestion. Excessive gas is the main cause of bloating.  Excessive gas can come from:

Inadequate protein digestion.  Strong stomach acid is needed to break down the tangled web of amino acids in meat protein.  Many people suffer from low stomach acid. If you cannot digest protein adequately, it goes through the digestive tract without the absorption of minerals like iron.

protein

 

 

 

 

Inability to digest starches and sugar.  Your body has to make the enzymes needed to break down starches and sugar. Most people do not eat enough whole fruits and vegetables which contain natural enzymes that help digest the food. If you cannot digest your starches, bloating is a result.

.Starch-600x460

Imbalance of gut bacteria. Our stomach is home to both good and bad bacteria.  If you have an imbalance of bad bacteria vs. good bacteria.  Gas and bloating can be the result.

gut bacteria 1

I’m sure you’ve heard of probiotics and how wonderful they are for gut health.  Probiotics are a great digestive remedy, but if you are experiencing gas and bloating then jumping on the probiotic train may NOT be the best thing for you right away. Adding more bacteria to a stomach already overabundant in bacteria may exacerbate the condition rather than fix it.  

My favorite gas and bloating remedies.

1.Gaia Herbs Gas and Bloating and Heather’s Tummy Tamers:  Peppermint, ginger, and fennel help the stomach release trapped gas and relax the muscle wall of the intestines.  Activated charcoal helps absorb the excess gas in the gut.  Take these supplements in between meals and away from other supplements or medication. Charcoal binds to other nutrients and you don’t want to not absorb essential nutrients.

2. Renew Life’s “Digest More and Enzymedica’s “Digest” Digestive enzymes are needed to digest food thoroughly for maximum absorption of nutrients. Inflammation due to poor diet, excessive sugar, starch intake, and medicines can deplete enzyme secretions.  If food is slow to be digested or remains semi-digested, gas and bloating are the result.  These products assist the body with enzymes so food can be digested and move along the digestive tract.  Take them with meals.

3. Something so simple yet not heeded due to our hectic lifestyle is slow, conscious and mindful eating. When we chew our food thoroughly, digestive secretions start forming. Saliva is the first enzyme that starts the digestion process.  Being mindful of taking each bite, chewing thoroughly and swallowing is so very important to avoid gas and bloating. When we eat hurriedly, half chew our food and swallow without thinking, we are taking in excess gas and not allowing our body to produce the necessary enzymes.  Then, not chewing thoroughly results in large pieces of unchewed food into our stomach.  Our stomach has to work extra hard to break down the food resulting in gas and bloating.

4. Lastly, grazing all day. Many people are literally eating all day. Some people always have a snack handy to munch on.  The digestive system needs to rebalance bacteria by not having food in the stomach all day. When there is food in the stomach that is being digested all day long, the stomach cannot work as efficiently leading to gas and bloating.

These are simple remedies that can make a profound difference in your gas and bloating issues.

In conclusion, bloating is not caused by excess water in the stomach but mainly from gas. Gas is caused by inadequate digestion of proteins, starches, and fats.  It can also be caused by lack of eating hygiene, such as eating too fast and not chewing food thoroughly.  Snacking all day doesn’t allow the stomach to naturally cleanse itself when food is not in the stomach. Low stomach acid is usually the culprit when not able to digest food properly.

If you’d like to know whether or not low stomach acid is a cause of your gas and bloating, try these simple tests here.
Catch this FREE webinar to see how to fix your digestive issues forever!

Please leave a comment below. I love to hear from you!

About LindaLinda is a Certified Functional Health Coach

Do Antacid Tablets Work?

Do Antacid Tablets Work?

Millions of people take antacid medications either over the counter or prescribed by their physician to quell what they believe to be is excess acid in their stomach contributing to their heartburn and acid reflux pain.  The numbers of people relying on these medications are rising every year.  Experts are concerned that there is daily overuse of these medications.  So, do antacid tablets work, why and how?

What are Antacids and Proton Pump Inhibitors?

Antacids

Antacids are acid neutralizing products.  Conventional thought is that your stomach is producing too much stomach acidstomach acid and it needs to be neutralized. For the desired effect, they will do the job. Antacids come in tablets, liquid or chews. Some dissolve in water. Each of the below antacids has their own acid buffering ingredient.  It’s important to know the differences of the active ingredients to make sure you are taking something that won’t aggravate a health condition or cause one.

Examples of popular over the counter antacids are:

  • Alka-Seltzer
  • Maalox
  • Mylanta
  • Rolaids
  • Tums
  • Amphojel
  • Milk of Magnesia
  • Mylanta
  • Gaviscon

Brands, Ingredients, and Warnings:

  • Alka-Selzer – contains sodium bicarbonate or baking soda. It also contains aspirin. If you suffer from high blood pressure, this is not the acid neutralizer you need. If you are taking blood thinning medication you’ll want to avoid Alka Seltzer due to the aspirin. Children below the age of 18 should never take aspirin as it can bring on a serious condition called Reye’s Syndrome.
  • Tums, Maalox, Mylanta, Rolaids – contains calcium carbonate.  Because Tums contains calcium, someTums-americas-no-1-antacid doctors recommend taking Tums or these other brands as calcium supplements.  NEVER do this! Calcium can only be absorbed if it is accompanied by Vitamin D, K2, and magnesium. Tums does not contain either of these vitamins. Free circulating calcium is not healthy and can be damaging to organs and contribute to artery plaque. Calcium carbonate can also cause constipation.
  • Amphojel – This product contains Aluminum Hydroxide. Aluminum is a highly controversial mineral. If it’s not eliminated via the kidneys, it will store in the bones, liver, muscle, and brain.  Adverse health effects have been shown in studies on animals.  Aluminum is found in our environment and our food, but the biggest amounts consumed are in the form of antacids.  Experts believe the true dangers of long term aluminum containing antacid use is seen over a period of time. Most studies have not followed up to reveal these long term effects. Aluminum based antacids are also not as effective or strong as other antacids and are less potent.  They can cause constipation and calcium loss. If you suffer from kidney disease, do not take aluminum based antacids.
  • Gaviscon – If you’re looking to protect the esophagus, an antacid like Gaviscon contains a foaming agent, alginic acid, that blocks the stomach acid from entering it.

Proton Pump Inhibitors/H2 Blockers

Antacids neutralize the acid in your stomach, proton pump inhibitors reduce the amount of stomach acidnexium-prevacid-prilosec2 produced in the wall of the stomach. If you are suffering from ulcers in the stomach or esophagus, or if you suffer from GERD, your doctor may recommend Proton Pump inhibitors in order to heal the ulcers or reduce heartburn.  

Examples of H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors:

  • Nexium, Nexium IV, Nexium 24 hr.
  • Prevacid, Prevacid IV, Prevacid 24 hr.
  • Prilosec
  • Dexilent
  • Yosprala
  • Vimovo
  • Protonix
  • Zegerid

Proton Pumps are similar in action and there is no evidence to suggest that taking one over the other is more effective. However, they differ with how they are broken down by the liver and each may have their own and different drug interactions.  The effects of some may last longer than others too.

It’s important to take the lowest dose possible and for the shortest duration of time to avoid vitamin deficiencies and health problems.

Reducing stomach acid with proton pump inhibitor use is not good for future digestive health. Our bodies need strong stomach acid to digest our food and assimilate certain vitamins for proper absorption.  Use with caution and care and always under the supervision of your doctor.

A More Natural And Effective Approach

Using an antacid product or proton pump inhibitor product may be useful and in some cases necessary in the short term, but clearly, long term use can cause worse digestive issues.  It is always best to find the root cause of your stomach issues and heal them naturally.  For more natural heartburn remedies that are effective read here.

In conclusion,

Antacids are used to neutralize stomach acid for the occasional discomfort of heartburn. These products do what they are intended to do.  The ingredients in antacids can be dangerous for the young and contraindicated for others. For instance, any antacid with aspirin cannot be taken by those under the age of 18 or those on blood thinning medications.

Antacids that contain calcium should never be used as a supplement, although many are, due to the danger of free calcium in the bloodstream.

Antacids that contain aluminum are not well studied to be harmless to toxicity in the human body. If you suffer from kidney disease, these should be avoided.aluminum hydroxide

Antacids are different than Proton Pump Inhibitors. Proton Pump Inhibitors reduce stomach acid. Reducing stomach acid has long range health implications and should only be used for a very short duration of time.

Finding the root cause of your digestive issues is important. Future health problems are implicated in ignoring or masking heartburn, reflux, and other stomach issues. If you are serious about getting off the OTC antacid or Proton Pump Inhibitor train, sign up for this free webinar to get to the root of your problems and finally get the healing you need.

Please comment if you have any questions about this article.StomachProblems_300x250

14354940_1147966088611029_3013149574780621067_n(4) Linda is a Certified Functional Health Coach

 

 

Best Wedge Pillow for Acid Reflux

The Best Wedge Pillow For Acid Reflux

If you experience acid reflux at night, using a wedge pillow can help tremendously until you can identify the root cause of your acid reflux or GERD. Read on to find the best wedge pillow for acid reflux/GERD because not just any wedge pillow will do.

Possible Causes Of Acid Reflux/GERD

stomach pain

There are some common causes of acid reflux and some uncommon reasons too.  To understand a few the dynamics of what is happening you’ll want to know what the sphincter muscle is.

The lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is a ring of muscles between the esophagus and stomach. The LES is usually tight and taut so the contents of your stomach stay out of the esophagus.  When you eat food or drink the sphincter muscles relax so the food and drink can pass through to the stomach.  The sphincter muscles tighten up again after all the food reaches the stomach.

People who suffer from reflux/GERD have sphincter muscles that are weak or too relaxed. When acid flows back into the esophagus, pain and burning is the result.

Typical Reasons

  • Pregnancy.  Pregnancy is a very common reason why you may be experiencing heartburn.  Not only is the fetus pressing on your digestive organs causing acid to back up into the esophagus, the hormones related to pregnancy relax the sphincter muscle.  
  • Obesity. Being obese also results in a more relaxed sphincter due to the pressure exerted on the stomach organs.
  • A Hiatal hernia.  This condition also causes pressure on the diaphragm and loosens the sphincter muscles.
  • Smoking.
  • Alcohol.
  • Many medications. Including Ibuprofen, aspirin, osteoporosis drugs, iron supplements, high blood pressure medications, anti-anxiety drugs and some antidepressants.
  • Tight garments. Tight fitting clothes put pressure on the abdomen.
  • Certain foods. These foods cause the esophageal sphincter to relax during their digestion. They include coffee, chocolate, fatty foods, whole milk, peppermint, and spearmint.man eating a hamburger
  • Too little stomach acid.  If your body is not producing enough stomach acid, you are not digesting your food.  The contents of the stomach which under normal circumstances will propel into the small intestine, now back up to the esophagus.

Using a wedge pillow is an inexpensive and effective way to help manage the condition and symptoms of heartburn until you can work on the root causes(s).

Why a Wedge Pillow?

Experts say that elevating the upper torso and head by 6 inches when going to bed is an effective way to keep the acid from backing up into the esophagus.  It takes gravity to keep acid out of the esophagus and keeping the upper part of your body elevated is a necessary thing to do.

An effective wedge pillow will gently raise the head by sloping the upper torso gently into an elevated position.  Some pillows are uncomfortable and raise the head too much, some too little. Some don’t elevate the torso or don’t start at the part of the body that will be effective in combating the acid from traveling up.

A wedge pillow has other benefits too.  It can help with snoring, asthma, colds, upper respiratory illnesses and allergies by keeping the airways more open.

You can sleep on your side comfortably with a wedge pillow too.

Things to look for in your Wedge Pillow

  • Should be at least 28 inches long to allow for a gentle climb.
  • Should have a removable cover so it can be washed.
  • Hypoallergenic.
  • No latex or volatile organic compounds or flame retardants.
  • No mercury, lead or other heavy metals.
  • No formaldehyde, no ozone depleters, and no phthalates.

Recommendations


Medslant  medslant wedge certification

PROSmedslant

  • Medslant pillows are made in the USA.  Products that are made outside of the USA may be manufactured with volatile organic compounds and strong vapors that can make you sick.
  • Medslant wedges are one of the widest in the industry. Almost the half size of a queen bed so you can move around at night comfortably.
  • The Medslant pillow gradually inclines to 7 inches for a more comfortable sleeping position.
  • Dimensions provide the necessary height for GERD relief- 30-inches wide X 32 inches long x 7-inches high.
  • Weight: 4 pounds.
  • Memory foam is 1 inch thick.
  • An Amazon.com best seller

CONS

$$$$ Expensive  at $99.95


Miracle Wedge PillowMiracle wedge illustrationMiracle Wedge pillow memory foam

PROS

  • Miracle Wedge is made in the U.S.
  • 100% High-Density ECO Memory Foam
  • Dimensions are acceptable as being effective For GERD relief – 24″ long x 24″ wide x 7.5″ high
  • Includes a washable removable zippered cover pillow case.
  • Doesn’t shift during the night.  Good for side sleeping.
  • 3 ½ Star rating from Amazon

CONS

  • The memory foam can smell and has to be aired out before use.
  • Some complaints about the product losing its shape after a few uses.

$$$ Moderate price @ $67.97


Avana Bed Wedgeavana wedge pillow

PROS

  • Avana is made in the USA
  • Perfect for side sleepers.
  • Memory foam layer atop a base of firm polyurethane foam.  Provides comfort and support
  • Cover is both removable and machine washable
  • Product dimensions provide the necessary height for GERD relief – 35L x 24W x 8H
  • Height is more than other wedge pillows, so if you suffer from moderate to severe GERD, this may help better.

CONS

  • Some complain that it is too firm
  • Not as wide as the Medslant, which may be an issue if you move a lot in your sleep.

$$$$ Expensive @ 99.00 Amazon


Back Support SystemsWedge pillow for acid reflux

PROS

  • Back Support Systems is made in the USA and Eco-Friendly.
  • Ideal for back and side sleepers.
  • The one inch memory foam on top supports your weight comfortably.
  • Dimensions are suitable for GERD symptom relief –
  • 32 Inch width making it long enough to move around when sleeping.

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Not many reviews on Amazon, but the product is quality.

$$$$ Expensive at $119.97 @ Amazon


In conclusion, GERD and reflux symptoms can be reduced at night with a wedge pillow specially designed for these health conditions.  If the slant of the pillow is too short or the height is not at least 7 inches, then you will not get the benefits of relief of symptoms.

My favorite is the Medslant.  The founder created the pillow for relief of her GERD symptoms and she designed a highly effective product.

I would love to hear how the pillow you choose works for you, please leave a comment below!

14354940_1147966088611029_3013149574780621067_n(4)Linda is a Certified Integrative and Functional Health Coach

 

 

Natural Heartburn Relief

Natural Heartburn Relief

Heartburn is one of the most common complaints people have. Heartburn is a feeling of burning in your chest. It’s a symptom of acid reflux or GERD.  Getting to the bottom of your reflux or GERD is essential, but in the meantime, I’ve outlined some natural heartburn relief methods you can incorporate today to start feeling better.

Masking heartburn with over the counter medicine or natural remedies will not solve the problem.  A good lifestyle plan needs to be put in place so you can recover from this digestive ailment.

Symptoms of Heartburnheartburn

Certain foods or drinks can trigger heartburn in people. Heartburn is a sensation of burning in the chest.  It’s due to stomach acid backing up in the esophagus. The esophagus is about 10 inches long. It’s a muscular organ that connects the throat to the stomach. It is also called the food pipe. A person experiences heartburn in the upper and central part of the chest just behind the breast bone.

Reasons For Heartburn

Most experts tell you to stay away from spicy dishes, fatty foods and fried foods when you are suffering from heartburn.  These foods may trigger heartburn, but HOW you eat is more important than WHAT you eat according to experts.  The evidence for avoiding certain foods to reduce heartburn is just not there.

  • Eating Too Close To Bedtime. Digesting food while in a reclining position or lying down is a pretty good way to ensure heartburn. The contents of your belly don’t have the benefit of the gravitational pull of standing or sitting while eating. Try not to eat 2 to 3 hours before going to bed.  If you have GERD, it’s even more important to follow this rule.
  • Snacking All Day Or Eating Too Much Food.  Some dietary theories tell us to eat mini meals all day long, however, this is a good way to get heartburn. Eating too frequently during the day should be avoided.  Also if you tend to eat large meals at one sitting, your stomach may just back some up into the esophagus.
  • Being Obese or Overweight.  Excess weight creates more pressure on your abdomen which can slow the food down as it makes it way through the digestive system.  Also being overweight can put a strain on the sphincter muscle that keeps the contents in your stomach and from being able to back up into the esophagus.
  • Eating The Wrong Foods  As I stated before, there is scant research that links certain foods to heartburn.bad food But that doesn’t mean that certain foods can’t give you heartburn. So if you have bad experiences with certain foods, then you will do yourself a favor by not eating them.  The point is, slightly acidic and spicy foods don’t drive up acid levels in your stomach to cause such bad symptoms.  Think about it, our stomach is filled with stomach acid already, why would a food tip the scale?  Experts say that the stomach makes 2 liters of hydrochloric acid a day!  What difference would a slightly acidic food make?

Natural Remedies For Heartburn

    • Baking Soda– Try one teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in one glass (8 oz) of water. The baking soda neutralizes the acid. You can do this a few times a day.  You should not use this remedy every day.  Baking soda is high in salt and can cause problems long term.
    • Aloe Juice – Aloe Juice is very soothing when applied topically and it’s also soothing when taken internally.  Try drinking a half cup of aloe juice before meals.
    • Elevate Your Head –  Elevate your head 6 inches when you sleep by using a wedge-shaped pillow under your mattress like the therapeutic one shown here. Do not lie down 3 -4 hours before bed.
    • Apple Cider Vinegar – In most cases, acid reflux is caused by too little stomach acid. If you’re not producing enough acid, your sphincter muscle won’t tighten up which creates food and acid to back up into the esophagus. Try adding a little more acid in the form of apple cider vinegar.  Try one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in 8 ounces of water. (always dilute apple cider vinegar)
    • Bananas and apples – Both fruits buffer acid. Eat a banana a day or try eating an apple a little before bed.
    • Mustard –  Yes that’s right. Mustard is alkalizing and contains a weak acid. Take one teaspoon straight.  Preferably when you feel heartburn coming on.
    • Fresh ginger tea – Cut a tablespoon of fresh ginger and add to a cup of hot water to make fresh ginger tea.  Ginger is known for its ability to calm the stomach.tea

    If you need more support with healing your gut, sign up for this free digestive health webinar.

    This webinar will help answer these questions plus more. Get the information you need to start healing heartburn and IBS so you can feel better again.

    • Why 70% of those with digestive problems are shocked to learn they’re fighting a losing battle to these two gut triggers.

    • Specific anti-inflammatory foods to eat (and not eat) to stop suffering.

    Heal Leaky Gut

    Do you have any heartburn remedies to share?  I’d love to hear them.  Please leave a comment.

    Linda is a Certified Integrative Health Coach

    14354940_1147966088611029_3013149574780621067_n(4)

    Stomach Pain Relief

    Quick Stomach Pain Relief

    When your stomach hurts thinking about anything else but relief is not possible.  That’s why it’s important to get relief quickly and then address the root cause so you can minimize or eliminate stomach pain for good.  I’ve outlined some stomach pain relief methods you can incorporate today to feel better.

    Identifying Your Stomach Painabdominal-pain-s6-photo-of-locations-of-pain (1)

    The most important step in relieving stomach pain is knowing what type of pain you have, where in the stomach you are experiencing it and when you are experiencing it. Organs of the abdomen include the stomach, small intestine, colon, liver, gallbladder, spleen, and pancreas.

    Stomach pain can stem from a number of digestive issues and many symptoms overlap.  Digestion begins in the mouth and ends at the rectum, so that leaves a pretty wide area where your pain can stem from. I will break down some common symptoms and give you some general relief methods.

    As always, contact your doctor for an appropriate treatment plan if your symptoms are lasting more than a few days. Some questions to ask yourself to pin down possible reasons:

    • Is the pain in the right, left, or center of the abdomen?
    • Is the pain in the top, bottom, or middle of the abdomen?
    • Is the pain sudden, and severe (acute)?
    • Is the pain less severe, yet occurs more frequently (chronic)?
    • Does the pain remain in one place, or does it move around?
    • Does the pain occur mainly after eating?
    • Are you pregnant?

    **Symptoms From Top To Bottom**

    Burning sensation in your throat

    burning-throat

    Could be Laryngopharyngeal reflux or ‘silent GERD’ and is similar to GERD or acid reflux, but the symptoms are different. With silent GERD, stomach acid backs up into the back of the throat and/or voice box and sometimes into the nasal airway.  This causes inflammation to the delicate tissues of the throat, voice box, and nasal passages.

    Quick Relief:
    • Chew gum to increase saliva and neutralize stomach acid.
    • Slippery elm drops used 2-3x/day will help to heal the sensitive mucosal lining of the esophagus.
    • Strongly brewed ginger tea can also help.  A tablespoon of freshly grated ginger in hot water can do the trick.

    Heartburn, Pain in the chest

    heartburn

    If you feel a burning pain in the middle of your chest you may be experiencing acid reflux.  Acid backs up into the esophagus and irritates the tissues causing the sensation of heartburn. It’s not unusual to have acid reflux on occasion, but when it happens twice a week or affects your daily life then you may have the more chronic version of reflux called GERD. Read more about reflux/GERD here.

    Getting your acid reflux under control is paramount so it doesn’t progress to GERD. If you experience persistent heartburn, bad breath, tooth erosion, nausea, pain in your chest or upper part of your abdomen, or have trouble swallowing or breathing, see your doctor.

    Quick Relief:

    Try D-Limonene, 1000 mg’s per day. D-Limonone has been studied and found to help heartburn. D-Limonene is a component of several citrus essential oils (orange; lemon and lime); and naturally occurs in citrus juices.

    2 tsp of Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar to ¼ cup of water and drink. Repeat 5 minutes later.  Take before meals to pre-empt the heartburn. Read more about apple cider vinegar for gut health here.

    Upper Abdominal Pain

    upper abdominal pain

    Pain in the upper quadrant of your stomach can be gallstones. The pain is usually steady and lasts from 30 minutes to several hours.  Tiny, hard stones form when fluid in the gallbladder crystallizes and can lead to infection.  Gallbladder attacks usually occur after eating or at night.  Gallbladder disease requires immediate medical attention.

    Quick Relief

    D-Limonene has been shown in a clinical study to be effective in reducing (67%)  and even fully dissolving gallstones (50% of study participants).  Learn more about  d-limonene here.

    Take turmeric (1,000 milligrams daily) — It’s active ingredient curcumin, has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce gallbladder swelling and improve bile flow.  

    Follow up with your doctor for acute pain that is sudden.

    Abdominal Pain – Rib Area

    pain-right-side-behind-rib-cage

    Gastritis is usually suspected when the pain comes on soon after eating and is in the rib area. This type of pain is steady. This is most often caused by an infection of H Pylori bacteria.  This causes thinning of the protective mucosal lining in the stomach.  Contact your doctor for a stool test and other digestive tests but in the meantime, healing the stomach lining is helpful.

    Quick Relief

    Try Metagenics “Zinlori”, used three times a day in between meals for 4 weeks until your test results come back. Gastritis can also involve H Pylori bacteria, so eliminating that infection is also recommended.  Try Designs for Health’s “GastroMend”, used at full strength for 6 weeks.

    Abdominal Pain – Rib Area

    pain-right-side-behind-rib-cage

    Pain in this area could also be due to gas.  Especially when pain is felt 20 minutes or more after eating. This type of pain is intermittent and not steady.

    Quick Relief

    For gas/bloat-based discomfort, NOW Foods makes a product called “Peppermint Gels” which contains a combination of fennel and peppermint oil. This combination can help gas pain. Take as directed until feeling better.

    Middle and Lower Abdominal Pain

    middle lower abdominal pain

    IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) is suspected when pain comes from the middle or lower intestines. Constipation, diarrhea, bloating and gas cause intermittent pain in this area. Irritable bowel syndrome a non-inflammatory condition, while inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) causes chronic swelling (or inflammation).  The difference between the two can be determined by the presence of blood in the stool, eye discomfort, extreme fatigue, and joint pain which never occurs with IBS, but does occur with IBD.

    Both conditions should be followed up with by a doctor.

    Quick Relief For IBS

    Peppermint, ginger, and fennel are herbs which release trapped gas and eliminate bloating and cramps by relaxing the muscle wall of the intestines.  Activated charcoal is also effective at absorbing excess gas in the gut. Take Activated charcoal on its own, not with any other supplements or food.   My favorite specific supplement recommendations include a mixture of these elements e.g. Gaia Herbs’ “Gas and Bloating” formula and Heather’s Tummy Tamers.

    Probiotics are not recommended for an acute episode of IBS since they may make symptoms worse. A digestive enzyme formula is better and supportive of the healing process. An excellent, full spectrum digestive enzyme product is Renew Life’s “Digest More”.   Take them for a week and if improvement is seen, continue taking them until your symptoms subside.

    When To See The Doctor

    Confident female doctor at office desk

    Pain that is unrelenting, spreads to the back and movement does not relieve it are signs that you need to see a doctor as soon as possible.

    Does eating or lying one side relieve the pain? Does throwing up make the pain better? Does staying in one place or moving around make the pain better? Anything that provides relief should be mentioned to the doctor.

    Pain that wakes you up in the middle of the night is more serious and should always be checked out by a doctor as soon as possible.

    There are many, many other causes for stomach pain beyond the scope of this article.  Use your judgment when determining if stomach pain is an emergency as in the case of appendicitis. A rule of thumb is when stomach pain is due to an inflammatory condition, movement hurts. Usually, this type of pain makes you want to lie still without moving and is indicative of seeing a health professional immediately.

    In Conclusion

    When your stomach hurts, you want and need fast relief.  Thankfully, most stomach pain is occasional and infrequent.  Home remedies can help with the pain of heartburn, IBS, gastritis/ulcers, gallstones, constipation, diarrhea, gas and bloating until you can see a doctor to help get to the root of the problem.

    More serious stomach pain should always be handled immediately to rule out serious stomach issues and disease.

    I hope you enjoyed this article on quick relief methods for common digestive issues.  Please leave a comment, I love to hear from my readers!

     

    14354940_1147966088611029_3013149574780621067_n(4)Linda is a Certified Functional Health Coach

    Foods That Reduce Acid Reflux

    Top 10 Foods That Reduce Acid Reflux

    Heartburn and acid reflux reduce the quality of life for millions of people. The majority of people self-treat their symptoms and spend over 1.2 billion dollars on over-the-counter antacid and indigestion products every year! These products are not without risk. One study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, suggests that seniors are at a greater risk for bone fractures while on these ‘proton-pump’ inhibitors such as Prilosec, Nexium, and Prevacid.  There is a lot you can do naturally to reduce or eliminate acid reflux and natural should always be the first step before taking drugs. I am outlining 10 foods that reduce acid reflux so you can get an understanding of how foods and supplements can heal and make a substantial difference in the quality of your life.

    What is Gastric Reflux and GERD?

    Many people confuse acid reflux with GERD and use the terms interchangeably, but although they are closely related they are different problems.

    • Acid reflux is when stomach acid flows back into the esophagus. During an episode of acid reflux, you taste regurgitated food or sour liquid at the back of the throat and possibly a burning sensation in your chest (heartburn).
    • GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease) is the chronic, more severe form of acid reflux.  Frequent heartburn is one of the symptoms of GERD, so is difficulty swallowing, chest pain and wheezing. The symptoms get worse at night while lying down.

    There is another form of reflux and that is called Laryngopharyngeal Reflux.  LPR is a condition where the backflow of food or stomach acid goes into the voice box or the throat. This can happen during the day or at night. Knowing you have LPR can be confusing because most people do not have heartburn and that is because the material does not back up all the way to the esophagus, just to the throat and voice box. It’s still a serious condition because the throat and voice box tissues are more sensitive to injury and irritation.  

    Symptoms Of Acid Reflux and GERD

    As I explained earlier, acid reflux and GERD are slightly different. GERD being the chronic condition. So GERD symptoms will have all of the symptoms of reflux, plus long-term symptoms.

    • Heartburn    (Reflux and GERD)
    • Chest pain    (Reflux and GERD)
    • Pain after eating   (Reflux and GERD)
    • Bitter taste in mouth    (Reflux and GERD)
    • Sore Throat   (Laryngopharyngeal Reflux, Reflux and GERD)
    • Hoarseness    (Laryngopharyngeal Reflux, Reflux and GERD)
    • Nausea    (GERD)
    • Trouble swallowing   (Laryngopharyngeal Reflux, GERD)
    • Sleep Disturbances   (Reflux and GERD)
    • Cough   (Laryngopharyngeal Reflux, GERD)
    • Sinusitis   (GERD)
    • Asthma    (GERD)
    • Middle ear infection   (GERD)
    • Lung disease   (GERD)
    • Barrett’s Esophagus (GERD)
    • Esophageal cancer  (GERD, long-term GERD with Barrett’s esophagus)

    All of the above symptoms can be indicative of all digestive reflux disease as with other medical conditions, so it’s always prudent to check with your health professional.

    The Gerdq is a diagnostic questionnaire given to patients when GERD is suspected. Answer these questions with how many days a week you experience symptoms.  Add up your points and then compare to the note at the bottom of the chart.

    gerdq

    The Importance Of Healing Reflux and GERD

    Acid reflux can turn into chronic GERD.  As I mentioned before, millions of Americans self-treat their acid reflux symptoms.  This is not wise as the root cause is never addressed and over-the-counter acid blockers can destroy the digestive system and its delicate acid, enzyme, and bacterial balance.

    Untreated or self-treated reflux that turns into chronic GERD can result in damage to the esophagus leading to Barrett’s esophagus. Barrett’s esophagus is a condition where damage and inflammation occur in the esophagus and is associated with an increased risk of developing esophageal cancer. This is a rare occurrence but should be taken seriously.foods that reduce acid reflux

    Any damage to the esophagus and throat should be addressed immediately. To protect the delicate tissues of the esophagus, supplements that pose as a barrier to the area are important to take while healing your reflux and GERD. Life Extension carries products that protect and heal.

    Doctors may prescribe pills that do not address the root cause.  When prescription medications are stopped, symptoms usually reappear after a time. Acid suppression therapies found in antacids, proton pump inhibitors, and histamine 2 receptor blockers can interfere with the absorption of nutrients like iron, vitamin B12 and calcium carries its own risks.

    Problems like anemia increases with lack of iron absorption. Vitamin B12 deficiency is associated with elevated homocysteine levels which are a risk factor for heart disease.  Impaired calcium absorption carries a risk of deadly hip fracture. So as you can see, medications to manage GERD and reflux come with risks of future health challenges.

    Foods That Reduce Acid Reflux and GERD

    foods that reduce acid refluxStudies suggest that more than 27% of GERD patients test positive for food allergies and avoiding these allergenic foods resulting in symptom improvement (Pomiecinski 2010).  Food plays a huge part in the development, progression, and reduction of reflux and GERD.  Knowing what foods help and what foods contribute or exacerbate problems is very important to manage your condition.

    We think that symptoms of heartburn are due to too much stomach acid, but that is not the case for many.  Too little stomach acid is also a contributor.  How can that be you ask? Stomach acid is needed to emulsify food once in the stomach. Once the food is emulsified, it moves forward to the small intestines.  Everything is propelled in a forward motion. If there is not enough stomach acid to propel the food forward, it backs up into the esophagus.

    Foods to eat when TOO MUCH stomach acid is suspected in reflux and GERD

    1.Vegetables – include more vegetables in your diet. Preferably with every meal you have. Vegetables help reduce stomach acid because they are naturally low in acid and buffer the acid level. Try green vegetables with every meal like green beans, broccoli, asparagus, and cucumbers.

    2.Oatmeal – Oatmeal is low in acid and actually absorbs the acidity from other foods.

    3.Rice and Couscous – choose brown rice over white rice for extra fiber. Rice and couscous are very soothing foods for the digestive tract and will not contribute to reflux

    4.Potatoes – low in acid and easy to digest.

    5.Egg Whites – are low in acid and a good source of protein to replace meat with, which is high in acid. Stay away from the yolks, as they are high in acid.

    6.Melons and Bananas – Fruit can be acidic, but melons and bananas are low in acid and can be eaten without triggering reflux.

    Foods To Eat When TOO LITTLE Stomach Acid Is Suspected in reflux and GERD

    7. Drink Celery Juice – or eat celery with every meal. Celery juice replaces salts and enzymes and will calm reflux. Drink it every day preferably on an empty stomach.

    8. Apple Cider Vinegar – Drink before meals to increase acidity to help digest your food and reduce reflux.

    9. Gingerhelps stimulate digestive juices. Try 2- 3 cups a day of ginger tea, 2 -3 drops of ginger essential oil in 8 oz of water a day, or add ½ inch of ginger root to a smoothie a day.

    10.Fermented Veggies – Foods like Kimchi, Sauer kraut, fermented pickles, fermented veggies improve digestive juices because they contain acids, enzymes, and natural probiotics.

    Thrive 25perent off

    In Conclusion

    Acid reflux and GERD are used interchangeably when in fact there are some differences. GERD is the more chronic and long term condition of reflux.

    It is important not to self-treat reflux as millions of Americans do today since chronic GERD can result.  Chronic GERD is associated with esophageal damage leading to Barrett’s syndrome which can result in esophageal cancer.

    Drugs to manage reflux can cause nutrient deficiencies leading to other health conditions. It’s important to change your diet and add in those foods that are known to help calm reflux if you know your reflux is caused by either too much or too little stomach acid.

    Read here for more information about supplements to heal GERD and reflux.

    Please leave a comment if you enjoyed this article, I love to hear from you!

    14354940_1147966088611029_3013149574780621067_n(4)
    Linda Watson is a Certified Functional Health Coach

    Rocky Mountain Essential Oils

    Rocky Mountain Essential Oils

    Buying essential oils can be a confusing process.  It seems everywhere you turn, there are essential oils for saleRose Jasmine Melissa RMO. I bet you have been approached by your friends and neighbors who sell essential oils through direct marketing. You can even purchase essential oils at the grocery store. If you shop on Amazon there are dozens of essential oil brands to choose from. To sift through the essential oil purchasing process I’ve written this post to review a brand called Rocky Mountain Essential Oils.  I hope this review helps you understand what goes into a quality brand of essential oil so you can make the best essential oil purchase for yourself and your family.

    Since essential oils are growing in popularity, more and more brands are available for purchase just about anywhere.  It is a huge industry.  The concern with many natural health experts is that proper usage is not fully understood by the users and the people selling them via direct marketing. Just because something is labeled natural doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed safe.

    Problems With The Essential Oils Industry

    Some essential oil companies skip steps and distil their product at high temperatures and high pressure.  Low temperatures and low pressure turn out the best quality oils.  

    Essential oils should be steam distilled, but some companies are using chemical solvents to distil their oils.  

    Some manufacturers fake authentic certification for their products. Or use oils that have been distilled from poor crops. Or use crops that have been improperly handled or oils that have expired. This is poor-quality and a problem in the industry.

    Many oils are adulterated, meaning fragrance, chemicals or cheap oils are added to the product.  Your ‘pure’ oil may contain a small percentage of pure oil and higher percentages of chemicals.

    Problems With Usage Of Essential OilsRMO SideWide

    “Whatever has the power to heal, has the power to harm.”

    1. One of the biggest mistakes users make is applying oils directly to the skin.  Essential oils are highly concentrated. It takes huge amounts of plant material from the plants, fruits, and barks that essential oils are made from in order to get one bottle of essential oil. Putting this much-concentrated oil on your skin is asking for irritation or getting too much of the active ingredients in your bloodstream.
    2. Using oils as a ‘preventative measure’. Some people ingest large quantities of oil daily. Some use 30 or more drops a day. The safety of ingesting essential oils is not well documented and should only be done under the supervision of a trained professional. If you don’t have a particular health issue, blindly drinking essential oils is not smart.
    3. The quality of the diffuser. The diffuser can burn your oils or not disperse properly or break down the oil so it’s actually effective when you breath it in. For more information about effective diffusers, read here.
    4. Not understanding the latin name of the oil you are using.  Essential oils come from plants and those plants have a latin name that should be printed on every bottle of essential oil you have. If you are using lavender, what type of lavender? It’s very important to understand the type of plant the essential oil is made from so you can help the condition you are trying to alleviate.

    What To Look For When Purchasing An Essential Oil brand.

    Rocky Mountain Essential Oils

    • The suppliers are a small sized business.
    • The supplier is available to provide material safety sheets of MSDS on demand.
    • The supplier is owned by an aromatherapy practitioner or essential oil specialist.
    • The supplier has a non-controversial reputation.
    • The supplier is well known by industry experts.

    Other Important considerations to look for:

    • Does the essential oil company promote unsafe usage of essential oils?  For example, a certified Aromatherapist trained at the clinical level must have to adhere to safety rules to remain registered. However, many MLM distributors encourage ingesting oils. These practices are prohibited by the AIA (Alliance of International Aromatherapists).
    • Terms such as “therapeutic grade” or “clinical grade” are used by essential oils to claim their superiority over other brands.  These terms have no meaning as there is no standardization of essential oils. These terms are basically meaningless.
    • Not having an organic label. Oils should be organic otherwise any pollutants or chemicals will be concentrated in the oil. Organic may mean different things to different countries, so again, knowing the suppliers is a huge advantage.
    • No customer service. You want to purchase oils with companies that can answer any questions you have and be able to produce testing information upon request.

    So, now you know what to look out for and what to look FOR in your essential oil company.  

    I am sure there are other companies out there that fill the bill, but this post is about Rocky Mountain Essential Oils. This company delivers on all of the above.  

    Rocky Mountain Essential OIls

    Rocky Mountain Essential Oils

    Rocky Mountain Essential Oils, formally known as Native American Traditions, was founded by Paul Dean.  Paul Dean was in the essential oils industry since 1997.

    Why Rocky Mountain Essential Oils?

    1. Their oils are grown in remote areas where plants are indigenous to the area where there are no chemicals and only natural fertilizers are used.
    2. Certificates are available upon request with the safety and purity information (MSDS). You can get this information on any oil you have with the batch number provided on the bottom of the bottle.
    3. Absolutely no solvents are used for distillation.
    4. Their oils are organically certified and organically grown or wild-crafted.
    5. The Latin names are listed on their website as well as the country of origin.
    6. The company makes no claims about ingesting the oils or using them in an unsafe way as outlined by the Alliance Of International Aromatherapists. They recommend caution when using the oils.
    7. The oils are not heated or adulterated in any way.
    8. The prices of RMO’s oils are reasonable.

    RMO long bannerSpecifications:

    • Rocky Mountain Oils boast a no-questions-asked 90-day product return policy.
    • Trusted suppliers that meet stringent product quality guidelines.
    • If a sample is rejected due to contaminant, adulterants etc, no order is placed. If the sample passes the GC/MS test a bulk order is placed for the same batch.
    • After the bulk order is received, additional 3rd party testing is done to ensure that the quality of the oil received is the same as the original sample tested.
    • Each essential oil is carefully bottled in protective amber glass bottles by trained professionals using state-of-the-art equipment. Bottles are securely sealed, labeled side and top, and prepared to ship to customers.
    • Rocky Mountain Essential oils now use sustainable packaging for a healthy environment.

    In ConclusionRMO sustainable packaging

    Essential oils are growing in popularity.  It seems everywhere you turn, someone is selling them via network marketing companies or even at the local grocery store.  Purchasing them can be a confusing experience for a lay person.

    Since essential oils have the power to heal, using them in the wrong way can have undesirable effects. Unscrupulous companies may jump on the bandwagon and offer low quality oils, or oils that are not pure.  

    There are many considerations to take into account when purchasing essential oils like whether or not they are pure, or batch tested and independently tested.

    Rocky Mountain Oils meet all of the requirements of a top quality essential oil company.  Their products meet all the safety standards and independent testing.  Their products are harvested in areas where pollutants and contaminants are not used.

    RollOn_ad5

    I highly recommend Rocky Mountain essential oils. In the complicated, confusing world of essential oils, Rocky Mountain Essential oil brand is one to feel confident in.

    ♥♥♥To experience the wonderful benefits of Rocky Mountain Essential Oils try them here! ♥♥♥

    Rocky Mountain Essential Oils

    Please leave a comment below, I love to hear from you!

    14354940_1147966088611029_3013149574780621067_n(4)Linda Watson is a Certified Functional Health Coach

    cod liver oil side effects

    Cod Liver Oil Side Effects

    Cod liver oil is the essential oil extracted from the livers of Atlantic cod. Scientists discovered that cod liver oil helped eradicate rickets, a common disease in 17th century England and in the U.S. through the 1920’s.  Back then, cod liver oil was known to be rich in vitamins A and D only but its strong therapeutic properties are still being discovered today. Rickets was eradicated in the 1930’s and today cod liver oil is used successfully to treat many nutrient deficiencies.naturalvitamins

    Nordic countries regularly consume cod liver oil to protect themselves from nutrient deficiencies. Studies have shown that taking one to two teaspoons of cod liver oil daily can help reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes, kidney problems, inflammatory bowel disease, high cholesterol and joint pain. Seems like a supplement worth taking, but some have expressed concern over the consumption of cod liver oil.  Is it all it’s cracked up to be? Are there any cod liver oil side effects you should be aware of? Let’s look a little deeper into cod liver oil research and see what it reveals.

    Difference between Cod Liver Oil and Fish Oilfish oil

    Cod liver oil is oil that is extracted solely from the livers of cod fish. Fish oil is oil extracted from the tissue of deep sea oily fish like tuna, mackerel, herring, salmon, cod, and trout. Cod liver oil contains fewer Omega 3 fatty acids than regular fish oil but contains more nutrients like vitamin D and A.

    What Are The Researched Benefits Of Cod Liver Oil?

    cod liver oil

    Cod liver oil is an anti-inflammatory food due to its omega 3 fatty acid profile and it’s high levels of vitamins A and D.  Both of these nutrients help fight inflammation and build the immune system which is critical in so many inflammatory conditions including inflammatory bowel diseases.

    • Cod liver oil is a good type of fat. Omega 3 fatty acids help break down carbohydrates when eaten with a meal to reduce the blood sugar rise in your bloodstream.
    • The nutrients in cod liver oil, mostly vitamin A and E help reduce the risk of macular degeneration.  Macular degeneration can lead to blindness and is on the rise in the U.S.
    • Cod liver oil contains high amounts of vitamin D and can help with cognitive performance.
    • The vitamin A and D in cod liver oil can help heal IBD and other digestive disorders.
    • The vitamin D in cod liver oil can help reduce the progression of cancer by slowing the growth and development of new blood vessels in cancerous tissue.
    • Cod liver oil was shown to protect against bone loss, obesity and resulted in a greater bone turnover. (Bone. 2008 May;42(5):996-1003).
    • Cod liver oil has anti-depressant properties and is associated with a lower rate of depressive symptoms for the general population. (J Affect Disord. 2007 Aug;101(1-3):245-9).

    Any Side Effects From Cod Liver Oil?

    Cod liver oil is generally well-tolerated and safe.  But there are a few things you should be aware of.cod-liver-oil-side-effects-1

    1. The most common complaint is a fishy aftertaste. To reduce this, take your cod liver oil with food and avoid taking it right before bedtime.
    2. If you have a bleeding disorder or are taking blood-thinning medications, talk to you doctor before taking cod liver oil.  Cod liver oil can thin the blood and cause bleeding issues.  For this reason, you would also want to stop taking cod liver oil about a week before any surgeries.
    3. These drugs interact with cod liver oil.  Talk to your doctor.

    Adrucil
    Calcitriol
    Fluorouracil
    Hectorol
    Paricalcitol
    Rocaltrol
    Xeloda
    Zemplar
    Coumadin
    Warfarin
    Miradon

    4)  A study done on rats in the “Journal of Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders” in February 2013 found that cod liver oil may raise blood sugar in diabetics.  An explanation of why this might be was provided by the University of Maryland Medical Center. Their claim is that the body converts fatty acids into sugars which may explain the rise in blood sugar.  If you are a diabetic, take cod liver oil or any fish oil under the care of your healthcare practitioner.

    Recent Controversy Surrounding Cod Liver Oil

    vitamin A toxicity

    Dr. Joseph Mercola recently withdrew his recommendations for taking cod liver oil. His claim is that the cod liver oil of today has the wrong ratios of vitamin D and Vitamin A.  According to him, modern processing for contaminant removal decreases the vitamin D level in the cod liver oil, thus making the vitamin A more toxic to the body.  High amounts of vitamin A are toxic to the body and vitamin A needs vitamin D to buffer this.  

    The Weston Price Foundation rebutted his article claiming that Dr. Mercola’s arguments were not sound and that purchasing cod liver oil with the right ratios is still possible.  You can read the response here.

    Consumer watchdog agencies have found that many cod liver oil manufacturers do not have the right levels of vitamin A and D, so finding the best sources is very important.

    Click here for a list of cod liver oil supplements with the right ratios of vitamin A and D.

    Conclusion:

    Cod liver oil has been used for hundreds of years to treat rickets and nutrient deficiencies.  Taking cod liver oil during the winter months when sunlight is scarce provides people with adequate levels of vitamin D and A.  

    Cod liver oil is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and provides anti-inflammatory effects to the body resulting in lower incidences of cancer, bone loss, cognitive decline, Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD), depression among other health challenges.

    There has been controversy surrounding the nutrient levels and toxicity of Vitamin A and the manufacturing processes of cod liver oil possibly doing more harm than good.  This has been refuted by other experts, but the importance of taking a reputable product with the right nutrients is very important.  Click here for a list of reputable sources of cod liver oil.

    Hope you enjoyed this article and please comment below!  I love to hear from you.

    14354940_1147966088611029_3013149574780621067_n(4)Linda Watson is a certified Functional Health Coach

    Safest brands of cod liver oil

    Safest Brands Of Cod Liver Oil

    Cod liver oil is high in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids and fat soluble vitamins A and D.  These nutrients help fight inflammation and build the immune system which is critical for many health challenges, especially irritable bowel syndrome (IBD).  Below are the best brands of cod liver oil on the market today.

    Vitamin D is difficult to get from whole foods and cod liver oil is one of the top sources. However, cod liver oil that you can purchase today may have ratios of vitamin A and vitamin D that may not be optimal for good health. Vitamin A can be toxic in high quantities and modern processes of cod liver oil have reduced the vitamin D content, making the ratio of vitamin A greater.  This fact has concerned many experts. Read more about cod liver oil here.

    Vitamin A also protects against vitamin D toxicity according to Michael F. Holick, MD PhD, a vitamin D researcher.  His research suggests that vitamins A, D, and K2 should be consumed in proper balance for safety and health benefits according to an article by the Weston Price Foundation.

    There ARE high-quality cod liver oil brands available today with correct ratios and levels of nutrients. Knowing what brands that are of high quality and have the right ratio of vitamin D and A are extremely important.

    blue ice green pasture cod livernutrapro cod liveramrap cod livercarlson cod liver

     

    The Best Brands Of Cod Liver Oil (available online)

    GOOD Brands Of Cod Liver Oil Available in Stores

    • NOW Foods double strength Cod Liver Oil capsules
    • Sonne’s Cod Liver Oil
    • Swanson double strength Cod Liver Oil capsules
    • Twin Labs non-emulsified liquid Cod Liver Oil

    I hope you enjoyed this article on the safest brands of cod liver oil.  Please leave a comment, I love to hear from you!

    14354940_1147966088611029_3013149574780621067_n(4)

    Linda Watson is a Certified Functional Health Coach practicing in Newtown Ct.