Nutrition

The Vagus Nerve – the self-help key to beating stress

The Vagus nerve is one of the 12 pairs of cranial nerves. Unlike almost all our other nerves that emerge from the spine (hence chiropractic's fascination for spinal manipulation), cranial nerves emerge directly out of the brain to travel to their target tissues. The job of cranial nerves is usually of critical importance to survival. In the case of the Vagus Nerve, we have our primary mechanism for dealing with stress and its long term destructive effects.

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Methylation and Histamine sensitivity

Do you have a sensitivity to pollen in the air at various times of the year? How about skin reactions to certain foods or things you touch that can respond to claritine or other antihistamine medications?  Watery eyes, runny nose or post nasal drip? Do you have a weak stomach? Maybe a history of panic attacks, depression or mental fatigue? If so, you might have a sensitivity to (or build up of) Histamine - a chemical naturally produced by the body, and consumed in foods. The problem is often a genetic limitation in processing and excreting histamine from the body, which is often linked to a process called under methylation. Undermethylation and its many consequences can cause a wide variety of symptoms in different people.

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Amine Sensitivity

Amines are naturally occurring chemicals caused by the breakdown of proteins especially in meats, fish and dairy, as well as in the fermentation of other foods such as vegetables, wines, beers, ciders, vinegars, and soy sauces. They are highest in concentration in the aging and curing of meats such as in salamis, prosciuttos, hams, etc.; when meats are cooked or grilled and in the production of cheeses. Amines enhance the flavour of food - think of the difference in flavour between a raw steak and a grilled one.  Proteins are necessary for survival, so the best way to ensure a minimal input of amines is to eat meats and other amine containing foods in their freshest possible state, as aging (such as with beef and pork packaging in supermarkets) will cause increased amine production even if the food hasn't "gone off". It has been noted that even freezing wont stop amine production, so the rule of strictly fresh is best to follow.

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Salicylate Sensitivity

  Salicylate Sensitivity Salicylates are chemicals that occur naturally in many plants. They are produced by the plant to regulate flowering, growth, ripening and they act as a natural pesticide against fruit fly and other destructive pests, as well as limiting fungus and mould growth. Some people have a sensitivity to moderate levels of salicylates which can either be genetically predisposed, or the result of foetal exposure to pesticides and other chemical irritants. While salicylates are naturally occurring, higher than acceptable levels in some people causes them to react and display any number of physiological and psycho-behavioural symptoms such as hyperactivity and "silliness". The symptoms can vary quite widely however, with other more common symptoms reported below:

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Bedwetting in children

A common children's condition we see at the clinic is bedwetting (nocturnal enuresis). It is normal for children below the ages of 4 or 5 to lack control of their bladder, however, if this continues after the age of 5, it could signify a problem. Primary enuresis is described as bedwetting in a child beyond 5 years old who has never been able to establish good bladder control. Secondary enuresis is described as a bedwetting relapse in a child who was previously toilet trained.   There are several alternative medicine therapies that have published reports on treatments for bedwetting. These include:   Dietary modification Craniosacral therapy Acupuncture  

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