Monthly Archives: August 2011

Is Ragweed Making You Sneeze?

10-20% of Americans suffer with a reaction to Ragweed. For the people who are reactive to pollens, 75% of them will be reactive to ragweed.

Symptoms can include runny nose, sneezing, and itchy eyes, nose and throat.  The unofficial kickoff of ragweed season starts August 15th.  The season can last until the frost finally kills the plant.  So the season can be longer in some areas than others.

There are 17 species of ragweed that grow in the US.  Ragweed grows in every state in the US, but the East coast and the Midwest are the hardest hit by ragweed season.  It grows in fields along roadsides, in vacant city lots, yards, etc.  Whether you are in the city or in the country, you will most likely get exposed to ragweed as it is found in abundance in every region of the US, to some degree.

Pollen released from ragweed is the most responsible substance for late summer and early fall runny nose and sneezing symptoms. Towards the end of summer, as nights grow a bit longer and the plants have matured, they are ready to release the pollens. The warmth and humidly after sunrise ensure the release of the pollen into the wind where they can travel for miles.

The pollen grains are very small and lightweight so can travel great distances. Ragweed pollen has been measured in the air 400 miles out to sea and 2 miles up in the atmosphere, but the concentrations are highest near the source of the pollen, which can grow anywhere. Most people will have some exposure to ragweed pollen, even those who do not have it growing in their immediate area.

The good news is that the plant will only live for one season. However, it must release pollen in order to live to the next season in a new plant, so will produce a very high level of pollens to ensure its survival. An average ragweed plant can produce over one million-pollen grains every day and up to one billion pollen grains in the single season of its lifetime. Ragweed seeds can live for decades in the soil and then begin to grow when conditions are right.

If you suffer from symptoms when exposed to ragweed, be prepared for the upcoming ragweed season. Peak pollen times are between 10am – 4pm so try to do any yard work outside of these times to reduce your exposure when outside. Keep your windows closed with the air conditioning on to further reduce your exposure but be aware that ragweed pollen can also get inside your house by sticking to your clothing, shoes, bags, and pets.

There are numerous websites available that will list the pollen levels for different parts of the country. If you want to see what the levels are in your immediate area, pulled up by zip code, try www.pollens.com for a complete listing of pollens and the daily level.

Ragweed season will only last for a few months and then it will be gone again, until next year.

At Absolute Health we offer an advanced therapy that can help relieve or significantly reduce the symptoms associated with ragweed allergies.  This treatment is non-invasive and does not include needles, supplements or medications.  It is completely pain-free and available to all ages, including infants.  If you suffer from ragweed allergy symptoms, please call our office today at 480-991-9945 and find out how we can help.

Corn Sensitivity?

We are a country that eats a lot of corn and corn products.    The United States grows more corn than any other country in the world.  The Corn Belt in the US is the leading corn grower and grows more than 35% of the world’s corn.  However, only a small percentage of the corn is actually eaten “off the cob” like we did when we were kids.  Times have changed and so has corn.

Corn can be used in a multitude of ways and can be found in numerous products that stock our shelves.

The obvious items that contain corn:

  • Corn alcohol, corn gluten
  • Corn extract
  • Corn flour
  • Corn oil, corn oil margarine
  • Corn starch
  • Corn sweetener, corn sugar, HFCS
  • Corn syrup, corn syrup solids
  • Corn, popcorn, cornmeal
  • Cornstarch, corn flour

If you weren’t aware, corn is a hugely subsidized crop, to the tune of 77 billion dollars from 1995-2010.  Obviously, there is a huge incentive to grow it.  Because there is an abundance of corn and it is cheap, new ways of using it are constantly being researched and discovered.   So it is no surprise that corn can be found throughout America’s diet, from packaged foods to sugary drinks/sodas to medications to personal care products to the meat that we eat.  We are constantly exposed to corn and for those who have a corn sensitivity, staying away from it can be difficult.

Many people are sensitive to corn and suffer with symptoms when they eat or are exposed to corn in other ways.  This is an issue that is on the rise and affects millions of Americans.  Corn sensitivities can present with a wide range of symptoms such as:

  • Eczema
  • Runny Nose
  • Stuffy Nose
  • Fatigue
  • Tired after eating
  • Headaches / migraines
  • Sinus Problems
  • IBS symptoms
  • Stomach aches
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Gas / Bloating
  • Diarrhea

People can take corn, and the obvious items that contain corn, out of their diet and this will reduce the symptoms associated with a corn sensitivity.  However, this does not always reduce all of the symptoms as corn is hidden in so many items that people are exposed to on a daily basis.  It is extremely difficult to remove all of the daily corn exposure as corn has permeated our diet and our lives over the past several decades.  Exposure to corn can be hidden in items that people didn’t even realize had corn in it, so total avoidance can get extremely tricky.

If you think you don’t eat corn, think again.  Did you know that corn or corn derivates can be found in these items?

  • Adhesives and gummed papers (envelopes, stamps, stickers, tapes)
  • Beef
  • Body powders
  • Breath spray and candies
  • Charcoal briquettes
  • Chicken
  • Condiments (mustard, mayonnaise, ketchup)
  • Cosmetics
  • Dairy products (cottage cheese, cheese, sour cream)
  • Deodorants
  • French Fries
  • Frozen fruit and vegetables
  • Hair products (spray, mousse and gels)
  • Liquid herbs and spices
  • Margarine
  • Meat products (hot dogs, sausage)
  • Paper containers (boxes, cups, plates)
  • Peanut butter
  • Plastic containers (food containers, cups, plates)
  • Pork
  • Salad dressings
  • Soaps and dishwashing detergents
  • Suntan lotions
  • Teas
  • Toothpaste
  • Vitamins

It is not possible to list all of the items that contain corn here, as the list would be too long.  We have only listed a very small sampling for your review.  However, there are numerous websites that contain research and complete lists of all of the items that contain corn.   If you or someone you know suffers with symptoms associated with a corn sensitivity, we urge you to please pass this information on to them as it may be beneficial to start learning about all of the places that corn can be hidden. It is surprising to see the full lists and find out everywhere that corn is now found.

The symptoms associated with corn sensitivities can be difficult to deal with, as avoidance is very tricky.  After seeing the small sampling of items that contain corn, hopefully it is easy to see why this particular sensitivity can be so challenging.

At Absolute Health, we offer an advanced therapy that can help relieve or significantly reduce the symptoms associated with corn allergies.  This treatment is non-invasive and does not include needles, supplements or medications.  It is completely pain-free and available to all ages, including infants.  If you suffer from corn allergy symptoms, please call our office today at 480-991-9945 and find out how we can help.