Posts filed under ‘Review’

Book Review: Strategies for Surviving Chemical Sensitivity: The Basics

By Shannon Morehouse, MA, CHHC

Don’t let the title of this book fool you. While this book does detail basic steps that chemically-sensitive individuals need to take in order to manage their exposure in and out of their homes, this book is a comprehensive guidebook that offers solutions even for those who have been battling chemical sensitivity for decades.

The author, Dr. Mayer, Ph.D., practiced pharmacy throughout his 20s. During that time, he owned two drug stores and numerous dry cleaning stores. He believes that the highly toxic chemicals used in the dry cleaning industry caused him to develop Chemical Sensitivity. After selling his businesses, he went on to earn a doctoral degree in history and a post-doctoral degree in Psychoanalysis. Dr. Mayer truly knows the struggles of the chemically-sensitive individual as he has had the struggles himself. He even had to leave New York City after trying to make four homes safe to dwell in. The strategies that Dr. Mayer, Ph.D lays out in this book are based on the trial and error experiences in successfully managing his own chemical sensitivity as well as experiences he gathered from over 1,000 individuals who responded to the question, “What works?”

Dr. Mayer explains how to find doctors and dentists who understand the needs of those who are chemically sensitive. He also describes various treatment options, including the following:

• Avoidance of Chemicals and Substances that Cause Reactions. According to Mayer, over 94 % of those surveyed felt better by avoiding chemical exposure. He defined avoidance as living in a chemical-free space, working in a chemically-free environment, and eating chemically-free, organic food.

• Clean Air. Many folks found that air filtration helped them.

Sauna Therapy. Dr. Mayer discusses the option of sauna therapy at many treatment centers in the United States or using a home sauna. He specifies that for those who are sensitive to EMFs, infrared saunas are said to be better.

• Liver Support. According to environmental physicians, self-administered glutathione in conjunction with an assortment of vitamins and minerals, including the Hydroxocobalamin form of B12 can be helpful.

After outlining general treatment options, Dr. Mayer offers helpful suggestions to aid you in every area of your life. He offers hundreds of suggestions on how to avoid exposure in all rooms in your home; these suggestions are nicely bulleted out.

Dr. Mayer’s chapter on personal care products is particularly useful. For soaps, he recommends Magick Botanicals products, among others. He also discusses cosmetics, mentioning facts like black mascara has fewer ingredients than color mascara. He also recommends using apricot kernel oil or almond oil for a moisturizer.

Dr. Mayer’s suggestions extend far beyond your home. He gives you tips on purchasing an automobile, buying a new home, and even reveals exact locales that will be better for those with chemical sensitivities to reside. His chapter on managing chemical sensitivity when traveling is helpful. One recommendation is that if you smell something bothersome, rinse your nose with saline solution. He also recommends taking 1,000 mg of vitamin C to bowel tolerance, wearing a face mask, and keeping yourself hydrated.

In conclusion, you will find this book as useful of a resource as those by Dr. Sherry Rogers. This is a must-read for the chemically-sensitive person and those who love them!

July 19, 2011 at 1:07 pm Leave a comment

The Acid-Alkaline Diet…for Optimum Health! Book Review

Book by Christopher Vasey, ND
Reviewed by Dr. Jen Morganti, ND

Balance is the key to great health. One of the many impressive balancing acts that occur in the body on a continuous basis is the creation of acid by metabolic processes, countered by the neutralization of acid by alkaline substances. This determines the pH of the body, which can be measured in the blood, urine, sweat, and saliva. When acid dominates the environment on a consistent basis, health problems ensue. In his new book The Acid-Alkaline Diet for Optimal Health, Christopher Vasey, ND discusses ways in which you can achieve an ideal acid-alkaline balance in your body.

How do I know if I have an acid problem?

Are you excessively fatigued, have you lost enthusiasm and drive, or are you worried, depressed, or anxious? Are you sensitive to cold, have low blood pressure, and maybe low blood sugar? Do you have a suppressed immune system and suffer from multiple infections? These are all vague and general symptoms that could be pointing to an acidic pH, usually caused by a diet high in acid-generating foods and a stressful lifestyle.

pH can be measured in bodily fluids, but not all of them accurately reflect the body and tissues’ overall pH. Blood pH does not reflect tissue acidity because the blood quickly transfers out acids in order to maintain a very narrow acceptable pH range. If the blood pH were to stray outside the narrow requirements, illness or even death could ensue. Because it is so tightly regulated, blood pH is not a good way to determine overall body tissue pH. Urine and sweat are good indicators of overall acidity, and pH can easily be measured with pH test strips. The kidneys and skin are both mechanisms in which the body eliminates acids, so a low pH (or high acidity) in their fluids indicates high levels of acid in the body. Dr. Vasey provides detailed instructions on how to measure pH of the urine, which he believes to be the most accurate method.

How does acidity cause health problems?

Urine, blood, and sweat will transfer acids out as they are produced, but these mechanisms can become overloaded fairly easily. When acid levels exceed the elimination capacity, the overage gets stored in tissues, and then they interfere with enzymatic reactions, inflammation, and demineralization. For example, enzymes, which elicit a multitude of critical biochemical reactions in the body, are very sensitive to their environment. They function only in a very narrow pH range, so an acidic environment will disrupt their activity and cause health problems, from minor to very serious. Extra acid in the tissues can also be corrosive and irritating, causing inflammation, manifesting as a skin rash, painful urination, arthritis, or intestinal inflammation. Demineralization is another consequence of a chronically acidic state. Bones and teeth, which store large amounts of calcium, will sacrifice this alkalizing mineral to improve the pH of blood and tissues, resulting in osteoporosis and loss of teeth.

Consuming an alkaline-focused diet is important for dealing with current acid production, but it is not efficient enough to neutralize built-up acids stored in the tissues. Suggestions for meal choices can be found in the book. To truly alkalize deep in the tissues, supplements must be added to the regimen. Supplementation will help alkalize and resolve symptoms, but to thoroughly neutralize the acid in deep tissues, be prepared to stay on the program for the long term.

Minerals are the foundation of the alkalizing therapy. Calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, and manganese are the main minerals to look for in a supplement. Sodium is in some products, but it is not appropriate for those who are salt-sensitive and hypertensive. Silica may be present, although it is acidic, it is usually found in small quantities, and is beneficial for those with weak nails, bones, teeth, and joint pains. Dr. Vasey resides in Switzerland, so the products he recommends in his book are not readily available in the US. However, the ingredients he recommends can be found in several great domestic products.

Alkaline minerals may come in the form of citrate, carbonate, tartrate, sulfate, gluconate, and lactate. TriSalts, by Bio-Tech Pharmacal, Inc., contains a combination of calcium, magnesium, and potassium in the carbonate and bicarbonate forms, and is popular for alkalizing and quelching allergic reactions. Whey products are also alkalizing because they are rich in minerals and can be cleansing. (Whey is not appropriate for those who are lactose intolerant). Capra Mineral Whey, derived from goat’s milk, is highly concentrated, alkaline, and contains minerals and electrolytes such as potassium, phosphorus, sodium, calcium, and magnesium. Leafy green vegetables are very alkalizing—and an easy way to supplement the diet is with powdered green drinks. New Zealand Green Organic Barley Grass from Living Foods USA is an extremely fresh and tasty source of sprouted barley grass with alkalizing properties.

There are no specific dosage recommendations for alkalizing supplements. Dr. Vasey simply recommends taking alkalizing supplements several times a day, in moderate doses, to increase the urinary pH to about 7-7.5. It is common to make the mistake of taking enough of the supplements for a long enough period to achieve full cleansing of the stored acid waste. It can take several months or up to a few years of supplementation to achieve a balanced pH. To determine if therapy is successful, one should have a pH of over 7, without taking supplements. Even when the supplementation period is over, one must continue to follow an alkaline diet for optimal health.

July 18, 2011 at 10:35 pm Leave a comment


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