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Allergic Rhinitis: Interview with Dr. Carol Gloria, Allergist & Immunologist

So, I had this discussion in our small Facebook group, Lana Lane, where I asked what certain health support or concerns do most of us wish the oils to complement/address. Quite surprisingly, (and this was one of my initial concerns, too), allergic rhinitis was on top of the list.

I find it worrisome that there’s a lot of us who are getting allergies. So I took the liberty to interview one of the angels of my rainbow babies, Dr. Carol Gloria, allergist and immunologist about the Western perspective on allergic rhinitis.

1. What is allergic rhinitis?

Dr. CG: Allergic rhinitis is a diagnosis associated with a group of symptoms affecting the nose. These symptoms occur when you breathe in something you are allergic to, such as dust, animal dander, or pollen or even food.

Symptoms that occur shortly after you come into contact with the substance you are allergic to may include:

Itchy nose, mouth, eyes, throat, skin, or any area
Problems with smell
Runny nose
Sneezing
Watery eyes

Symptoms that may develop later include:

Stuffy nose (nasal congestion)
Coughing
Clogged ears and decreased sense of smell
Sore throat
Dark circles under the eyes
Puffiness under the eyes
Fatigue and irritability
Headache

2. What are the triggers?

Dr. CG: An allergen is something that triggers an allergy. When a person with allergic rhinitis breathes in an allergen.

Outdoor allergens, such as pollens from grass, trees and weeds

Indoor allergens, such as pet hair or dander, dust mites and mold

Irritants, such as cigarette smoke, perfume, air fresheners and diesel exhaust

3. What can one do to lessen attacks?

Dr. CG: Avoidance of what you are allergic to is the key. However, it’s difficult to completely avoid potential allergens, but you can take steps to reduce exposure to a particular allergen you know or suspect is triggering your allergic rhinitis. This will help improve your symptoms.

Medicines given for mild to severe rhinitis include: antihistamines, corticosteroid nasal spray, anti leukotrienes and decongestants. Your doctor prescribes them for you with the proper instructions on how and when to take them.

4. When to consult an allergist?

Dr. CG: You should see an allergist if:

Your allergies are causing symptoms such as chronic sinus infections, nasal congestion or difficulty breathing.

You experience rhinitis or other allergy symptoms several months out of the year.

Antihistamines and over-the-counter medications do not control your allergy symptoms or create unacceptable side effects, such as drowsiness.

Your allergies are interfering with your ability to carry on day-to-day activities.

Your allergies decrease the quality of your life.

5. Any helpful home remedies like Zita West’s article on natural immunotherapy?

Dr. CG: Probiotics are a useful therapeutic remedy in the treatment of allergic rhinitis, but its underlying mechanisms remain to be further investigated.

Will research more on alternative treatment – but not a lot of convincing reports from reliable sources kasi.

☆☆☆

To get in touch with Dr. Carol Gloria for any of your allergy concerns, she holds clinic at Asian Hospital. Her secretary’s number is 09989548327. She is an amazing doctor who we love so much as she was instrumental to us having Santi and Lucia.

☆☆☆

I am soo happy that Doc Carol indulged me with my request just so we can understand better what this condition is all about.

Now I want to integrate this information with what I am currently studying. In my opinion, removal of triggers is really key as she mentioned.

Personally, there are just so many possible irritants in our homes – air fresheners, fabric softeners, etcetera.

In one article published by American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, it says:

Home fragrances, usually in the form of air fresheners and scented candles can trigger allergy symptoms or exacerbate existing allergies and cause more severe asthma attacks.

When I was younger, I loved synthetic fragrances, scented candles and the like. While I did not have severe allergy symptoms, I know that this somehow contributed to my autoimmune disorder along with a very stressful, type A lifestyle, vices and unhealthy food intake.

I personally believe that slowly getting rid of these irritants in our homes is the nudge we need to start a healthier environment that will be beneficial for the whole family. Being mindful of what we are exposed to daily is a small start. I haven’t done an overhaul yet of these chemicals in our household and throwing them out but that is definitely on top of my New Year’s list.

Why?

Because I am particularly concerned of taking the load off my children’s immune system and overall health by limiting their exposure to anything synthetic (I don’t want them to acquire autoimmune disorder in the future!). I honestly believe that my repro-immune disorder was caused by lifestyle choices and I hope to redirect my kids to another direction.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not going all hippie on you. I still am and always will be relying on my trusted doctors as medical advice is not something that can be substituted by anything. When Santi has his attacks (and they have been very rare nowadays), I still give him his antihistamine. But diffusing essential oils that eased congestion helped, too!

I truly believe that we can revamp our lifestyle to support ourselves holistically. As they say, prevention is always, always better than cure.

This is the reason why I am currently getting certified as an aromatherapist — because I want to learn deeply about oils so I can help my family and other people in a more holistic and natural way.

In my course, I am slowly learning how to incorporate the use of essential oils in my daily life such as creating cleaning products that can replace synthetic ones.

Today, I want to share with you one of the things I learned. This recipe is an evidence-based recommendation (meaning, it has scientific backup) and is so easy to make – and the best takeaway is that you know exactly what is inside the recipe because you are the one who made it!

This is the cleaning spray recipe —

And this is what I made. I just multiplied the recipe to make a 300mL bottle.

If you want to know why these oils were chosen and if you want to learn more about essential oils regardless of the brand you are using, hop on to Lana Lane. I will also share some other recipes for blends there in the next few days.

Let’s create a movement for a more educated and mindful use of essential oils.

See you there!

Light and love,

Balot

P.S. I am not a distributor of any direct marketing brand of essential oils anymore. My wish is to study about these oils and share with you different brands I have personally used so that you can make an informed decision.

 

The Last Kiss: A Tribute to Allyssa by his APAS Daddy

For this to be my first guest post is heartbreaking but I am deeply honored to tell this story to the world.

I have started working on my book project and I got this e-mail from someone who was sharing their story. At first, I thought that it was another one of my APAS/RID sisters but I was surprised that I was talking to an APAS daddy.

In most of our cases, our husbands are always quiet… brooding, even. In my case (during that time that I had my miscarriages), I have always thought if Edu was affected by our two losses because he handled it with an eerily (and at that time, irritatingly) calm demeanor. Looking back now, I should have never entertained that thought. Of course, he grieved. He just didn’t show it to me. And the truth is, I am ever grateful for that because he was (and still is) my anchor during the times that we were aggressively fighting for the lives of our babies. Had I seen him break down, I would have never had the strength to go on.

I am grateful to Benedict for sharing his story with me. Allyssa’s story shows how raw and devastating the experiences of couples who have lost their children. This post is housed in his blog, My Last Kiss>>.

I cried reading his blog post.

When I lost my two angels, they were still so small. Basti I at 5 weeks and Basti II at 11 weeks. And yet, the pain was so intense that it tore my life apart for a time. I could never, ever, EVER, imagine having to hold a baby in my arms and then losing them after.  Just writing this brings shards of pain in my heart.

To all my friends who have gone through this, my heart reaches out to you. You all have the strongest soul. I pray for solace during the times that it is tough. As I always say, we will never forget and they will always occupy a special place in our hearts. But we grow stronger each day, and God-willing, in His time, you will all hold your rainbow babies in your arms.

My Last Kiss

by Benedict Garcia

I have never wrote about this until now. I really don’t know where to start. Everything was a blur except her lovely face inside the incubator. All I wanted to remember was her smile, cry and small arm stretches longing to see our home.

The grief of a father who lost her 3 month old daughter is like an unending trapped feeling in a whirlwind hearing absolute nothingness. Nothing seems to be the same anymore. Late night drinking, seeing your favorite bands, console games, watching a movie or tv series, jamming with your band and hanging out with your friends seems very different than before.

I got married with my high school sweetheart after 9 years. We might not be the perfect couple but you could say that we are a traditional couple who believes in the sanctity of marriage. Getting married was my dream when I was a child, having my own family and to be a doctor someday. I guess the being a doctor part did not happen but no regrets! We had goals and timelines making sure that before we had kids, we would be able to provide sufficiently. Then after 4 years of being married, we were able to put up our own house. We are so happy not because of getting a house but it is the time when we agreed before that after owning a house, we would start to try to conceive. Then after 2 months, we got the line from the pregancy test!

We started seeing our ob and we were very happy to see that our baby is healthy. Then we discovered that we have a beautiful baby girl! Everything was going well until the third trimester (7th month) when it was due for our ob checkup. The doctor said that everything is good and the heartbeat of our baby is normal. But my wife is not contented because she is not feeling well for 2 days already so we decided to do an ultrasound, as it is due anyway. That moment when the sonologist asked us to go back to our ob asap was the time when my world crumbled, my heart beat so fast wanting to collapse and vomit but my adrenaline rushed. The sonologist did not explain but we were asked to go to the hospital immediately. We went to the hospital and our ob’s team were ready. The ob then explained that she is going to perform an emergency c section as there are blood clots near the baby and it impedes blood circulation. It was also needed as it is dangerous for my wife. She was in tears, I tried to be strong for our baby and my wife. I wanted to assure her that everything will be okay. I want her to see my courage and faith because I know it would only make it worse if she sees me breakdown. It was only me, her and our daughter. The true test of faith, love and hope.

I was asked to wait outside. I am not deeply religious but I did pray, prayed so hard that I forgot the world moving. After 30mins of operation, I was asked to go inside. There I saw my daughter but she was not breathing.. tears dropping from my eyes but I went immediately to my wife’s side. Assuring her that the doctors are doing their best for our baby.

Our baby was put in an incubator and was on respiratory support. There was nothing I can do. For the first time in my life, I was helpless. I remember standing outside the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for some time and a nurse approached to tell me that I am still wearing scrubs. I already forgot I was wearing them as I should have taken them off before going outside. I went back to my wife and was very happy to see her cousin because I feel that I have no strength anymore to carry on. It gave me enough time to settle everything with the hospital including the deposit, paperworks and to get necessities/clothes from home. I remember I was in tears while writing the form for my daughter’s birth certificate.

When I went home to get clothes and other necessities, I felt dizzy. So dizzy I vomited. Trying so hard not to faint as I know my wife and daughter needs me. I got back to the hospital and went to my wife’s room. Held her hand and kept telling her that everything is going to be okay, assuring her that the most important thing is that she is okay and I am here, no matter what. Together we will be strong. She needed to produce milk for our baby as it is vital for our baby. It is very difficult and challenging as it is still early but we never gave up, by her side she was able to lactate for our baby. She got back home after a few days and our baby still in the hospital. I gave her my full time attention and care to recover from the surgery as well as emotional stability.

Now the journey starts as a (nicu) parent. Everyday we visit our daughter during visiting hours and believe me, visiting hours only feels like minutes and everytime it’s over, it makes me tear a little bit that I cannot bring home my baby. It’s heartbreaking to see our little one with all the medical devices but I know it is for her to recover. Weeks passed by and our resources are depleting financially. We were told that our baby needs heart surgery. We transferred our baby to a different hospital as well due to limited resources. Hospital bills kept piling up and we were very thankful that a lot of family and friends helped our dear daughter. The doctor said that our daughter is ready for surgery and I remember that my mother in law was with us together with her friends from convent praying with us. Thank God the surgery was successful. However, due to pre maturity, our daughter had a lot of complications. We had to transfer again to another hospital as our resources were already gone. We were given a chance to be with our daughter despite her medical complications, we thought everything will be ok as the doctor said that she is recovering but she had septic shock and after a few days she became an angel.

After a year passed by, we came to see a doctor if we are ready to try to conceive again and my wife did a lot of medical tests, we found out she is in the borderline for Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome (APAS) which our immunologist said that we still need to make the appropriate treatments to take extra precaution when trying to conceive as well as when she becomes pregnant again.

Everyday I try to make my wife smile. Let her feel just a little more love she lost from our little one. I know my 200% will not make up for it but I will still do it because that’s what a warrior will do.

I felt I failed you as a father, a father who did everything but still lost you. I wish I could hold you, like other fathers can. Waiting, waiting for tomorrow and see you again, my beautiful angel, my soldier of God’s grace.

Callmebalot_Allyssa

Matthew 11:28-30

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

To Benedict and Angela, I know that no words can ever take away the pain but know that there are many people around you who love you and know what you are going through (especially our APAS support group) – in any case, I am just an e-mail away. Thank you for sharing your story.

To Baby Allyssa, we remember.

Help Me Understand Essential Oil Ingestion


Let’s have a healthy conversation.

I really don’t get the promotion of essential oil ingestion for daily use, i.e., a drop of peppermint/lemon in your water. What is the purpose of this? Can someone please enlighten me?

Is it a supposed to be a supplement? I hope not because oils do not contain vitamins>>. It’s not the same as putting fresh lemon slice in your afternoon tea!

So what exactly is in a lemon essential oil? Well, if you have the right supplier, they would have a GC/MS report, which would show you exactly what is in the bottle of essential oil you are holding.

A GC/MS report would show you all the constituents in your essential oil. Let me show you an example of the GC for a lemon essential oil –

Look. No ascorbic acid. No vitamins or minerals. Nothing.

But how is it therapeutic, you ask?

Because as seen above, lemon EO has d-limonene, among other constituents, that has been researched to have therapeutic properties. In this case, d-limonene is a volatile compound constituent which is known to give the lemon oil its analgesic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory properties (among others).

In most, if not all cases, we are told that essential oils are so concentrated so won’t taking them in water (which also makes them undiluted because oils and water don’t mix) be irritating to the mucous membranes of the stomach and potentially taxing to the liver if your body doesn’t really need it?

Am I missing something here?

Please enlighten me.

I really want to understand because I looove my oils but safety is not always discussed and it is very disconcerting for me.

News such as the one below from Tennessee Poison Center show that people should be more mindful of using these amazing, powerful substances.

“Contrary to what several essential oil companies recommend, the oils generally should not be swallowed, Power says. The body absorbs more this way, boosting the chance that they will interact with medications or cause an allergic or toxic reaction. Even continued exposure to small amounts (a few drops a day in a water bottle) can lead to fatigue and headaches. Taking in larger amounts of certain oils — like tea tree oil, wintergreen, and camphor — can lead to throat swelling, a racing heart, vomiting, and even seizures, says the Tennessee Poison Center, which saw the number of toxic essential oil exposures double from 2011 to 2015.”

Source: https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/news/20170809/essential-oils-natural-doesnt-mean-risk-free

I hope that one day admins of essential oil groups and business builders would have the heart to really study the oils so that they pass on accurate information to the thousands of people who follow them. For now, this is the only venue where I can voice out my concern.

Even certified aromatherapists who are not trained in pharmacokinetics cannot recommend EO ingestion because we just don’t know how these powerful substances affect the insides of our body, most especially in the long run.

So my question again is… WHY?

 

I Broke Up with Essential Oil Brand X and Here’s Why

Okay… so let me first start with this disclaimer: before you go into hatin’, hear me out first. I am a member of a lot of essential oil groups and posts such as these are almost always confronted with intimidation and spite. Despite knowing this, I am still pushing through this post because this just needs to be said as I journey towards my certification as an aromatherapist.

My journey with oils began in August 2017 with Brand X and I immediately fell in love with them. So in love that I now have close to 100 oils sitting on my oil shelf. For those who know me, you know that I always go all in or nothing at all. I started gathering everything that I can to educate myself about essential oils and read blogs, joined different Facebook groups, purchased books, attended some online classes – all sort of stuff.

As I continue using my oils, I also went on enriching my knowledge. Early last month, I launched Lana Lane, an online shop that sells blends. I had several reasons for doing so: (1) I wanted my friends who were not willing to buy a starter kit to just try if the oils work for them and their family; (2) I had sooo many oils I am not using (because you should only use very few drops in a blend based on the dilution guideline) and I hate to put them to waste; (3) I wanted to improve my blending skills and the only way to that is to find a reason to blend; and (4) earn back a little of the investment for these oils so I can buy more oils, LOL.

However, as I started selling, I realized that I may not be helping others at all.

A little maybe, but not quite. I became cautious that the blends may not work for them or are contraindicated if they have certain medical predispositions. This led to an insatiable yearning to know more.

Like not skin-level, Pinterest knowledge but really to know everything (hopefully) about the oils I am promoting. The only way is to take an aromatherapy certification.

The thought of having myself certified as an aromatherapist kept me awake for almost two weeks. While the recipes I have been using (from Pinterest or my oil groups) for my blends work, I just didn’t know how they work and that bothered me a lot. I am a marketing person, by profession, and knowing your product thoroughly is second nature to me. But gaawd, the certifications were expensive and I was hesitant because I know that I may not have the time and the energy to really study again. But my fate was sealed anyway – I will talk about my journey towards certification in another post – and here I am, now a student of Aromahead Institute of Aromatic Studies.

I have been into my course for over a month now and I can say that this is one of the best decisions I have made.

However, with every crossroad, there always needs to be a tradeoff. In this case, this is me giving up my membership.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my oils. But the non-compete clause in the Policies and Procedures of Brand X would hinder me to move forward my studies, and I quote:

3.12.3 NONCOMPETITION

If, during the term of the Agreement, you engage in a non-Brand X direct selling program, you will ensure that you operate your Brand X sales organization separately and apart from your non-Brand X program. To that end:

• You may not display Brand X promotional materials, sales aids, products, or services (“Promotional Materials”) with or in the same location as any non-Brand X Promotional Materials or in any manner or format that enables a viewer to contemporaneously view Brand X Promotional Material and non-Brand X Promotional Material. For example, you may not present Brand X Promotional Material and non-Brand X Promotional Material on or in the same website, blog, tweet, post, text, brochure, other printed marketing material, signage, electronic, or other communication.
• You may not offer Brand X programs, opportunities, products, or services to prospective or existing Brand X customers or Members in conjunction with any non-Brand X programs, opportunities, products, or services. You may not offer any non-Brand X programs, opportunities, products, or services at any Young Living-related meeting, seminar, convention, webinar, teleconference, or other event.

I know that in the course of my certification, I will learn and test and try of all brands of oils that I can get my hands on and if there will be a particular brand that I would like, I would not want this clause to hinder me from promoting it to my friends and families. I am leaning more towards non-direct selling companies (because of their pricing and test reports, but more on this later on) so I may actually be free of this policy but you’ll never know the interpretation of these conditions. As I said, I am a marketing person and worse, a banker/marketing person – I eat terms and conditions for breakfast, so just better be safe than sorry.

So I called on Brand X Customer Care to terminate my membership and they told me to just remain inactive for 12 months. I told them I did not want to do that because of the non-compete clause I mentioned above. Brand X Customer Care is amazing, by the way, so they directed me to their Resolutions Department and they issued me with the termination form that I needed to accomplish.

As of 09 November 2018, I had already submitted my termination form and am yet to receive a reply from them. I wish my old EO company the best of luck and I thank them, my uplines and the support group for introducing me to the wonderful world of oils.

In the meantime, you will hear from me here and there to still talk about these amazing, wonderful oils.

Yours in this oily journey,

 

“Terrible Two” is REAL!!!

OMG! Santi just punched me on the face.

I was gathering all my cool to not go into war with the kid and when I raised to a stern voice telling him that what he did was bad, he broke into a wailing and crying fit that didn’t want to end.

*patience, patience*

Well, hello working mom. This is what your son is up to now.

So just a little background of the scenario before the punching happened.

The kid was playing with his felt finger animals — these cuties below – when he started putting them on his mouth and chewing them.

I mildly told him not to do that because well, you shouldn’t eat your toys and they may be dirty. He still continued stuffing the duck in his mouth (oh heavens!), so I told him (I did not shout, I swear), “Santi, no.”

Apparently, the kid detests the word NO so he broke into his drama sobbing, which I did not mind. After a while, he continued playing with his other toys.

Around 10 minutes later, his dad picked him up and I went to them, told the kid to kiss mommy and there goes the sucker punch!

BOOM!

My tita, who takes care of Santi, told me that that is what he is into now. When you tell him no, he will find a way to retaliate. Maybe not now, but he will definitely come back at you!!!

Holy cow! This kid!!!! I sweaaar! Why??!WHY DID YOU HAVE TO INHERIT THIS GENE! LOL!

He didn’t want to sleep with us last night so he slept in his room with his Nanay.

This morning, it took him a while to make me pansin, but I just let him.

Though this got me thinking… hoooowww do you deal with this?

And this???? Howwww!!!! *silent cry*

I read all about positive reinforcement but hoooow, how do you not say no? I always talk to him after his tantrums even if he doesn’t seem to understand.

I sincerely pray that this gets better with time. And well, yeah… more patience for him, me and Tita as well.

How about you, mommies? Any helpful tips for this clueless mama?

xoxo