Do You Have Allergies?

Allergies are irritating, but they can be managed, especially if you stick to an Active Wellness lifestyle. An allergy is when your immune system reacts to a foreign substance, called an allergen. It could be something you eat, inhale into your lungs, inject into your body or touch. Allergens can cause coughing, sneezing, hives, rashes, itchy eyes, a runny nose and a scratchy throat. Although there is no cure for allergies, you can manage them with prevention and treatment.

More than 50 million Americans experience various types of allergies each year.1 That’s why it’s important to know what you are allergic to and avoid those allergens as much as possible. Some allergens are easier to avoid than others—the main sources of allergens are drugs, food, insects, latex, mold, pets and pollen.2

Many people suffer from allergies but don’t know the causes. Because many allergies are irritants but not life-threatening, it’s common practice to take any number of over-the-counter allergy medications. If the medication helps stop the symptoms, then people simply keep taking them without knowing the root cause. The most common side effect to taking allergy medications is sleepiness, so over the years, new formulas have popped up that are “non-drowsy.” Most commonly used are antihistamines, cortisone ointments, decongestants and epinephrine—people with severe allergies carry “epi-pens” so they can self-inject epinephrine to counteract serious allergic reactions.

An Active Wellness lifestyle may not be able to get rid of your allergies; however, being healthy can certainly bolster your overall immune system to help you cope with them. For example, with seasonal allergies from pollen or certain trees, sometimes the allergic reactions disappear. Whether this is your body’s way of adapting over the years or the result of healthy living can’t be proven, but it certainly might be helpful.

There are treatments without using medications. For example, people with airborne allergies may choose to wash out their noses daily with a nasal saline solution, plain water or by using a Neti pot. Others may choose to diffuse natural scents to help the nasal passages open.

With food allergies, avoiding the primary offenders generally takes care of any issues. The most common food allergies are to milk, egg, peanut, tree nut, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish.3 Food allergies are different from food intolerances. For example, you can be lactose-intolerant but not allergic to lactose—food intolerance does not involve the immune system. To determine any possible food allergies, track what you eat, when symptoms occur, and what seems to be helpful.

Insects that may cause allergies are generally divided into three groups: stinging, biting, and non-stinging/biting. Stinging insects such as bees, wasps, hornets and fire ants inject a toxic venom when they sting. Biting insects such as mosquitoes, bedbugs, fleas and certain flies may cause itchiness, swelling, rashes and/or pain.

One particularly unusual development that may result from a Lone Star tick bite is becoming allergic to meat. This is because a tick transfers alpha-gal, a sugar, into the person’s bloodstream. When the person’s immune system reacts to it, the meat allergy develops because alpha-gal is also found in beef, lamb and pork.4

Your indoor environment plays an important role in keeping allergens away. Dust mites and pet dander are common offenders that can be filtered out with a good air purifier. There are still a few days left in May to take advantage of the outstanding promotion for the KenkoAir Purifier® and get 30% off the regular price! Tell your friends about it and share the benefits with your family! To breathe is to live!

1, 2 https://www.aafa.org/allergy-facts

3 https://www.aafa.org/prevent-allergies/

4 https://www.aafa.org/insect-allergy/

How Do You Feel When You Breathe?

To breathe is to live! We take breathing for granted, but there are people who have trouble breathing. People with asthma sometimes have trouble catching their breath. Why does this happen? The good news is that there are ways to mitigate asthma.

People with asthma may be sensitive to things which may not bother other people. These things are known as “triggers.” Asthma causes swelling of the airways. This results in narrowing of the airways that carry air from the nose and mouth to the lungs. Allergens or irritating things entering the lungs trigger asthma symptoms, which may include trouble breathing, wheezing, coughing and tightness in the chest.

Asthma triggers vary from person to person. Some people react to only a few while others react to many. Most commonly, triggers come in the form of dust mites, pollen, molds, pet dander, smoke from cigarettes, smog, wood fires, charcoal grills, fumes and vapors from paint, gasoline, perfumes, deodorizers, dust, floating particles in the air and any number of chemicals.1

There is no cure for asthma, but it can be managed with medications, preventative measures and a healthy Active Wellness lifestyle. The key is to learn from past asthmatic episodes and to track them. In other words, if you know your asthma triggers, you can try to avoid them as much as possible, which will lower the risk of an attack.2 Some questions to help track triggers are:

  • Was I making a bed or vacuuming?
  • Was I near an animal?
  • Was I near someone who was smoking a cigarette?
  • Was I exercising vigorously?
  • Was I extremely upset or happy?
  • Was I exhausted?

You can see from the questions which triggers they represent. You then can acknowledge whether or not you’re triggered by dust, pet dander, smoke, exercise, extreme emotions, or fatigue. There are other triggers, but these are just examples of things to pay attention to.

People may feel asthma symptoms come on gradually. For example, warning signs include coughing, chest tightness and/or a feeling of tiredness unlike the usual fatigue. These symptoms occur as the lungs are narrowing slowly. People may also not even notice anything unusual before the airways are uncomfortably blocked. Experience will help determine whether or not an asthma attack is about to happen.

Just to be on the safe side, you can work on reducing the usage of chemical detergents and artificial deodorizers in the home. You can also get rid of old carpeting, vacuum often, and keep pet hair cleaned up as much as possible. Perhaps the one most important thing to do is to use an air purifier.

Since asthma is one of America’s most common and costly illnesses, using a good air purifier is a good preventative measure to help even the healthiest of us breathe clean air. Why not take advantage of the outstanding May promotion for the KenkoAir Purifier® and get 30% off the regular price? Your lungs will appreciate it!

1 https://www.aafa.org/asthma.aspx

2 https://www.aafa.org/asthma-prevention/

Women’s Health: Stay Strong and Healthy

National Women’s Health Week starts on Mother’s Day annually. This year it started on May 9 and continues through May 16, 2021. This yearly observance is led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health. The goal is to empower women to make their health a priority and to provide steps to take to improve their health.

The basics of women’s health are the same as those for men—eat healthy foods, get adequate amounts of exercise for your age and current state of health, get plenty of restful sleep, refrain from smoking and only drink alcohol in moderation. Nevertheless, there are certain aspects of Active Wellness that are specific to women.

Women have some unique nutritional needs, for example, needing more of certain vitamins and minerals during pregnancy or after menopause. Calcium, iron and folic acid are particularly important for women from puberty onward.1 Since women’s bones are more prone to becoming brittle, especially in their senior years, consuming enough calcium and retaining it in the body is an important aspect of women’s health starting from youth—this helps create healthful eating habits early on.

Lactose is the natural sugar found in milk and foods made with milk. Between 30 million and 50 million Americans are lactose-intolerant, meaning have trouble digesting foods with lactose in them.2 Although this is common, lactose intolerance raises a woman’s risk of health issues related to osteoporosis. Women who are lactose intolerant should take special care to obtain enough non-dairy calcium in their diets or through supplementation.

Women are more prone to iron deficiency, the cause of anemia.3 Like eating calcium-rich foods to maintain healthy bones for a lifetime, eating iron-rich foods supports Active Wellness. Taking iron supplements may be helpful but may have the undesired side effects of constipation.

On average, adult women need between 1,600 and 2,400 calories a day.4 Women who are more physically active may need more calories than those who are more sedentary, as muscles hasten metabolism. The basis of how many calories you personally can consume without weight gain depends on your age, height, current weight, and activity level.

Pregnant women require different nutritional needs than during other stages of their lives. For most normal-weight pregnant women, the estimated number of calories needed is about 1,800 calories per day during the first trimester, about 2,200 calories per day during the second trimester and about 2,400 calories per day during the third trimester.5 Pregnant women should also drink plenty of fluids, avoid drinks with caffeine and sugar, and take a prenatal vitamin.

An additional 450 to 500 calories per day is recommended for well-nourished breastfeeding mothers, compared with the amount they were consuming before pregnancy. The number of additional calories needed for an individual breastfeeding woman is also affected by her age, body mass index, activity level, and extent of breastfeeding (exclusively breastfeeding versus breastfeeding and formula feeding).6

Although Women’s Health Week ends on May 16, all of May is Asthma and Allergy Awareness month. Why not take advantage of the outstanding May promotion for the KenkoAir Purifier® and get 30% off the regular price? Take a deep breath and embrace your inner power—now is the best time to get healthier and stronger!

1, 3, 4  https://www.womenshealth.gov/healthy-eating/healthy-eating-and-women#6

2 https://www.womenshealth.gov/healthy-eating/food-allergies-and-sensitivities/lactose-intolerance

5 https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000584.htm

6 https://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/breastfeeding-special-circumstances/diet-and-micronutrients/maternal-diet.html#:~:text=An%20additional%20450%20to%20500,per%20day%20for%20moderately%20active

Mothers Are Special and Science Proves It

Mother’s Day in North America lands on May 9th this year, and other than honoring moms (which should be done every day of the year) we may reflect upon how motherhood changes women. There is actually a burgeoning science behind mothers’ health as differentiated from those who have not given birth.

As with everything in life, there’s an upside and a downside. Fortunately, motherhood appears to confer many striking pluses, a reward for all those labor pains and beyond!

• According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), women who have children are less likely to develop breast cancer. Being pregnant apparently reduces exposure to certain hormones that are linked to breast cancer—a direct result of not menstruating during pregnancy.

• The risk for breast cancer is further reduced if the mother breastfeeds, as the process the breast cells go through to produce milk, may prevent them from becoming cancerous.1

• A large 2009 study2 showed that mothers who breastfed for at least 12 months in their lifetime had a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes than those who had never breastfed.

• The hippocampus, a part of the brain responsible for spatial memory and learning, actually increases in size during pregnancy and motherhood. This led Canadian researchers to believe that the mother’s brain might actually grow with each child.3

• An Australian study, conducted in 2012 in a small rural town over more than 16 years, showed that despite a mild increase in the risk of being overweight, having diabetes or hypertension, mothers still had longer lifespans. Those with more than four children had an even lower risk of death—these effects are not fully understood but other studies in Israel and Norway showed similar results! 4

Do you know any mother who doesn’t worry about her children or how the environment affects them? Ironically, the World Health Organization (WHO) has isolated a specific environmental risk that puts mothers and other women most at risk: exposure to household air pollution. This is particularly true for women in low- and middle-income countries—the result of using polluting fuels for cooking, heating and lighting.5 The truth is that even in high-income nations, indoor air pollution is a challenge, resulting not from fuel usage but from mold, mildew, dander, air conditioning, central heating and chemical detergents and artificial deodorizers.

Air pollution affects women more than men. Chronic health conditions such as high blood pressure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and asthma are more common in women over 50 compared to men in the same age group—these conditions are directly related to breathing in polluted air. Fine particles and ozone are recognized as the most harmful air pollutants.6

To exercise caution, never use outdoor products indoors, including pesticides and cleaning agents, in the form of powders, gels, liquids, or sprays—powerful chemicals used in the garden or outside the house to clean surfaces and kill pests. After using these products, always wash your hands and any other parts of your body or clothing that might have been exposed to them.

May is not only the month we honor mothers. It’s also Asthma and Allergy Awareness month. Why not take advantage of the outstanding May promotion for the KenkoAir Purifier® and get 30% off the regular price? Why not celebrate mom with the gift of clean air and Active Wellness?  

1,2,3,4  https://www.healthline.com/health-news/motherhood-the-good-bad-and-weird-050914#:~:text=The%20study%20showed%20that%2C%20despite,had%20more%20than%20four%20children

5 https://www.who.int/life-course/news/household-air-pollution/en/

6 https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-08/documents/weh_english_100-f-07-028_v2.pdf

Keep Your Water and Air Clean with Filtration

Clean air and potable water are crucial for Active Wellness. Depending on where we live, clean air and potable water can be valuable commodities rather than the norm. Even where outside air is relatively breathable and water is potable out of faucets, we all run the risk of breathing indoor air that is polluted with chemical odors, dust and dander or ingesting microscopic plastics, pathogens and a wide range of bacteria from water that is considered drinkable. This is why it’s so important to use water and air filtration units.

Nikken offers high-quality HEPA air filtration with the KenkoAir Purifier®. It’s portable and exceptionally quiet. The KenkoAir Purifier® exceeds the measured efficiency of capturing up to 99.97% of 0.3 micron particles in the air. It’s Energy Star qualified, which means it’s 35% more efficient than standard models and saves a minimum of 215 kilowatt-hours per year. Unlike typical air filters, this advanced system helps generate negative-ions similar to those found in natural environments. In addition to replaceable filters, its pre-filter is re-usable to further reduce its carbon footprint.

The state-of-the-art PiMag® Waterfall and the portable eco-bottle known as the PiMag® Sport Bottle provide unparalleled water filtration and alkalization.

•The PiMag Waterfall is designed to produce water with added minerals, in a pH range of 8.5-9.5. Ionized water decreases oxidation-reduction potential. A high ORP contributes to unwanted oxidative decomposition. Ionized PiMag water from the Waterfall can help offset the oxidizing effect of many elements of the modern diet and environment. This can actually help slow down cellular destruction.

•The PiMag Sport Bottle is the only water bottle that combines three technologies: nano-fiber filtration, alkalization and declustering. The patented nano-fiber filtration technology was originally developed for NASA and dramatically increases the filter’s ability to reduce potential contaminants from drinking water, now including pathogens and micro-plastics. The patented filter with alkalizing media increases the pH from 7 to 8.5, representing a 15 to 25 fold increase in pH value, going from an acidic to an alkaline range. 

You can even benefit when you shower, if you use the PiMag MicroJet®. It uses a reduction/oxidation process to neutralize chlorine ions and injects air into the shower stream to increase the electronegative potential of the water for more effective filtration. This shower filtration system has been tested according to NSF/ANSI 177 for reduction of free chlorine.

A great way to start a new year is by committing to Active Wellness. A great way is to take advantage of the Nikken replacement filter sale!   This year, the Nikken Replacement Filter Sale is effective January 15 through February 28, 2021. Save 20% off select filter replacements, and there’s no limit to how many you can purchase.

What Kind of Air Are You Breathing?

Poor indoor air quality can cause or contribute to many respiratory problems. Unfortunately, airborne contaminants are rampant and most people are not aware that indoor air quality often is even worse than polluted outdoor air.

Here are some of the things that can cause indoor air to be bad to inhale: asbestos, bacteria and viruses, building and paint products, carbon monoxide, odors from carpeting and flooring, cleaning supplies and household chemicals, dust mites and pet dander, mold and mildew, radon, secondhand smoke, volatile organic compounds and insect debris. Ironically, because air freshener is scented, it actually can be a culprit for respiratory distress—artificial fragrances are a major cause of serious health problems, especially for people with lung diseases such as asthma or COPD.1

There are simple precautions you can take to maintain indoor air quality:

  • Do not allow anyone to smoke indoors.
  • Make sure there are no leaks or standing water, for example, in the kitchen, basement or attic.
  • Keep fuel-burning appliances fully vented to the outdoors and serviced regularly for proper functioning. These include gas stoves, water heaters and fireplaces.
  • Store household chemicals, paints or solvents in closed compartments.
  • Keep garbage covered before its removal.
  • Select unscented or naturally scented personal care products.
  • Keep pesticides and herbicides securely sealed.

Even people who live an Active Wellness lifestyle can experience negative health impacts from breathing polluted indoor air. Symptoms can be as mild as respiratory irritation (sneezing, sniffling) to serious ones that may cause asthma, bronchitis, emphysema and COPD.2

Schoolgirl with medicine mask on face, in classroom, against: virus, ill, epidemic, plague, fluSome symptoms may not pertain to the respiratory system but can still be the result of breathing bad air. These include dry throat, headache, nausea, reduced resistance to infections, fatigue and even weakened athletic performance.3 When resistance to infections occurs, most people may experience cold-like or flu-like symptoms that can result in more severe respiratory complications.4

To breathe is to live. Breathing clean air is necessary to have an Active Wellness life. The KenkoAir Purifier® (KAP) is such an easy solution with multiple-stage HEPA filtration. Energy Star qualified, KAP is 35% more efficient than standard models and saves a minimum of 215 kilowatt hours per year. Using only 55 watts to cover 313 sq. ft., its carbon footprint is further decreased with a reusable prefilter and replaceable outer filters. Its advanced system helps to generate negative ions, replicating those in Nature, and it operates ozone-free and is therefore non-toxic. Made with recyclable plastics, KAP supports respiratory health and the health of planet Earth.

 

 

1 https://www.lung.ca/lung-health/air-quality/indoor-air-quality/carbon-monoxide

2, 3http://www.sparetheair.com/health.cfm

4https://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/public+content/sa+health+internet/health+topics/health+conditions+prevention+and+treatment/infectious+diseases/viral+respiratory+infections/viral+respiratory+infections+including+symptoms%2C+treatment+and+prevention