Archives for: April 2000, 09
I have been following the blood type way of life for just a few short months and feel amazing results. My blood type is B+. I have recently been experiencing a shortness of breath or more acuratly, I feel as though I cannot get a deep breath. After using stress relieving visualization and deep breathing I am able to regain my breath.
I do have a bit of a sinus infection that has been lingering and I was wondering if they are associated. Do you have any recommendations? Are there possibly any herbal remedies I should consider? ~ Jennifer
Hi Heidi, love the column. I have a thorny problem: I'm a type B (don't know secretor status) who's been suffering from horrible, chronic allergy problems and asthma that have progressively worsened since I turned 21 (21 years ago!). I've run the gamut of tests and treatments in those years, even had sinus surgery, and have also tried just about every diet "cure" I could find, including macrobiotic (imagine how well that went for me!), vegan, etc., etc.
This spring, I finally found my way to a homeopathic MD who recommends the BTD series of books, and I've been following the B diet pretty closely for about three months. Also, on her recommendation, using a homeopathic remedy (argentum nitricum) and several supplements -- reacted magnesium, "histaplex" (quercetin, bromelain, and something else), "lipistatin", and essential fatty acids (started out on EPO and a blend of DHA, GLA, and EPA, have JUST switched to fish body oils only).
Trouble is, after all this time, I'm seeing little to no improvement in the allergy/asthma condition. In the last couple of weeks, I've gotten discouraged by my constantly itchy, inflamed eyelids, heavy sinus congestion, and occasional asthma flare-ups, and I went to see her again yesterday for a checkup. She's surprised, too, that the allergy trouble hasn't gone away. So she switched the fatty acid supps, recommended regular (twice daily) use of the neti pot, and I went out and got some thyme/licorice tea. On the website, I see lots of stuff about allergies and sinusitis for Types A and O, but little for B. Have you seen this kind of thing before? Any advice? ~ Amy
These two questions arrived on the same day, and have interesting parallels. Jennifer found that her breathing difficulties responded to visualization, and now seeks herbal remedies to treat a lingering sinus infection. Amy has run a long course of dietary, herbal, surgical and homeopathic treatments, but is still working very hard to find effective means of combatting her persistent allergies, congestion and asthma.
I'll respond to these rather complex issues as briefly as possible (for me, that is... I'm brevity-challenged by nature, so grab a comfy chair and a cool drink! :-}).
First, a big pat on the back for you: type Bs are the most susceptible to sinus problems triggered by allergies, and can have the worst time eradicating them once they've settled in. I want you both to go look in the mirror and say, "I'm doing a GREAT job handling these difficulties, and I'm going to SUCCEED in getting rid of them!" :-D
Jennifer: check out that neti pot, it can make a big difference. Use warm water with just a bit of sea salt added. More below.
Amy: Jennifer's visualization and breathing techniques worked, meaning that stress played a major role in her health problems (sadly, that's true for the majority of people). Bs get such great results from visualization and meditation that I'd put these strategies at the very top of your list. I can't speak to the homeopathics you're taking, but I'm not a homeopath and it sounds like you have a knowledgeable and responsive practictioner.
You're both following the B diet, thereby greatly reducing your exposure to , that can be avoided or minimized while you're healing.
The concept here is not that any one element has "caused" your difficulties. Nor am I suggesting you'll end up living in a bubble so as to escape each and every possible one of these "causes." Your body will do the healing as soon as it feels there is no "state of emergency" it must respond to first.
Allergies and their results arise when your total stress load is greater than you personally, biologically, are capable of handling. They start resolving when you get the stress volume back down below the flood line.
If the 'load' is primarily dietary, the correct diet can work "miracles." If it is primarily environmental (constant exposure to powerful EMF fields, radioactivity, molds, poor water, poisons of all kinds -- a professional ship painter who lives near a power plant, for instance) then changing jobs and/or moving, generally clearing the personal environment can do the trick on their own. If long-term psychological stresses are involved -- and this can be the case even if we don't "feel stressed" -- then meditation, visualization, yoga, chanting, or any one of many other focused stress-relief practices may be all that is needed.
For most of us, it's some combination of these factors that leads to declining health. The best approach in every case is to cover all the bases. Did I mention exercise? Whoops! Bs can benefit substantially through an exercise program that is varied, offers some intellectual challenge, and can be done in a group and/or alone. Does martial arts come to mind? good! An occasional pick-up volleyball game, ocean swimming, figure skating, dancing. Pick and choose. You want to engage the muscles without leaving the mind behind -- it's that balance thing again. ;-)
Hans Selye's The Stress of Life is the classic work on the relationship between stored stresses in the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis and health problems of a startling variety. Well worth its cheap price at one of the online used-book sellers, especially if you're wondering how the heck I'm linking meditation with relief from sinusitis! And I can't leave out my ubiquitous plug for Meditation as Medicine by Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa and Cameron Stauth. Folks, this book is worth its weight in gold-pressed Latinum for most people, and probably more for Bs. I'll spare you the testimonials, and just say that it is science, narrative, revelation, discussion, technique instruction and love, all in one.
Couple of supplement notes:
Probiotics act to normalize your immune response, meaning they can crank it up or soothe it down as needed. Naturally, I'm going to suggest using the blood-type specific probiotics available on this site. Your gut is the center of your body's digestive and immune functions, so there's nothing HB'er than beneficial intestinal critters!! If you only could take one supp, it should be this one.
To avert bacterial sinusitis, and especially if it has already progressed to that stage, use elderberry concentrate or Proberry 3 (also available on this site).
Turmeric and quercetin are both excellent anti-inflammatories, and have no known overdose. Amy, perhaps you'd benefit by taking Q at a higher dosage than what's in your combo compound.
Finally, there are specific protocols and advice for Bs with sinusitis and allergies in the BTD Complete Blood Type Encyclopedia.
Well, that's me being brief -- not by the length of what I've written, but by how long it MIGHT have been, you see. :->
Jennifer and Amy, thank you for writing, and please let me know your progress!