Eczema & Psoriasis
Skin conditions can range from a mild irritation to a debilitating issue that affects quality of life and plays into the dynamics of each person's life differently. .
Dysfunction of the skin, regardless of the issue, is usually significant of deeper health concerns and is rarely just a superficial issue. Our skin remains our largest organ (surface area wise) of detoxification and is greatly affected by the health of our digestive, hormonal and immune systems, as well as the functioning of our liver, kidneys, colon and lungs.
Treating skin disorders may involve addressing the symptoms at the onset to improve quality of life, but always focuses on identifying the root cause for the skin issue, which in many individuals is multi-factorial. A common approach to healing the skin begins with addressing gut and immune function.
Natural therapies that address the deeper reason for skin disorders give us a good shot at long term improvement and possible resolution of conditions that are chronic and poorly respond to conventional treatment, whether from a hypersensitivity cause (as in many eczema causes) or an autoimmune or genetic cause (as in psoriasis).
On a Personal Note:
I have suffered from chronic eczema since infancy, with flares that severely affected my quality of life. I was often told it was just something I had to live with after rounds of various drugs that were expensive and never gave me lasting relief. It is the reason I found naturopathic medicine years and years ago, and is a driving force behind my passion for helping others with their skin conditions.
How Can Naturopathic Medicine Help Me?
Discover and address any deeper causes for skin dysfunction, which often has the added benefit of improving health overall
Seek to understand your unique triggers for skin flares and treat accordingly
Give you more control over your skin health
Help you make educated decisions about treating your skin condition
Treating you in the context of your life and addressing the way it affects you personally
Autoimmunity can be a scary diagnosis and you may feel like you have very little control over your health at this point. You also may feel a disconnect with your body and have lost faith in its ability to heal. We want to give you that control back by teaching you how to treat the root cause of your autoimmune conditions and how to manage your symptoms from a natural perspective. Most importantly, we want you to become empowered within your health care journey and help you get back in touch with your body's capacity to heal itself.
In an allergic reaction, the body becomes intolerant of the external environment. In autoimmunity, the immune system is involved in targeting tissue that displays the self-antigens, and the result can be devastating to an individual’s health. Autoimmunity may present differently in the individual and target different organs; Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Scleroderma, and Type 1 Diabetes are a few of the autoimmune presentations.
Research has begun to discuss the possibility to autoimmune processes playing a role in the development of neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer's Disease.
The exact origin of autoimmune conditions is not well understood. There are many theories about what plays a role in autoimmunity, but the likely reality is that many factors come together to make an individual susceptible to an autoimmune condition. Most forms of disease come from one of two root causes: Exposure or Infection, both of which can incite a powerful immune response. Our body's reaction to exposures (through food, water, air, topical applications, etc) and/or infections (bacterial, viral, fungal, etc) depends on our current state of health and the stress our cells are already experiencing. Nutritional deficits and sub-optimal dietary habits, mental/emotional stressors, poor sleep habits, changes to liver and kidney function, poor digestive health and leaky gut tendencies can all create stress within our body and impede its ability to heal from exposures and infections. Our genetic differences also come into play here, as many autoimmune conditions show up in families.
Autoimmune conditions most commonly affect females, up to 78% of autoimmune sufferers are women. Hormone disruption or stress to endocrine organs may play a role in the development of autoimmunity. Some women will be diagnosed with an autoimmune conditions postpartum or during peri to post menopause and some may see a resolution of previous autoimmune symptoms during pregnancy only to experience recurrence postpartum.
Autoimmunity rates in North America are rising.. Those who develop autoimmune conditions have a baseline hypersensitivity to their surrounding environment, and what may not affect the average person could result in an exaggerated response in an autoimmune sufferer.
Pharmaceuticals used to treat autoimmunity, such as Humira, Methotrexate and Prednisone, are effective at undercutting inflammatory pathways by blocking key mediators likes TNF alpha or IL1 beta. These drugs are powerful agents that carry a laundry list of serious side effects.
Treating autoimmunity from the inside out involves healing the body from square one; this begins at the gut. While using natural agents to quell inflammation and pain for symptomatic relief, we will:
Remove inflammatory triggers from your lifestyle
Support the body in overcoming a root cause of chronic inflammation; i.e. from Exposures or Infections
Heal and rebuild the gut lining and flora of the gastrointestinal tract.
Support digestion and absorption.
Maximize cellular nutrition.
Modify the immune response; re-educate your immunity & support regulatory immune function.
Help you get back in touch with your body's natural healing ability
The goal of natural therapy is to remove obstacles to heal, let the body do its healing with a little encouragement, learn about which triggers you have and how to reintroduce them into your life (and/or remove them for good) and then live symptom-free and drug-free for life.
Seasonal Allergies / Hayfever / Welts
Seasonal allergies, asthma, hayfever and histamine related conditions (shortened to AAHH) may seem a somewhat trivial, though tedious, condition, but the reality is that living with these diseases can be devastating for those who suffer from them. Canada is home to many allergy sufferers and asthmatics and research is showing that the proportion of individuals with these conditions is only growing.
Scratchy mouths and throats, runny noses, congested sinuses, headaches, itchy raised bumps on the skin, rashes and trouble breathing are some of the common and highly frustrating symptoms that can interfere with productivity, sleep and overall quality of life in those who experience them. Symptoms may last for months at a time and occur multiple times a year, or become a constant aggravation.
Over the counter or prescribed medication is used by many to quash AAHH symptoms, and may be necessary in life-threatening situations. Medications, such as antihistamines or steroids, modify the immune response and decrease inflammation, thus suppressing symptoms. They do not however, treat the root of immune dysfunction and may cause side effects of their own.
Often considered an environmental disease, triggers for individuals with AAHH conditions range from pollens, grasses, smog, fabric materials, foods, smoke, stress, moulds, dust, animals, temperature changes and more. As our climate changes in the Canadian north, growing seasons, humidity and vegetation species shift. Those living near urban centers are plagued with constant exposure to vehicle exhaust and industry pollution. Asthmatics and those who suffer from other respiratory conditions are at risk for a shorter lifespan due to the severity of lung compromise over time.
3 factors determine the severity of environmental disease:
Amount of allergen (i.e. excessive pollen release with longer growing seasons)
Length of time exposed to the allergen
With naturopathic medicine, Dr. Roberts seeks to modify an individual's sensitivity with personalized treatment plans and works to decrease the amount of allergen & length of exposure to the allergen by identifying each individual’s triggers and either removing or limiting them in the individual’s environment.
Treatment for AAHH conditions will involve:
Possible testing for allergic antigens / antibodies, genetic profile, food sensitivities, biochemical pathway disturbances and more
Lifestyle changes to your routine and possibly to your living spaces
Supplementation protocols to modify your immune response
Immunotherapy techniques to modify your immune response
Co-management with your prescribing medical doctor for severe conditions
Referrals for further immune modification or other health care if necessary
If you want to treat the root cause of your AAHH conditions and move towards a life free of AAHH symptoms and stress with a natural approach to medicine, book in with Dr. Roberts.