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Stealthy Allergen and Vagus Nerve

From eNewsletter 8/21/2023

DID YOU KNOW that it's not enough that ticks can cause Lyme disease, but can also cause an allergy that is becoming more prominent in the US?

Alpha-gal syndrome (AGS) is also known as the red meat allergy or the tick bite meat allergy. People can get AGS after being bitten by a lone star tick, making them very sensitive to a sugar found in red meat and dairy products.

The CDC says most healthcare providers have no idea what AGS is. Similar to other allergic reactions, symptoms include hives, nausea, heartburn, indigestion, diarrhea, shortness of breath, a drop in blood pressure, and swelling of the lips, throat, tongue, or eyelids. Symptoms usually show up 2 to 6 hours after eating food containing alpha-gal.

There is a diagnostic test for AGS. If you have been bitten by a lone star tick, you have periodic allergic symptoms, and you tested negatively for the 9 true food allergens, you may consider getting an AGS test.


Services Update

Steve Minsky MS, HWC

As a Health and Wellness Counselor, Steve analyzes and offer solutions to optimize human functioning not only with food, but every aspect of your lifestyle, whether for prevention or healing. More info on Steve's services.

Text Us If It Is Convenient at (847) 497-0902

Text is quickest way to get communicate with us. Type (847) 497-0902. Questions for Bonnie do not apply.

Pet Wellness

Our dietary supplement line for dogs and cats, ThorneVet, has an impeccable reputation among veterinarians. Carolyn Martinelli "Coach Care" can answer your questions about ThorneVet pet supplements at Please leave detailed contact information as well as the name, age, sex, breed, and/or health issue(s) and med(s) of your pet so Carolyn can respond accordingly. To order from our wellness shop, please visit here (for prices, enter the Guest Area password: discount2018).

Online Gift Cards

Giving the gift of wellness has never been easier. Order your gift cards here.

Upcoming Wellness Screenings

Food Intolerance Blood Draw

Options to set up a Biotrition food intolerance test blood draw. By appointment only:

  1. One Saturday per month at Biotrition in Glenview - next date September 9th

  2. M-FRI 9AM-3PM at NICL Labs in Northbrook

Text, email, or call us to set up your appointment.

Infection Section


Year-round infection is the new normal. We are exposed to many endemic viruses including SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), influenza (flu), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), norovirus (stomach flu), adenovirus (common cold), monkeypox, and four other coronaviruses (common cold), among others. Support your immune system with our Free Prevent and Fight Viruses 2.0 Protocol here.

Have a happy, healthy day! Steve and Bonnie Minsky

In Today's Issue

  • Paid Member Content

  • WC Feature: Sleep Update

  • Food Focus: Dietary Nitrate: Jekyll and Hyde

  • Mythbuster: Why Chocolate Is So Irresistible

  • Green Lifestyle: Outdoor Play

  • FoodQ: Vitamin K

  • Wild Card: Psychostimulants

  • eInspire: Charles Kettering

  • Action Plan of the Month: School-Age Child, Optimized

  • Free Member Content

  • Did You Know?

  • Vagus Nerve Dysfunction

  • August 20% OFF Sale Items

  • Pure Genomics

  • Watch: Intestinal Balance

  • Loyalty Program

  • Well Connect Member Benefits

*To get past the Guest Area paywall use password: discount2018

Vagus Nerve Dysfunction

Steve: According to a study in Mitochondrion, pain and safety signaling are mostly transmitted via the vagus nerve. The fact that the vagus nerve is the largest nerve in the body and that a large part of its function is dedicated to sensing and responding to pain have led to it being called the “great wandering protector” or in cases of vagal dysfunction, the "great pain producer". This is why, recently, so much emphasis has been placed on regulating vagal nerve function in pain disorders (see the image above).

If you suspect that your vagus nerve is sluggish, here are a list of treatments that can be health professional-led or performed on your own.

Non-Invasive Nerve Stimulation Techniques

  • Acupressure

  • Mobile Application (listening app called Sensate)

  • Cold Water Therapy - researchers reporting in Current Psychology note cold exposure triggers this type of beneficial stress by activating the vagus nerve. You can do this by drinking a cold glass of water, putting cold packs on your cheeks, and ending your shower with a blast of cold water.

  • Diaphragmatic Breathing

  • Electrotherapy Stimulation

  • Humming - research in Cureus found humming for 15 minutes enhanced measurements of vagus nerve function significantly in just one day.

  • *nVNS (non-invasive Vagus Nerve Stimulation Device) - I have found nVNS to be the most effective for acute or chronic disease. The device I like the most is GammaCore.

  • Yoga

Invasive Nerve Stimulation Techniques

  • Acupuncture

  • Transcutaneous Vagus Nerve Stimulation - a study in Journal of Affective Disorders found this technique to be effective for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).


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