Did you know that allergy symptoms indicate that your immune system has become so confused that it is behaving inappropriately?
The key to healing allergies is to decrease the load on your immune system so that it’s not overwhelmed and can function normally…and tolerate pollen and grass and dust and pets and foods!
What are allergies?
- Allergies are overreactions of the immune system, a complex interconnected network of white blood cells (WBCs) and mucus membranes (MMs) throughout the body.
- Allergy is the cumulative effect of many assaults on the body that, over time, have overwhelmed the body’s protective mechanisms. While dust or pollen may appear to be “the cause” of your runny nose, in reality it is only the trigger that activates the symptoms in an already compromised immune system.
What causes allergies?
In other words, what factors can overwhelm a normally functioning immune system?
- Food allergies and sensitivities can happen when the intestinal lining becomes “leaky”. Incompletely digested proteins leak through the normally impermeable intestinal MM and enter the bloodstream, where the body’s immune system recognizes them as foreign antigens and produces antibodies to them. The resulting antigen-antibody complexes circulate in the bloodstream, migrating to various tissues in the body, producing symptoms of allergy.
- Environmental toxins including air pollutants, household chemicals, pesticides, and solvents are significantly involved in the development of allergies.
How Can You Heal Allergies?
Decrease the load on your immune system by:
- getting an air & water filter for your home/office
- growing your own fresh air with plants
- using non-toxic cleaning and personal care products
- upgrading your furnace filter to an allergy related HEPA filter system
- removing carpeting
- detoxing during allergy season: do a medically supervised, individualized cleansing program
Identify & Eliminate Immune Reactions to Foods: Take a blood test for both IgE & IgG antibodies to 100 different foods.
- IgE reactions occur immediately following exposure (after priming on initial exposure), and will show up on a skin prick test.
- IgG reactions are delayed and can occur hours to days after food is consumed, which makes it difficult to identify trigger food without blood testing.
- Remove any foods your blood makes antibodies to from your diet until reactions have cleared.
- Take nutrients that heal the intestinal lining, along with those that help calm a hypersensitive immune system (see below).
- Increase variety in your diet.
Increase your immune system’s tolerance with:
- Probiotics: recent research confirms how important our gut microbiome is in the development of allergy. *
- Bioflavonoids such as quercitin stabilize immune cells to prevent them from releasing histamine, the chemical that produces allergy symptoms.
- Vitamin C has an anti-histamine effect, and reduces the severity and occurrence of allergic reactions.
- Fish oil with plant sterols inhibits the release of histamine and controls allergies.
- Stinging Nettles is effective for upper respiratory allergic symptoms.
- Eyebright is useful for itchy, watery eyes and nose.
* consult a licensed natural health care provider to choose the formula that’s right for you.
Choose Foods to Impact Allergies:
- Avoid foods that you react to.
- Rotate the foods you eat; eating the same foods every day overwhelms the immune system.
- Eat apples, cayenne, onions and garlic liberally, as they are high in quercetin.
- Drink at least 8-10 glasses or 2-3 liters of pure filtered water because it controls histamine production.
- Remove sugar from your diet, as it suppresses immune function.
- Ditch processed foods, which have been shown to increase the risk of allergies. Focus on whole foods, that have no list of ingredients.
- Avoid dairy as it can increase mucus and congestion.
- Eat fish like wild Pacific salmon for their omega 3 fats that help modulate the immune response and lower histamine levels.
- Local honey has been shown to decrease allergy symptoms and the need for medications.
Many of my patients have kicked their allergy symptoms for good with our acupuncture treatments. In fact, a recent study published in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine found that acupuncture reduced hay fever symptoms in all 26 of the patients treated, without any adverse effects.
Would you be interested in attending a food allergy & sensitivity seminar? Leave a comment below.