Natural Remedies for Food & Environmental Allergies – Learn how to cut your allergy symptoms by addressing the root cause.
It’s that time of year again; spring is here. Nature is waking up, flowers are budding and we are excited to get outside to enjoy the warmer weather. Unfortunately, along with warmer weather comes pollen, and that means allergies for many people. Due to the long winter experts predict that this spring will be a very intense allergy season. The cold temperatures of the prolonged winter may have delayed the blooming of trees, and now that it’s finally warming up, trees are expected to bloom at the same time as grasses, causing a dramatic rise in pollen.
Why do you have allergies?
Officially conventional medicine does not know what causes allergies. Your body is attacking a foreign substance (in this case, pollen) that normally should not stimulate an allergic reaction. The good news is that the latest research is giving us a clue about what could be the underlying issue in seasonal and food allergies. Studies are showing that probiotics can reduce allergic symptoms such as a runny nose. How can the bacteria in our gut affect something so far away? The answer is your immune system! Most people don’t realize that the majority of your immune cells surround your digestive system. The bacteria in your intestine have a powerful influence in keeping the immune system optimal. Probiotics play a critical role in balancing your immune system and preventing over activation to harmless particles like pollen while staying on guard against invading microbes.
Food sensitivities related to seasonal allergies?
If you eat foods that promote inflammation and activate your immune system at the level of the digestive tract then the same immune cells can be turned on in the nose and sinuses causing symptoms of allergies. Most people don’t realize that your mouth, nose, stomach and intestine are all connected. This means that what happens in your gut can have direct effects throughout the whole tract. In order to eliminate seasonal allergies at the root cause, you must also identify and remove foods sensitivities. This can be done with a food allergy test or elimination diet. The most common food sensitivities include dairy, wheat, soy, corn, and eggs, which also happen to be used the most in processed foods.
Unfortunately medication such as anti-histamines and immune suppression steroids don’t address the root cause of allergies. While a person may experience symptomatic relief for a while they eventually build up a tolerance where they need higher and higher doses to get the same relief. The other issue with repeatedly using steroids to manage symptoms is that they suppress inflammation but don’t eliminate its source. This can lead to other allergic conditions such as asthma that are a result of that suppressed inflammation surfacing somewhere else. There is a clear need for a new and improved approach to allergy treatment.
Natural Strategies to curb your allergies
Quercetin is natural mast cell (produces allergy causing symptoms) stabilizer and is effective in reducing acute allergy symptoms of allergies and asthma. The advantage of this plant extract over standard anti-histamines is that it does not have unwanted side effects and the body does not develop a tolerance. Additionally it also has a number of other beneficial effects including healing the intestinal lining and stimulating cellular energy.
Probiotics address the root cause of allergies by balancing the intestinal environment with good bacteria. These beneficial bugs suppress the bad (pathogenic) bacteria that set up shop after antibiotic use and promote a balanced immune response. Look for a multi-strain product that contains at least 10 billion live bacteria a dose.
Vitamin D is another essential factor in immune system tolerance. Adequate vitamin D levels ensure our immune system is not over-reactive to harmless molecules or even to ourselves (auto-immunity). The only way to find out if you are deficient is to get tested. A $100 investment could be the best thing for the prevention of many diseases including allergies.
Herbal extracts such as rosemary and butterbur have been studied to reduce allergy symptom via their anti-inflammatory effects. They offer powerful and safe solutions to the vicious cycle to inflammation and symptoms experienced by allergy sufferers.
For more information see your ND at pureBalance Wellness Centre for a comprehensive assessment and treatment plan to address your allergies. ND’s use unique techniques to assess the foods and environmental allergens you may be allergic to. They then use that information to create a customized treatment plan using a number of natural therapies to eliminate symptoms and restore imbalance at the deepest levels. Most people use medications to deal with their symptoms but it takes a comprehensive approach to really eliminate allergies instead of suppressing them. See what how natural treatment strategies can work for you.
By: Dr. Paul Hrkal, ND