We are coming into that season! The one where the birds are chirping, the sun is shining, and you are sneezing! Many people dread the change of season, the itchy watery eyes, a constant runny nose, brain fog and sneezing. Maybe for years you have put up with your ‘terrible sinuses’, spending the season house bound and popping anti-histamines? If this is you, then you will know all too well the reality of living with an allergic condition such as hay-fever!
So why does your body respond this way? Why are you suffering while others are out rolling around in meadows? For some reason your body has identified some allergens like grasses and pollens as a threat. So, when you make contact with these substances you have an influx of the chemical histamine. Imagine histamine as the big, burley bouncer outside the club. Its job is to keep allergens out by what ever means necessary. Unfortunately for you its methods include producing redness, inflammation, a runny nose, itchy eyes, constricted airways and possibly even bloating or diarrhea!
Current approaches to allergies include avoiding the allergen and reducing histamine, via anti-histamine medications. Though spending a whole season in-doors may not appeal to most, and is this approach getting to what’s underlying this overactive immune response? When treating allergies Naturopathically there are a few factors included;
- Our immune system is mostly found in our digestive tract. Inflammation in the digestion can then cause our immune response to get a little (or a lot) out of control.
- The integrity of our digestive tract is not what it was 50-100 years ago. With the introduction of processed foods, food chemicals, pesticides on our fresh foods and increased stress, we have an increased intestinal permeability. This means undigested foods, particles, toxins and bacteria enter the system with easier access through to the blood stream causing an inflammatory immune response as self-protection.
- The increased use of anti-biotics in our world, over use of antibacterials and the over cleanliness of our environment has reduced the levels of good bacteria we have in our intestine also interfering with the immune response.
In clinic we aim for truly holistic allergy management by providing symptomatic relief whilst retraining the body’s immune system to tolerate its perceived threatening allergens. A number of herbs and nutrients provide natural anti-histamine, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant support to help reduce symptoms and start to retrain the immune system.
Diet and lifestyle are also a large competent to the puzzle. By removing inflammatory foods like processed sugar and processed fats, and increasing phytonutrient filled vegetables and fruits we can cultivate a healthy digestive tract filled with a diverse range of gut microbiome supporting optimal immune function.
Now is the time for you to address those irritating and sometimes debilitating allergic symptoms. Work with our Naturopath to get to the underlying causes, gain control over your reactivity and increase your tolerance levels. Imagine cuddling up to your cat or pooch without itchy eyes, smelling the roses without sneezing or rolling in the grass without itching – now that would be life changing!