By Dr. Teri Jaklin ND, IFMCP
As the last remnants of winter dissolve we know the trees and soon grasses and other plant life begin the cycle of pollination, and allergy sufferers prepare for another season of itchy eyes, runny noses and all the discomfort that allergies bring. Almost anything can trigger an allergic reaction but some of the most common ‘hay fever’ allergens come seasonally in the form of pollen and molds from weeds, trees, grasses and dust.
These invaders trigger a cascade of events which stimulates the immune system to immediately release antibodies and histamine to destroy the foreign substance.
This results in an inflammatory process at the root of allergy symptoms…ultimately it is just your immune system protecting you!
Why do some people have so many allergies when other have none? The overall immune response is largely directed through the general state of your barriers (sinuses to digestive tract.)The metabolism and the breakdown histamine itself is controlled by the liver, it is one of the liver’s hundreds of functions. Factors increasing production of histamine include an increased toxic load on the liver, lack of nutrients needed for the liver to function. Other vital factors such as decreased thyroid function and dehydration will contribute to your body’s response to allergens of all kinds. Together, they all contribute to a heightened immune response and allergies.
Many allergy suffers turn to medications that decrease the histamine production blocking the immune response or in some cases suppressing the entire immune system. While this may provide symptomatic relief it doesn’t address the underlying cause and becoming reliant on the pharmaceuticals, in the long run just irritates all the systems involved.
How can you begin to beat allergies naturally? Try these ideas:
- Eat lots of colour! The more colour the more phytonutrients, including bioflavanoids (aka Vitamin P) that will reduce the allergic reactions. Also, increasing your water intake actually decreases histamine levels.
- High bioflavanoid foods include broccoli, Brussel sprouts, leafy greens, berries, and garlic and green tea.
- Love your Liver. The liver is the second most abused organ next to the digestive tract. Eating lots of greens and including things like watercress, lemon, beets, and turmeric also limiting/avoiding coffee and alcohol support its good function. JOIN OUR DETOX WORKSHOP TO LEARN HOW TO DETOX LIKE A DOC!
- “The basics” – Vitamin D, a good probiotic and fish oil – anti-inflammatory essentials. If you’re not taking these regularly…get started!
- Engage in stress reduction self-care. Things like meditation and a good night’s sleep go a along way in reducing cortisol and improving your immunity.
- Apple Cider Vinegar is a natural anti-histamine that can help decrease allergy symptoms, take 1 tsp with water three times a day.
- Remember your Castor Oil Packs! Use them nightly on the abdomen to help reduce inflammation in the gastrointestinal track and promote detoxification and elimination.