Whether it’s seasonal allergies like hayfever or ragweed, food allergies like lactose intolerance or a peanut allergy, or environmental allergies like dust or mold, allergies of any type are frustrating to deal with.
As a naturopathic doctor with a special interest in allergy treatments, I’ve seen many patients who struggle with allergies.
However, some patients report that their symptoms are actually worse than they used to be.
There are a few different possible reasons for this.
The good news, though, is that you don’t have to suffer with them forever.
The reasons for your allergies may be complex, but it is possible to find relief.
Here are some of the main causes of allergy symptoms, and what you can do about them.
1. Impaired Immune System
If your immune system isn’t functioning the way it should, it can result in allergic reactions.
This is because your immune system sees relatively harmless substances like pet dander and pollen as invaders, and reacts accordingly.
It creates a certain type of white blood cell called a mast cell which releases histamines to fight the allergen.
Histamines have an important function in your body, but they also trigger allergic reactions.
To help support your immune system, nutrition can help. Make sure to eat a wide range of whole, natural foods as much as possible.
Include a wide range of different coloured foods in your diet from different vegetables, which will help your body get the nutrients it needs.
Variety is important. If you eat the same food all the time, you may develop allergies from overconsumption.
2. Impaired Digestive System
If your digestive system isn’t functioning at the level it should, you may end up with some problems.
When your digestive system has trouble digesting your food, its ability to extract all the nutrients out and absorb them through the intestinal tract ends up being impaired.
This can lead to malnutrition, even if you’re eating nutrient dense foods. It can also trigger an immune response as your immune system sees undigested food as a foreign invader.
Extreme cases of impaired digestion may lead to leaky gut syndrome.
This is an issue resulting from poor digestion within your stomach.
When your food isn’t properly broken down in your stomach, it travels in larger chunks into your intestinal tract.
Because they’re so large, your intestines have trouble absorbing them into your body.
This forces the spaces between the cells that make up your intestinal wall to expand, which allows more material to be released into your bloodstream, triggering an immune response.
Fermented foods in particular, like sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha, will help provide your body with the friendly bacteria it needs to support your digestive system.
3. Climate Change
Climate change is having all sorts of effects on the Earth, and we’re just beginning to understand it.
The burning of fossil fuels has increased the number of pollutants in the atmosphere.
These pollutants can trigger your allergy symptoms, or heighten their effects.
This is because as unseasonably warm weather becomes the norm, it can trigger the release of allergens earlier than usual.
This means your allergy symptoms may start earlier, and last longer, than they did in previous years.
4. Food and Environmental Allergy Crossover
If you have food allergies, seasonal allergies may make them worse.
This is because seasonal allergies can overstimulate your immune system, causing a significant increase in those mast cells mentioned earlier.
This, compounded with the mast cells your body is already releasing due to your food allergies, may turn you into a sneezing, sniffling mucous factory.
The same can be said for overexposure to certain foods.
If the body is constantly being exposed to the same foods, it can develop an intolerance to them, which causes it to produce more of these mast cells.
The overproduction of mast cells can instigate an allergic reaction when exposed to seasonal allergies.
This can also explain how a person that had never had seasonal allergies can suddenly develop them.
Contact The Mindful Healing Clinic
If you’re having difficulty with allergy symptoms, there is hope.
Contact the Mindful Healing Clinic today to book a FREE 15-minute introductory consultation with me, Dr. Maria Cavallazzi.
You’ll get a chance to ask any questions you may have about naturopathic medicine and my approach, get your concerns addressed, and find out how naturopathic medicine can help you deal with your allergies or other health issues.
Contact the Mindful Healing Clinic today.
Until next time,
Dr. Maria Cavallazzi, N.D