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.
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’s possible to find relief naturally.
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.
Recent studies highlight the important of your immune system.
The common factor among these diseases is a compromised immune system.
BACH2 is a regulator for your immune system’s reactivity, so if you have a variation of the BACH2, then you were more likely to develop an allergy or autoimmune response.
This study has not yet moved on to human subjects, but it has a lot of potential for the future treatment of allergies and autoimmune diseases.
What you can do today is to help support your immune system and for this, 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.
It’s worth noting here that a food allergy is different from a food intolerance.
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.
Recent studies support this and have shown that a functional digestive system is an important part of food allergy prevention.
Double check if you’re taking any over the counter pharmaceuticals that reduce stomach acid as well.
These were linked in the above study to the development of food allergies.
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.
The good news is that there are some natural strategies you can use to reduce your seasonal allergies, without relying on allergy medication.
Some quick tips include:
- Take apple cider vinegar
- Consider an elimination diet
- Lifestyle changes
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.
Book Your Appointment With The Mindful Healing Clinic Today
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.
You’ll get your concerns addressed, and find out how naturopathic medicine can help you deal with your allergies or other health issues.
If you decide to move forward and book your first appoint, expect it to be long.
It often lasts between 75 and 120 minutes, so that I can get to know your individual goals and health concerns.
Together, we’ll go through your health history so that I can create a tailored treatment plan to reduce the symptoms you’re experiencing.
Don’t be surprised if we also go into your mental health, emotional health, spiritual health, and lifestyle preferences.
Each part of your life is important to factor into your treatment plan, to achieve the best possible results.
Until next time,
Dr. Maria Cavallazzi is a medical doctor from Colombia where she practiced as a family physician for 8 years until she moved to Canada 16 years ago and became a naturopathic doctor in Mississauga.