Spring is a season a lot of us enjoy unless you are one of the many unfortunate individuals to have inherited genes that make you susceptible to seasonal allergies.
Commonly called hayfever, allergic rhinitis is usually triggered by the spread of pollens and grass seeds or other similar inhaled allergens that cause the typical symptoms of sneezing, itchy eyes and scratchy throat.
Hayfever is also frequently associated with other allergic conditions such as asthma, atopic dermatitis and migraine which may occur seasonally or all year round (perennial).
In some individuals, sinusitis may develop from bacterial infection due to impaired clearance of bacteria from the sinus cavity. Although symptoms can be controlled through the use of anti-histamines, decongestants and steroids, this approach fails to treat the underlying causes and so the cycle of allergy continues.
As mentioned earlier, although allergies have a genetic basis this doesn’t mean that we cannot reduce the symptoms. It is all about supporting the health of the immune system to reduce and modulate the response to antigens and the digestive system by identifying and eliminating allergic foods and healing the gut.
THE CONNECTION BETWEEN ALLERGIES AND THE GUT
The digestive system may seem like an odd place to start in treating allergies; however allergies to airborne particles (proteins) occur due to sensitised antibodies to food proteins.
When foods are not digested properly immune cells in the gut become sensitive to them which leads to inflammation and leaky gut. When the gut is permeable (leaky) to food proteins these proteins enter the blood and cause the immune system to be on alert and reactive to other proteins i.e. mould, animal dander, pollen.
It is therefore recommended that a dietary elimination of common allergenic foods, sugar, salt and processed foods is trialled for a period of time to assess the degree of symptom relief. Food sensitivities can also be identified through IgG and IgE testing, offered by our resident naturopath Mel Byrne.
When avoidance of food sensitivities is trialled, the gut can then be healed using nutrients such as glutamine, zinc, turmeric, licorice and vitamin A.
While strict avoidance to airborne allergens and pollutants can be difficult, it is advisable to reduce exposure. Dietary changes should also include an abundance of fruits and vegetables and the inclusion of oily fish 3 times a week in order to reduce inflammation and inhibit histamine release.
While it may seem like a long process to address allergies with this approach it is empowering to be able to take control of your health and the effects will certainly be longer lasting with less reliance on pharmaceutical medication.
We look forward to helping you alleviate your symptoms with naturopathic care – simply phone 8289 2800 to make your appointment with one of our natural therapists.