Spring is here and so are seasonal allergies. And with that, comes all of the symptoms for those affected. Runny nose, sneezing, nasal congestion, sore throat, itchy eyes and even a cough can all occur with seasonal allergies.
Allergen exposure can arise from inhalation, ingestion or through skin exposure.
Seasonal allergies are an IgE-mediated inflammatory disorder. Allergic reactions occur when the body’s immune system produces the immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibody.
When someone with seasonal allergies encounters a substance such as dust, mold, or pollen, their body can overreact and release increased amounts of these antibodies to “attack” that allergen leading to commonly experienced allergy symptoms.
There are also other physiological effects that occur in the body upon exposure. One study showed that within 2-8 hours of exposure to the allergen, there is an increased concentration of inflammatory cells and tissue damage in the mucosa.
Histamine is a compound released by cells in response to allergenic inflammatory reactions. It is involved in the inflammatory response of the innate immune system. Histamine is the one of the key compounds responsible for generating major reactions and symptoms in hypersensitive individuals during allergy season. Its goal is to push allergens out of the body and it therefore is responsible for hallmark allergy symptoms such as sneezing or coughing.
Seasonal allergies are also called hay fever or allergic rhinitis. This condition typically occurs seasonally, but it can also occur year-round. Many individuals with seasonal allergies also have food sensitivities. The likely player in both of these is a condition known as leaky gut syndrome. Leaky gut occurs when the gut lining becomes permeable. As a result, food, toxins and particles can trickle through the microscopic holes in the gut lining and cause an autoimmune attack along with inflammation. This leads to an over-sensitization and an increased risk for allergies. This is why we often see people’s allergies improve once we heal leaky gut. It’s a ROOT cause condition and one we believe in treating.
Being in an environment with toxins and other allergenic agents (for example, mold mycotoxins) can affect an individual’s normal immune response and render them hypersensitive. This is because if an individual’s immune system is constantly under attack due to constantly fighting off these environmental agents then it begins to overproduce antibodies and eventually it goes haywire. This immune dysfunction sets the stage for a regular occurrence of allergies. Again, allergies are the immune systems response to a substance. It has been shown that repeated exposure can increase the severity of the allergic response in an individual.
Increased intestinal permeability, or leaky gut, is significantly associated with seasonal allergy disorders. This is a predominant condition that has been found to exacerbate allergies and other similar conditions. There are many cross-reactivities that occur in individuals with leaky gut in which they have similar sensitivities to environmental allergens and food allergens. One novel study in 2017 concluded that healing leaky gut could result in preventing allergies and allergic asthma.
Asthma can be caused by allergies and other conditions. It is also a significant risk factor as it is associated with increased inflammation, an altered immune response and irritation of the respiratory pathways. Additionally, it is likely that is classified as a risk factor as it is associated with leaky gut syndrome, as well.
Toxins including heavy metals, mold mycotoxins, environmental toxins, smoking and pollution (to name a few) can all impact one’s risk for allergies. Research has shown that toxins and continual toxin exposure can increase the body’s immune response to the environmental allergen, making symptoms worse. Indeed, a recent study found that air pollution is a significant contributor to the increased prevalence of allergic conditions experienced in society today. Get tested to know your level of toxins and your risk.
Other key factors for allergy risk include metabolic conditions, hormones, stress, and medications.
Antihistamines, decongestants, corticosteroid drugs and other pharmaceuticals are typically used in the conventional treatment of allergy symptoms. These prescriptions simply mask the symptoms. Additionally, there are many adverse side effects with these treatments such as impaired cognition, fatigue and heart arrhythmias.
With natural treatment methods, we work to address all aspects of the allergic cascade starting in the immune system. One major goal of treatment is to balance the immune response as well as inhibit the inflammatory cascade and breakdown inflammatory cells. Another goal is to reduce the release of histamine, which helps to ward off the hypersensitive reactions experienced in people with allergies. Another aim is to reduce circulating allergenic protein complexes in the body. Lastly, the goals are to boost antioxidant status and reduce the viscosity of mucous and aid in healthy sinus and nasal health.
See below for our complete list of recommended anti-allergy supplements.
Hist Pro is our Drs. Wolfson formulated allergy support supplement. If you suffer from seasonal allergies or asthma, you should have this on hand in your supply cabinet. This product contains KEY anti-allergic compounds aimed at balancing the immune response in hypersensitive individuals, supporting sinus health, keeping respiratory pathways healthy and regulating the viscosity of mucous. These compounds include proteolytic enzymes, antioxidants, flavonoids and botanicals aimed at supporting the body’s response to seasonal environmental allergens. Compounds such as quercetin, bromelain, stinging nettles leaf and N-acetyl cysteine work to decrease elevated histamine levels, bring down inflammation and reduce respiratory irritation.
The loading dose we recommend is 2 capsules three times per day for 7-10 days and then 2-4 caps per day for maintenance (depending on individual allergy response) during allergy season.
Fish oil is rich in two key omega 3 fatty acids: EPA and DHA. These fatty acids are critical for lowering inflammation and boosting immune function. Recent research has shown that omega 3 fats exert anti-allergic effects, as well. Essentially, the study showed that the consumption of omega 3 fats generates a key compound in the gut that works to combat allergies including intestinal allergies. One of the key mechanisms for this is likely due to the ability of these essential fats to eradicate cellular inflammation and calm the innate immune response. Furthermore, another novel study showed that EPA is able to reduce immune cell airway inflammation in the lungs due to asthma (which can be caused by allergies).
We recommend taking 3-4 caps per day of Omega DHA for allergy protection and/or symptom relief.
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that confer a health benefit to the host (us). Probiotics can help to boost the immune system by balancing the gut microbiome, which could help to fend off allergies. We know that a healthy gut is key to regulating the immune system (about 70-80% of your immune system is housed in your gut). We also know that healing leaky gut syndrome does wonders for lowering inflammation and reducing incidence of allergies (both food and environmental) as noted in the above section.
Take 2 caps daily of our Heart Helpers probiotic during allergy season for protection and support.
Vitamin C is a natural antihistamine as it can very rapidly deactivate histamine. Vitamin C is also a potent antioxidant that reduces inflammation and oxidative stress as well as boosts immune function and could therefore alleviate allergies. It has also been speculated that a deficiency in vitamin C could be a significant risk factor for seasonal allergies.
It has shown that 2 g of vitamin C per day could act as a natural antihistamine and aid in protection during allergy season. One teaspoon of Ultimate C provides 2,800 mg of vitamin C.
This product has several key nutrients aimed at fending off allergies and priming the immune system. NAC, vitamin C, lactobacillus acidophilous (probiotic) and turmeric are all present. It also contains all the components of a good multivitamin. These vitamins and minerals increase immunity. Daily Defense works to bring down inflammation, reduce oxidative stress, heal the gut lining and modulate immune function. The result is a decreased risk in prevalence or severity of allergies.
We recommend 2 scoops of this daily for your defense against allergies.
-Get sunshine! Vitamin D is crucial to lowering one’s risk of allergies and/or taming symptoms.
-See a chiropractor. Chiropractic is needed to boost immune function and keep the body healthy.
-Heal leaky gut syndrome. First, get tested for leaky gut to identify if you have the disorder. If you have leaky gut, know that this is a ROOT cause condition for both seasonal and food allergies. You must heal the gut in order to prevent an allergic cascade from occurring in the body.
-Get your toxin levels tested! We recommend our 3 test combo, which tests for heavy metals, environmental toxins and mold mycotoxins. This is a test that allows us to analyze if high levels of toxins are causing immune dysfunction and allergies.
-If you have questions or need help with a specific anti-allergy protocol or testing, you can always sign up for a free, 20 minute health coaching call here.
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