A Holistic Approach to Allergies
Allergy season is here. Sniffling, sneezing, stuffy head, sinus congestion, and headaches are just a short list of the symptoms associated with allergies. Allergy symptoms occur when the immune system overreacts to something that is harmless to most people, but triggers a reaction in those sensitive to it. This substance is known as an allergen.
For some, allergies are seasonal - worsening during certain times of the year, such as pollen allergies in the spring. For others, they are perennial - occurring year-round. If you come in contact with something to which you are allergic, your immune system considers it dangerous and releases a chemical called histamine to counteract it. The release of histamine can cause a variety of symptoms, including a skin rash, headache, sneezing, runny nose, swelling, nausea and diarrhea.
The purpose of the histamine response is to quickly eliminate the allergen from the body. The more you are exposed to it, the greater the histamine response, which can exacerbate your symptoms. The most severe reaction, known as anaphylaxis, can be life-threatening.
If you breathe in the allergen, your reaction will most likely affect your eyes, nose and lungs. If you consume the allergen, you’re more likely to have symptoms in your mouth, stomach and intestines. So pay attention to how you are affected as it can be very useful in your journey to eliminate allergies. If you suffer from seasonal allergies from grasses, pollen and other airborne allergens, there are natural remedies to help combat and eliminate the symptoms.
The most obvious step is to try to eliminate the allergen. However, for most people, changing their environment is not an option. So, since you are going to be exposed to the same allergen year after year, there are various ways to prepare your body to deal with it.
First, support healthy liver function. Allergens and the histamine response are filtered through the liver. A healthy liver function may more quickly rid the body of the allergen and histamine, plus make you feel better.
Second, improve the body's breakdown of proteins. Proteins cause the immune response and often lead to all the symptoms associated with allergies. I have seen many allergy cases where taking enzymes has been a tremendous help. Certain enzymes help break down these proteins, which also aids those who suffer with food allergies.
Third, maintain a healthy gut and digestive system. Working on the gut and supporting healthy digestion can also help those who suffer with allergies. Through experience, I know that a large percentage of people who suffer from allergies also suffer from some type of digestive issue - from heartburn and indigestion to constipation and bloating.
Digestive challenges and gut health can be at the root of allergy problems. Remember, the quality of and the types of food you eat are related to your allergy risk. They mediate through your gut bacteria, which plays a crucial role in the development and operation of the mucosal immune system in your digestive tract. When out of balance, your immune system may respond abnormally, causing an allergy response. Improving gut health and bacterial balance is important for those who suffer with allergies.
Dr. Bryan Ruocco is a local chiropractor and wellness advocate. He owns and operates the Power of LIFE Wellness Center located in the heart of Rocky River. Dr. Ruocco graduated from the Life Chiropractic College in Marietta, GA. He graduated in the top of his class and received Magna Cum Laude Honors.