One out of six people are officially “diagnosed” with allergies. Spring, summer, and even the fall can bring on the avalanche of symptoms. In reality, allergies can be somewhat elusive.
How can we be exposed to a substance and not react, but on another day we react to that same substance? The answer lies in the nature of allergies and allergic reactions.
Stimuli such as pollens from trees, weeds and grasses are more abundant in the spring and early summer. These stimuli act as antigens, provoking an immunological response involving the release of inflammatory substance in the body. Common symptoms include sneezing, runny eyes, headaches, fatigue, asthma, and skin rashes. These symptoms can bee very severe in some individuals.
Many factors are usually involved however, an overloaded, over stimulated immune system is more likely the cause than and under-stimulated immune system. Both will be nutrient deficient. Toxins, chemicals, metals or what is commonly called “excess body burden” can cause the overload. When the immune system is overloaded it malfunctions and cannot clearly distinguish what is harmful and what is not.
When we think of allergies, whether allopathic or alternative, we always want to address adrenal function along with nutritional deficiencies. Zinc, vitamins C, D, B complex, EFA’s and a host of botanicals and Probiotics play a huge role to feed the body the foods necessary to activate and rebuild glands and organ systems. In some cases, nutraceuticals like vitamin D, zinc, resveratrol, and the carotenoids can actually turn on health restoring genes.
Once the diet has been made as healthy and nutrient dense as possible, I will then recommend a mild cleanse or detox. To find out which cleanse or detox is appropriate for you, please seek the advice of a holistic health professional.
Can we reduce the release of some inflammatory substance, such as histamine, by feeding the body nutrients? YES. Dr. Carl Pfeiffer, MD, PhD discusses how calcium, methionine, zinc, manganese, and B6 have been found to reduce blood histamines. Quercetin found in apples, tea, berries, onions, red grapes, citrus fruits, tomatoes, broccoli and other leafy green vegetables, has demonstrated significant anti-inflammatory activity. It inhibits both the manufacture and release of histamine and other allergic/inflammatory mediators.
EFAs affect the health of cell membranes. EFAs have natural anti-inflammatory properties, which are a major benefit when working with allergies. Many of the airborne allergens enter the body in the mucus membrane lined nasal and bronchial cavities. If we support healthy mucus membrane function with good oils when we treat the gut, we are also treating other neglected nasal and bronchial membranes as well. A mixed blend of EFAs from seed and grain oils containing sesame oil is best as sesame oil helps remove histamine from mass cells.
I would not recommend immune boosting products such as Echinacea as this can compound your allergic issues. A holistic approach is to modulate the immune system. The term modulation refers to balancing both the cell mediated response and the humoral response of the immune system. It doesn’t over stimulate the humoral response that is dominant in most allergy/asthma situations.
Homeopathic preparations are also extremely effective for balancing allergic/asthmatic situations. Of the thousands of homeopathic remedies in existence, 150 plus can potentially cure allergies. If you’ve tried some of the common single remedies for allergy, or one of the combination remedies labeled “Allergies” without any success, don’t despair. Taking a quick-fix homeopathic remedy can be disappointing, as they may provide only temporary relief of your symptoms, and in many cases do absolutely nothing. In homeopathy, lasting cure can only take place after a professional homeopath has examined your health concerns and chosen a remedy unique to you.
For example, this patient had been suffering with severe hay fever for 12 years. Her symptoms were a stuffy nose that was constantly dripping, watery and itchy eyes, itchy nasal passages, the sensation of sand in the corner of her eyes, pressure in her forehead and occasional headaches. Sometimes she had difficulty falling asleep from all the sinus irritation she was experiencing. She had difficulty going outside or being active in the spring and fall, when her hay fever was at its worst. The initial consultation pointed to the remedy Natrum Muriaticum; a remedy that encompassed all of her physical and emotional symptoms including her temperament. Over a period of 9 months, her allergy symptoms improved by 80%. I then added a rotation Apis mellifica, Pollantinum, Pulmo anaphylactic.
A combination homeotoxicological remedy such as Allergyplex from Seroyal is very effective. In my experience, expect a very long recovery time while diligently working with remedies. I caution my patients to stick with it for 1 to 2 years for significant recovery and longer for permanent healing.