Who doesn’t love spring? The birds are singing, flowers and trees begin budding, and we are all drawn to outdoor activities in the warm sun. It’s the ideal season, unless you are one of the 54.6% of people who suffer from seasonal allergies! With over half the population suffering from seasonal allergies, we likely all know someone who suffers during springtime. For some, they may have severe allergies and be on several allergy medications to no avail. They get caught in the vicious cycle of uncontrolled allergies that leads to sinusitis and overuse of antibiotics, which in turn disrupts the microbiome, setting them up for immune dysfunction. Let’s talk about what is going on with our immune system and how that relates to allergies.
Did you know 60% of our immune system is located in our gut? That means if our gut is inflamed (as in leaky gut or increased intestinal permeability), our immune system will overreact to everything. Some of those triggers are pollen, foods, infections and stress. Did any of those surprise you? If you have a leaky gut, your immune system is reacting to foods you eat everyday, raising your histamine level just like pollen would. Did you know some foods are naturally high in histamine? How many of you put spinach in your daily smoothie? If you are already in an allergy cycle, that high histamine food will add to your symptoms. Infections and stress will also raise histamine levels. Have you ever noticed you get itchy or rash out when you get stressed out? Or, your face turns red with a sip of alcohol? Those are also histamine reactions.
So, how do we help repair your gut in order to calm down your immune system?
- Figure out what foods your immune system is reacting to through doing the elimination diet – with the guidance of our amazing Nutrition staff.
- Avoid toxins – both in foods and environment. Eat organic!
- With the guidance of your medical provider, heal your gut with supplements. We have several gut healing protocols we use.
- Get 8 hours of restorative sleep.
- De-stress. Make deep breathing (see Jenny, our Health Coach, for a telemedicine appt to learn Heart math), yoga, meditation a part of your daily routine.
- When those measures are not enough, we need to look deeper for the root cause. We do tests to look for bacterial overgrowths, viruses, yeast, parasites and mold, among others.
I can’t tell how you many patients have come to me for several other health concerns, and they are amazed that while healing their gut and other symptoms, their allergies are also 80-90% improved as well – not a bad side effect, eh?
Call our office to speak with your medical provider about your allergy symptoms, schedule with Nutrition to discuss doing your own elimination diet or schedule with Jenny, our certified health coach, to discuss ways to improve your sleep and de-stress – all to lower your histamine levels!
Karen Callagy, PA-C
Adult Functional Medicine Provider