Thursday, May 05, 2011

Allergies Start Here

Most of us think that seasonal allergies begin with breathing in pollen or dust, however the cause of allergies begins with your body’s reaction to the pollen. Yes, there is pollen in the air. But, the symptoms you are having are a measure of your immune health. The typical symptoms of runny nose, sneezing, itchy watery eyes, and others are caused by a histamine release in reaction to the allergen you have inhaled. Conventional medicine would have you believe that simply taking an antihistamine drug treats the cause of your allergies. Antihistamine drugs suppress histamine production by the mast cells, but also can cause the common side effects of drowsiness, fatigue, abdominal pain, headache, dry mucus membranes, diarrhea, and sore throat. Naturopathic medicine treats the cause and severity of the symptoms and the symptoms directly.

The cause of your allergy symptoms is located inside the intestinal tract. That is where your body first learns what measure of histamine reaction to have in response to an allergen. The core of your immune system is in your abdomen. Of all the lymph nodes in your body, 80-90% of them surround your intestines. Therefore, the body’s response to an allergen is first learned when we eat foods we are allergic.

For example, if you are allergic to wheat, then your intestines will attract more white blood cells that become mast cells that produce histamine as a result. As you continue to eat more and more foods you are allergic, the more mast cells your body will produce and the more severe histamine reaction you will experience. What you can do to calm the histamine reaction you have is avoiding allergic foods and by taking a supplement like D-Hist, which contains the ingredients quercitin, nettle, and NAC. Quercitin helps to calm the mast cells down thereby decreasing the histamine response to an allergen. Nettle is an herb known to calm allergies. And, NAC (n-acetylcysteine) is a natural allergy anti-inflammatory.

Also, the secret to curing your allergies is healing your intestinal tract. If you are having the common allergy symptoms, try to imagine those same symptoms of inflammation, redness, swelling, and histamine release also happening in your intestinal tract at the same time. Frequently in the case of severe allergies, ordering a stool test to determine if there are any abnormal microbes such as bad bacteria, yeast, or parasites that may also be contributing to the symptoms is extremely helpful. I have seen many people with severe allergies test positive for harmful bacteria, then when treated, the allergies seem to disappear. So you see, we must treat the cause of allergies and not the symptoms to achieve a cure.

Treating allergies by treating the cause instead of the symptoms is the best way to heal or cure your allergies. Naturopathic medicine offers a comprehensive approach including diet, supplements, and homeopathic remedies to treat the cause of allergies and without harmful side effects.

© 2011 David Hogg, ND