Seasonal allergies are not just due to an immune system response to pollen, your immune system should not consider pollen to be a foreign invader that requires an immune system attack. Allergies are a sign of inflamed and irritated tissue in the respiratory tract that has become super sensitive to particulate matter that should not normally trigger an immune response. There are a number of factors that can contribute to this irritated tissue:
- Underlying food allergies or sensitivities. Almost everyone has sensitivities to certain foods. The most common ones are dairy, eggs, gluten, pineapple, almonds and beans like kidney beans and green beans. Consuming these foods provokes the production of antibodies that lead to systemic inflammation that can leave nasal tissue easily irritated by fumes, chemicals, dust, pollen or mold spores. Our naturopathic doctors can help guide you through an elimination diet or order blood testing for food allergies or sensitivities.
- Toxin overload. If your liver is not efficiently clearing waste and pollution from your body, then these chemicals accumulate and can irritate tissue, leaving it sensitive to pollen. Facilitating phase I and phase II liver detoxification through supportive nutrients like n-acetyl cysteine, vitamin B6, L-5MTHF, calcium-d-glucarate and indole-3-carbinol can help your liver to more easily package toxins for excretion.
- Lack of vitamin C and vitamin B6. Vitamin C and B6 are both natural anti-histamines. Both are necessary in greater quantities when you are under stress. In some cases of seasonal allergies, all I’ve helped my patient to do is to replenish both vitamins and long term allergies have subsided.
- Lack of vitamin A. Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin that is crucial to the health of mucous membranes. Mucous membranes are what line the whole respiratory tract, so a lack of vitamin A leaves that tissue unhealthy and more susceptible to irritation. One of the only foods that supplies pre-formed vitamin A is liver. Otherwise, we acquire beta carotene from foods like carrots, Swiss chard, kale and spinach and our liver has to convert that to vitamin A. Vitamin A accumulates in your body so long term supplementation is not recommended and vitamin A supplements should be avoided in women who are pregnant, breast feeding and in children. A vitamin A derivative has been shown to have anti-allergic effects in an allergic rhinitis model in mice, and its underlying mechanisms mainly include the induction of regulatory T cells and the inhibition of Th2 responses.
- Overgrowth of harmful bacteria/yeast in the digestive tract and a lack of probiotic bacteria. Good bacteria help keep the immune system functioning normally by moderating immune system activity. Antibiotic use wipes out good bacteria and allows overgrowth of unhealthy organisms that can push the immune system into overdrive. Killing off gut bacteria excess and restoring healthy beneficial flora can help settle down an overly active immune system. A recent Italian study found that Bifidobacteria mixture was capable of significantly improving allergic rhinitis symptoms and quality of life in children with pollen-induced allergic rhinitis and intermittent asthma. Another found a combination probiotic of Lactobacillus gasseri and two strains of Bifidobacter improved rhinoconjunctivitis-specific quality of life during allergy season for otherwise healthy individuals with self-reported seasonal allergies.
Our naturopathic doctors can help provide natural treatment for allergies. Book an appointment now.
Natural Allergy Treatment Research
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