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Posts Tagged ‘seasonal allergies’

underlying causes allergies

The end of winter seems like a good thing until your allergies go haywire. If you’re tired of allergy meds and always feeling stuffed up and zonked out, consider lasting relief by healing your gut to balance your immune system.

It’s hard to believe your digestive tract can affect your sinuses, but both systems are similar as they serve as the body’s defense from the outside world. Plus, the digestive tract serves as a hub for the immune system. When you’ve got allergies, it’s worth investigating gut health.

One of the most common links to allergies is leaky gut  also known as intestinal permeability. Leaky gut is like it sounds — the lining of the small intestine becomes inflamed, damaged, and leaky, allowing undigested foods, bacteria, yeasts, and other toxins into the bloodstream.

Whenever this happens, which can be with every meal, the immune system attacks these invaders. This causes inflammation and an over zealous immune state that plays a role in triggering or exacerbating seasonal allergies.

Some people get seasonal allergies, but others get other inflammatory disorders, such as joint pain, skin problems, digestive complaints  autoimmune disease, issues with brain function, fatigue, chronic pain, and more.

How do you know if you have leaky gut? Sometimes you don’t, as you may not have any digestive complaints.

For some, leaky gut can cause bloating, heartburn, gas, constipation, diarrhea, or pain. Others see a link between leaky gut and skin problems, joint pain, brain fog, or sinus symptoms and allergies. For instance, some people notice when they eat certain foods they get brain fog, a runny nose, aching joints, or other immune issues.

Causes of leaky gut

Chronic stress, certain medications, and excessive alcohol consumption can cause leaky gut.

One of the most common causes of leaky gut is gluten  For some people, a gluten-free diet allows the gut to heal, thus profoundly relieving allergy symptoms.

Because leaky gut leads to food intolerances and food allergies  many people need to eliminate other foods, such as dairy, eggs, soy, or other grains. Many allergy sufferers have found significant relief following an anti-inflammatory diet  You can also ask my office about a lab test to screen for food sensitivities.

Imbalanced gut bacteria and seasonal allergies

We all have three to four pounds of bacteria in our digestive tract. These bacteria profoundly influence immune health, digestive health, and even respiratory and sinus health. After all, the sinuses and respiratory tract are lined with bacteria, too. Poor diet and lifestyle stressors can cause too many bad bacteria to grow, crowding out the good bacteria and setting the stage for infection, leaky gut, and poor immune health. Probiotics and fermented foods can help populate your system with healthy bacteria.

Fix your allergies by fixing your gut

Leaky gut repair is based primarily on diet and lifestyle changes. Avoid processed foods, junk foods, sugars, and other industrialized foods. In other words, stick to a simple whole foods diet with plenty of vegetables (they nourish your good gut bacteria).

Certain supplements and nutritional compounds can help soothe and repair the lining of the digestive tract and calm inflammation in the sinuses and respiratory system.

Seasonal allergies are a red flag that your body needs care and attention. By addressing the underlying causes of your seasonal allergies you may also prevent the development of more serious conditions, such as autoimmune disease, depression, anxiety, or neurological disease.

Ask my office for more information on addressing the underlying causes of your seasonal allergies.

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seasonal-allergies-leaky-gut

Do beautiful spring days have you cooped up inside, sneezing and sniffing miserably? Before reaching for the antihistamines, consider the role your gut health plays in allergy symptoms.

Allergies actually begin long before the hallmark symptoms of sniffling, sneezing, and itchy eyes manifest. How?

An estimated 80 percent of the immune system resides in the gut, and when digestive problems set in, immune problems are sure to follow. A chronically inflamed gut—which causes indigestion, heartburn, bloating, pain, diarrhea, constipation, irritable bowel disorders, and more—sends the immune system into overdrive.

As a result, the body becomes hypersensitive and overreacts to stuff it shouldn’t, including pollen, grass, and other triggers associated with spring.

Because allergy symptoms frequently start with poor digestive function, the gut is a great place to start for relief.

What causes allergy symptoms?

Several factors contribute to the digestive problems that give rise to allergy symptoms, including:

  • Dysbiosis: This is a very common scenario in which bad bacteria in the gut overwhelm the beneficial bacteria. Processed foods, a diet lacking in cultured and fermented foods, and antibiotic use contribute to dysbiosis.
  • Gluten and other food intolerances: Gluten has been shown to damage the lining of the intestines. Also, many people have an immune reaction to gluten and other foods, such as dairy or soy. Eating these foods constantly provokes the immune system and damages the lining of the intestines.
  • Low stomach acid: This may seem counter-intuitive as so many people complain of an acidic stomach, but, in fact, low stomach acid often underlies heartburn and acid reflux. When stomach acid is low, undigested food backwashes into the esophagus (heartburn), opportunistic bacteria overtake the stomach, improperly digested food degrades the intestinal lining, and bacteria and other pathogens are able enter into the intestines. Sufficient stomach acid is also necessary to trigger the gallbladder to release bile and the pancreas to release enzymes, two important processes for digestion.
  • Poor liver detoxification: Gut damage causes chronic inflammation, which keeps the immune system on red alert and overburdens the liver. As a result, the liver can’t adequately detoxify pathogens that escaped through the damaged intestinal lining into the bloodstream. This is another factor that triggers the immune system and leads to allergies.

Fix the gut to fix allergies

Repairing gut health involves addressing the various factors above. The exact protocol may vary from person to person depending on his or her individual needs. However, a great place to start is with an anti-inflammatory diet that removes food intolerances and calms inflammation, helping to restore balance to an overactive immune system. We can also use lab tests to gain insight into the specific nature of your intestinal problems. Probiotics, and nutritional compounds to improve digestion, support detoxification, and tame an overstimulated immune system can also help repair the gut and hence the immune system.

Ask my office for ideas on how you can get to the root of your seasonal allergy symptoms this year.

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