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  • Writer's pictureDr. Williams

Allergies wrecking havoc this season - what's the cause?

Have you read the book “Because a Little Bug went Ka-Choo”, by Dr. Suess? It’s about a bug that sneezes, and that sneeze sets off a series of larger and larger events, with larger and larger consequences which nearly send an entire town into chaos. But what is never mentioned in the book is why did the bug sneeze? Did it have allergies?

Allergies are usually an adverse reaction by the body’s immune system to things like pollen, mold spores, and household dust mites. Your symptoms can vary and range from a runny nose and sneezing to itchy watery eyes, a cough (from the sinus drainage) or a skin rash. Just like in the book, everything in our bodies is about cause and effect.

So, if you are experiencing allergy symptoms, we know the effect, but what is the cause? Why is it that some people have allergies, and some do not? Why is it that allergies can be seasonal and worse at different times of the year?

For an allergen to create a response in the body it must hitch a ride into the body. In a way, allergens are like someone waiting for an Uber; if there are no cars in the area, you will not be getting a ride. And since the magic school bus isn’t real, most allergens are carried in the body by large undigested polypeptides (proteins) or polysaccharides (sugars). So, if you eat too much sugar or are not digesting protein well, the chances are, your allergies are worsening. Allergens, once in the body get filtered out by the kidneys. If there are too many, the kidneys cannot keep up and the symptoms start.

Allergy medications provide relief of symptoms by blocking histamine. Histamine is a protein and is part of the body’s natural immune response to foreign invaders. It is found the most in places that are vulnerable to invaders, like the nose, eyes, mouth, and feet. Histamine attracts water, which is why allergies often include a runny nose and watery eyes. Histamines are an essential piece of the body’s digestion process as well.

The common misunderstanding is that the histamine itself causes the allergies, so most people take antihistamines to block them and reduce their symptoms. Using these long term will impact the body’s ability to make stomach acid and by doing that, discourages digestion. So, if a person who has allergies because of an already poor diet or poor digestion and takes an antihistamine for the allergy symptoms, they will eventually create additional digestive issues, making both allergies and digestion worse.

To address allergies in my clinic, we look at diet, digestion, and elimination.

  • Are you creating too many available “rides” for the allergens because of the food you are eating or because you are not properly digesting it?

  • Can your body effectively get rid of allergens once they get in?

  • Do we need to support digestion or elimination?

Remember, everything in our bodies is about cause and effect. Finding the root cause and addressing it will allow us to get rid of the effect. If allergies are “bugging” you, don’t risk sending your entire town into chaos, give our clinic a call.

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