by Katie Samsel
Sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose—Many people suffer with seasonal allergies, and some suffer all year-round. An allergy is a hypersensitivity reaction, with the body overreacting to a substance that would otherwise be considered harmless. Symptoms vary, but may include sinus irritation, skin rash and breathing difficulty.
What is happening in the body?
When exposed to the allergen, the body activates mast cells. If these cells determine that the substance is harmful, they will release histamines. At that point, the body will also attempt to remove the harmful substance through methods such as coughing and sneezing.
Why do some people have allergies?
While it may not be clear as to why some people get allergies worse than others, one theory involves gut health. When there is poor gut patency (leaky gut), more substances, such as undigested protein, fat, toxins and bacteria, are allowed into the blood stream through improper channels. The body sees these as foreign objects and creates an immune response so that the next time the body sees them, it responds accordingly, producing an allergic reaction.
What can be done to help?
Many people are familiar with the over-the-counter remedies for allergies, such as Benadryl or Claritin, or prescribed medication, such as steroids. These may be effective at relieving the symptoms and may be necessary in certain cases, but they can cause some undesirable side effects.
Natural remedies for allergies can be better tolerated by the body and include:
- Healing the gut: Pre and probiotics are at the foundation of good gut health. Eat more whole foods. Start eliminating highly processed and sugar-laden foods. Eliminate (at least temporarily) foods that are known to cause an allergic reaction, as well as alcohol, to reduce the continued damage to the gut lining. The amino acid L-glutamine can be used to help heal the gut lining.
- Quercitin: This flavenol helps to heal the gut as well stabilize the mast cells and reduce the amount of histamine they release.
- Chiropractic care: The brain and nervous system control the whole body. The immune and respiratory systems rely on proper communication with the nervous system in order to function optimally. By removing any nerve interference through chiropractic adjustments, function of the respiratory and immune systems can be improved.
Katie Samsel, DC, is a licensed chiropractic physician offering chiropractic care and more at Samsel Integrative Health, in Langhorne. For more information, call 215-944-8424 or visit SamselHealth.com. March 2019