Did Someone Mention Allergies?

Over my years in practice, there has been an increase in those complaining of allergy symptoms consisting of sinus congestion, post-nasal drip, sore and itchy throat, cough, headache, runny-stuffy-itchy nose, sneezing and watery eyes.

The cause is not always front and center as some only complain with seasonal weather changes whereas others complain year-round, and still others complain after ingesting certain foods, which may cause reactions such as headache, dizziness, skin rash, itching, swelling and, most serious, anaphylaxis.

Whatever category you fall into, it’s very important to get to the root cause of your symptoms and not just treat it willy-nilly.

Your gut microbiome and your immune system and allergies are all connected. More than 80% of your immune system lies in the gut.

The gut microbiome consists of bacteria, yeast and other organisms which are critical in determining health. Reactions or sensitivities appear to be increasing yearly therefore a change in the way you eat (feed your gut) needs to be looked at more closely. Optimal nutrition promotes overall health and a healthy gut microbiome.

Food concerns can consist of the relationship-inflammation to eggs, dairy, gluten, nuts, and more recent, histamine-driven. Other factors, especially for children, influencing health consist of breastfeeding, playing in the dirt, and having pets. The use of antibiotics also plays a role in gut health.

Let’s support your gut health, the possibility of developing allergies, and your overall health as well by introducing some simple steps into your everyday life.

• Eat whole nutrient dense foods including many types of plant fiber such as legumes, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruits (with the skin on if possible and organic).

• Eat foods rich in bioflavonoids such as blueberries, blackberries, apples and onions as these contain quercetin aiding in a positive immune response.

• Eat foods containing probiotics such as sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, yogurt, kefir, and kombucha. Incorporating a probiotic supplement may also be included when restoring the gut microbiome. Hippocrates said “All disease begins in the gut.” Well…maybe not all disease but without proper digestive health, the other systems of the body become imbalanced.

• Avoid the use of antibiotics as this destroys gut health. If an antibiotic is necessary (and in certain circumstances it is), incorporate probiotic foods and supplementation.

• Histamine-driven allergies require the restriction of a variety of certain healthy foods. Some examples (and the list is quite long) include eggplant, avocado, spinach, pineapple, orange, processed meats, lentils, beans, peanuts, processed foods, carbonated beverages, and many, many more.

• Supplementation with quercetin, butterbur, stinging nettles, astragalus, and reishi may be beneficial.

• Acupuncture has been used to support the immune system aiding in the prevention of and treatment of nasal congestion, postnasal drip, sneezing and more. Contact a chinese acupuncture center and schedule an acupuncture appointment if you want to experience its health benefits.

• Avoiding fragrance in perfumes, dish soap, body wash, laundry detergent, cleaning products and more causes a buildup of toxins in the body causing not only allergy symptoms but other conditions.

• Using a Neti pot a minimum of once daily.  Irrigation of your sinus passages will remove pollen, and decrease the thickness of mucus leading to lessen congestion.  It is important to wash your Neti pot regularly with a mixture of vinegar and water to eliminate increased bacteria and/or mold from forming inside the chamber and entering your nasal passages.

• The homeopathic remedy, Allium cepa, is acquired from allium (otherwise also known as onions) decreasing allergy symptoms.   The micro doses of allium in homeopathic remedies act as an antihistamine.

• Hydration…water, water and more water! Water will thin out mucus and help to eliminate toxins from the body.

• Provide care and strengthen your immune system by getting quality sleep, moving your body, reducing stress, and eating healthy foods.

Supporting the microbiome and immune health will curb allergies and prevent new allergies from developing. Incorporate any of these allergy fighting strategies into your daily routine and enjoy the warm weather ahead.

Deborah Dittner is a family nurse practitioner and health consultant. Her mission is to transform as many individuals as possible through nutrition and lifestyle changes. For more information, check out her website at www.debdittner.com or contact her at 518-596-8565.Deborah Dittner is a family nurse practitioner and health consultant. Her mission is to transform as many individuals as possible through nutrition and lifestyle changes. www.debdittner.com