Why are my allergies so bad in the spring?
Spring has arrived! And with spring arrives seasonal allergies. In spring trees, grasses, and plants release pollen into the air with the goal of fertilizing other plants. For some people, when they breathe in this pollen, it triggers their immune system to mount a defense, which results in a range of symptoms including:
- Sneezing and an itchy, runny or blocked nose
- Itchy, red, watering eyes
- A raised, itchy, red rash
- Wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and a cough
Treating seasonal allergies successfully involves modulating your immune system so it does not identify these triggers as a treat, and therefore does not react to them. This involves working with your immune system, your digestive health and your nutrition and diet.
Improve your immune health
A number of factors can take a toll on your immune system therefore the first step in addressing any allergies is to ensure your immune health is optimal and the nutrients essential to your immune system are in abundance. These include Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Vitamin A and Zinc. If you are deficient in any of these vitamins your immune system will be struggling and this will be impacting your allergies.
Once you immune system is strong we can then introduce immune modulating herbal medicine which helps reduces your body’s immune response to the triggers and therefore reduces or eliminates your allergy symptoms.
Herbal medicine can also repair any damage to the mucous membranes of the respiratory system, which can be damaged by chronic allergies.
Improve your digestive health
For a healthy immune system, you need a healthy digestive system, aka ‘a healthy gut’. 70-80% of your immune system is located in your gut; therefore, if your gut is not optimal, your immune system will be less than optimal.
A diverse micro biome is essential for good gut health. Specific probiotics strains such as Lactobacillus rhamnosushave been shown to directly support immune health and probiotics such as Saccharomyces boulardii can help balance other good and bad bacteria.
Eating a diverse variety of whole foods rich in fibre is important to ensure you create a beneficial environment for the bacteria in your gut.
Eliminate reactive foods
When you are suffering from allergies it can also be helpful to eliminate or reduce your intake of some specific foods, for example oranges and dairy can increase your production of mucus and histamine liberators such as bananas, strawberries, citrus fruits, wine and some chocolate can increase the severity of your symptoms.
It is also valuable to identify any foods incompatible with your body, as these foods will be causing inflammation and contribute to stress on your immune system. These foods may include gluten, wheat, dairy, soy and/or processed sugar.
Don’t let season allergies ruin your spring and summer. Start improving your health today and resolve your allergies.
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