When we take a big picture view of allergies we see they are an inflammatory reaction when we are exposed to more than we can tolerate. But what decides how or what we can tolerate?
As we grow older we often become reactive to things we never had issues with before, this is because our total inflammatory load has increased. Our total inflammatory load comes from a number of different factors and as it rises we are more likely to react (and have symptoms) to benign things like pollen.
Contributors of inflammation
- Foods – Many of the foods we eat may be causing inflammation, general inflammatory foods are processed foods and sugars while foods like gluten, dairy or eggs may be inflammatory in some people but not others.
- Toxic burden – Toxic burden is the accumulation of chemical toxins ranging from heavy metals, pesticides, solvents and more. These toxins put a drain on the body by inhibiting normal immune cell function leading to hyper-reactivity to allergens.
- Environmental exposures – With all the rain we had this winter there is a lot more pollen than normal making it more likely for us to react. Other exposures that can cause issues are mold, indoor air as well as automobile pollution.
- Stress – Emotional stress can be another contributor of inflammation, but so can physical stress and even a positive event can put extra strain on our health.
These are just a few of the more common contributors to inflammatory load which builds up and eventually passes the threshold of what we can tolerate comfortably. After passing that threshold we notice more symptoms like allergies, fatigue, mental concentration difficulties and more. One of the best ways to understand what is going on and what is actually going to help reducing allergies are some of the labs we often utilize.
- Food allergy panel – This can show which foods you’re reactive to help remove from the diet and create major positive changes.
- Heavy metal testing – Understanding the amounts and types of metals present can determine if heavy metals are a primary contributor of inflammation which can lead to more severe allergic reactions.
- Nutrient deficiencies – Identifying nutrient deficiencies is important because specific nutrients are necessary to break down histamine – which starts and continues allergic reactions.
Addressing the issues:
- Avoidance and Detoxification – By reducing the amount of toxins entering the systems and within the system the overall inflammation from those toxins will reduce dramatically.
- Chelation – If heavy metals are an issue, chelation therapy will help mobilize and remove those metals to indirectly improve immune function and reactivity to allergens.
- Diet – Of course improving diet to decrease inflammation within the GI tract and improve nutritional quality will improve allergy symptoms.
- Nutrients supporting histamine breakdown – Supporting the histamine breakdown pathways can be an important approach to allergies, if we remove the histamine we remove allergy symptoms.
- Stress management – Finding ways to manage both positive and negative stressors are another great addition to the allergy picture. This is most important for times of great stress and reactivity.
There are a number of contributors to allergies, the only way to find out more is to take action and do something about it. Lab testing and a thorough intake can help focus on the most important contributors for you, which can help reduce allergy severity over time. Fill out the form to the right if you’d like us to reach out to you.