People with symptoms of allergy & reactivity experience an inappropriate immune response to what should be a harmless substance in the environment. This could be pollen, a food item, a natural or synthetic chemical, or other product. Allergy & reactivity symptom severity varies significantly from person to person, ranging from serious anaphylaxis (e.g. an allergic response requiring EpiPen use) to milder symptoms, such as ongoing headaches.
For some, environmental allergens such as pollen, grasses, dust &animal dander trigger the allergic response. These allergens irritate the nasal passages causing inflammation, increased mucous production, & symptoms such as itchiness, watery eyes, sneezing, runny nose & congestion.
Others may suffer digestive symptoms, either due to insufficient digestive enzymes or other gastrointestinal imbalance. These symptoms are often referred to as an intolerance or hypersensitivity: however all are due to an abnormal immune response. These types of reactivity may trigger less obvious symptoms, such as chronic headaches, sinus congestion, variable bowel motions, skin rashes, poor concentration, mood changes & energy slumps - some of these symptoms may be sudden, or they may be delayed by hours or even days.
So why do some people react to certain substances?
Essentially, your body believes that these otherwise harmless substances (animal hair, foods & grasses) are threatening. Hence, when it comes into contact with these substances, known as allergens, your immune system releases large amounts of the chemical histamine. Histamine is like a burly bouncer outside a club: its job is to muscle an allergen out of your body by any means necessary. Some of the ways histamine does this job is by producing redness & inflammation, a running nose, itchy eyes, constricted airways, bloating & diarrhoea - all manifestations of allergic disease.
Current approaches to allergy management centre on both allergen avoidance & reducing histamine (e.g. antihistamine medication).
But why does your body think these substances are harmful & mount this response against them in the first place? Several contributing factors lead to your body's immune system to respond this way, including:
* Inflammation within your digestive tract (where the majority of your immune system is found).
* Damage to the lining of your digestive tract commonly known as "leaky gut", allowing small particles (undigested food, bacteria and/or toxins) to pass through to the blood stream causing inflammation in other areas of the body.
* Low levels of good bacteria and/or an overgrowth of bad bacteria within your intestine that interferes with your body's immune response.
Truly holistic allergy management encompasses symptomatic relief while also retraining the body's immune system to tolerate "threatening" allergens. One way you can achieve this is by following an "Allergy & Reactivity Reduction Program" here at Harmony on Sunrise Wellness Centre. This specially designed & professionally supported program incorporates carefully selected herbs & nutrients combined with tailored diet & lifestyle recommendations; to help repair your gut, improve your ability to tolerate allergens, & reduce your reactive symptoms.
Following a prescribed diet in conjunction with specialised supplementation
greatly assists in reducing symptoms & building tolerance to allergens. I will
recommend a specific dietary plan depending on your symptom presentation
& health history.
While following the Allergy & Reactivity Reduction Program you will "rest" from foods that may be creating inflammation & damage within your gut, giving your immune system an opportunity to "reset" & become more
tolerant. Once this "rest" period is complete, I will direct you to strategically
re-test the foods you have been resting from to determine the right amount you can tolerate in the future, so you can remain symptom free, while still enjoying the foods & activities you love.
Completing this program can help you gain control of your reactivity & increase your tolerance levels, leading to a reduction in symptoms. Imagine indulging in the foods & activities you enjoy; patting your dog without sneezing, eating the foods you love without bloating, or having a picnic in the grass without itching - now that would be life changing!