Living with Allergies
Do you wake up with a head full of mucous every morning? Are you sneezing left right and center? Are your eyes itching and your nose dripping like crazy? Or maybe you are breaking out in a rash and have troubles with your digestive system. These are the common symptoms associated with allergic reactions. They can be bothersome to debilitating to life-threatening. But what exactly is an allergy and what can you do to stop it.
An allergy occurs when a person’s immune system over-reacts to substances in their environment. These allergens could be dust mites, pets, pollen, foods, drugs, insect stings, latex, moulds etc. An allergen for one person may not be a problem for another person, and everyone reacts differently.
A reaction can occur within minutes or up to a few hours after contact. During an allergic reaction antibodies, which are supposed to protect our bodies against viruses, parasites and infections mistakenly identify the particular allergen as an invader and begin to create antibodies against it. These (IgE) antibodies, attach themselves to mast cells. Mast cells are abundant under the surface of the skin and in the nose, eyes, lungs, and gut. (this is why it is so important to heal the gut, balance the immune system and reduce inflammation) When the allergen is encountered, the antibodies grab it, triggering the mast cells to release powerful chemicals, including histamine – the inflammatory chemical. (hence the reason anti-histamines are used to treat allergic reactions)
Identification of specific allergens can be done through blood/skin and hair testing and is the first step in your journey – with the correct knowledge you have the power to effect change. Symptoms can be relieved with specific remedies and changes to diet and lifestyle once your trigger/s are identified. However, the best way to prevent symptoms is to avoid what triggers you.
You don’t have to suffer through it. To find out what you can do to treat your allergies, reduce inflammation and manage food reactivity call us or come in and book an appointment with one of our Naturopaths today.