An allergy is an adverse immune system reaction to a substance that most people find harmless. Allergies fall into two categories, those caused by environmental factors and those caused by food. These substances are: foods, dust, dust, pollen, and other environmental factors that usually enter the body through breathing, skin absorption, by eating/drinking foods, or by injection (such as insect bites or vaccinations).
In an allergy situation, your body judges a substance (allergen) to be dangerous to its health and your immune system identifies it as an antigen. Then your immune system releases specific antibodies to deactivate the allergenic antigen(s), setting in motion a complex series of events involving many biochemicals. These chemicals then produce the inflammation or other typical symptoms of an allergy response that you experience.
Immediate Reaction to Exposure
IgE is the antibody that is most commonly involved in the allergic response to pollens and environmental substances. When the IgE antibody senses an allergen it triggers your mast cells to release histamine and other chemicals. The most common allergic reactions occur immediately after exposure to a certain substance (such as peanuts, pollen, bee stings, or cats).
Symptoms can express as:
- runny nose and/or stuffy nose
- watery, puffy eyes
- itching and skin rashes
- constriction of the bronchial tubes (asthma)
- difficulty breathing
- anaphylactic shock
Delayed Reaction to Exposure
Delayed allergies are another type of allergic reaction, which can manifest symptoms up to 72 hours after exposure to the triggering substance (typically food). Many of these reactions are caused by IgG immunoglobulins. Up to 80 different medical conditions – from arthritis, asthma, and autism to insomnia, psoriasis, and diabetes – have been clinically associated with IgG food allergy reactions.
Your symptoms commonly appear as seemingly unrelated illnesses or disorders, such as:
- gastrointestinal problems (belching, bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, indigestion, etc.)
- chronic congestion in the head, ears, and sinuses
- chronic headaches (migraines, sinus headaches, earaches)
- lethargy, fatigue, chronic fatigue, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- lack of mental clarity, brain fog, inability to concentrate
- Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
- hyperactivity, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Autism, autistic characteristics
- mood swings
- skin symptoms (acne, psoriasis, eczema, rosasea, itchy skin, skin rashes)
- inflammation in joints or other tissues
What causes it:
The most common cause of environmental allergies are:
- pollen of various plants such as trees, weeds, and grass
- dust mites
- tobacco smoke
- household cleaning agents, air fresheners
- personal-care products (body and hair products, makeup, perfumes)
- gas for heating and cooking
- fabrics and chemicals in clothing
- metals used in dental fillings
- pesticides, preservatives, and colorings in foods
- heavy metals in water
- vehicle exhaust in the air
- synthetic chemicals (building materials, carpet/upholstery anti-stain and cleaners)
Food sensitivities usually form slowly as a result of repetitive consumption of a food, especially when your digestive function is impaired. When you have food sensitivities, you are often addicted to and consuming regularly the very foods that are causing the delayed symptoms you are experiencing.
Common foods that create your reaction are:
- sugar and artificial sweeteners
It is also possible for you to react to an entire class of foods, such as all milk products, all citrus fruits, all nuts, or chemical preservatives, additives or colorings.
Although you may be reacting to something specific (like pollen, one of the above mentioned common food allergens, or many foods common in your diet), the underlying cause of allergy and sensitivity are dietary and lifestyle factors that break down your immune system and barrier defenses.
This would specifically include: your imbalanced immune function, your barrier function default (such as leaky gut), and your toxic overload. These are in varying degrees responsible for the development and continuation of your allergy and sensitivity. Other causes of your immune dysfunction and food allergies are nutritional deficiencies, a repetitive and monotonous diet (eating the same foods over and over), chemicals in the food chain due to pesticides and preservatives, and chronic intestinal yeast overgrowth (candidiasis).
When you have inadequate digestion for any reason (infection, inflammation, malabsorption), it may result in digestive barrier default, where undigested food particles are absorbed into the bloodstream leading to allergies. (See information on Leaky Gut Syndrome.) The second barrier, for inhaled substances (dust, pollens, dander, molds), is the mucus that covers the membranes of your sinuses and respiratory passages. The purpose of your mucus is to trap the irritant so that it can be removed without coming into contact with your membranes. The third barrier is your skin, so any break in the skin (cut, scrape, burn, scratch, rash, etc.) compromises the barrier and sensitization may occur.
As your food and environment become increasingly saturated with pollutants and chemicals, your body’s mechanisms for elimination of toxins cannot keep up with the chemical deluge. All your organs involved in detoxification and elimination (the liver and the allergy barrier systems of the intestines, skin, and respiratory tract) can become overloaded. This overload weakens your barrier functions and can lead to sensitization. The constant circulation of toxins in your body taxes your immune system, which must continually strive to destroy them. Your overburdened immune system ultimately becomes hypersensitive to food, airborne agents and chemicals develop.
What can I do about it:
Alternate medicine practitioners have found that correcting the underlying cause of your allergies is the way to eliminate most allergy symptoms permanently. This involves identifying and eliminating the substance(s) you are allergic to, detoxification of the toxic load in your body, and re-establishing balance in your immune system. Diet and nutrition, herbal medicine, desensitization techniques, detoxification therapy, acupuncture, and homeopathy are all therapies that can help you. Here are some diet and lifestyle options for you:
Steps to immediate relief are:
(1) Choose your team of healthcare practitioners wisely. Your health condition and experience of discomfort may be the result of many imbalances in your body (requiring proper testing and an accurate diagnosis), especially if your diarrhea is chronic. Choosing practitioners with additional training in the areas nutrition, hormone testing/balancing, and detoxification processes will help you take a multi-faceted approach.
Taking ownership of your health equation can be one of the most empowering steps you can take and you can do this by: becoming more informed, listening to your inner wisdom, focusing on your “ideal experience” of health, and partnering with your healthcare and wellness practitioners to effect the best possible outcome. Essential Wellness would be honored to be a part of your wellness team.
(2) Make water your beverage of choice. Water is one of nature’s natural cleansers. Drinking optimal levels of purified water benefits your overall health by supporting your ability to digest your food, supporting your liver in its ability to detoxify your body, and providing fluid for optimal elimination of toxins.
Commit to drinking 1/2 your weight in fluid ounces of water each day. Drinking sips of warmed water (not microwaved) can help support you with detoxifying the congestion in your intestinal tract and lymphatic system throughout your entire body. Eliminating all other caffeinated, sugary, mucus-producing, carbonated beverages (such as coffee, tea, dairy, and soda pop) is essential as they support digestive dysfunction, parasitic and yeast overgrowth, accumulation, and weight gain.
(3) It’s very important that you digest, assimilate, detoxify and eliminate properly. When any of these pieces are out of alignment, it creates inner ecosystem imbalances that lead to internal toxicity and disease. Take the HCI Challenge Test, to determine if you have low stomach acid, as it interferes with protein digestion, which leads to leaky gut, lowered immunity and food sensitivities.
(4) Your immunity is very tied to your gut health. Determine whether your symptoms are related to an overgrowth of Candida, Parasites, and/or Leaky Gut Syndrome. All three often show up together, have overlapping symptoms, and are the underlying cause of chronic respiratory, digestive and immune issues. With this information, you will be better informed to ask questions of your team of practitioners. We can teach you how to improve your diet, eliminate candida and parasites, and repair leaky gut by incorporating an elimination diet as your next step.
(5) It is important to determine the trigger of your allergies, To rule out food allergies and/or sensitivities, eliminate the most common highly-reactive, inflammatory foods (dairy, soy, wheat/gluten, eggs, peanuts, sugar and artificial sweeteners, and corn) from your diet, while you complete the required repair work. Upgrading your building materials will help you to unburden your digestive system, remove the foods that feed unfriendly microorganisms, stabilize your blood sugar levels and reduce cravings, and support your body’s detoxification and elimination processes.
Replace inflammatory foods with satisfying balanced meals (healthy, lean and clean proteins; low-glycemic and high fiber carbohydrates; lots and lots of dark leafy greens; and healthy fats (nuts, seeds, oils). Reintroducing each reactive food group separately will allow you to determine what foods are still a problem for you.
Other steps include learning to read food labels, knowing how to choose meals when eating out, and how to create a stress-free environment when eating for optimal digestion. At Essential Wellness, we have a specific coaching program that will teach you all these things and more. It is designed to help you formulate a diet that will work best for you.
(6) Stop smoking and/or eliminate your exposure to smoky environments. You will also want to eliminate your exposure to inhaling cleaning chemicals, paint fumes, etc. You may need to invest in a HEPA air purifier to improve the quality of air in your home and work environments.
(8) If your allergy symptoms are related to pollen, dust, or animal dander be sure to change your clothing after you’ve been exposed; wash your face, hair, and eye lashes after exposure; wash your hands regularly; and try to refrain from touching your face. You might also want to invest in a HEPA air filtration unit for your home and work environment to clean pollutants and particulates from the air. Change air filters in your home and have air ducts cleaned annually. If you smoke, take steps to quit. Reduce your exposure to smoky environments.
(9) Check for mold and other environmental toxins in your home and have them cleaned up. Laundry rooms, bathrooms, and damp and/or water-damaged basements are the perfect environment for mold to grow. Diffuse Young Living Thieves oil to kill the mold spores. Be sure to wear a mask when cleaning and removing mold contaminants.
(10) The use of essential oils can be beneficial to you. For immediate allergy pain relief, apply 1-3 drops of essential oil (such as Lavender, Peppermint, Panaway or Deep Relief) to 1 tsp of carrier oil (V6 or olive oil) and apply through self massage of area(s) where your discomfort lies.
You can also massage the neurolymphatic points and foot reflex points that correlate to areas of the body that are troubling you. Layering multiple oils can create a synergistic effect. For allergies, look at oils that will also support your digestive and immune systems (such as DiGize, RC, and Ravensara).
Young Living Essential Oils as they are safe, effective, and known for their pureness and therapeutic-grade qualities. For more help with choosing the right oils and application of specific points or meridians on your body, schedule an appointment with us at Essential Wellness.
Steps to long-term, permanent relief:
If you are experiencing allergy symptoms, your inner ecosystem is out of balance. It’s time for you to consider implementing these additional steps:
(11) Make your dietary improvements permanent. When you don’t provide the necessary nutrients, all aspects of digestion, absorption, detoxification and elimination will be impaired. If you struggle with how to make these changes, work with a practitioner skilled in the areas of nutrition, digestion and detoxification.
(12) ALCAT allergy testing can easily determine what allergens are triggering you. Your test results will tell you what foods, chemicals, and other environmental triggers (like pet dander, mold, fungi, grasses) are triggers for you. This testing determines the severity of your intolerance and gives you recommendations of how long to remove it from your environment while you repair your digestive system.
If it’s determined that you have food, chemical or environmental sensitivities, receiving NAET Desensitization Therapy might be part of your allergies answer. This desensitization therapy works in combination with cleaning up your diet, strengthening your ability to digest your food, absorbing nutrients, and eliminating toxins. It helps reduce the over-triggering of your immune system.
(13) Detoxification is another very important component in promoting health of your immune system and addressing your allergies. The barrage of toxins you are exposed to in your environment (household, personal care, and yard products), your food supply, and the air you breathe, it makes complete sense to take steps to remove these toxins from your body.
It’s very important for your elimination channels to be open and moving optimally before you begin any detoxification protocol, otherwise you may suffer from a Herxheimer Reaction. You will want to check with your healthcare professional before beginning any detox protocol. At Essential Wellness, we know the ins and outs of the cleansing and detoxification process and we can help you minimize your discomfort as you detoxify your body.
How can Essential Wellness help:
At Essential Wellness, we believe repair and recovery is based on many factors. Although we cannot diagnose, prescribe, treat or claim to cure any medical condition you may have, our focus is on helping you reduce the many levels of stress that are playing into your current health experience.
- Nutrition & Wellness Plan is one of our coaching programs that will help you get clear about what your wellness goals are (based on your individual needs), teach you how to decipher and make sense of all the dietary information available to you, and help you formulate your own wellness plan with accountability. The foundation of your wellness plan will be structured around habits that only you have the power to control and change.
- Based on our knowledge and experience, most health disorders including allergies are connected to some physiological dysfunction that causes accumulated toxicity in the body and vice versa. We offer the detoxification therapies of Colonics, Core Lymphatic, and IonCleanse Foot Detox to help reduce stress on your digestive, detoxification and elimination channels. Colonics in combination with herbal support will compliment your dietary foundation and can be especially helpful to you when you are experiencing problems with daily bowel movements.
- We offer Core Synchronism, Eden Energy Medicine exercises, and Vibrational Raindrop Technique therapies to help you in balancing your physical body by reducing your stress. When your body feels out of balance and you feel stress, it is usually due to blocked or congested energy that has settled in your physical body. These therapies help to relieve tightness, congestion, and inflammation in your head (especially your eyes, nose and sinuses). These therapies interrupt your stress response and allow you to relax. We can add Essential Oils to compliment the therapy you receive.
- Toxic emotions can block the flow of your energy channels and become stuck in your physical body. The emotional component of allergies are connected to: emotional congestion, fear of the calendar, or feelings of guilt. If any of these descriptions match what you are experiencing, Mental-Emotional Stress Release techniques can help you understand and integrate these experiences and diffuse the stress they cause you. Flower Remedies can compliment the therapy you receive.
- If you are experiencing allergies, you are most likely experiencing multiple symptoms. We offer RAE Radionics Hair Analysis as another tool to help you understand any stress that is present in your energy system.