Allergies are a growing concern and are becoming more common in our society. An allergy occurs when your body comes into contact with a substance that it is incompatible with. This could be a food or liquid that you’ve consumed, a substance that you have inhaled, a material that has come in contact with your skin, or by a condition called Leaky Gut Syndrome (damage to the mucous membrane lining of your digestive tract).
What you eat and drink are by far the most common sources of allergies that will affect you and the old saying “one man’s food is another man’s poison” is still as accurate today as it was back then.
How do allergies occur?
When a substance that you’re allergic to comes in contact with your immune system a series of events occur. Firstly the immune system produces cells called antibodies and their role is to remove or neutralise the allergenic substances (antigens) from your body. The presence of these antigens and the increased number of circulating antibodies present in your blood cause another immune cell (mast cell) to rupture resulting in a massive release of histamine.
This increase in histamine levels then causes an inflammatory response anywhere in your body (generally where there is already a weakness) resulting in the symptoms of an allergy. Inflammation not only causes allergies but is the main driving force behind 98% of all diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and any illness ending in “itis” such as arthritis, pancreatitis or diverticulitis.
How would I know if I was allergic to something?
Allergies affect every person differently and generally affect a part of your body where there is a weakness. There are some classic signs and symptoms that indicate you may be experiencing an allergic reaction. A few common signs are;
Nausea and/or vomiting
Arthritis, joint or muscle pain
Abdominal pain, cramps or colic
Mood swings and/or depression
Diarrhoea or constipation
Abdominal bloating and/or flatulence
Sinus or hay fever
Skin rashes / itchy skin
Itchy or runny nose
Headaches or migraines
Swelling of lips, tongue, or mouth
ADD or ADHD
Itching or tightness in the throat
Irritability or explosive anger
How long before an allergic reaction occurs?
Your allergic reaction may occur in a very short period of time ranging from a few minutes to hours or as a delayed reaction taking place days later after your initial contact to the allergenic substance occurred. For example an allergy to dairy may take up to 5 days to show up as a sign or symptom in your body which makes it very difficult for you to identify what is causing your reaction.
What treatments are available for my allergies?
- Nutritional Supplements: There are some highly effective nutritional supplements available that can strengthen your immune system and dampen your allergenic response. Vitamin C detoxifies and reduces excess histamine while the bioflavonoid Quercetin helps to reduce the amount of histamine released by strengthening the membrane walls of the mast cells. Herbs such as Albizia, Chamomile, Bacial Skullcap benefit allergy sufferers due to their ability to decrease histamine release and reduce the symptoms of allergies. Probiotics strengthen the gut based immune system, which controls the body's allergenic response. The stronger the gut immune system the less the allergenic reaction is.
In our clinic we recommend and use AllerCare Herbal Tonic which contains potent anti allergenic and immune stimulating herbs. We also recommend in conjunction with AllerCare the high potency probiotic Multibac 10. Our AllerSupport Pack contains both of these beneficial products.
- Food Allergy (Bio-Compatibility) Testing: This is an effective way to identify what foods and drinks are incompatible with your body. Food bio-compatibility testing is a quick, easy, pain free test using a small sample of your hair. The results of this test will show what foods are having a negative effect on you and may be causing your symptoms as well as foods that are safe for you to have and beneficial for your health.
- Leaky Gut Syndrome Testing:Leaky gut syndrome is known to increase your body’s allergy response to food and beverages, dust, chemicals, cleaning products etc. If you suffer from the symptoms of food allergies it makes sense to have a leaky gut syndrome test to ensure you receive the best treatment plan for you.
Prebiotic fibres are special fibres found in plant-based foods that can be broken down in the intestinal tract to short-chained fatty acids. These fatty acids are the only fuel supply that feeds the millions of beneficial gut bacteria, plus are the major food source for the cells that make up the intestinal wall. Low levels of prebiotic fibres = low short-chained fatty acids, which leads to sickness, immune suppression, poor health and the growth of abnormal cells within the colon.
Constipation, not a common around the dinner table conversation, but for many sufferers, it is a real health concern. In this blog, 14 Common Side Effects of Constipation, we explore the causes, symptoms, side effects and treatments of Constipation.