With spring upon, some of us may be bracing for the wrath of allergy season. From sneezing to sniffling to red, watery eyes, seasonal allergies can be miserable and last for weeks. What most don’t know is that they are merely a symptom of something more deeply rooted than pollen.
Seasonal allergies are an immune-related condition and begin, surprisingly, with chronic inflammation of the gut. The good news, however, is that repairing this inflammation can improve or even potentially resolve allergy symptoms.
If you needlessly suffer from seasonal allergies, or depend on allergy medicine to function in the spring, here’s what you should know:
Our microbiome is a diverse ecosystem of trillions of bacteria that help us maintain digestive health. Housing roughly 70 percent of our immune system, the health of our gut significantly impacts the entire immune system.
The health of the gut is truly indicative of the health of the person. Seasonal allergies are no exception. Surprisingly, intestinal permeability–or “leaky gut”–and the resulting inflammation can cause us to experience the symptoms associated with seasonal allergies.
“Leaky” gut is the condition by which the lining of the gastrointestinal tract becomes inflamed and porous and allows food, bacteria, and toxins to “leak” into the bloodstream. This causes the immune system to launch an attack on the leaked invaders and results in inflammation throughout the body.
While leaky gut can cause very obvious gut-related symptoms such as gas, bloating, heartburn, and diarrhea/constipation, many people with leaky gut experience no symptoms at all.
The inflammation caused by leaky gut may manifest differently from person to person: joint and muscle pain, chronic fatigue, skin problems, cognitive impairment, digestive issues, autoimmune diseases, and, of course, seasonal allergies.
A Healthy Gut
The first step to alleviating allergy symptoms is, obviously, to address the root cause: a leaky gut. Sometimes the solution can be as easy as eliminating potential food triggers. Gluten, especially, can be particularly problematic for those with gut-related issues.
The gluten-containing food we consume today have been genetically altered and processed in ways that make it especially harmful to many people’s digestive systems. Removing it as well as other potentially inflammatory foods–such as eggs, dairy, sugar, alcohol, vegetable and seed oils, and refined grains–allows the gut to heal. Following an anti-inflammatory diet may provide significant relief from seasonal allergies and other gut-related symptoms.
Stress can also cause inflammation in the gut. One should be cautious to reduce stressful lifestyle factors, get adequate sleep, avoid foods high in sugar, and ensure hormones are balanced.
If you suffer from seasonal allergies, view it as a sign that your gut needs attention. A leaky gut left untreated can lead to more serious health conditions including: autoimmune diseases, depression, anxiety, and other neurological disorders.
At Total Body Health, we are well versed in healing gut-related health conditions. If you needlessly suffer from seasonal allergies or suspect you may suffer from other gut-related health conditions, call today for your FREE consultation and take the first step to achieving optimal wellness.