Suffering from hay fever, allergies and asthma is no fun. The month of April brings lots of patients to our clinic in search of hay fever symptom relief. Hay fever symptoms, asthma and other allergies are all signs that the immune system is over-reacting to substances entering the body. This reaction involves antibody secretion and a release of histamine by immune cells which causes the sneezing, rashes, congestion, hives, asthma and other hay fever symptoms.
What about anti-histamines?
Using anti-histamines will suppress the histamine release for a short time, but will not work to calm the immune system or correct the problem. Often people abuse anti-histamines and end up needing them on a daily basis for years, which leads to a whole host of problems in the body. The goal of allergy treatment should always be to support the immune system and correct imbalance.
Can you explain the imbalance?
New research is showing that part of the problem in the case of allergies is an imbalance between two kinds of immune system cells called T-Cells. The two types are called type-1 and type-2. Type-2 seems to be overpowering type-1 in individuals experiencing asthma, allergies, hay fever symptoms, and even some other conditions such as auto-immune diseases, fibromyalgia, migraine headaches, ADHD etc. When Type-2 is over produced in comparison to Type-1, the body will become hypersensitive to foreign substances and will react with allergies.
Why does it happen?
A variety of causes are thought to promote this imbalance within the immune system including increased toxicity in the body, heavy metal exposure, inflammation in the digestive tract leading to malabsorption of undigested particles (triggering the immune system), prolonged use of certain medications, food sensitivities and other environmental allergens.
How can I address the underlying issues?
Every individual requires a different and unique treatment plan when treating hay fever and allergies, depending on their health history and their current symptoms. Beyond testing food sensitivities, and other allergies, it is important to see a practitioner who understands the importance of boosting the immune system and balancing the Type-2 dominance taking place.
At Port Moody Health we use a combination of targeted nutrient therapies, as well as plant based products including sterols & sterolins, herbal formulas, homeopathic remedies and dietary adjustments. Depending on the case, there may be need for detoxification programs, stress reduction and hydrotherapy to get the immune system strengthened and balanced.
It is very important to strengthen the immune system at the same time. Here are some important points for immune health:
• Avoid sugar. It compromises the ability of the immune system to function properly.
• Drink lots of water. Help your body clear unwanted wastes
• Increase fiber in your diet. This also helps your body to clear unwanted wastes.
• Clean your house. Make sure there is no mould or excessive dust, mites, insects or chemicals in your environment.
• Avoid processed foods. Many additives and processed versions of food trigger the immune system.
• Manage your stress with breath work, yoga or other stress reduction methods that work for you.
• Come in for an appointment with one of our naturopathic physicians. We can help you heal your digestive tract, test for foods that are contributing to reactions in the body, explain important immune support therapies with correct dosing, and correct the Type-2 T cell imbalance contributing to your unwanted allergy symptoms.
Understanding hay fever and the immune system, and taking the right steps to correct the underlying causes will make all the difference. Visit our clinic and let us help you discover a Spring season you can truly enjoy!