Across the globe, when everything starts to bloom after a long winter season, people experience hayfever or other seasonal allergies. This can be more than just an annoyance to people. Rather, hayfever and other allergies can seriously impact on what they can and can not do. For some, the root of the problem could be their gut health.
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Are Hay Fever and Gut Health Related? | Leaky Gut
Okay, you may be asking the question “What does got health have to do with hayfever or seasonal allergies?” After all, the allergic response seems to be all in your head. However, there is probably a stronger connection between the two than you might think.
According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, “Besides being associated with inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis, or celiac disease, leaky gut can also be a contributing factor to allergies.”
If you haven’t heard the term leaky gut, it basically means that large particles pass through the walls of your digestive system.
What Are Allergies / Hayfever and How to Do They Tie to Gut Health?
Allergies and hayfever are an inappropriate defensive response to pollen and other substances.
It’s true that pollens can be extremely irritating. When you look at them under a microscope, some look like medieval torture devices. The drift into your nose and hang out around your eyes just to torment you.
Your body wants to rid itself of irritants. Soon there is an increase in mucus production to help rinse your sinuses and pull the offending pollen away. Then, a tickle might develop which will lead to a sneeze that helps to expel the mucus and embedded pollen.
This process is not really an allergy. It is just your body taking care of housekeeping.
Some individuals discover that their hayfever problem or even asthma is tied by food allergies. It seems like the inflammation caused by an allergy to specific foods or food groups becomes contagious and spreads to the respiratory system.
Guess where food allergies begin? In the gut.
When your intestinal lining loses integrity or leaky gut syndrome, it allows incompletely digested food particles into your bloodstream. Your immune system doesn’t recognize these too-large particles as nutrients, so they’re considered to be invaders. Your body proceeds to attack and dispose of those invaders.
It also creates antibodies to those particles. These are sort of like the FBI’s most wanted list, so the immune system can quickly identify and subdue these substances, should they ever decide to invade again.
From Dr. Mercola again: about a third of seasonal allergy sufferers have Oral Allergy Syndrome. Sometimes your immune system is fooled by similar looking proteins. So when a pollen molecule is structurally similar to a food molecule you’re already allergic to, Your immune system looks at the protein molecule and says, ‘Close enough!’ and attacks it.
Holistic Approach to Treating Allergies | Gut Health
Most doctors who treat allergies holistically will want to reduce the allergic threshold by using an elimination diet. Because adverse reactions can be delayed sometimes, it’s recommended to stay on the special diet for at least 10 days to properly narrow the field.
The top ten common food allergens you may want to avoid:
Eggs, fish, shellfish, nuts and peanuts will usually have an immediate reaction.
Milk, chocolate, wheat, citrus fruits, and artificial colorings often have a delayed reaction.
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology recommends using a Neti pot to irrigate your sinuses daily with saline solution. This safely flushes out pollen and other irritants. Though it won’t cure your allergies, it can help with symptoms, taking some of the pressure off while you’re getting to the root of the problem.
Do you suffer from a leaky gut or related symptoms?
Is hayfever or allergies an annual nemesis?
Resources on Hayfever and Gut Health