For many of our patients, seasonal allergies are such a predictable condition that they don’t even complain much—they just accept it as the price they pay for nice weather.
But do we have to put up with it? Can we “fix” seasonal allergies? In many cases, yes—especially for allergies that appear later in life, or worsen over time.
A Case of Mistaken Identity
Our immune system is meant to be intolerant to many things in our environment—it’s a protective mechanism that’s evolved over millions of years. A properly functioning immune system reacts to serious threats like viruses and bacteria, and that reaction keeps us healthy.
In some cases, though, the system learns the wrong thing, and begins to make bad decisions. Instead of ignoring harmless things like pollen or ragweed, it reacts to them too.
The result is what we call allergies—your body reacting adversely to something it should (or used to) tolerate.
A Gut Feeling
When a harmless substance like pollen turns into enemy number one, though, naturopathic doctors don’t just see an “allergy”, we see a sign that your immune system is out of balance.
A normally functioning immune system relies heavily on the beneficial bacteria that inhabit your gut. Simply put, those bacteria “package” a harmless substance like pollen to tell your immune system, “Don’t worry about this. It’s okay.”
It’s a system that works great until something interferes with the balance of these beneficial bacteria. That compromises our “packaging” ability, and we become more reactive to things we should be able to tolerate.
Happy Gut = Fewer Allergies
Things like antibiotic use, exposure to chemicals and environmental pollutants can compromise your bacteria. So can your diet—eating too much processed food, too many foods you are intolerant to, or not eating enough fermented food can also throw off the system.
When we work with people to avoid their food intolerances, detoxify their bodies, improve their diets and heal their gut flora, it is never shocking to us when they come back and report they have had the best allergy season ever!