Preventing Allergies Before They Happen

Three cheers for saying good-bye to dark days and cold temperatures! The sweetest days of winter are upon us and spring is just around the corner.

Naturopathic doctors are big on prevention–in fact, it’s one of our core values. Preventing a problem or symptom is always so much easier that treating it. So, as we enjoy these few weeks of great spring skiing, we’d like to turn your attention to the upcoming allergy season…before it happens!

Why You’re Allergic…And Others Aren’t

Seasonal allergies give our patients a lot of grief. Sneezing, itchy/watery eyes and runny noses are no fun, and some folks will have reactive lungs and skin irriation as well during this time of year.

The conventional way of dealing is to use daily antihistamines to stop the immune reactions, but naturopathic doctors look at allergies a little differently. For us, an allergic response is a sign that your immune system is intolerant of, or reactive to, a harmless protein (or antigen).

A properly functioning immune system sees pollen as harmless and ignores it. In a person with an allergic response, that protein is seen as an intruder that will do harm, and the immune system shows up in force–with things like mucus and sneezing–to try to get rid of it.

The reason you’re suffering and your neighbour isn’t, then, may be that something is out of balance, and causing your immune system to not work quite right.

What’s Out of Balance?

The real question now becomes: Why is your immune system over-reacting to something it shouldn’t? Here are three reasons:

1. Your gut is a mess.

One of the biggest parts of your immune system is in your gut. It’s here that your immune system learns what it should and shouldn’t be tolerant to. All the little critters that live and work there everyday are responsible for this job. When they’re disrupted by medications like antibiotics and steroids, or by toxic chemicals in our environment, they don’t do their job properly and you become more reactive.

2. You have a food sensitivity.

Sensitivities to gluten, dairy, eggs and many other foods make your immune system react each time you eat them. Every time you eat a food you are sensitive to, it creates a little bit more inflammation, revving up your immune system even more. That reactivity makes it even easier for spring pollens to set things off.

3. You are nutrient deficient.

Many vitamins and minerals are critical for keeping the immune system working properly. Vitamin C, magnesium, essential fatty acids–they are all used up in our high stress, poor nutrition, toxic lifestyles, making our immune system less able to balance itself.

What can you do now?

Figure out what the root cause of your immune system imbalance and rebalance it. If you do it now, before the pollens show up, you can make this spring the sweetest ever. To learn how we can help assess what’s making you sensitive to pollens and other allergens, contact the clinic at 705-444-5331, or [email protected].