Allergies — Not A Life Sentence

Allergies, and their symptoms, are a way for the body to communicate that it can no longer handle the heavy traffic of environmental pollutants, food additives, pesticides, second-hand smoke, and medications. Like a garbage can that is filled to the top, any additional deposit will overflow. Things spill and ooze out. It’s a way for the body to rid itself of the offenders.

Allergies can develop throughout a lifetime.

In infants, the digestive tract is still maturing and not able to handle adult food.  A too early introduction to these foods may result in food sensitivities or food allergies.

The body rids itself of the substances it can not yet metabolize through the skin via eczema most commonly on the scalp, in the creases of the elbows and knees, and the face, as well as via runny stool (diarrhea) that irritates the skin around the anus because it contains the offending substances the body is trying to eliminate.

Symptoms in adults with allergies mimic those of infants.  Other symptoms may be physical and mental fatigue, headaches, muscle aches, and so forth.  Infants may have these symptoms as well.  Only, they are not able to tell us when they do.

The use of antibiotics and non-steroidal-anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) can increase our vulnerability to allergies.

Antibiotic use in infancy and childhood, as well as adulthood, can predispose to allergies because the antibiotics kill off a lot of the good bacteria in the intestinal tract, necessary for proper stool formation and elimination, as well as vitamin metabolism.

Antibiotics may also alter the way the immune system responds to foreign particles, whether harmless or not, putting it into overdrive.  Moreover, killing off the good bacteria, facilitates an overgrowth of bad bacteria, including fungus, such as yeast (candida).  Candida interferes with the absorption of nutrients and irritates the mucus lining of the digestive tract.

NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs), such as aspirin and ibuprofen, destroy the lining of the gastrointestinal tract, including the stomach, potentially causing ulcers.  The mucus lining of the intestinal tract is the body’s first line of defense to keep pathogens and foreign toxins out of the body.  70% of the immune system resides in the digestive tract.

When this lining is compromised, it can no longer keep these offenders at bay.  Pathogens, such as viruses, bacteria, and parasites gain easy entrance, overloading the body’s immune system and putting it into overdrive.  It becomes overreactive to anything that arouses suspicion, even harmless food.

Respiratory allergies reflect a greater vulnerability to environmental factors.

Respiratory allergies or sensitivities reflect weakness in the protective lining of the respiratory tract (nasal passages, pharynx, trachea, and bronchi).  Exposure to second-hand smoke, dust, mold, and chemicals damages the mucus lining of the respiratory tract, making it more reactive to pollen and cold air.  Since the mucus lining is the first line of defense for the body, injury to this lining makes us more vulnerable to colds, the flu, bronchitis, pneumonia, and asthma.

Did you know that physical injuries to the arms and upper body can make you more vulnerable to respiratory allergies or asthma?  Read more…

Standard medications to treat respiratory allergies.

Several classes of medications are used to suppress or alleviate allergic reactions to the environment.  The major classes are antihistamines, steroids, decongestants, bronchodilators, mast cell stabilizers, and leukotriene inhibitors.  They aim to interrupt or dampen the various ways in which the body tries to defend itself from foreign particles and pathogens.

While they may help to reduce the frequency or severity of the allergic reactions they do not heal the body.  Thus, you will continue to experience these allergic reactions year after year.  Moreover, these medications, like all medications, come with a host of side effects that may undermine your body’s health in many other ways.

Natural treatment options are much kinder to your body.

We need to instead restore health to, and keep healthy, the mucus lining of the respiratory tract and the digestive tract.  We have many natural tools to do so.

A naturopathic physician can help you decide how to introduce your infant to healthy foods, or help you get back on track with your own nutrition..  He/she can also help you with herbs and homeopathy to become healthy again and remain healthy.

Acupressure, acupuncture, craniosacral therapy, and energetic unwinding can help to open up the energy pathways to make you less reactive to your environment and to calm the immune system down.

So, call a naturopathic doctor to help you negotiate your own path to healing.

Until the next natural healing perspective blog…

To Your Health