Health Tips | Allergies
Clear your Allergies the Natural Way!
Q: It's that season again - I have itchy eyes, a runny nose and sneezing - my hay fever is really bad this year, how can I get rid of my allergies?
A: British Columbians have the second highest rate of adults developing allergies (57%), with symptoms occurring anytime from early spring through late November. More than 62% of sufferers say allergies significantly impact their day to-day lives, including affecting sleep patterns and ability to perform at work. If you're one of them, you could really be hit with a one-two punch this cold and flu season. Unfortunately, allergies are poorly understood and are often inadequately treated.
Allergies are the result of your immune system's over-reaction to pollens, grass, airborne fungi, and even certain foods and cosmetics. With more than 60,000 chemicals already existing in our environment, and nearly 500 new ones being created annually, we face numerous biochemical challenges to our immune system.
Naturopathic treatments, with the help of diet planning, blood testing and supplements, will help to reduce and prevent the symptoms of seasonal allergies and hay fever as well as decrease or eliminate a dependence on antihistamine medications. Moreover, you can improve your overall resistance against allergens and support the immune system.
Food Allergies: What Is a Food Allergy?
The word allergy is derived from the Greek words meaning "altered reaction". An allergic individual usually suffers from physical symptoms when exposed to substances to which they are sensitive. The substance, which provokes this reaction, is called the allergen. It can be dust, pet dander, certain foods, chemicals or even bacteria, just to name a few.
With a food allergy, the body reacts as though that particular food product is harmful. As a result, the immune system (which fights infection and disease) creates antibodies against the food allergen, the substance in the food that triggers the allergy.
The next time a person comes in contact with that food by touching, eating or inhaling its particles, the body releases chemicals, including one called histamine, to "protect" itself. These chemicals trigger allergic symptoms that can affect the respiratory system, digestive tract, skin, or cardiovascular system. Symptoms can vary widely.
The immediate, obvious IgE-mediated food reactions include hives, wheezing, runny nose, vomiting and anaphylaxis. Delayed or IgG-mediated reactions include less obvious chronic symptoms such as headache, digestive problems, muscle and joint aches and pains, and skin disorders such as eczema and psoriasis.
Over the past few years, there has been increasing awareness of many illnesses that can be caused, or contributed to, by the presence of allergies. Anyone can be allergic to any food, but there are eight common allergens that account for 90% of all reactions in children:
- Tree nuts (such as walnuts and cashews)
- Shellfish (such as shrimp)
If you have ever experienced any allergy symptoms or you suspect you may have a food allergy, it's a good idea to complete a food allergy lab test. Consideration of food allergy is a critical component of any comprehensive approach to good health. For prevention of illness an elimination diet approach remains the gold standard.
Naturopathic treatments, with the help of diet planning and supplements, will help reduce and prevent the symptoms of food allergies.
For more information on how Naturopathic Medicine can help you clear your allergies, contact us to begin on your path to wellness today. 604.568.6899.
We also offer complementary 15 mins consultations to discuss how Naturopathic Medicine can benefit you.