You know the signals: itchy eyes, stuffy nose, and sneezing with no end in sight for you poor humans who suffer from allergies.
In addition to pollen, allergies to foods, dust mites, and pet danders, are underlying problems that make allergy season even worse. While many folks have their favorite treatments to cope with allergies, few look to boosting their immune system for relief.
First let’s take a deeper look at the allergic response. Most folks have heard of T-cells – big players in every immune system that protect your body against foreign invaders. T-cells coordinate your immune system’s strategy to attack and remove pesky invaders.
Unfortunately, allergens aren’t truly dangerous invaders. In fact, an allergy is technically a malfunction of your immune system, meaning a excessive reaction to a harmless substance. When an allergen triggers your immune system, your cells release histamine and serotonin, resulting in itchy eyes, stuffy nose, and sneezing. Since these invaders pose no real threat, your body exhausts its precious cellular functions fighting enemies that do not exist.
Not only does this leave you exhausted after expending energy and adrenalin fighting off dust and pollen and so forth, this also leaves you with fewer resources to defend against true bad boys, like viruses and yeasts and unfriendly bacteria, when they enter your system.
This is the reason allergy attacks can leave you feeling incredibly fatigued afterward. Alas, your immune system often starts off in a sorry state, with your adrenal glands working overtime fighting little nothings, flooding your system with histamines and adrenaline.
Fast fact: Addictions and allergies often walk hand in hand. This means if you find yourself with uncontrollable cravings for breads, it’s a likely possibility you could be slightly, or heavily, allergic to gluten and so on.
Over time, chronic allergies can lead to greater health challenges. Clinical studies have linked unresolved allergies with arthritis, nervous system dysfunction, gastrointestinal upsets, and even mental illness.
Many people aren’t aware they have allergies, and symptoms like persistent sinusitis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and arthritic pains are often symptoms of underlying allegories.
So, what’s a sniffling, sulky human to do?
Soothing the Allergic Response Naturally
Here are some allergy season allies we keep in our cabinet:
- Vitamin C is a major antioxidant in the airway surface liquid of the lungs, so it’s a major ally in keeping allergies and asthma at bay. Low C levels have been associated with asthma in adults and children, and ample vitamin C may reduce histamines up to 38% and help produce adrenal hormones that inhibit allergic reactions. Plenty of circulating vitamin C has been shown to prevent airway restriction in asthmatics.
- Vitamin E at low levels is also linked to asthma and other wheezing conditions. Turns out vitamin E can help keep certain inflammatory immune cells from entering into the tissues of the lungs, nose and sinuses.
- Garlic (Garlic & Cayenne) stimulates your lymphatic system, and provides the immune-helpers selenium and sulphur.
- N-Acetyl-Cysteine combined with vitamins C & E inhibits pollen-induced airway inflammation by blocking ragweed oxidases that create oxidative stress and inflammation in bronchial airways. By itself, NAC reduces mucus thickness, protects lung tissue, and hinders phagocyte bursting during an allergic reaction. Phagocytes (or “cells that eat”) have the job of engulfing foreign matters (like pollens or viruses) and destroying them. When they burst, the foreign bodies are once again left to scamper about and make mischief.
- Enzymes like protease can help balance the immune response in the blood stream by reducing inflammation, irritation, and allergy reactivity. Protease may also help break down substances that might register as invaders.
- Magnesium is a bronchodilator and antihistamine.
- Zinc supplementation, like vitamin E, may reduce inflammatory cells in the airway.
- Quercetin (Immune Health) with its antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties controls many allergy-related cell activities and symptoms.
- Conjugated Linoleic Acid is usually thought of for weight management support, but has recently shown promise forallergy and immune system support.
- Vitamin B-Complex ( B-100 Plus) support your adrenals and nervous system. Pantothenic acid in particular helps product natural cortisol to mediate the inflammation inherent to the allergic response.
- Evening Primrose Oil helps produce adrenal hormones and stimulate the immune system.
Here are a few lifestyle changes to help your immune system:
- Eat lots of high fiber foods and drink plenty of water to keep flushing allergens out of your system.
- Avoid junk food, caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, refined sugar, excess salt, and white flour.
- If particularly sensitive, use a face mask while doing household chores.
- Use an air purifier and change your furnace filters often, especially if you have pets.
- Get rid of old rugs, pillows, and stuffed animals .
- Wash your sheets and towels weekly in hot water to kill dust mites.