Summertime is here which means hay fever is in full swing! Those cottonwoods tend to make it snow in June and the drier sunnier weather means dust and other particles are heavy in the air. In other words, if you have allergies, it is almost unthinkable to go through the day without a package of tissues!
Allergies are a reaction or over-reaction, from your immune system to unknown pathogens like pollen or dust. Every time you wipe your runny nose or watery burning eyes, you have your immune system to thank.
Luckily there are things you can do to help your body be more prepared for allergy season so that it hopefully doesn’t have such a volatile reaction.
Take probiotics or eat fermented foods Fermented foods and probiotics can help bring the microbiota and your immune system back into balance. If you are sensitive to histamine, try histamine-degrading strains such as Bifidobacteria infantis and Lactobacillus plantarum.
Eat plenty of fermentable fiber Complex fibers like plantains, cassava, or sweet potatoes are fermented by gut bacteria, resulting in the formation of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) like butyrate, acetate, and propionate that regulate the immune system. Butyrate has been shown to reduce intestinal permeability to dietary antigens in a mouse model of food allergy and induce regulatory T cells, which suppress immune responses. In mice, propionate has been shown to reduce allergic airway disease (22).
Get tested for sensitivities and avoid inflammatory foods Continuing to eat foods you are sensitive to can cause low-grade inflammation and impair gut healing. Look into getting a Cyrex panel to identify sensitivities. For more information, check out my podcast episode on allergy testing. Consider keeping some activated charcoal on hand for those times that you accidentally eat something you are sensitive to. Many people find that it can provide quick and safe relief for food allergies.
Try a low-histamine diet A low-histamine diet can often reduce the severity of allergy symptoms. Foods high in histamine include fermented foods, aged cheese, citrus fruits, fish, shellfish, avocados, spinach, cocoa, and leftover meat, to name a few. Consider taking quercetin (a natural antihistamine) or diamine oxidase (the enzyme responsible for breakdown of histamine) in supplement form, and use antihistamine herbs like thyme and holy basil in cooking. Check out my article on histamine intolerance for more information.
Get tested/treated for SIBO or intestinal pathogens SIBO and parasites are both common, but often overlooked, causes of allergies. SIBO is also a common cause of histamine intolerance.
Try local raw honey for seasonal allergies Raw honey contains both beneficial bacteria and trace amounts of pollen picked up by the bees from local plants. Consuming raw honey produced in your area can help to “educate” your immune system to tolerate these local pollens. A randomized controlled pilot trial published in 2011 showed that allergic patients who consumed birch pollen honey had 60 percent reduced allergy symptoms and twice as many asymptomatic days during birch pollen season (23).
Does your body need herbs, nutrition, pharmaceuticals, dietary modifications? Any recommendations made without the use of muscle testing are guesses at best.
Nutrition Response Testing takes the guesswork out of the equation so you can be provided with a treatment plan beneficial to your health the first time around. Dr. Della treats all types of conditions but has a special interest in digestive problems, chronic fatigue, and thyroid dysfunction.