Have you ever wondered why some people are allergic or intolerant to certain things and others aren’t? Be it foods, pollens, dust mites, metals or creams...why do some of us react, sometimes severely, to substances that others find completely harmless?
Is it just your genetic makeup? The luck of the draw? And a life sentence of relying on antihistamines, steroids and avoidance?
Simply avoiding the triggers, or taking antihistamines or steroids may bring you short-term relief, but it isn’t actually dealing with the underlying problem.
The truth is, intolerances are usually a sign that your body is not functioning as well as it should be. And the answer to long-term relief from intolerances needs to be addressed at a functional and systemic level.
All the systems and functions in your body are intricately connected. A dysfunction in one area may seem completely unrelated to a different area but it simply can’t be. This dysfunction affects all the other systems in your body in one way or another.
This is the basis of “functional” healthcare - looking at how the WHOLE body functions together.
You may be surprised to know that allergies, including hayfever, skin rashes, migraines and other reactions, often point to a dysfunction in the gut. The health of the gut is crucial for the healthy function of practically every part of your body!
But the gut, although a pivotal piece , is only one piece of the puzzle.
Identifying triggers can be straightforward if the response is immediate (in acute allergies the response is normally within 30min). But in the case of delayed responses, it can be very tricky to identify the triggers as they can occur hours or days after exposure. Someone with migraines for example may have no idea that these are actually a response to food they ate a few days ago.
In such cases, it’s important to work with a practitioner to help identify what the triggers are as they can often identify patterns that give clues. It’s also important to ensure you’re eating a varied and colourful healthy diet, as the body is dependent on this diversity of nutrients to function at it’s best, so avoiding foods for fear of intolerances is best done with the guidance and support of a practitioner.
We produce enzymes to work all over our body allowing every part of you to do its job. The ones in our gut help to break down the different components of our food. Lactase for example is an enzyme we produce to help break down the sugar lactose. If we do not have sufficient lactase production we are left with a whole lot of lactose in our guts that our bodies don’t know what to do with. And this can lead to bloating, diarrhoea, stomach cramps etc.
Talk to us about whether taking digestive or systemic enzymes could help your allergies.
You would have heard us talk about gut bacteria many many times. Because They. Are. So. Important!!
Our gut is home to millions of bacteria (and other organisms) and the healthy functioning of our whole body is dependent on a diverse range of these healthy bacteria living in our gut. As well as breaking down food and producing important nutrients, our gut bacteria actually “educate” our immune system.
When our microbiome (gut bacteria) is out of balance, our immune system becomes dysfunctional...leading to abnormal and unenjoyable bodily responses.
There are dietary changes and supplementation that can help your microbiome bloom! Start playing around with fermented food like sauerkraut and kombucha and ask your practitioner which probiotic is right for you.
Your barriers are the membranes like your skin, your sinuses, your gut lining, and your urinary tract. These are your body’s first line of defence, to filter out any unwanted invaders entering each part of your body.
If you suffer recurrent rashes, sinus or lung irritation, gut aches, vaginitis or UTIs, your barriers may not be able to do their job.
Remember that our membranes like to be covered in bacteria, and so the soaps and perfumes we use on our skin, or the air we breathe through our nose, or the food and drink we let enter our mouth and even the type of washing detergents we use on our clothes, can imbalance our membrane health. Our membranes also enjoy an alkali diet full of vegetables and fruit, minimal sugar intake and plenty of pure, uncaffeinated water!
Adding bone broth to your everyday diet will also start to heal and strengthen those barriers.
In short, an intolerance or allergic response is an inappropriate immune response to a commonly harmless thing. The best way to strengthen your immune system is to minimise how much “inflammation” you are creating.
Inflammation is at the root of almost EVERY bodily complaint, especially allergies. So... getting plenty of sunshine, go outside with barefeet to earth yourself (avoid windy / pollen filled days!), work on all the areas we’ve already talked about already to get your gut healthy and strong and take cod liver oil like our grandparents all did!
For more specific help on strengthening your unique immune system, talk to your practitioner.
Every part of the body needs the nervous system to send messages back and forth to the brain. Without these messages being passed along then no amount of probiotics can help your immune response... your body needs freely flowing feedback from your brain to know what to do with them!
This is why regular chiropractic care is a vitally important part of supporting you to overcome intolerance and allergies. Soothing the nerves with a beautiful adjustment can very often soothe an irritated sinus, bladder or gut.
Of course, nothing soothes the nerves like time in your life to counteract the chaos and pressure - so schedule in small blocks of time to chill each day!
Our bodies are so wonderfully complicated. Intricate and brilliantly intelligent. They know exactly what to do to keep themselves well. All we need to do is support them in a way that encourages their natural processes, and try to mitigate the harmful effects of our modern, stressful lifestyles, for which we were not really designed to cope with.
But most importantly, we need to look at and support the body as a whole, not simply a sum of unrelated symptoms and reactions. This is true healthcare.
If you’d like to chat to us about how we might be able to support you to get to the bottom of your allergies or intolerances, give us a call on 07 544 1133. Or hop on over to our online bookings page and book an initial consultation with one of our practitioners.