By Hermann Keppler for CNM (College of Naturopathic Medicine).
An allergy is an abnormal sensitivity of the body to certain substances called allergens, such as pollen, micro-organisms, pet dander, dust, and sometimes food. There are generally two main causes.
Weak Immune System
If your immune system is weak, it will over-react on exposure to allergens such as pollen, causing the body to increase the production of ‘antibodies’ to destroy the invaders.
These antibodies release immune cells which cause unpleasant allergic symptoms such as: sneezing, wheezing, nasal congestions, itchy-watery eyes, running nose, itchy throat, asthma, stomach ache, fatigue, irritability, etc.
Antihistamines and steroids sometimes given to suppress the symptoms work by inhibiting the body’s defences. They can cause side effects, ranging from mild to serious.
Leaky Gut Syndrome
Most nutrients from the food we eat are absorbed in the small intestine. The intestine is selective and should only absorb digested foods. However, disruption can occur to the intestine lining for various reasons.
If there is a disruption to the intestine lining, larger undigested food molecules together with toxins, yeast and other waste material which the body normally doesn’t allow through, is able to enter the blood stream, a condition known as leaky gut.
Contributory factors could include some pharmaceutical drugs, vaccinations, a diet high in sugars, sweeteners, starches, over processed and microwaved foods, preservatives, refined flours and sodas, which introduce toxins into the body. Coffee, smoking, and alcohol cause inflammation in the gut and destroy the gut flora.
The first reaction of the body to foreign substances in the blood stream is to fight. Ultimately, the immune system comes into action against the intruders, resulting in allergy symptoms.
According to the naturopathic way of thinking, to address allergies and hay fever effectively, one has to boost the immune system and improve the function of the digestive system. Help yourself by eliminating the foods mentioned above and stick to a diet which is rich in organic vegetables, leaves and herbs. Deal with stress issues, as chronic stress always suppresses the immune system.
Damaged gut function results in nutritional deficiencies, further compromising the immune system, so get help if you need it. A Naturopathic Nutritional Therapist can give you a personalised naturopathic dietary and lifestyle plan designed to support both your intestinal tract to return to its normal function, and the strengthening of your immune system.
Naturopath Hermann Keppler is the founder and principal of CNM (College of Naturopathic Medicine), the UK and Ireland’s largest training provider in natural therapies. To find out about CNM courses, visit www.naturopathy-uk.com