Tag Archives: allergies

Natural antihistamines shown to provide relief

sneezingIf you dread allergy season, then you know what it’s like to suffer from itchy skin, red eyes, a runny nose, sneezing, sinus pressure, and headaches.

Likewise, you may react to certain foods with hives, headaches, nasal congestion, skin problems, a racing heart, or irritability.

What is the common denominator in both scenarios? Histamines. While many people just give up and suffer, some natural compounds can bring relief. To understand why these natural remedies work, it’s helpful to understand a bit about histamines.

What are histamines?

Histamine is a protein that causes inflammation, redness, and irritation. It is produced in response to environmental or dietary proteins, also known as antigens.

When the antigen comes into contact with the body, the immune system registers it as an intruder and produces antibodies to it. These antibodies cause a release of histamine into your bloodstream, where they can build up with repeated exposure and increase sensitivity.

Histamines are found in many common foods, especially those aged or fermented, such as aged cheese, red wine, and sauerkraut, and also in foods such as eggs, some fruits and vegetables, and some seasonings.

Natural ways to relieve the suffering

The bright side is that there are a number of natural ways to ease your suffering, whether it’s from seasonal allergies or high-histamine foods.

First — Lower overall inflammation in the body

Before looking at natural antihistamines, it’s important to first address a functional medicine foundation: adopting a diet and lifestyle to lower overall inflammation.

This includes removing foods to which are intolerant (gluten and dairy are most common), stabilizing blood sugar, repairing intestinal permeability, managing low thyroid function and hormone imbalances, and addressing chronic stressors, such as sleep deprivation, over training, toxic exposures, junk food, excess alcohol, and many more. The Balanced and Clear program addresses much of this.

Quercetin — nature’s Benadryl

Quercetin is a bioflavonoid with anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and antihistamine properties.

It also gives both short-term relief and long-term gut repair so you’re you less susceptible to allergies.

Nettles

Nettle leaf is a natural antihistamine that blocks histamine production. It can be made in to a tincture or tea, but for allergy relief, capsules made from dried nettle leaves are the most effective option.

Butterbur

The European herb butterbur has been shown to rival leading OTC drugs in reducing histamine reactions. Its anti-inflammatory properties also reduce spasms in smooth muscle and relax swollen nasal membranes.

Mangosteen

Mangosteen is a fruit extract that has been shown to reduce inflammation and inhibit histamine release.

Ginger

This Asian medicinal plant has been shown to inhibit histamine production.

Ask me about natural antihistamine relief

These are just a few of the many compounds effective in reducing histamine reactions. Many find relief from using a single product, such as quercetin, alone. Others find greater benefit from the synergistic effect of compounds working together in product formulations that combine them.

If you have seasonal allergies or react to foods, contact me. I can help you determine the source of your symptoms and get you on the path to feeling better.

Got allergies? Fix your gut

2 48 got allergies fix gutWhen the sneezing, sniffling, and runny eyes of springtime kick in, most people grab for the allergy pills, antihistamines, and eye drops. But did you know you can greatly relieve if not banish your allergy symptoms by fixing your gut?

It may sound crazy that your gut health would affect your sinuses, but in fact the two systems are very intertwined. Both the respiratory tract and the digestive tract are immune barriers, meaning it’s their job to protect the body from outside invaders.

The gut in particular profoundly influences the entire immune system. When gut health suffers so does the rest of your body, and the result for many people are allergy symptoms that flare up each spring.

A common culprit in allergy symptoms is leaky gut, also known as intestinal permeability. Leaky gut is a condition in which the lining of the digestive tract becomes inflamed and porous, allowing undigested foods, bacteria, yeasts, and other toxins into the sterile bloodstream. The immune system launches an attack on these toxins, which creates inflammation throughout the body. For many people, this happens every time they eat.

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Can stress cause your baby’s allergies?

A calm, healthy pregnancy and postpartum period could reduce the risk of allergies in your baby, according to a new Swedish study.

Researchers found infants with lower levels of cortisol, an adrenal hormone released in response to stress, developed fewer allergies than other infants.

Stress hormone cortisol triggers allergies

The researchers believe environmental and lifestyle factors during pregnancy and early infancy raise adrenal cortisol levels, which increases the risk of allergies.

Studies show high cortisol in a pregnant mother raises levels of the hormone in the fetus.

In functional medicine, we see many women enter into pregnancy with high cortisol. Common symptoms include excess belly fat, insomnia, insulin resistance (high blood sugar), hair loss, and an irregular menstrual cycle.

Stress isn’t just about too much to do on too little sleep (although that is certainly a factor).

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Can pregnancy cause hypothyroidism?

Question

Why did pregnancy trigger my hypothyroidism?

Answer

Natural immune shifts during pregnancy, together with a genetic tendency and other predisposing factors, can trigger hypothyroidism in some women.

Hypothyroidism is an immune disease for most

For 90 percent of Americans, hypothyroidism is caused by Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks and destroys the thyroid gland.

The immune system has two major arms of function, one that reacts immediately to an invader, and one that reacts later to produce antibodies. When one of these arms of becomes overly dominant it can trigger an autoimmune disease.

Going into pregnancy predisposed

Pregnancy and the postpartum periods naturally polarize the immune system. In the third trimester the delayed immune response is dominant. Postpartum the immediate immune reaction is stronger.

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Food allergies can prevent weight loss

Question

I learned I have intolerances and allergies to certain foods, and that I need to avoid those foods if I want to lose weight. Isn’t it just a matter of eating fewer calories?

Answer

Some people find they can’t lose weight through calorie restriction alone. When that happens several issues need to be investigated. One of the most important is food intolerances. Eating foods to which you are allergic or intolerant will prevent weight loss.

Food intolerances cause inflammation

Food intolerances and allergies create inflammation, and inflammation prevents weight loss. Every time you eat gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, corn, or some other food that may be a problem for you, you create inflammation in your body.

Leaky gut is a primary culprit

For many people today, a variety of foods trigger inflammation. This is due largely to intestinal permeability, or “leaky gut,” which allows undigested food particles to slip into the bloodstream through damaged and inflamed intestinal walls. Leaky gut is very common today due to poor diets, excessive sweets, chronic stress, and other maladies of modern life. Gluten intolerance and celiac disease are also common and cause leaky gut. Continue reading

The most powerful antioxidant

Question

It seems every day there is a new antioxidant for sale that claims to be the best. Which one truly is the best?

Answer

The one you don’t hear much about—glutathione. Glutathione is the body’s most important antioxidant. But it’s not effective taken orally.

What is glutathione?

Glutathione is a molecule that performs many protective functions. It helps shield the body’s cells from destruction and disease, it aids in detoxification, and it helps the immune system function at its best.

Ideally our bodies make sufficient glutathione to resist illness, to slow aging and degeneration, and to prevent chronic and autoimmune diseases.

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