Allergies: Is your cup full? – Dr. Thornburg

Allergies: Is your cup full?

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Written Exclusively For Dr. Thornburg Wellness By Jennifer Barrell, MS, CNS, LDN 

Allergies seem to affect more and more people every year.
 
The easiest way to explain why and how those persistent itchy eyes and dripping nose affect us is through the cup of water analogy.
 
Imagine a cup half filled with water. The cup is the body’s immune system and the water represents everything that the immune system is exposed to on a daily basis: air pollutants, mold, dust, cat and dog fur, fragrances, toxicants in soaps and other self-care items, medications and food additives, etc. At night when we sleep, our body goes into detox mode and through a series of processes works to rid the body of these substances. When the cup overflows – this suggests the immune system cannot handle anymore- and an allergy is born.

 

When the immune system is overwhelmed with such a heavy burden it begins to react to substances that aren’t usually harmful. This is where the symptoms set in; red, itchy and/or watery eyes, nasal leakage or stuffiness, rashes, urticaria, foggy brain, and sinus infections are just some of the many issues that plague allergy sufferers.


 
Exposure to toxicants is one of the major contributing factors to the rise of allergies in the general population.

Currently, there are over 83,000 chemicals registered with the EPA. Chemicals exposures have a cumulative effect on our bodies, and every year more chemicals are created and allowed into our food, air and water supplies.
 
What to do about it?
 

1. Remove all triggers you can control. To determine what is assaulting the system, you can either do an elimination protocol or blood work for testing. This step is imperative to healing.
2. Allergy-proof your home. This includes using a well-tested HEPA filter in your vacuum, washing linens in hot water weekly, allergy covers for pillows and mattresses, removing stuffed animals from the bed, putting pillows in the dryer weekly, using natural housecleaner products consistently, wiping down dusty areas with a damp cloth and keeping your houseplants alive, using humidifiers when necessary. Also only purchase fragrance-free products and steer clear from antibacterial soaps.
3. Supplements are especially useful. Some basic ones include a reputable multivitamin, vitamin D, and high doses of quality omega’s. Also known to alleviate some allergy responses are quercetin and certain probiotics. Bifidobacterium longum BB536 reduced itchy watery eyes, and Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM and Bifidobacterium lactis Bl-04 combined reduces runny and stuffy noses.

 

Quite often if the triggers are removed and basic nutrients are in place many allergies will resolve with time and dedication to the plan. If symptoms still persist- then it becomes necessary to dig deeper. Usual suspects to investigate include detox pathways and organs that need support, further examination of the immune system and its response, other triggers not tested or eliminated originally, a possible leaky gut that needs tending to, and the list goes on. Quite often if the triggers are removed and basic nutrients are in place many allergies will resolve with time and dedication to the plan. If symptoms still persist- then it becomes necessary to dig deeper. Usual suspects to investigate include detox pathways and organs that need support, further examination of the immune system and its response, other triggers not tested or eliminated originally, a possible leaky gut that needs tending to, and the list goes on.

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