Spring has felt like it is slowly creeping in and it won’t be long before the sneezing starts. Although I know there are some of you that the sneezing is a year-round affair!
Are allergies genetic? Do we grow out of them? Are we stuck with them forever?
To cover all the nuances when it comes to the topic of allergies, this would be a book instead of a blog. Instead I want to share some insight with you about it and give you a couple of practical steps to take and supplements you could use for support.
Many of us would like to believe that when we get sick or are dealing with allergies, it’s because of the outside world. The truth is, it’s all an inside out job. Your immune system, your gut and your endocrine system are responsible for how you respond to your environment. And of course they are all tied intimately together! You can’t have one of those out of balance and the other two to remain unaffected.
There is a single layer of cells separating your GI tract from your immune system. In fact, it is said that 2/3 of your immune system lies in the gut. When we are exposed to allergens, whether it is from food or the environment, our immune system gets engaged. The GI is one of the first lines of defense as we try to eliminate or deal with allergens. The adrenals fit into this picture by their ability to respond to stress, including environmental stressors. A stress response is natural. The problem comes in when we fail to respond to stress appropriately. Certain hormones rise in answer to stress like cortisol and DHEA. And that hormone response has an impact on the immune system. Poor dietary choices will feed inflammation and further aggravate the stress response and the immune response. To highlight this a little better, let me share my story with you…
I cannot remember a time when I was little that I didn’t sneeze a lot. And it was never just one sneeze… nope, once I sneezed there was at least 5-6 to follow! My mom used to joke that I was allergic to getting up in the morning since that was how I pretty much started every day. (I’m pretty sure this is why I’m not a morning person!) Fortunately, my mom wasn’t big on medicine or running us to the doctor and I avoided the painful experience of allergy shots. I didn’t tolerate over the counter allergy medications either. They would simply put me to sleep for 4 hours or until they wore off. So, I decided to take the sneezing and itchy eyes. An important part to this story is that we had a house surrounded by lots of trees, lots of grass to mow and we always had cats and dogs! I’m sure I was quite a sight mowing and sneezing in the spring. I swear that was why I didn’t see the small trees I ran over. (Sorry Dad!)
Fast forward a little bit to my 20’s and being on my own. We may not have had a perfect diet growing up but looking back, it was better than most. But like all young adults, being on my own meant I could eat and drink whatever I wanted. It goes without saying my diet got to be pretty bad. Way too much fast food and a constant stream of Diet Coke! But hey, what does diet have to do with allergies? I had accepted the fact that there would be certain times of the year that I wouldn’t be wearing my contacts or make up. Spring and Fall were the worse for me even though my allergies never really went away. Then one day I was over at a friend’s house who had cats and I decided to hold one. I thought I will eventually get over the sneezing, right? Only this time I broke out in hives. This was another level of allergic reactions and it was not fun at all! Why hives now? Aren’t we supposed to grow out of them? Ugh, this is awful because I love animals.
It was also around this time that I had decided on becoming a chiropractor. I remember thinking how I had heard adjustments could get rid of your allergies and I couldn’t wait! That would solve this pesky problem finally!!! Only, that didn’t work out like I thought it would. Don’t get me wrong, it was definitely better but not gone. I wasn’t getting hives anymore but all the other symptoms were still there.
Made it through school with some sanity still intact. I am married with 4 children and a cat. A cat in my house. A long-haired cat in the house that preferred our bedroom as her favorite place to be. I still wasn’t getting hives but I was pretty miserable. Since it was my husband’s cat before he met me, the cat was staying. We bought air purifiers and tried to make the best of it. It would also be good to mention that my diet still isn’t stellar at this point. I was probably like most young moms with a very busy life and lots of kids! Shocking that I was also having more and more digestive issues and was breaking out like a teenager!
So, what changed? You know this story isn’t about surviving with a cat in the house. What changed is me. I changed my diet, strengthened my immune system and very specifically supported my adrenals. It was the combination of doing all three that made such a huge difference for me. At one point, we had 5 cats and 2 dogs in the house. Don’t roll your eyes about the insanity of that, although it’s deserved. Instead focus on the fact that at this point I’m not sneezing, no itchy eyes, no hives AND I am not experiencing seasonal allergies either!!!
I didn’t do allergy shots. I didn’t magically grow out of my allergies. In fact, they got much worse before they got better! And it would also be good to point out that when my diet gets too far off and I get run down, I will be affected by seasonal allergies! But it is NOT something I have to live with. I will suffer with them if I am not taking care of myself. I think that is so powerful!!! Every single person has the ability to be better and feel better. It is your choice!
Medications can soften or relieve us of the symptoms but it WILL NOT CORRECT the underlying problem! Cut out the sugar and dairy…reduce or eliminate grains for a while. Drink plenty of water. Make sure your detox pathways are healthy! Strengthen your immune system and support your adrenals. Supplements that can help and are better than the medications are Allerplex and Albizia Complex. They will relieve you of the symptoms or at least lessen them to a manageable degree.
But if you really want to live better, it’s an inside out job. You just need to decide what kind of life you want to live. It’s all there for you!
PS. Don’t forget to pick up your Spring Wellness Pack, which includes Allerplex and Albizia (and other Spring Allergy Relief products) for $49!!