A Natural Approach To Allergies
Coughing, sneezing, wheezing, runny nose, itchy, watery eyes, hives, eczema, swelling, redness... These are the symptoms of an allergy attack! There are lots of over the counter medications to address these symptoms, but have you ever asked yourself what causes the symptoms to begin with?
Symptoms are your body’s way of letting you know that something is wrong. There are no new processes in the body. When we experience symptoms it is an indication that there is something out of balance, out of sync, or that some bodily function is either overworking or underworking. The question is, “Why?”
Allergy symptoms are an indicator that the immune system is in overdrive. “When you have allergies, your immune system makes antibodies that identify a particular allergen as something harmful, even though it isn’t.” (Mayo Clinic)
A healthy immune response is necessary for healthy living, but what causes the immune system to overreact, attacking foreign particles as if they are harmful when in fact they are harmless? What most people don’t know is that the immune system is intrinsically linked to the digestive tract. Because of this fact it makes perfect sense to look at the digestive system when the immune response goes out of balance.
In the natural health world we talk about a process called “Leaky Gut Syndrome.” In the case of a leaky gut, the intestinal walls have become permeable due to a deterioration of the mucosal lining. This can be caused by a number of things including diet, stress and some medications. When the mucosal lining becomes depleted the intestinal walls become porous, and larger than normal particles may seep through the intestinal walls. This occurrence may create a heightened immune response that can be localized or can express itself throughout the body. When the body is in a state of heightened immune response it is in a constant “ready for action” state and may over-respond to any and all materials it comes in contact with.
From a holistic perspective we want to ensure that all the systems of the body can do the jobs they were designed to do, the way they were meant to be done. We want to ensure that the body is free of toxins, that it is well-nourished and that any out-of-balance systems are supported. This may be accomplished by use of traditional herbal remedies formulated to support the respiratory and immune systems or this may require more extensive cleansing and nourishment for the whole body.
In the natural health world we often find that when the body is cleansed and given the nourishment and support it needs, symptoms may disappear as mysteriously as they appeared.
I am a Wellness Coach and volunteer for the DownTown Merchants Association of Lakewood Alive.