Gut Health and Seasonal Allergies

With 50 million Americans affected by some sort of allergy, it’s becoming the most common but overlooked disease.

We try to treat it, but for most people who have allergies, it’s just something they have to live with.

Kendra had suffered from hay fever since her first pregnancy about a decade earlier.

She took over-the-counter medicine and tried natural remedies like eating local honey and different herbs.

Still, she had itchy eyes, a stuffy nose, and allergy attacks when she spent more than a few minutes outside from April through the late part of July.

Kendra had accepted it as a part of spring and summer, even though it really put a damper on her outdoor activities, which she really enjoyed.

During that time, her young son suffered from an assortment of skin and allergy conditions. He also got very sick from just a common cold.

It was especially bad for him in the spring, when he’d miss a week of school at a time.

On top of that, his teachers were pushing her to treat him for Attention Deficit Disorder.

So she really didn’t have time to worry about her own allergies. She lived with them, staying indoors and treating them as much as she could.

After some research for her son’s illnesses, she decided to try an all natural, gluten free diet to help him.

They got amazing results. His asthma, allergies, skin rashes, and ADD all cleared up.

Kendra noticed something else that shocked her. Her seasonal allergies were completely gone too. After three years, she realized it wasn’t a fluke.

Changing their diet helped both of them with seasonal allergies.

Her son was very sensitive to gluten and had developed many stomach problems from it—his gut flora was probably way out of balance.

For both of them, removing wheat and gluten allowed their guts to heal and the bacteria to get back into a better balance, restoring their health.

Kendra and her son aren’t alone. People with Celiac’s Disease, gluten insensitivity, IBS, and other gut related conditions often have seasonal allergies, asthma, and sensitive skin.

If you have allergies, you may have noticed stomach issues. If you haven’t, it could be that you learned to live with discomfort over time, or your gut biome imbalance is presenting with allergies and not stomach pain.

Many people find that when they change their diet, they change their health.

It might not be as well known that you can cure seasonal allergies by taking care of your gut health.

It’s a somewhat new field, actually, but our gut biome affects, and even controls, many aspects of our health. It’s actually a huge part of our defense system.

About 70% of our immune system surrounds our gut, so the health of our microbiome directly affects the functioning of our immune system.

Allergies are a part of our immune system too.

Gut health is all-important to our overall health, and it’s about impossible to reach optimal health unless our gut and gut biome are healthy.

 

What’s going on with gut biome health and allergies?

You probably know that allergies happen when our bodies think something is an invader when it’s not harmful to us, like an allergic person going into shock after eating a peanut.

When the immune system is functioning in a compromised state due to an unbalanced gut, one would likely experience more extreme seasonal allergies.

Our bodies go on attack when pollen gets into our airways, but we don’t have to fight it off.

Over-the-counter medicines do help many people, but when pollen is high, they still suffer.

Others try immunotherapy shots to reduce allergies. For many, this only helps a little.

If you’re willing to undergo all those other treatments, why not try diet? You have nothing to lose, and good health to gain!

Study after study has linked various stomach ailments with seasonal allergies, food allergies, asthma, and skin problems.

Doctors will tell you that all of these conditions cluster together. If you suffer from one, you usually have to deal with several or all of them.

That’s because the gut biome flora affect our immune system and how we respond to allergens.

Focusing on gut health can improve or even cure allergies of many kinds along with other conditions.

You may be aware of gut issues but not allergies, but it’s possible you didn’t realize a symptom was from allergies.

Obvious symptoms include an allergy attack, sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, and a runny nose.

Other, less obvious allergy symptoms include ear pain, wheezing, a stuffy nose that feels swollen inside, dark circles under your eyes, loss of smell, fatigue, headaches, a sore throat, or just a run-down feeling that you can’t shake.

If you’ve felt off or bad for a long time, or seasonally, consider focusing on gut health to improve overall health and allergies.

 

How’s your gut health?

When you’re dealing with many health issues, it might be hard to separate your gut health and decide if it’s compromised.

We can look at many signs to test our gut health. Our gut affects our body and health so much that some experts call it the second brain.

The intestines actually have nerves similar to brain tissue that communicate with the brain—and they release neurotransmitters that make us feel good.

So depression and anxiety can signal gut problems, and of course we know mental and emotional distress affects our stomach.

If you get sick a lot, that too can indicate a gut imbalance since our gut is a big part of our immune system. This includes colds, stomach bugs, and other ailments.

Acid reflux, heartburn, and other troublesome and lingering stomach issues are signs that your gut biome could use extra care.

Frequent yeast infections are another huge sign of trouble. You can have an overgrowth of yeast in your digestive track or elsewhere in your body.

Even weight that you can’t lose can indicate that your gut biome is off. The wrong bacteria will make you crave more unhealthy food.

Along with all these other symptoms, a lack of energy indicates problems in the gut. It’s something many people struggle with, and it has many causes, but remember that 70% of our immune system is in our gut.

It’s definitely worth nurturing a healthy gut biome balance to see if it helps with energy, stomach issues, and of course seasonal allergies which also sap energy.

You can do a self assessment and think about your lifestyle and diet.

Do you deal with a lot of stress and other negative emotions? We all have good and bad emotions, but if you’re stuck feeling stressed out or down two weeks, it’s time to talk to a professional.

Many people don’t know about the 2 week guideline, and they suffer for months on end. That can really damage your gut health!

The standard American diet, which is high in processed foods, hurts our gut more than we imagined.

Just look at all the health problems in America. Obesity and many illnesses have rapidly increased in the last few decades.

Allergies, too, have exploded. Pollen hasn’t changed that much. Our diets have.

 

Getting a healthier gut to fight allergies

So what can you do to rebalance your microbiome to fight allergies?

A small step is to chew your food longer. Sounds simple, right? But it helps break food down more before it reaches the bacteria, so they can do their job better.

Drink lots of fluids to aid in digestion and to stay hydrated.

Cut sugar! You may choose to cut back, or if your allergies and health problems are really bothering you, consider cutting sugar for a week or month.

You can do a cleanse or microbiome diet for a month, where you cut any food that can feed the bad bacteria. These include processed foods, sugar, eggs, soy, gluten, dairy, yeast, dried fruits, and fungus.

Avoid foods that can compromise the microbiome like gluten, preservatives, additives, artificial sweeteners, and GMO foods.

Any kind of sugar feeds the bad bacteria, so focus on protein, less sugary vegetables, and fibrous foods.

Replace those foods with gut friendly foods and fermented foods.

Take a good-quality probiotic to encourage the good bacteria.

Finally, avoid antibiotics, prescription medications, and other over-the-counter drugs if at all possible.

If something we eat makes us sick within a few hours, we realize it’s a stomach issue.

But when our health is suffering, or we’re fighting allergies, it’s not so intuitive to look at our gut health.

It’s amazing to learn how much our gut biome affects our mood, weight, skin, and allergies. That knowledge puts us in the driver seat, because now we can feed the good bacteria in our gut and fight allergies naturally.

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