Written by Alison Bell
While some are enjoying the change of season, the warmer temperatures and new life with vigor, the rests of us are bunkering down with nasty symptoms of hayfever, cursing the new blooms and pollens in the air.
I can really relate to this, as I used to be one of those people. You could always find me with the red, swollen itchy eyes. I looked like I was trying out for a Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer competition with my bright red nose starting to flake from so many tissues, so much sneezing and some asthmatic coughing. My nose was a tap and I was never to be seen without a box of tissues at my side. The house always had plenty of antihistamines in the medicine cupboard, but none seemed to really work as over the years I just built up a tolerance to them. We know deep down they are simply masking the problem, and not fixing the underlying cause. How could everyone be enjoying this season so much? To me it felt like death!!!
The change of season is partially responsible for the rise in allergies. Certainly the pollens are a trigger. But something that is heavily overlooked as a trigger is poor gut health. Our gut is responsible for 80% of our immunity. Yes, EIGHTY percent. Allergic reactions like those mentioned above are the result of our immune system going into overdrive having massive immune responses. In short, our body encounters a pollen and is deeming it a "nasty" invader rather than the innocent thing that it is. This sends a signal to the body to release some chemicals to get "rid" of the invader. One of the chemicals released is histamine, causing the oh so familiar itching and inflammation.
This confusion of good vs bad status on the pollen is only an issue if there are imbalances in the gastrointestinal tract, that is, a leaky gut! Perfect, there is our cause! So one way to fix hayfever is to fix a leaky gut!!! The standard treatments of antihistamines and steroids can in fact be a contributor to leaky gut syndrome, so try to use them as infrequently as possible. Instead, look for more natural therapies in fermented foods, kombucha and bone broths. Chicken broth is especially good for aiding with any respiratory tract issues such as asthma and nasal congestion. Boost your probiotic intake and vitamin C. Turmeric can also assist with it's powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It is also a good idea to seek the advice of a naturopath or integrative doctor.
PLEASE NOTE: A sudden or severe asthma attack is a medical emergency and should be treated by a doctor immediately. Do not hesitate to call an ambulance if asthma medications give no instant relief.