Winter has finally worn out its welcome, and spring is coming. With that change in season comes warmer temperatures, longer days, beautiful flowers…and pollen. And sneezing. And itchy eyes. And runny noses. Basically mother earth is taunting us in a very cruel way. For the love of nature, how can we make it stop?!

Learning what the potential cause of allergies is would be a great place to start. For that, we need to think small. Microscopically small. Back to the gut (yes, again). Studies suggest that a lack of diversity in the inhabiting colony of bacteria in the gut can cause adverse reactions from pathogenic microbes and even friendly microbes, dietary proteins and environmental allergens.

The hygiene hypothesis is also a theory why allergies have increased in recent decades, from food allergies (1 in 13 children in the United States suffers from a life threatening anaphylactic allergy), to airway allergies (asthma affect 20 million Americans, and allergic rhinitis affects 50 million, while many more suffer on a smaller scale). The studies show that our western insistence on cleanliness and our lack of exposure to natural bacteria laden areas is causing an imbalance in our guts, lending to immune development disruption and increasing allergies. Antibiotics, formula feeding, and cesarean birthing techniques are adding to the imbalance. 

Interestingly, the problem in the lungs of asthmatics looks like it may be the opposite problem of allergy sufferers of different natures. The diversity of bacteria in the lungs of healthy individuals was smaller compared to those of symptom sufferers. 

So, what can we do? Well, knowing the problem is gut diversity related, it makes sense to introduce new and healthy bacteria to our systems.

  • Take a high quality probiotic, or introduce fermented foods into your diet.

  • For seasonal allergies, take in a local raw honey.

  • Eat a FODMAPS (FODMAPS are a collection of short chain carbohydrates and sugar alcohols found in foods naturally or as food additives) or allergen exposure reduced diet. Avoid histamine causing foods, or even take a histamine enzyme.

  • Avoid foods that cause imflammation. To test for those foods, consider getting a Cyrex panel done at your local Naturopathe.

Hopefully those steps will help clear your sinuses and your airways, so you can finally enjoy the beautiful scenery that the lower mainland is so famous for. I’m talking about you, cherry blossoms! 4 weeks late. We’re ready!

On a personal note, I myself used to have severe seasonal allergies, and with the help of a local Naturopathe, I am no longer a sufferer! It didn’t take much in the form of changing health habits; just avoiding inflammatory causing foods (specific to me), decreasing my sugar consumption (fruit, but it was still too much), and cleansing a congested liver (which helped clear up my skin from acne, a superficial sign of internal inflammation). I am happy to say I’ve been free from symptoms for over 6 years now, a feat I never imagined possible. So trust me when I say, you CAN take back your health.

Here’s to your health,

Your Vanity Manager, Chantelle

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