Seasonal & Environmental Allergies
Allergies come in many forms - seasonal (pollen), food (gluten and soy), and environmental (mold, perfumes).
Here we will discuss seasonal and environmental allergies - for a detailed look at food allergies and sensitivities read more here.
Often, we can significantly reduce or eliminate allergies naturally. Allergic reactions are often a result of a wider dysfunction in the body.
These wider dysfunctions include sub-clinical infections, histamine intolerance, and liver congestion.
If you have severe or persistent allergies - they are likely caused by a range of factors.
Allergies & Your Microbiome
Your microbiome extends throughout your body (even up into your sinuses and ears) and is incredibly diverse.
Think of it as a rainforest full of thousands of different species all comprising a delicate ecosystem. If you get an infection, it is as if an invasive species is now among your ecosystem.
When we take antibiotics we chop down the entire rainforest - this happens each time we take a course of antibiotics.
Many of my patients have taken 2-50 courses of antibiotics throughout their lives, this is partly why allergies are so rampant.
The prevailing advice after a course of antibiotics is to take a probiotic - often with only one or two strains of bacteria.
Just as replanting two kinds of trees where there once was a rainforest is inadequate - many people notice that they have increased symptoms (like fatigue, congestion, and gastrointestinal problems) and decreased immunity after extensive antibiotic use.
Other factors, like pesticide exposure or a c-section birth can negatively impact our microbiome diversity.
Allergies & Infections
The only way to adequately build up a damaged microbiome is to assess what bacteria now dominates your microbiome environment and, if they are 'bad' bacteria, to fight the infection while building up your body's ability to recover on its own.
If you have tried herbal or diet remedies to reduce infection you may notice a common theme.
They work great to reduce symptoms but if you have a 'cheat' meal or stop taking the supplement - the symptoms come back.
Many diets and herbs only keep infection at bay.
By utilizing functional medicine testing we can find out what infectious strains your body is fighting off - then we can use specific herbal and dietary treatments to combat your infection.
Specific treatment is always most effective when dealing with long term infection.
Allergies & Your Liver
A majority of the patients I see with severe allergies have an underlying liver problem.
When you have an underlying infection (as most patients with allergies do) the liver is under a tremendous strain to constantly clear the waste produced by the infection.
Another process that relies on healthy liver function is histamine regulation.
Histamine is released by an allergic reaction, this excess histamine is usually cleared by a healthy liver.
When the liver is overtaxed by an underlying infection, the liver can't remove the histamine and it builds up in the blood - making allergic reactions worse.
Read more about Histamine Intolerance
Allergies can cause more than just occasional congestion. Some common, but not well-known symptoms include:
Ear Congestion/Hearing Loss
Toxicity is a necessary consideration whenever I have a patient who has a severe reaction to environmental allergies.
If you are having severe reactions to things like perfume, cleaners, detergents, chemicals in furniture, and mold - some of these compounds have the potential to overwhelm your detoxification organs and get stored in your body.
When the body stores chemicals because they can't safely use one of the usual detoxification pathways, it can affect the immune system.
A frequent symptom of toxicity is allergy symptoms (environmental, food and seasonal).
Some of these chemicals stay in the lining of your intestines and are relatively easy to get rid of, others will have to be removed following supervised, gentle chelation (removal) that will be personalized to your case.
Never attempt at-home chelation without the supervision of a functional medicine doctor.
Some herbs and medications are great at pulling out things like heavy metals, but these carcinogenic compounds can easily be redistributed in the body if a protocol is not followed.
Read more about Toxicity
Your Gallbladder Is Important
Working with a functional medicine doctor to ensure that your gallbladder is working well is paramount in treating any kind of toxicity or infection issue.
Don't just follow the directions for a gallbladder flush online as most of these are dangerous.
Especially if you have had your gallbladder removed - following a protocol is important to ensure that you are detoxifying adequately.
A Note On Headaches And Migraines
If there is any kind of sinus pain, headaches, migraines or eye pain - usually there is a fungal, mold or bacterial infection in the sinuses.
These underlying sinus infections will make even mild seasonal allergies feel excruciating.
These infections will be treated in conjunction with restoring your microbiome and optimizing your detoxification organs.
Many find that once a long term infection is cleared, they have no seasonal allergies symptoms at all.
Functional medicine is uniquely suited for the treatment of allergies.
Rather than giving you a symptom suppressing pill - I can test for and treat the primary reason you are having allergy symptoms.
This is done without relying on pharmaceuticals. I use scientifically supported, high-grade nutritional medicines along with diet and lifestyle changes.
Once allergy symptoms are completely removed, patients often enjoy better sleep, improved energy, and better overall health than before treatment.
If you would like to speak to me to ask questions about functional medicine, allergies or how I can help you, please schedule a Free 15 Minute Consultation or call or text my office at 913-728-5291.
My clinic offers functional medicine appointments as well as manual soft tissue treatments for chronic pain and illness. I do online consultations for those out-of-state or outside of the United States.