Allergies, are they a sign of a weakened immune system?

As the weather starts to warm, especially after a year of isolation due to the pandemic, Canadians everywhere are keen to stretch their bodies. This could mean a walk through the woods, sitting by the water, clearing off the balcony, or cracking open the windows for the breeze.

Allergies | Immune Health

Dr. Owen Wiseman, ND

05 April 2021

Can you provide a quick overview of the allergic reaction?

Imagine someone invades your lands and as it's the first time you're up against them. What kind of weapons are they using? How heavily armored are they? What strategies will they use? These are all important questions that our immune system asks when it meets a foreign allergen. In a healthy immune system, the body samples thousands of different pathogens and allergens. It then learns to identify which ones can be left alone and which ones could pose a danger.

They won't respond to say, the proteins found in pet dander because it does not pose any significant threat to the health of the body. In those with allergies, they respond inappropriately to benign allergens like pollen or pet dander.

If I'm suffering from allergies, am I more vulnerable to other illnesses?

The diplomatic response to that is 'maybe'. If you manage your fundamentals of health including getting a good night's rest, eating a diverse diet, meeting the weekly recommended amount of exercise and including some social time, then you should be safe against other illnesses. The danger becomes chronic allergies left unchecked which can place a lot of strain on the misguided immune system.

If I choose not to treat my allergy symptoms, does that compromise my immunity?

Exactly! The allergies can evolve into ear, sinus or upper respiratory tract infections. Chronic allergies can also sensitize the airways and they become more reactive to different pathogens.

What are my options when it comes to allergy relief?

Relief from allergies can come in a variety of forms including temporarily alleviating symptoms and preventing them.
We can achieve this through products such as Allergy Relief that contain plants from a variety of families. Exposure to these can help to modulate the immune response, educating the body against an inappropriate reaction to allergens such as pollen.

A clinical trial conducted in the Netherlands demonstrated that use of the product resulted in an 88.5% improvement in allergy symptoms, especially in congestion. It's recommended to take this preparation approximately one month out from allergy season to allow your immune system time to adjust.

Handwashing has always been important and remains so!
The pandemic placed an increased importance on handwashing as one of your first lines of defense against the novel coronavirus. Though it has always been important in reducing the spread of allergies and pathogens. Some allergens can settle on the skin – pet dander for instance – and when you touch your face later on, the contact causes the reaction.

The symptom I suffer from most is congestion, what is an easy way to cope?

Without having to purchase different products or visit your pharmacy, consider adding a bit of spice to your life. Foods like sauerkraut, mustard and peppers can act as natural decongestants by stimulating the mucous to flow out of the body.

On the note of diet too, consider curcumin because of early research supporting its action in the battle against allergies. A human trial of 241 subjects taking curcumin at a therapeutic dose showed a 70% reduction in symptoms of nasal congestion, sneezing, and runny nose that persisted after completion of the trial. The spice also lead to significant alterations of inflammatory markers throughout the body, pulling double duty because of its ability to support the immune system. The spice shows an interesting ability to reduce the pro-inflammatory cytokines circulating around the body. It also enhances our antibody response, making us more efficient when it comes to the battle against foreign pathogens.

Are there ways to support my immune health in general?

Supporting your immune system is part of the whole picture to ensuring your allergies are kept in check.

Consider clinically-proven herbal remedies like Echinaforce that have trials ranging from in-vitro to randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled. In head-to-head trials against commonly prescribed pharmaceuticals, Hot Drink and Sore Throat Spray were shown to be as effective as Tamiflu (oseltamivir) and a chlorhexidine/lidocaine mix, respectively. They can help keep your immune system in top shape.

It's critical that you also move your body as any amount of moderate exercise can increase the activity of natural killer cells and boost the effectiveness of white blood cells. We also tend to shy away from outdoor exercise during seasonal allergies. After a nice rain, allergen concentration tends to drop as they fall to the ground, so this might be the safest time for you to get outside. You can even get an extra boost by exercising in nearby nature. Exposure to the water and trees helps reduce inflammation in the body, regulate mood, and improve the immune response.

If you've enjoyed this article and learning about allergies, consider Allergic contact dermatitis: Suffering from skin allergies? or Ragweed vs. Poison Ivy. What's the difference?



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