An allergy is the result of a malfunctioning immune system attacking an otherwise harmless substance. The highly complex immune system is the bodies’ main defense against infection and does this mainly by using white blood cells to fight the invaders. But when the immune system wrongly identifies a non-toxic substance and the white blood cells over react, the result is an allergic reaction. The allergic reaction in and of itself is a disease whereas the body is attacking the harmless yet perceived invader and its own tissue. Such would be the case with a runny nose and stuffy, swollen sinuses.
Almost any substance can cause an allergic reaction. Coffee and the caffeine it contains, nicotine, alcohol, and illicit drugs are potential suspects. Some of the more common allergens include things like dust, mold, pollen, dust mites, animal hair and dander, insect venom, chemicals of all kinds including pesticides and herbicides, medications including antibiotics, penicillin and aspirin, metals, common household cleaning supplies, and cosmetics. Common reactions to these allergens include nasal congestion, wheezing, coughing, skin rashes and hives, shortness of breath, headache, fatigue and nausea. Allergies play a significant role in asthma sufferers and have the potential to be so severe as to cause a life threatening anaphylactic reaction.
Food and food additives are another source of allergies. Although almost any food is capable of causing an allergic response, the more common are: corn, nuts, shellfish, eggs, wheat, melons, citrus– mainly oranges, cow’s milk, and soy. Food additives include chemicals such as food coloring, preservatives, ammonia treatment, sulfites and sulfates. Common symptoms of food allergies include puffiness and dark circles under the eyes, chronic diarrhea, indigestion, hives, asthma, swelling and bloating.
Allergies of any type can affect any part of the body regardless of the source. Hay fever allergies which are a reaction to pollen can not only produce obvious symptoms such as a runny nose, congestion and sneezing, but can also cause headaches and even disrupt digestion. A food allergy can cause a skin rash or even joint pain. Any allergic response especially from food or food additives or things like coffee, caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol are also capable of affecting the brain. The result can be mood swings, depression, and schizophrenia.
Our modern world is awash with harsh chemicals in everything from hair spray, to body lotions, to the air we breathe. The standard food supply is so loaded with chemicals, bleached, processed and altered that it hardly resembles food at all. We have electromagnetic-radiation from appliances, cell phones and computers everywhere we turn. Stress from television viewing, the news media, and the guy next door. The result is a general population in this country that is experiencing none other than sensory overload. This overload affects our overall health and that includes our immune system. And an immune system that is compromised and misfiring sets the stage for allergies.
Standard medical treatment for allergies focuses on drugs. These drugs do nothing to address the root of the problem, rather they focus on simply managing the symptoms. These drugs tend to be accompanied by unpleasant and in many cases severe side effects including headache, nausea, drowsiness, rapid heart rate, and weight gain.
It is absolutely possible to minimize or even overcome allergies naturally. Homeopathy can be very effective in dealing with the symptoms of allergies without producing side effects. A well- executed fast can relieve the overall burden on the body and provide a break from potential allergens, giving the body a chance to heal. Simply abstaining from offending foods and substances can relieve symptoms and allow for healing. To overcome allergies altogether the obvious place to start is where allergies start and that is with the immune system. There is no silver bullet here just a slow and steady commitment to diet and lifestyle changes that focuses on improving overall health and strengthening the immune system. Focus on raw organic foods rich in nutrients, healthy enzymes, and low in offending chemicals. Focus on foods that naturally reduce inflammation and foods rich in antioxidants. Fortunately, there are plenty of natural options for improving one’s immune system and dealing with allergies. The emphasis here should be on long-term improvement to one’s health and immune system and not simply treating the symptom.
Written by DMK of Seven Grains post