Spring is coming, allergic crises begin and, for some, it has already become common to suffer some of the symptoms that this entails. We have come to normalize feeling inflamed, sneezing, having nasal secretions, itching, irritated, red, watery eyes, nasal congestion, coughing, wheezing, and even reacting to the consumption of certain foods. However, this shouldn't be the case, so we can handle it.
The concept of allergy can be associated or related to various conditions of our body, such as bronchial asthma, allergic rhinitis, allergies to spring, dust, dermatitis and reactions caused by the consumption of certain foods.
How does it all start?
An allergy develops when the immune system becomes “hypersensitive” to substances such as food or certain environmental components. Fundamentally, it is a poor adaptation of the immune system, producing an inflammatory response when exposed to harmless molecules, as if they were a pathogenic threat. Allergens are commonly a type of protein, for example casein from cow's milk, or environmental allergens including pollen, cat dander, humidity and dust mites. Food allergens, in particular, are omnipresent in the modern diet, due to the wide variety of processed and ultra-processed foods that we have available today.
This inflammatory response causes the release of histamine from the immune system, which plays a key role in inflammation, especially in allergic reactions.
Our capacity for adaptation and resilience, in the face of this antigenic environment, is strongly influenced by our intestinal bacteria , which drive immune development during childhood and adulthood. Basically, the presence of a healthy and functional intestinal microbiota facilitates tolerance to various antigens, including those from the diet and the environment. Finally, the management of chronic inflammation is key, and another point to treat, ideally with natural anti-inflammatories, such as omega-3 essential fatty acids.
What are the most common causes and risk factors for allergies?
- Family history of allergies.
- Disruption of the intestinal microbiota, caused by cesarean delivery, feeding with artificial formulas, use and abuse of antibiotics, processed foods, artificial sweeteners, cow's dairy products, and gluten (wheat) consumption.
- An “ultra-hygienic” environment during childhood. Early exposure to bacteria is essential to develop a balanced immune system.
- Regular consumption of foods rich in histamine, such as cheese or cured meats, coffee and chocolate.
- Deficiencies of nutrients such as vitamin D, Magnesium, and B complex vitamins.
- Exposure to chemicals, generating intestinal damage and contributing to inflammation.
- Chronic low-grade inflammation, caused by a deficiency of omega3, and high consumption of omega6 (present in industrialized foods).
How can we improve allergic symptoms and responses?
- The administration of Probiotic supplements is essential to repair the intestinal barrier and restore its function, thus helping the immune system to provide an adequate response.
- Omega3 supplements are powerful natural anti-inflammatories, which will be of great help in managing inflammation and histamine production.
- Reduce consumption of foods high in histamine.
- Quercetin, a flavonoid present in certain fruits and vegetables, such as onion, garlic, apples and spinach, has anti-inflammatory and antihistamine properties.
- Nettle has the ability to block the cellular activity of histamine and other pro-inflammatory cytokines.
- Vitamin C actively participates in histamine detoxification, and is useful in reducing asthma symptoms.
- Finally, time for relaxation, stress management and recreation is essential.
Allergy is a reality of our modern society. Therefore, managing it with proper care and supplementation is possible. We can modulate its symptoms, and even its development. We recommend that you be evaluated by health professionals who handle the issue in an integrative way, taking into account all the factors that influence your health.
Finally, we recommend you supplement with our complete line of Probiotics and Omega3, of high quality, purity and potency. In this way, you will keep your intestine healthy, and avoid exaggerated inflammatory responses.
Nutritionist Valeria Riquelme V.