By Debrah Moore
Allergy season is here and the signs are obvious, watery and itchy eyes, runny nose, congested sinuses and a persistent cough, to name a few. Respiratory allergies are caused by an overly sensitive immune response reacting to environmental substances. As the immune system reacts to the irritants, the body believes it is under attack and releases histamines in response, i.e. watery and itchy eyes, runny nose, congested sinuses and so on.
But what if the pollen really isn’t the culprit? What if the pollen is just the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back? What if the culprit is really in your gut?
Studies have shown that an imbalance in the gut’s beneficial bacteria can create a condition called histamine intolerance, in which there is an over production of histamine, resulting in respiratory allergies. Don’t despair. There are steps you can take to improve the quality of your gut’s beneficial bacteria and reduce the severity of your seasonal allergies. A win-win for you and for your gut.
Four simple steps to improve your allergy symptoms:
- Take high quality probiotics daily – Probiotics can help bring the microbiota and your immune system back into balance.
- Consume fermented food such as kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, or pickles – Eating fermented foods will introduce beneficial bacteria into your digestive system and help with the balance of bacteria in your digestive system.
- Eat a low-histamine diet – A low-histamine diet can often reduce the severity of allergy symptoms. Foods high in histamine are aged cheese, citrus fruits, fish, shellfish, avocados, spinach, cocoa, and leftover meat, to name a few.
- Eat local raw honey – Raw honey contains both beneficial bacteria and trace amounts of pollen picked up by the bees from local plants. Consuming raw honey produced in your area can help to “educate” your immune system to tolerate these local pollens.
Debrah Moore is owner of Tan & Moore Holistic Day Spa whose focus is empowering clients to wholeness by providing tools and techniques allowing each client to fully embrace their health and well-being.