As spring approaches we are busy supporting many patients who have a history of seasonal allergy symptoms. We are focused on strengthening them now before the weather changes and they are exposed to allergens. In our practice we focus on creating a personalized approach for our patients over a cook book approach. That said, there are some things that we see repeating among different patients with similar symptoms. Would it surprise you to know that many patients who suffer from seasonal allergies have a weak digestive system? What connection does our gut have to seasonal allergies?
A healthy digestive tract is a strong barrier that allows nutrients to be absorbed into the blood stream and waste products are pushed through the tract until they are passed out as a bowel movement. There are many scenarios where a digestive tract becomes dysfunctional, and a good health detective will be able to identify your specific imbalance. As we follow food through the digestive tract we can better understand where and how dysfunction occurs. Digestion begins in the mouth. Food is broken down and mixed with saliva, and passed into the stomach. In the stomach hydrochloric acid breaks proteins down to amino acids. The food mix then moves to the small intestine where bile from the gall bladder and enzymes from the pancreas mix with the food to complete the breakdown portion of digestion.
If someone does not chew properly, or if their stomach, gall bladder, or pancreas are working inefficiently then the food will not be completely broken down. These larger food molecules move lower into the digestive tract. They are too big to be absorbed so they sit in the intestines and rot. Proteins putrify, fats turn rancid, and carbohydrates ferment. This process causes pH imbalances which cause yeast to overgrow in the intestines. As the yeast multiply in the bowel they anchor themselves to the intestinal lining to ensure that they will be in line for the next partially digested meal you eat. They literally punch a hole through the digestive tract and anchor themselves to the inner lining of the intestines. These “holes” in the gut are what led to the term leaky gut.
Over time the intestinal tract can look more like swiss cheese than a tube running through your body. At this point large molecules of undigested food will frequently pass through the holes and into the bloodstream. Now the immune system has to get involved. Once the immune system has helped digest a food that has crossed into the blood you now have a sensitivity/allergy to that food. Your immune system is now hyperactive. Overreacting to everything you come in contact with. Many of our seasonal allergy patients have chronic digestive weakness that has led to an extreme state of inflammation in their body, and an immune system that hyper-reacts to everything in their environment. This is especially true of the patient who presents to our office with onset of seasonal allergies as an adult.
There is a clear answer for these patients.
To start we have to change the environment of the intestines. We have to clean out all the undigested food and restore healthy intestinal elimination. We have to shift the pH of the intestines to its healthy acidic state so that beneficial organisms will replace the unwanted yeast and fungi. We use a combination of Living Fiber and Seigen to accomplish this shift. This is the quickest way to change the intestinal environment. Support of digestion with a plant based enzyme like Pancnzyme will ensure that all food is broken down to its smallest components while allowing the stomach, gall bladder, and pancreas to rest and heal. Finally, L-Glutamine will act like spackling to patch the holes in the leaky gut and return the intestinal tract to its normal state. While we are addressing the underlying cause with digestive support another piece of the puzzle needs to be addressed. Often the stress response to the substance will still be present even though the source of the stress has been corrected. That is because the substance association stress response is a neurological event that is orchestrated by the central nervous system, specifically the autonomic nervous system.
To put it simply, it is a faulty wiring and timing issue within the body itself that if left uncorrected will lead to the same outcome of seasonal allergy symptoms. This is an abnormal reflex response that the body has when it comes into contact with the offending allergen. Complete healing requires the nervous system and immune system to be reset. Neurological stress reduction therapy is a non-invasive treatment we use in conjunction with intestinal cleansing and support to eliminate the programmed reflex response to the allergen. This combination therapy is the best solution for final resolution of seasonal allergy symptoms.