The sun is shining and the warm weather is here, but for hundreds of people in Calgary, this time of year also brings itchy eyes, sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, and other uncomfortable seasonal allergy symptoms.
Each year, allergy sufferers collectively spend millions of dollars for over-the-counter or prescription antihistamines to find relief from their symptoms. The relief however is only temporary, and as the medication wears off the symptoms return. Clearly this approach only masks the problem and unfortunately does not solve the problem.
But what if instead of popping pills year after year, we treat the cause of the allergies and not just the symptoms, so that the allergies just don’t happen anymore?!
How is that possible? By addressing the reasons why your allergies are present.
Here are some things we consider when treating allergies:
1) Immune System – An allergy or sensitivity occurs when the immune system develops an intolerance to an allergen, whether it be a pollen, an animal, a food, or any other thing. The immune system is capable of re-establishing tolerance however and this is a central part of clearing allergies for good. Our primary strategies are LDA and SLIT to desensitize the immune system to allergies.
2) Digestive Bacteria – Within our guts are thriving colonies of trillions of bacteria. Normally these bacteria support the function of the digestive and immune systems. But when harmful organisms take the place of the healthy bacteria (which is very common), we are at risk for a number of health problems (read: Gut Bacteria and Naturopathic Medicine), including allergies, asthma, and eczema, among others. Assessing and treating the digestive tract is therefore crucial in treating allergies.
3) Avoiding allergic triggers from food – Alongside digestion, our diet can also play a role in aggravating the immune response. Foods can be allergens, just like pollen or ragweed, and food allergens can trigger inflammation leading to allergies. Avoiding these types of foods for a period of time can help the immune system restore balance.
There are other avenues to consider as well, but the entire picture depends on the patient.
If you suffer from seasonal allergies and want to get rid of them for good, visit one of our Naturopathic Doctors here at Vive Health!