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Battle your allergies the natural way

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Battle your allergies the natural way – Live Great – Great Eastern Life

Whether it be from foods or the environment, only those who have allergies understand how exasperating and debilitating they can be. Finding the underlying root cause instead of increasing your dose of antihistamines to the point of staggering unsteadiness is important as it can help you manage your symptoms and liberate you from relying on medications.

What are allergies?
The term "allergy" is derived from two Greek words which mean "altered reactivity". That is, an allergy is an adverse reaction to a normally harmless substance. This substance may be a food, or other environmental agent such as dusts, pollens or chemicals. This adverse reaction may present either as an allergy or as an intolerance or sensitivity.

An allergy is used to describe those cases in which the adverse reaction to a substance occurs almost immediately, usually within the first hour of being exposed. The reaction is obvious and often quite fierce, for example, developing a rash or hives after eating berries or being violently sick after eating shellfish. However, true allergies are quite rare, only affecting a small percentage of the population, mostly developed during childhood.

The cause of your allergies
When speaking of general allergies, the cause is not as important as the fact that it is your immune system overreacting to certain substances, so the solution would be to fix the mechanism that controls this overreaction and distress.

This control mechanism originates in your adrenal glands which produce the hormone cortisol as a stress response. The primary function of cortisolis to regulate the immune system as an anti-inflammatory by calming it down. Stressed adrenals produce lower amounts of cortisol, creating an over reactive immune system response releasing histamines that cause the allergic reaction, however an over production of cortisol results in weakened immunity, (the reason why you are more prone to catch a cold when you are stressed).

So how do we resolve the issue?
In the medical scenario, a low dose shot of cortisone would help alleviate allergy symptoms, but that would not address what caused low cortisol production in the first place. If stressed adrenals produce lower amounts of cortisol creating an allergic response, it is important to rectify this problem and create a healthy immune response by first rebuilding your adrenals. It could take a good three months to see the difference, but would certainly be worth the freedom.

Supplements that rejuvenate the adrenal glands
There are some supplements that can be taken on its own or as a combination supplement that help re-establish the function of the adrenal glands.

  • Vitamin B5: pantothenic acid, commonly known as vitamin B5 plays an important role in the secretion of hormones and is the key enzyme needed to create cortisol. Depending on your stress levels, pantothenic acid can be rapidly depleted.

  • Liquorice root herb: this is a popular Ayurvedic and TCM herb used in may preparations. It helps to maintain healthy cortisol levels and is therefore an important supplement.

  • Adrenal gland extract: one of the most direct ways to strengthen your adrenals is with an adrenal glandular extract typically from bovine or other animal sources. Taking a complete extract rather than just a single hormone, will maximize the effectiveness and give your own adrenals a bit of a rest.

Give your adrenals a rest:

Although supplements strengthen adrenal function, it can be more effective with some lifestyle support.

  • Sleep: get enough sleep so that your adrenals have a chance to rest and rebuild, which means a good 7-8 hours of sleep.

  • Avoid high glycaemic carbohydrates: this means minimising refined sugars and white flour as these create an insulin spike which make the adrenals work overtime, putting them through tremendous stress.

  • Avoid stimulants like caffeine: the idea is to not drink more than a cup, as most of us drink much more than needed. Caffeine can exhaust your adrenals in the long run.

  • Detox: We live in a chemically polluted environment where we are constantly exposed to toxins. These substances clog the immune system, making us more sensitive to possible allergens. Detoxing is a good way to flush out any accumulated toxins, which will enhance the efficiency of all your systems.

Understanding root causes of your allergies and addressing the symptoms and conditions they may aggravate is the first step in the journey of allergy mitigation. These simple and basic protocols can make a huge turnaround in your allergy symptoms – maybe even for good!

SheebaMajmudar, Naturopath and Nutritionist at Verita Advanced Wellness. This article has been published with permission and is courtesy of Verita Advanced Wellness, a premier partner of Great Eastern "Live Great" programme.

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