By DR. TRACY McALVANAH
The end of winter seems like a good thing until your allergies go haywire. If you’re tired of allergy meds and always feeling stuffed up and zonked out, consider lasting relief by healing your gut to balance your immune system.
It’s hard to believe your digestive tract can affect your sinuses, but both systems are similar as they serve as the body’s defense from the outside world. Plus, the digestive tract serves as a hub for the immune system.
When you’ve got allergies, it’s worth investigating gut health.
One of the most common links to allergies is leaky gut also known as intestinal permeability. Leaky gut is like it sounds — the lining of the small intestine becomes inflamed, damaged, and leaky, allowing undigested foods, bacteria, yeasts, and other toxins into the bloodstream.
Whenever this happens, which can be with every meal, the immune system attacks these invaders. This causes inflammation and an over zealous immune state that plays a role in triggering or exacerbating seasonal allergies.
Some people get seasonal allergies, but others get other inflammatory disorders, such as joint pain, skin problems, digestive complaints autoimmune disease, issues with brain function, fatigue, chronic pain, and more.
How do you know if you have leaky gut? Sometimes you don’t, as you may not have any digestive complaints.
For some, leaky gut can cause bloating, heartburn, gas, constipation, diarrhea, or pain. Others see a link between leaky gut and skin problems, joint pain, brain fog, or sinus symptoms and allergies. For instance, some people notice when they eat certain foods they get brain fog, a runny nose, aching joints, or other immune issues.
Causes of leaky gut
Chronic stress, certain medications, and excessive alcohol consumption can cause leaky gut. One of the most common causes of leaky gut is gluten For some people, a gluten-free diet allows the gut to heal, thus profoundly relieving allergy symptoms.
Because leaky gut leads to food intolerances and food allergies many people need to eliminate other foods, such as dairy, eggs, soy, or other grains. Many allergy sufferers have found significant relief following an anti-inflammatory diet You can also ask my office about a lab test to screen for food sensitivities.
Imbalanced gut bacteria and seasonal allergies
We all have three to four pounds of bacteria in our digestive tract. These bacteria profoundly influence immune health, digestive health, and even respiratory and sinus health. After all, the sinuses and respiratory tract are lined with bacteria, too. Poor diet and lifestyle stressors can cause too many bad bacteria to grow, crowding out the good bacteria and setting the stage for infection, leaky gut, and poor immune health. Probiotics and fermented foods can help populate your system with healthy bacteria.
Fix your allergies by fixing your gut
Leaky gut repair is based primarily on diet and lifestyle changes. Avoid processed foods, junk foods, sugars, and other industrialized foods. In other words, stick to a simple whole foods diet with plenty of vegetables (they nourish your good gut bacteria).
Certain supplements and nutritional compounds can help soothe and repair the lining of the digestive tract and calm inflammation in the sinuses and respiratory system.
Seasonal allergies are a red flag that your body needs care and attention. By addressing the underlying causes of your seasonal allergies you may also prevent the development of more serious conditions, such as autoimmune disease, depression, anxiety, or neurological disease.