If you’re like most allergy and asthma sufferers, you either endure the symptoms, or you endure the side effects of the medications you take for the symptoms. Fortunately, there is a better choice.
The words, allergic to imply that the allergenic substance is the cause, when in fact, this only demonstrates that the person has lost the normal ability to cope appropriately with that substance. The substance itself is not the cause; it is only the trigger of the allergic reaction. If the substance was the cause, then everyone everywhere would also react to it. Why is it that some people react while others don’t?
I submit to you today that the real problem lies within each individual’s body chemistry. It’s a metabolic imbalance inside the body that needs support to bring it back into balance.
There are several factors that influence whether a person will suffer from allergies or not. They are: the adrenal and other glands, the immune system, the liver, the digestive tract, the acid/alkaline balance and the genetic tendency. When these are working properly and one’s nutrition is what it needs to be, allergies are unheard of.
The cause of allergies is also the cumulative effect of many insults to the body, which, over time, have overwhelmed the body’s protective mechanisms. So what are these insults? They can come from physical, environmental and emotional stresses.
PHYSICAL STRESSES include infections, chronic disease, poor nutrition, excessive or lack of exercise, hormonal imbalances, acid/alkaline imbalance, poor digestion, insufficient sleep, etc.
ENVIRONMENTAL STRESSES include extremes of heat, cold, or altitude, air and water pollution, food additives, radiation, excess heavy metal exposures, pesticides, toxic cleaning and personal care products, new building materials, etc.
EMOTIONAL STRESSES can include divorce, death of a loved one, abuse of any kind, job related problems, family situations, etc.
Our body can adjust to a few stressors, but when there is an accumulation or repetition of them, they upset the normal control mechanisms of the immune, nervous, and/or endocrine systems. At this point, we develop symptoms because our total body burden is too high.
So how do we approach treating allergies from a natural standpoint? You’ve heard the saying, “the straw that broke the camel’s back”? The natural approach to allergies can be viewed as an attempt to: (1) remove as many straws as possible, and (2) strengthen the camel’s back. “Removing straws” means avoiding allergens in the food and air. “Strengthening the camel’s back” means using natural substances which can build and support the adrenals, immune system, liver detoxification, etc which can help reduce the allergic response.
(1) It is vital that you determine what you are allergic to and avoid those things as much as possible. Have allergy testing done. Avoiding toxic chemicals is absolutely essential for everyone, but especially the allergic. If unavoidable, at least protect yourself from the damage by taking antioxidants. Clean up your indoor pollution with air and water filters and use non-toxic cleaning and personal care products which are readily available at health food stores. A fantastic book to help you go through this process is The Whole Way to Allergy Relief and Prevention by Jacqueline Krohn, MD.
After detoxifying your environment, it is important to detoxify the body. One of the insidious causes of symptoms is an overload of toxins, chemicals and biochemical debris that our body is unable to get rid of. This cumulative toxicity has resulted from our 21st Century demand for “better living through chemistry”. There are 60,000 chemicals in current production. 3000 of these are used as food additives and 800 are found in drinking water. There are many key nutrients essential for the detoxification system to function properly, and the Allergy Relief and Prevention book can lead you through this important process.
(2) Strengthening the camel’s back involves supporting the immune and endocrine systems. Dr. William Rea describes our immune system as a rain barrel. Any combination of stresses ‘fills up’ our rain barrel. If we can keep our rain barrels emptied by cleaning up our environment, improving our nutrition, and reducing other stressors, we can keep our rain barrel from overflowing. We also need to drain our rain barrels (by detoxifying) so that our immune system will not be pushed to exceed its adaptive capacity.
The immune system is our first line of defense against substances that would harm us and is affected more than any other body system when an allergic reaction occurs. In the allergic person, the immune system is continually at work, much like leaving a car with its engine running. This weakens it even further. But there are various nutrients, herbs and antioxidants that can support, strengthen and build up the immune system.
The adrenal glands and liver are also very involved in the allergic reaction and must be supported as well. At Sara’s Health Foods we can help you find the products you need to get well.
Remember, the objective in treating any illness is not just to treat the symptoms, but to fix the problem so you won’t have the symptoms. Treating symptoms alone is like scooping water out of a sinking boat. Unless you stop the leak (correct metabolic imbalances) you’ll soon be drowning in more symptoms and side effects. Don’t just treat the symptoms; get rid of allergies for good!