Surprising Sources of Summer Allergies
Detoxing can help reduce symptoms, says Dr. Emmanouil Karampahtsis.
We typically think of the springtime, when trees and flowers are blooming, to be allergy season. Now that it’s summer, it may sound strange, but our gut may be causing allergies to flare up. The sinuses are directly connected to the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, and both serve as immune barriers that protect the body from foreign substances.
The common culprit for allergy symptoms, in addition to breathing in particles we are allergic to, is often toxicity and leaky gut syndrome, also known as increased intestinal permeability, or the result of damage to the intestinal lining. When the GI tract is damaged and the walls are weakened, there is less protection from toxic substances such as undigested peptides, bacteria and yeast leaking into the blood stream. When these substances leak, the immune system responds by producing antibodies that often contribute to inflammation throughout the body.
These antibodies can also “cross-react” with other substances we might be coming in contact with, such as pollens, grasses and weeds. Individuals often experience bloating, constipation and heartburn, plus symptoms that are not directly associated with the gut, such as joint pain. Common allergy symptoms—sneezing, coughing, extra mucus production and headaches—are common. Beyond suffering from leaky gut, consuming foods that cause inflammation or ingesting environmental toxins like parabens, butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and others may also contribute to symptoms similar to an allergic reaction.
Treatment for leaky gut, depending on all the symptoms, may include an anti-inflammatory diet (allergy testing is helpful to determine if food allergies exist), detoxifying the body and increasing intake of probiotics, amino acids and essential fatty acids. Digestive enzymes will also support a healthy gut.
Overall detoxing of the body, reducing inflammatory foods and foods high in histamines such as canned products and processed or smoked meats, alcohol, excess sugar, dairy and refined wheat, may support the recovery and also reduce symptoms. Seeking professional treatment is recommended. But before going to an allergist or increasing allergy medication, consider speaking with a naturopathic doctor that may be able to evaluate multiple systems in the body together to truly determine what is causing the symptoms.
Detox products similar to ProlifeStream, a combination of proper dietary supplements, and a change in diet and household products (cleaners, candles and lotions) may also be recommended and aid in reducing allergy symptoms.
Dr. Emmanouil Karampahtsis, a naturopathic doctor, is the formulator and founder of ProlifeStream, a nutritional system aimed to detoxify and support the body. He has been in clinical practice for more than a decade in Scottsdale.