Spring is an exciting time of the year, the weather is warmer, the days are longer and we are able to enjoy the outdoors more. But to some, nature’s pollen showers mean a stuffy nose, cough, itchy eyes and low energy levels. You and many others may have tried every year to endure the harsh effects of seasonal allergies. Statistics show that over 50 million Americans suffer from allergies yearly. It may seem unrelated, but the severity of your spring allergies are correlated to your gut health and food choices.
What does gut health have to do with it? The cells lining your gut are held together by “tight junctions,” which serve as protection from the outside world inside you. These junctions can become loose (or “leaky”) due to external triggers like toxins, specific foods or infections, a food poisoning, or even antibiotics. This is known as leaky gut. At this point, food particles, environmental toxins and microbes in the gut can enter the bloodstream. This systemic inflammation puts the immune system in overdrive mode, causing a cascade of symptoms.
Studies suggest the risk of developing allergies could have been triggered as early as birth. C-sections greatly affect the diversity of the gut microbiota, leading to issues down the road like allergies.
With Spring flowers kicking in, you might be reaching for an over-the-counter allergy medicine, tissues for a runny nose or homeopathic allergy relief. Frustrated and sick with seasonal allergies, you may feel hopeless. Imagine if there is another way to deal with allergies, aside from treating the symptoms? By addressing possible food sensitivities, any gut infections and improving the health of your gut, you can be allergy free this season!
You may wonder how your food choices impact your allergies? Each person can have certain “trigger” foods or food sensitivities, causing inflammation in their body and contributing to a leaky gut. This inflammatory response involves antibodies. When you think of a food allergy, these are mostly caused by IgE antibodies. However, a slower, more indolent allergy response is caused by IgG antibodies. An IgG response can take up to 72 hours to manifest into common symptoms like a cough, GI distress, a rash or headache. The time delay makes it difficult to determine a cause-effect relationship to foods and your symptoms.
However, a simple elimination diet, like the Happy Gut Diet, can be your path to healing, by cutting out the most common inflammatory foods. Keep in mind that IgG responses may take a few days to show up when you are trying to detect which foods are a trigger for you. This becomes relevant during a dietary re-challenge phase to discover the exact food triggers.
A Gut-Centered Approach to Spring Allergies
To begin healing your leaky gut today, download my free Quick Start Guide to a Happy Gut right here.
The Elimination Diet
The most common culprits in your diet that could be leading to allergy symptoms include:
- Refined Sugars
- Corn (95% GMO in the U.S.), and
- Soy (95% GMO in the U.S.)
Foods like nuts, seeds and legumes have components known as lectins or “antinutrients.” These can contribute to inflammation in the gut by damaging cells and interfering with nutrient absorption. Best to avoid these at this time or soak nuts and seeds overnight then rinse them to reduce the harsh effects of lectins.
Why? Because, these foods are highly inflammatory and often genetically modified (GMO), which causes distress in your gut. Numerous studies have shown that eating gluten can increase your gut permeability (leakiness). When you opt for a gluten-free diet, you can strengthen your gut lining and reduce the effects of leaky gut syndrome on your overall system. Keep in mind, if you have a leaky gut, seemingly healthy foods may also contribute to your spring allergies. In order to identify what other foods may be an issue for you, a great starting point is the Happy Gut Cleanse.
You want to address any underlying gut infections, yeast overgrowth or toxic exposure. Any imbalance or overgrowth in unfavorable microbes can lead to dysbiosis6 of the gut flora and contribute to leaky gut and worsen any food sensitivities. The foundational program in Happy Gut — the Gut C.A.R.E.® Program — addresses this.
Other options to reaching your allergy solutions include proper supplementation. Specific supplements will help to support gut health and repair any damage.Buffered Vitamin C7 1000mg up to three times per day
- Buffered Vitamin C7 1000mg up to three times per day
- Quercetin7 500mg 2 – 3 x/day
- Probiotics (the Happy Gut RESTORE)
- Digestive Enzymes (ACTIVATE)
- L-glutamine (or gut-healing powder like ENHANCE*)
- Slippery Elm Bark Powder (check out our leaky gut-healing porridge recipe made with slippery elm)
Address your allergies and find the right solution so that you don’t suffer this spring! Through gut healing techniques and proper nutrition you can enter this spring sniffle-free, clear-headed and feeling vibrant!
* ENHANCE is available as part of the 28-Day Happy Gut Cleanse Kit.
I’d love to share more strategies to reverse leaky gut syndrome and diminish your spring allergies. To learn how you can optimize gut health for better total body wellness, download my FREE Quick Start Guide to a Happy Gut® today.
1. “Home | AAAAI.” The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. 15 Nov. 2016.
2. West, C. E. “Gut Microbiota and Allergic Disease: New Findings.” Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care. U.S. National Library of Medicine, May 2014.
3. Brenchley, J. M., and D. C. Douek. “Microbial Translocation across the GI Tract.” Annual Review of Immunology. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
4.Vasconcelos, I. M., and J. T. Oliveira. “Antinutritional Properties of Plant Lectins.” Toxicon : Official Journal of the International Society on Toxinology. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 15 Sept. 2004.
5. Lammers, Karen M., Ruliang Lu, Julie Brownley, Bao Lu, Craig Gerard, Karen Thomas, et al. “Gliadin Induces an Increase in Intestinal Permeability and Zonulin Release by Binding to the Chemokine Receptor CXCR3.” Gastroenterology. U.S. National Library of Medicine, July 2008.
6. Dysbiosis is an imbalance between the favorable “probiotic” gut flora and pathogenic bacteria, yeast, parasites or viruses. It is generally used to refer to the gut, even though a dysbiosis can occur in any of the body’s mucosal surfaces or even on the skin.
7. Both Vitamin C and Quercetin act synergistically as mast cell stabilizers. This is important, because mast cells secrete histamine — the cause of allergy symptoms. Together, they can help reduce symptoms.