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When Spring finally starts to bloom, many of us are ready to say “good riddance” to winter. We’re prepared to welcome the sight of budding trees, blooming flowers, and the feel of warmer temperatures. We start to feel the urge for spring cleaning and the draw to pools, biking, tubing, waterskiing, and all kinds of fun in the sun. For some of us, however, welcoming the warmer seasons comes with the drawback of seasonal allergies. The watery, itchy eyes and respiratory congestion can easily take the fun and pleasure out of the season. Next thing we know, we’re reaching for antihistamines and allergy medications. 

While these seem like easy solutions, the truth is that seasonal allergies indicate something more is going on. Just treating the symptoms will only perpetuate the problem, leading to more health issues down the road.   

How the immune response works 

In the common understanding of allergies and autoimmune disorders, it’s usually explained that the body makes a mistake. Either it makes a mistake and attacks itself, or it makes a mistake and overreacts to something harmless. 

This understanding is incorrect—the body doesn’t make mistakes. Instead, it responds to what it sees as invaders. While these invaders may not be as severe for one person as another, the fact remains that the body acts to protect itself. 

Think of the body as a bucket. Every little stress you experience puts some water in the bucket. These stresses can be deadlines at work, chronically late bedtimes, eating foods you’re allergic to, or experiencing physical trauma. Your immune system responds to them, and everything is fine as long as the bucket doesn’t overflow. 

Just as the body’s ability to hold stress is like a bucket, the body itself is like a Swiss watch. Every organ and process—the gears within the watch—are finely tuned to work together. When one of those gears is out of alignment or in some other way less than ideal, it impacts the entire watch. 

Depending on the size of the bucket, your body can handle some stressors, but there comes the point when the bucket ends up overflowing. That’s how you end up with autoimmune diseases and seasonal allergies. And, because the body is like a Swiss watch, that overflow impacts the rest of the body. 

Six Ways to Support Your Immune Response 

If an overstressed immune response leads to allergies—seasonal, food, and environmental— supporting the immune response can help keep them at bay. So how do you do that? By reducing the chronic inflammation, that stresses the immune response. Inflammation comes from three places—traumas, toxins, and thoughts. 

1. Reduce Your Toxins

Toxins are chemical stressors and can be found in multiple areas of everyday life. It can be daunting to look at your home and wonder how to reduce your toxin exposure. However, starting somewhere is better than not starting at all.  

While it’s an excellent goal to replace everything in your home that has toxic ingredients, it’s great to start with one or two things. Gradually work to replace your makeup and skincare products and seek out a cleaner deodorant before building up to the other trades we suggest, like shampoos, cleaning supplies and laundry soap. 

2. Avoid Inflammatory Foods

Inflammation stresses the immune response and can lead to allergies and other health issues. When it comes to allergies, this is especially true in the gut. Some foods aggravate an already inflamed gut. Other foods can trigger inflammation in the gut, adding more stress to your body’s response. Among these are food allergens. Yes, inflammation can cause allergies and be caused by allergies. It can quickly and easily become a vicious cycle. Test your allergies to determine what foods your body reacts to and what to cut from your menus and diet. 

While you wait for your results, cutting things like sugar, food dyes, GMOs, common allergens, and other inflammatory foods from your eating habits will only help reduce the inflammation in your gut. 

3. Heal Your Gut and Support Digestion

How does gut inflammation lead to allergies? 

Leaky gut” is the informal terminology for abnormally increased permeability in the small intestine. [1] The lining of the gut is meant to be partially permeable and is made up of tight junctions that work like a screen door. [2] The permeability allows small particles like amino acids, fatty acids, and simple sugars to enter the bloodstream. Like a screen door keeps out insects while letting the fresh air in, these tight junctions keep larger particles—like food that hasn’t been completely broken down—from passing through.  

When the gut lining gets inflamed, the tight junctions loosen and allow those larger particles to go through when they shouldn’t. The presence of these substances the body doesn’t recognize due to their not being broken down, can trigger an immune response, recognizing them as invaders and something to be guarded against. This reaction is what leads to allergies.  

Read this article to find out more! 

4. Take Supportive Herbs & Supplements as Recommended

Sometimes your body needs extra help and support to get back on track. The only way you can optimally support your body is to get tested so you see what needs support. Then, A Wellness Way Practitioner will look at your test with you to see how you can best support your body. Once you know how to help your body, it won’t take long to enjoy the warm weather fully, and Vitamin D, which plays a critical role in supporting the immune system and is active in hundreds of physiological processes. [3] 

5. Prioritize Sleep

There is a reason why Doc has said that if there were one thing he’d recommend people do for their health, it would be to improve their sleep. If you don’t sleep, it’s tough to heal, and women need roughly two hours more than men. And, yes, we know the reasons that make getting enough sleep difficult—kids, schedules, work, life, hormonal imbalances, and everything else. Don’t worry; here’s how to get better sleep and become more of a morning person. 

6. Get Adjusted

Did you know that getting a chiropractic adjustment can improve your immune response by 200%? If your immune system is having trouble, getting adjusted can ease physical stress and give the rest of the body a break. 

Seasonal allergies are rough. Embrace the warmer weather and budding trees by supporting your immune system and watching allergies ease. To get started on your journey back to vibrant health, contact a Wellness Way clinic today! 

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Disclaimer: This content is for educational purposes only. It’s not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your Wellness Way clinic or personal physician, especially if currently taking prescription or over-the-counter medications. Pregnant women, in particular, should seek the advice of a physician before trying any herb or supplement listed on this website. Always speak with your individual clinic before adding any medication, herb, or nutritional supplement to your health protocol. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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