Spring has sprung and so too has allergy season. Read on to find out how to combat your allergies with ease!
What are Allergies
Allergies occur when the body’s immune system overreacts after exposure to a certain substance – known as an allergen. Common culprits include pollen, dust mites, pets, insect bites, and foods. Pollen tends to be the most problematic in Spring, while other allergies can progress all year long. Basically, the body doesn’t recognise this substance and mistakenly marks it as a harmful invader. As a result, the body produces antibodies (known as IgE) against it. These antibodies trigger the immune system to produce powerful chemicals such as histamines, resulting in an allergic reaction which can last anywhere from minutes to days. Classical airborne allergy symptoms which people may experience include itchy/swollen eyes, runny nose, skin flare ups, etc. Other allergies can be much more severe, for example anaphylactic allergies which typically occur very rapidly and can compromise breathing and other body symptoms. Everyone reacts differently to potential allergens and allergy symptoms can manifest in very different ways. Some people may experience the classic tell-tale allergy symptoms, while others may suffer much more discrete symptoms (which can actually be more problematic).
Testing for Allergies
The most accurate way of testing for allergies is to test for the presence of IgE antibodies. This is exactly what our new Allergy IgE Self-Test checks for. This simple home test allows you to screen your blood for either positive or negative presence of IgE antibodies. A positive test tells you that your body is having an allergic response to something you’ve been exposed to. This can be helpful in knowing whether the symptoms you’re experiencing are due to an allergy or otherwise.
Of course, reducing your exposure to your particular allergens is going to be the best hammer in your allergy-defence tool box. For serious allergies, your life may depend on it. For your typical pesky springtime allergy, taking measures to support you gut, immune system and allergic response can go a long way. Our top spring allergy survival tips are as follows:
- Take a good probiotic. Approximately 80% of our immune system is centred in the gut. Supporting gut health may have a great impact on your immune response. Probiogen Allergy Defence Probiotic contains a well absorbed spore-based probiotic alongside other nutrients including vitamin C, stinging nettle, bromelain, quercetin, and N-acetyl-cysteine. Quercetin is a plant-derived polyphenol which may have both anti-inflammatory and anti-allergy properties.
- Eat more fruit and vegetables. Plant-based foods contain various antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and other protective nutrients which may help improve cell function and repair, boost immunity and regulate allergic responses. One such nutrient is vitamin C which is rich in citrus fruits, kiwifruit and capsicum. If you struggle to get an abundance of these foods in the diet, or always seem to be run down, a vitamin C supplement may be beneficial to give you an added boost.
- Ensure you get enough omega 3. Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid which may help to reduce inflammation. Inflammation is one of the body’s initial immune responses, however due to the exaggerated response in allergic reactions it helps not to encourage this further. Anti-inflammatory nutrients such as omega 3 (found in oily fish, nuts and seeds) can be beneficial in this case. An omega 3 supplement such as Nordic Naturals fish oil provides a great daily dose.
Disclaimer: This blog post is intended for educational purposes only. Please do not use this information to diagnose or treat any health concerns you may have. This information is not intended to replace the advice given to you by a qualified health professional. Get in contact with a Tonic Health consultant or a relevant health professional if you need guidance on your individual health journey.