As I was preparing this month's newsletter on allergies, I came across a quote that I though
I'd share with you.
"I am only one, but still I am one.
I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.” ~ Edward Everett Hale
It is such a simple sentiment, yet it reminds me that no matter what
obstacles I face today, I cannot let them be my excuse for not taking action!
This month, let's look at why nature's spring renewal
also causes misery and anguish for so many people.
- Why allergies exist
- Understanding allergenic symptoms
- How to alleviate the symptoms of allergies
Thank you for allowing me to share my passion, training and experience in nutrition,
holistic healing, natural health and wellness with you.
I welcome your comments & feedback!
Warm & Healthy Regards,
Diane McLaren C.C.Ir., R.O.H.P., R.N.C.P.
Natural Health Practitioner
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No matter when or how long they last, symptoms of allergies affect you, they make life difficult,
sometime miserable and always uncomfortable.
But I want you to know that suffering from allergies whether it's due to the environment around you or the foods you consume is totally unnecessary and I am not talking about using man-made products that temporarily mask the symptoms of allergies either!
You read that correctly!
Most people do not know that they need not suffer through those unpleasant symptoms so let's find out what I mean by that statement and in doing so, get to the root causes of allergies so you will know why and how you will never have to suffer through another allergy season again.
Begin By Understanding Why Allergies Exist!
What follows is my understanding and experience from over two decades of study, research and working with clients who
overcame their allergies.
For those who know me, I ask a lot of questions and those questions always follow a logical approach. Many years ago I remember wondering …
- How can something that is normally so inoffensive and even beneficial in some cases cause severe allergy symptoms in some people, and nothing in others?
(Examples include dog or cat hair where it has been shown that people who own dogs or cats live longer!
What about a beautiful tree/flower which scrubs the air of carbon dioxide while providing us with essential oxygen,
and visual pleasure.
- Why do so some people suddenly develop allergies such as hay fever
- Why so some people grow out of their allergies
What Is An Allergy?
An allergy is an inappropriate response by the body’s immune system to a
substance that is not normally harmful. Allergic reactions are often a result of
malfunctions in the immune system.
Some people have a reaction to certain substances that could be food or environmentally related. When the reaction is not too strong, often it is called a “sensitivity” and that should be
a first clue to do something.
Remember that not all allergies produce strange behavior.
Some allergy symptoms include:
- Feeling of unease
- Runny nose
- Mucus & sore throats
- Recurring headaches
- General aches and pains - Etc.
In more severe allergenic reactions, airway obstruction can occur from the swelling and thickening of the linings of nose, mouth and throat.
FYI: Mucus, which is one of the symptoms produced by allergies, is partly made of proteins therefore the better the digestion of proteins, the
fewer the allergies (foods and environmental).
Understanding Allergenic Symptoms
When your body is reacting to allergy symptoms from what in most cases is normally an inoffensive substance such as cat hair, it is an indication that the immune system is “weakened or impaired”.
What I mean by that is the immune system is so weak, injured or confused that it cannot do the original job it was supposed to do, keep the “bad guys out”, and leave the “good guys in”.
- You can think of the immune system as the body’s bouncer similar to a bouncer at the front door of a night club. If the bouncer is not sharp, he might let the wrong people into the club inviting potential trouble.
- In a similar way, if the immune system in a weakened state, it cannot recognize who is a good guy or bad guy,
so it will allow some bad guys to enter the body or reject some good guys which translates to different allergies for people.
That simple analogy explains why people develop allergies given that most are not born with them.
People grow into their allergies when their immune system is weakened
which explains why some people grow out of their allergies e.g. when their immune system gets stronger.
Allergies And Our Toxin Exposure Overload
The other part of the allergy puzzle is our almost constant exposure to an overload of toxins. We are bombarded with so many extra toxins found in our food (over 10,000 chemicals are used in our food industry
alone), in our water, the air we breathe, the environment, toxins produced by our excessive stress levels and even by our activity levels.
Toxin exposure is a fact of life in North America and while we can do a lot to decrease our exposure, we cannot escape it. There is no shortage of studies in Canada and the USA validating this.
The result for many people is that the human body simply can not cope with these extra toxins.
The constant barrage of toxins on our body make it even more difficult for a weakened immune system to do its job properly!
When there are to many toxins, the immune system gets overwhelmed and either stops working, lets everything in or at best works at random picking up a few, not necessarily the real bad guys because its judgment is distorted!
How To Alleviate Symptoms Of Allergies
The answer is quite simple, extremely effective and it works! Get and then
maintain the immune system at absolute optimum levels of efficiency.
Keep internal body systems clean so toxins won’t remain in the organs and
tissues. This allows every cell to be more efficient.
Think of your furnace at home, when the return air filter is dirty; the house
gets dusty much faster.
Strengthen the digestive, circulatory and respiratory
systems as necessary. In bodily terms, having 2-3 bowel movements a day keeps
our systems working at their best. Remember good nutrition is a two-part
process; one in putting good nutrients in, and the other is taking wastes out.
Exactly what should I do?
1) Drink water, water, water - I cannot stress enough the importance of adequate clean hydration –
see my July 2008 newsletter for more on body hydration and water.
Dr. Bernard Jensen (one of my instructors) used to say: "You are not allergic, you are thirsty; You do not have asthma, you are thirsty” – It is crucial to keep the body liquids flowing and water is the first step.
2) Consume whole natural foods - Eat fresh, whole natural foods that are as free of chemicals as possible. I have said this often, shop the perimeter of the grocery store and try to avoid the isles where the processed foods are found.
3) Avoid highly processed foods - Many food allergies are the result of constantly consuming highly processed foods (packaged products) which are really not suitable for human consumption in the first place, and this includes all genetically modified products or organisms (GMO).
Common highly processed and GMO products to avoid include dairy, wheat, corn, fats, sodium and sugar. As a nutritionist, I do not consider allergic reactions to those products as food allergies. We should largely avoid these products as the human body was not designed to efficiently process them in the first place and the allergic responses we experience are our body’s complains and warnings to stay away from them
That's it this month. If you're still wondering where to begin, I'll again
recommend my all-time favourite cleanse that will start the process of gently
removing toxins as it helps strengthen the immune system.
The best general herbal cleanse is still Tiao He
While a personalized program will always yield the best results, I continue
to recommend the Tiao He Herbal Cleanse.
Order Tia He Cleanse »
Considering a personalized wellness plan?
If you have questions about allergies, would like to know what herbs can assist
you or want to finally get a formal wellness plan in motion, I would be honored to be of service.
Service are available in -office or by-phone.
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