A Three Step Approach To Curing Seasonal Allergies Naturally
Do you suffer from seasonal allergies? Well, you are certainly not alone!
It is estimated that 55 million Americans (that’s 1 in 4 people) suffer from allergies of some kind – seasonal, food, skin and medication. The American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology states that as many as 30% of adults and 40% of children suffer from allergic rhinitis each year.
Austinites are no exception to these statistics. In fact, in 2004, Austin, Texas was named the number one allergy capital by the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America and it continually ranks in the top 5 worst US cities for seasonal allergies overall.
With spring approaching, if you are like most people, you are looking for ways to prevent, reduce and even eliminate your seasonal allergy symptoms. Well, great news! I am going to share with you my three-step approach to curing seasonal allergies naturally and effectively. This is the same three-step approach that I use with all of my patients in my functional medicine practice, Austin UltraHealth.
Step One: The Myers Way Elimination Diet
To start, I have each of my patients go through The Myers Way Elimination Diet. I have now made this program available to the public through my eBook as well as my nutritionist lead guided cleanses. During The Myers Way Elimination Diet I have you remove toxic and inflammatory foods from your diet for fourteen days. The inflammatory foods you remove are: gluten, dairy, soy, yeast, eggs, corn, peanuts as well as a few others. The toxic foods are alcohol, sugar, caffeine and food additives as well as a few others.
The main purpose of The Myers Way Elimination Diet is to determine which foods are causing problems for your immune system, ie to which foods you are sensitive or intolerant. We are looking for IgG or delayed reactions to foods rather than IgE or immediate reactions or allergies to foods. If you have an allergy to a food you likely already know it. For example if you eat a strawberry and break into a rash within an hour, you have an allergy to strawberries and that is an IgE reaction. If however you eat a bagel and two days later you have a headache or stuffy nose then that could be a sign of gluten intolerance and that is an IgG or delayed immune reaction.
After doing The Myers Way Elimination Diet for at least two weeks, if your symptoms have improved you may then gradually add one food back in at a time every three days, making sure to eat at least three servings a day for three days and taking note of any symptoms such as headache, sneezing, fatigue or rash that may arise.
If you notice any negative symptoms then continue to remove this food for your diet for at least 3-6 months. If no symptoms arise repeat the above steps with each of the remaining foods.
If this sounds like a daunting task then I would recommend that you sign up for our The Myers Way Elimination Diet Nutritionist Guided Cleanse which is led by my Registered Dietician and Nutritionist, Brianne Herman, RD LD.
Step Two: IgG Food Sensitivity Testing:
In addition to doing The Myers Way Elimination Diet many of my patients opt to get a blood test called an IgG Food Sensitivity Test to determine which foods to which they are intolerant. The advantage of the Food Sensitivity Testing is that it test for 155 foods, where as in The Myers Way you are only testing the twelve most inflammatory foods. Though, I do believe that your body knows better than any test and I high recommended going through The Myers Way as well as doing the Food Sensitivity Testing.
The Food Sensitivity Test is different than traditional allergy testing in that it is checking for IgG or delayed immune reactions where as the allergy testing checks for IgE or immediate immune reactions.
Food sensitivities or intolerances can develop over time, often because of a poor diet and a leaky gut. The consequences of improper food choices can manifest as food intolerances and cause weight gain, fatigue, sinus problems, acne, mood swings, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Because the reactions can take up to 72 hours to occur they can be very difficult to recognize. Eating a diet low in these inflammatory foods reduces excess swelling and fluid accumulation in your tissues, which will assist with your body’s healing, detoxification processes and reduce seasonal allergies symptoms.
Step Three: A Comprehensive Stool Test:
Prior to seeing me, many of my patients with seasonal allergies ending up with ‘sinus infections’ and are prescribed antibiotics. Because of this, the antibiotics kill of most or all of their good bacteria and they end up with intestinal yeast or Candida overgrowth.
Candida alone can worsen seasonal allergy symptoms as well as cause intestinal damage leading to increased intestinal permeability, or leaky gut. Leaky gut then further increases one’s susceptibility to food sensitivities or intolerances, which exacerbates the problem and worsens seasonal allergy symptoms.
Typical symptoms of Candida or intestinal yeast include itching especially in the anal or genital region or ears, bloating or gas, eczema-like rash or diaper rash, intense sugar cravings, headache, brain fog, anxiety and even hyperactivity in children. Candida infections can be confirmed by either a blood test or a comprehensive stool test. I tend to find that the comprehensive stool test picks up Candida more often than the blood test.
If your seasonal allergies have not fully resolved after completing The Myers Way Elimination Diet then I would highly recommend that you find a practitioner who can order a Comprehensive Stool Test for you.
If there is not a practitioner in your area you may begin a Candida Control Diet in which you eliminate all sugar, alcohol, refined carbohydrates, vinegar, fermented foods, mushrooms, cheese and peanuts from the diet for 3-6 months. You may also take a Capryllic Acid supplement, which comes from coconut oil and it ‘pokes holes’ in the yeast cell wall and can eradicate the Candida.
For my patients at Austin UltraHealth, I generally prescribe an anti-fungal medication for 30 days to eradicate the intestinal yeast infection.
I have taken the above three-step approach with each of my patients suffering from seasonal allergies and then end result is always the same – complete resolution in their symptoms. My wish for you is the same!
Photo credit : iStock Photo