BY WENDY M. HENRICHS
Board Certified Chiropractic Pediatrician and Nutrition Counselor
Allergies are among the most common chronic conditions worldwide. Allergy symptoms range from making you miserable to putting you at risk for life-threatening reactions. An allergic reaction typically triggers symptoms in the nose, lungs, throat, sinuses, ears, lining of the stomach or on the skin. For some people, allergies can also trigger symptoms of asthma. In the most serious cases, a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis can occur.
An allergic reaction begins in the immune system. A healthy immune system defends against invading bacteria and viruses and protects us from invading organisms that can cause illness. Allergic reactions occur when the body wrongly defends itself against something that is not dangerous. An allergic reaction occurs when the immune system fights harmless materials, such as foods, pollen or mold, with production of a special class of antibody called immunoglobulin E (IgE). These antibodies travel to cells that release histamine and other chemicals, causing an allergic reaction. The harmless substances are called allergens.
Avoiding the allergens is a common-sense way to decrease the effects of allergies. There are times when you just cannot avoid the things that wreak havoc in your body. Building a strong healthy immune system will also help to lessen the allergens effects on your body.
Here are some tips to strengthen your immune system.
Enjoy an abundance of vegetables and fruits: Vegetables and fruits contain antioxidants and phytonutrients that support a healthy immune system. They also help to fight inflammation which is a stressor on your body that will lower your immunity over time. Remember to enjoy all the different colors daily in your 7-10 servings of veggies and fruit.
Omega 3 fats: Omega 3 fats found in wild caught cold water fish, wild game, grass fed beef, free range-organic eggs, green leafy vegetables, and omega 3 supplements are anti-inflammatory. Decreasing inflammation in our gut will help to improve our immune system function. Omega 3 fats will also help reduce inflammation in our tissues including the areas that become irritable and inflamed when we are experiencing an allergic response. A first-line approach to decreasing inflammation throughout the body and increasing your immune system function is to increase omega 3 fats in your diet.
Eat a clean diet: When you eat a clean, organic diet you are eliminating a large source of toxicity and increasing the overall nutrient content. The nutrients in a clean organic diet contains immune boosting nutrition and has less of the immune stressing toxins.
Eliminate added sugars: Sugar causes inflammation in your body and lowers your immune system function. Avoiding processed foods, foods that are boxed or packaged and reading labels will aid in eliminating added sugar.
Vitamin D: Vitamin D has a multitude of functions which include improving our immune system function. To ensure you are getting enough Vitamin D have yourself tested to see if you are deficient. If you are deficient you should take the therapeutic dose of 10,000 IUs daily under the supervision of your doctor for 6-12 weeks and be retested. If you are in the normal range, the maintenance dose is between 4,000-5,000 IUs daily.
If you suffer from allergies try these immune boosting strategies to improve your immune system function and decrease the symptoms that you may experience.
Dr. Wendy Henrichs is a board certified chiropractor and nutrition counselor at Timber Land Chiropractic in Rhinelander. For a complimentary chiropractic, nutrition or lifestyle counseling consultation, visit TimberlandChiropractic.com, Facebook, or call 715-362-4852.