Unmasking Allergies & Other Histamine Related Issues
Anyone who knew me before I became a naturopathic doctor would immediately know why I’m passionate about treating allergies and other histamine related issues—I had a big problem with environmental allergies. When I was flared, I would sneeze hundreds of times a day, for days on end. Because I refused allergy medications, I lived in a state of chronic inflammation. I came to palpably understand the intense systemic effects of inflammatory molecules like histamine- symptoms like chronic congestion, fatigue, brain fog, irritability, headaches, body pain, sensitive skin, and inflamed gums. I didn’t realize how all of these things were connected until I started to get to the root of my allergies. I spent years trying to find the right combination of anti-inflammatory herbs and supplements to address allergies, but it usually didn’t yield significant improvement or lasting effects, until I started treating the big picture.
While an anti-inflammatory approach can help, most of the time it is not enough and it is more of a band-aid solution. In order to really treat allergies, the terrain in which allergies develop needs to be addressed. While allergies are considered an issue with the immune system, one’s propensity for this type of reactivity depends greatly on the health of the digestive system, where 70% of the immune system resides, as well as the health of the liver and the adrenal glands. When these systems are out of balance, histamine can wreak havoc on the body. In my journey with treating allergies, I have found that lowering overall histamine levels (and getting to the root of why they are elevated) has made the biggest difference in calming immune hyper-reactivity.
So let’s talk about histamine…