Introduction To Allergies
December 27, 2010 by
July 21, 2015
We have been conditioned to think of allergies in a very limited capacity. When many of us think “allergy” the first symptoms that come to mind are runny eyes, stuffed up nose, sinus problems, skin rashes, or in more drastic cases, anaphylactic shock (most commonly experienced by those with peanut, penicillin, and bee sting allergies). But allergies are much more extensive than we think. They can take the form of depression, headaches, influence our behaviors, or disable our ability to learn.
Weakening your immune system
Over the course of months and years, whether you recognize them or not, allergens slowly weaken the immune system so that the body cannot defend itself from foreign invaders and tissue degeneration.
How does this happen? When an allergen is first consumed, the immune system builds up its army of white blood cells (WBC) but as the exposure continues, the body is unable to maintain the WBC count required to maintain a healthy immune. This is when we see the population of WBC decrease until exposure to the allergen is stopped. This weakness in immune can lead to multiple symptoms (generally symptoms that you wouldn’t think could be caused by an allergen) including hyperactivity, nervousness, belching, abdominal pain, acne, impotence, obesity, bed-wetting, anemia, fatigue, and heartburn.
Causes of allergies
Generally speaking, an allergy is a result of various insults to the body combined with an individual’s genetics and their personal metabolic state. Since no single cause can be found, allergic symptoms are often ignored or attributed to physical illness, mental or emotional stress.
- Heredity: not the specific allergy, but the predisposition to allergy is passed from parent to child. A child is between 50-100% likely to develop an allergy if 1 or both of their parents struggle with allergy themselves.
- Infant formula: think of a baby’s digestive system like a roll of cheesecloth. Anything that is introduced to their diet will seep through the cheesecloth into their bodily systems. Because mother’s milk is high in probiotics, and immune strengthening nutrients, it’s beneficial for the child’s body and completely natural for these nutrients to pass their intestinal walls. But with formula the baby will be developing antigens against the proteins in the formula at a very young age.
- Foods: we all have our favorites so naturally, we eat them daily. Our body develops the enzymes needed to breakdown our foods. If we’re eating the same ingredient day in and day out, our body starts to run low on the enzymes needed to breakdown the food. Without the enzymes to properly digest the food, our body is unable to assimilate the proteins, leading to undigested foods potentially being passed through our intestinal walls (similar to a baby formula allergy development explained above).
- Biochemical availability: All of us require a personalized level of nutrients depending on our metabolic processes and emotional stress levels (the more we stress the more nutrients we need). If our nutrient needs aren’t met, our organs ability to function at peak performance is sacrificed, and other organs and systems must compensate for the one that’s stressed. As malnutrition continues we lose the ability to function optimally, leading to an overall weakened immune.
- Dental fillings: mercury is one of many toxins capable of contributing to chemical overload in the body, blocking enzymes and leading to degenerative disease, including allergies.
- Toxic load: the more toxins we have in our diet and in the world around us, (pollution, food colors, flavors, pesticides, and herbicides) the higher our toxic load. Our toxic load overburdens our body’s detoxification pathways, making it challenging for our body to handle regular processes.
- Chronic infections
Living with allergies
When I was told I was allergic to dairy, gluten, and corn was a depressing moment in my life. I was so emotionally attached to my popcorn, grill cheese sandwiches and mac n’ cheese (looking back now, I’m sure that had something to do with why I developed the allergies I did). But the life I’m living now – completely pain, brain frog, and anxiety free – is much better than any grill cheese I could ever have. Life doesn’t need to be filled with menstrual cramps, headaches, earaches, and constant colds.
Do these symptoms and experiences seem all too real to you? Do you feel you could be struggling with an unknown allergy?