What Are Allergies?
An allergy is when the body encounters a generally harmless foreign substance and has an immune response to deal with it (1). This response is not bad in and of itself, but have you ever wondered why some people react to allergens, such as pollen or pet dander, more severely than others? The problem here is that the allergic individual’s immune system cannot distinguish between a harmful and a non-harmful foreign protein (7). Allergies, also called hypersensitivities, begin to signal a systemic imbalance when it becomes your "normal," and your life must be altered to cater to them. You often hear people identify as "having allergies," in the same way they would report, "I have asthma," or "I have Lyme disease." Allergies can become the condition caused by our body's exaggerated reaction to allergens due to toxicity (2). We are constantly inundated with toxic substances everyday of our lives from personal care products, produce, pharmaceuticals, cleaning products, paint fumes, moldy facilities, water, and so on (3). Toxic chemicals can remain in the body for years, altering the metabolism, causing enzyme disfunction and nutritional deficiencies, creating hormonal imbalances, and lowering our threshold of resistance to chronic disease, including allergies (4). Most of the time, the chemicals we ingest through these are bio-accumulative, meaning they accumulate in your body little by little throughout the years and create a toxic burden, which seriously impairs our physiological health. When your body is already "full" of toxins, it has a lower tolerance for extra exposure to foreign substances, ie allergens. So, when we are exposd to allergens in our environment, our body "panics" and creates an overly dramtic response. This "allergic reaction" is often unpleasant, as most everyone knows, causing many to reach for over-the-counter allergy medications known as "anti-histamines." The MAIN problem we have with these medications is that they only address the symptoms of the allergic reaction, ignoring the causative toxic burden and leaving the offending allergens to build up in the body, only to cause further problems in the future.
Why Don't I Feel Better?
Short of living in a vacuum sealed, oxygen-fed bubble, we are limited as to we can do to avoid exposure to environmental allergens. So what do we do to support the optimal function of our bodies? What CAN we do? Are we doomed to a lifetime of juggling the sniffles and costly over-the-counter medications? Here at Jernigan Nutraceuticals, we say NO! We say the answer to true relief lies in addressing the cause, not just the symptoms, and that starts with targeting the build-up of these toxins in our bodies. The intent of the JN remedies is to lower the buildup of toxins, molds, and fungus in the body in order to support its ability to handle the foreign invaders better without stopping the natural reactions to an allergen.
What Can We Do About The Build-up?
As with many of life’s problems, allergies have no quick fix. Running noses, clogged sinuses, sneezing, and other symptoms of allergies are often the manifestation of issues going on in other areas of the body. Restoring the body to handling allergens optimally requires a well-rounded approach that includes detox practices, a clean diet, and full spectrum supplementation. One of the most important areas to focus on when tackling allergies is the gut. It sounds silly, but the gut truly plays a large role in many mechanisms of the body. Once you realize that 70% of your immune system resides in your gut (5), it's easy to see how cleansing and healing the intestinal tract will have profound benefit on immune-related conditions like seasonal allergies (6). Dr. Sara Jernigan has created an ebook called “Heal and Seal the Gut,” which has lots of information about implementing these practices. Click here to download the free PDF version, or click here to view the blog.
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Favorite Remedies for Allergies
Our favorite remedies for helping the body overcome allergies are all included in our Allergy Bundle:
1- "Everything You Need to Know About Allergies" Medically reviewed by Alana Biggers, M.D., MPH — Written by Brian Krans and Kimberly Holland — Updated on June 5, 2018
2- Beating Lyme Disease by Dr. David Jernigan D.N.M., D.C., B.S. Nutr. (p. 141)
3- Beating Lyme Disease by Dr. David Jernigan D.N.M., D.C., B.S. Nutr. (p. 139)
4- Beating Lyme Disease by Dr. David Jernigan D.N.M., D.C., B.S. Nutr. (p. 114)
5- Allergy and the gastrointestinal system by G. Vighi, F. Marcucci, L. Sensi, G. Di Cara, and F. Frati
6- "If Your Spring Allergies Are Crazy, You Might Have A Gut Problem. Here's How To Tell (And How To Fix It!)" By Vincent M. Pedre, M.D. Board-Certified Internist
7- What are Allergies? by Dr. Ananya Mandal, MD. News Medical.