admin/ September 30, 2015/ Dr. Danielle

I woke up this morning, feeling spry, refreshed, positive to what this new day may bring – then I started sneezing. And it all went to hell. Not only did I hit my head on the fridge door during sneeze #3, I also bit my tongue with sneeze #7, and tripped over my son’s backpack with sneeze #11, all while my 2 year old followed me around saying “bitch you” (her version of “bless you”). Well, shit. It’s here. Allergy season. Normally, I’m ahead of myself and get prepped for this sorta thing (I also do a lot of hoping, praying, and positive manifesting that THIS is THE year that my immune system is going to decide to stop being so damn reactive). But alas, I have done none of that and now feel and look like crap. My son suffers from environmental allergies as well, but of course, I’ve got him covered. Because why would I look after myself???

Some allergy sufferers are sufferers for life. But some of us “grow out of them” or “grow into them”. Why is that? Well, simply put, our immune system changes over our entire life time. Factors which cause our immune system to change are based on alot of things. Lifestyle factors (including diet), medications, environmental exposure, giving birth, stress, etc – all affect what is happening with our immune system. (For those science nerds, google “epigenetics” – which explains how there can be varying expressions of our DNA without altering the DNA sequence itself – which explains how someone in their mid-40’s, for example, could all of a sudden develop seasonal allergies).

Allergies are mediated in our body by something called IgE (or immunoglobulin E). When we are exposed to an allergen, our immune system pumps out IgE, which tells our mast cells to start secreting histamine. Increased amounts of histamine in the body results in itchy, watery eyes, itchy palate, sneezing, hives, etc. Which is why medications like Benadryl work because their method of action is to be an anti-histamine. **Please note that this is different from a food intolerance which is most commonly mediated by IgG.

So what can we do aside from taking anti-histamine medications?? First, and as usual, we clean up the diet. When we eat overly processed, inflammatory, high sugar foods, our immune system takes a hit and can become overreactive to our environment. Also, there is evidence which shows that a cross-reaction exists between gluten and environmental allergies. We remove the gluten, our allergies improve. In addition to this, research shows that both vitamin C and quercetin, when present in the body in specific amounts, act as anti-histamines! And if you find yourself in the midst of horrible hayfever, acupuncture offers a lot of benefit. I have patients who preventatively start getting acupuncture done a couple weeks before their bad time hits and we continue to do that through their worst time of year. And they notice great improvement! Additionally, the points that are used can also be effective with acupressure, which I show my patients how and what to do so that the benefits maintain themselves between acupuncture treatments.

I want you to know that you don’t have to hate spring/summer/fall! It can be better! But you gotta search out a Naturopathic Doctor to help guide you!

Oh, and on a last, but very important note, if you aren’t aware, us ND’s are currently in transition from a Regulatory Board of Directors to a College of Naturopathic Doctors (this is a great thing). However ,with this new legislation, there is a chance that we may lose access to some out of province lab tests (as early as June 2015) that have proven to be quite useful helping our patients. These types of tests include the IgG food intolerance test and salivary hormone testing. So if you have ever considered having one of these tests done on yourself, now is the time! Before we indefinitely lose access. If you have any questions, contact me or your neighborhood ND.

It’s wednesday and the sun is shining. Breathe deep, eat well, sleep soundly.

Check ya later, Dr. D