Hello, all. Spring is just around the corner again and you may start sneezing a lot shortly.
Change of seasons
Hay fever does not need to be your worst enemy this Spring. Have you thought about why this annoying illness keeps recurring? And what other choices are available other than antihistamines (that are helpful by the way, to quell immediate episodes)? And if it is possible to actually overcome the condition?
And how great life would be if you can succeed in achieving that? Well, the good news is that it just might be possible for you to enjoy spring this year in relative comfort.
Firstly, let’s deal with antihistamines. The “new generation” is designed to be non-sedating, enabling you to drive and work while being helped.
Generic brands may differ. That’s why we stock only the best, that have been thoroughly tested. And they are much cheaper than even the heavily discounted major brands.
Secondly, let’s look at where the sneezing episodes and rashes come from in the first place, and see what can we do to stop them, and why you may sneeze more than others.
Activated Mast cells
Firstly, because sneezing in Spring is caused by pollens and similar particles, they may cause Mast cells in your immune system to mistake them for something noxious when you inhale them, instead of something fragrant and good. This causes them to “decide” to attack the pollens. by mistake, releasing histamine in the process and causing you to sneeze!
If you dry out, it becomes worse. So, make sure you drink water regularly and moisten your nose if the sneezing starts.
Find the mistake
So, why are they making a mistake?
It turns out that their wires are crossed when they are over-activated. What over-activates them? Well, it all starts in the gut, where the cells lining your intestines lose their normal protective barrier of bacteria, and themselves become inflamed, causing leaky gut.
That results in gut mast cells becoming inundated with partly digested food that they then attempt to neutralise as foreign bodies or antigens. That means in turn that the mast cells in your intestines become over-activated in the process. They then send out signalling chemicals that automatically activate the other mast cells, right throughout your body, including lungs and sinuses.
This causes you to sneeze when you inhale pollens.
Prevent further damage
So what’s the solution?
As a preventive measure, identify what it is that causes a loss of protective bacteria in the first place by asking our naturopath to do a quick overview of your diet and lifestyle. You would be surprised how much it can change your life.
Then we choose the right bacteria in a prepared form to supplement your diet with, as well as suggest a couple of changes that will eventually allow your gut to literally flourish.
Repair the damage
Then we repair the damage in our 4R protocol. Yes, that takes a bit of discipline for a short while, but once you have killed off your parasites etc, scientifically identified and replaced the missing microbes and toned up your liver detoxification ability, your system may eventually settle down in a few weeks and stop the sneezing!
Rebuild your vitality
Not so fast! It is worth noting that you may have also become sensitised to some foods during this process. So, that is easier to sort out now than it ever used to be. Our naturopath is specialised in this area and can quickly and easily direct you to the good stuff and away from the allergenic foods – and do it without annoying pin prick or other tests.
Job done? Almost. Another problem has crept up on us these days – under-nutrition.
So, for re-building your health we need to restore your depleted cell reserves of all 78 minerals and 12 vitamins – not just a few, here and there.
So, if you can supplement your food daily with the right things in one easy serving, then you can return to that vital you that is bursting with rude health!
How do mast cells actually work?
Mast cells attack “invaders” with antibodies – also known as immunoglobulins (IGA, IGG, IGM, IGG and IGD etc). When this attack occurs, the immune cells that do this (called “B” cells) release IGA antibodies, histamine and – hey presto – your nose starts to run, get itchy and this leads to sneezing.
This overall “allergic” condition usually builds up in your body when you already have a silent challenge that is irritating your immune cells. That “primes” them to become super-sensitive and go on the attack at the slightest provocation of even a harmless, “friendly” substance like specific pollen.
Even then, your B cells have a strange habit of recognising some pollens as “friends” and some as “foes”.
This is the point where you need to take action. You must decide whether you are going to just take a pharmaceutical anti-histamine drug to relieve the immediate problem or go for a natural, long term solution to alleviate the overall condition. If it is annoying enough and causing you grief, you might be advised to quell the symptoms with antihistamine medication initially, while working on the underlying causes.
So, you can change that “decision” of your B cells. You can signal to your immune system that it has made a mistake and these particles are friendly, not foes.
Many people quite sensibly use both options – stop the immediate reaction and then look at a long term solution. And that’s where our Wellness Chemist comes into its own.
Summarising, underlying or root causes – LEAKY GUT – THE SQUEAK IN SPRING.
The major “hidden” cause is an inflamed gut membrane. This primes your immune cells to become hyperactive.
Another major cause is undernutrition.
Yes, genetics can make you more sensitive than others, but you can work with our naturopath to minimise the impact.
Yes, another indirect cause may be a ubiquitous virus infection, Epstein Barr Infection.
So, if you checked the link, you can see that even that may be overcome.
How do you detect for “Leaky Gut”? We have a simple urine test that tells us if your gut is inflamed, broadly what causes it, and whether this is causing a strain on your liver and kidneys. If this test is positive, it is routine for us to show you how to solve the problem long term.
We also have a test to identify what species of microbiota are missing in your case, and supplement you with the correct ones!
Why do I say reactions are “hidden”?
Simply because your inner gut lining has no sensory nerves, so you can’t feel when it is challenged by a parasite infection or other source of inflammation to this membrane that our simple test can determine. Nonetheless, your immune system sends “alert” chemicals to your unconscious brain (your pituitary gland) that then interacts with your immune cells and starts making decisions.
This may, therefore,e affect your body generally – as the B cells are located in every tissue in case you need their protection.
This can all be avoided by taking direct action.
So, what is this “action? We test for the health of your digestive system/liver/gallbladder/kidney function.
Our naturopath will walk you through our “Indicans” test to determine what action we need to consider. This will tell us if your gut, liver and kidneys have been affected and to what degree.
- If leucocytes have squeezed through your delicate kidney filters and entered your urine
- If liver salts have spilled out into your bloodstream
- if some protein has entered the urine via the same route
- if you have become too acidic
- whether you have traces of blood in your urine
- if you are able to digest fully fats and glucose to generate normal energy
- how your liver/gallbladder system is performing
Cold and ‘flu
If still dogged by cold and flu from the winter, ask us to make you our Winter Mix (the other name for Immune Support Blend). This blend is specially formulated to build up a healthy immune system that by definition may also support you against hay fever.
Summarising, leaky gut causes inefficient and challenged mucous membrane everywhere – it spreads from the gut, and along with it a trigger-happy immune system. So, your body becomes geared up to react to ANY “foreign” particle immediately, if not sooner. and restoring your gut lining to normal may alleviate this condition long-term.
We were talking about root causes. The best place to start is with the cause of gut membrane inflammation.
Firstly, let’s take a look inside your gut. A detailed chart in our clinic shows you a cartoon representation of the inside of a healthy gut lining and opposite, distressed gut lining.
The healthy gut lining depiction shows lovely glistening, pink, chunky layers of healthy cells that are tightly bound, with just enough porosity to absorb the biological building blocks of life. These are derived from foods that have been broken down by your digestive enzymes and are en route to your liver.
The gloss is provided by mucous that has been generated by both healthy gut cells and also “friendly” bacteria.
We suggest the proven species in proven concentrations, Beware the cheap imitators!
The final result is that food becomes completely digested before being absorbed, like lactose that is digested by the acidophilus; parasites are killed by chemical substances that are released from the commensals.
Finally, the reason that B cells enter the picture because, while they are stationed in place, they also form part of your lymphatic system flows through your gut’s muscle layer. They are constantly sampling the material in the gut.
That means to you that healthy, killer T cells demolish foreign bodies, B cells remember what they look like, and are merely held in reserve and ready to pounce in an emergency.
So, all in all, that’s a healthy gut!
Summarising, why are you more susceptible to this problem if you have leaky gut? Well, with leaky gut causes similarly inefficient and challenged mucous membrane everywhere – it just spreads from the gut, like a scowl in a classroom – and along with it a trigger-happy immune system. So, your body is geared up to react to ANY “foreign” particle immediately, if not sooner.
HOLY SNEEZING GUTS, BATMAN!!
It happens that if you develop “leaky gut”, food particles which would normally be digested completely in the gut (stomach and intestine) may enter your bloodstream because Leaky gut happens when your gut dries out and develops fissures (cracks). These particles can trigger off the inflammatory response which can make you sneeze – and give you other problems as well, such as painful joints and chest tightness and rashes, to name a few.
HOW your gut NORMALLY PROTECTS YOU?
It’s like this. Your gut is composed of a mucous membrane layer and a laminate of muscle layers. The mucous membrane is itself coated with a living, thriving, writhing layer of live bacteria and fungi of many types, all controlled by ninety-plus species of the acidophilus family and other families – over 400 in total! Numbering about a billion trillion cells, these, keep the gut protected. By comparison, you only have about 50 trillion human cells in your body.
Worms and parasites too?
I’m afraid so. This bacterial colony combines to keep the gut richly endowed with a lubricated, stimulated, automated, self-cleaning surface and just as importantly, it generally prevents “rogue” bacteria or parasites from growing in your intestines. Yep – I mean worms – and other nasties. And also they stop the gut from drying out and cracking.
WHAT GOES WRONG?
But they can be killed off by mistake. And it’s a big mistake. If you happen to strike too many artificial food preservatives, antibiotics and other well known gut-affecting medications like Brufen, Vioxx, Mobic, Voltaren[i] or similar anti-inflammatory medications,** They may all combine to cause partial or complete drying out of your mucous membrane which leads to “leaky gut” and fungal overgrowth*. Similarly, alcohol and food sensitivity will damage these bugs and your gut over a period of time, according to Prof Robert Allen[ii], a Melbourne medical practitioner. He also reveals that the normally semi-permeable mucosal layer can become permeable – or “leaky” – allowing small food particles and large bacteria to drift into your bloodstream.
* Fungal overgrowth gives you sensitivities to mould, weakens your immune system and may be a contributing factor to chronic fatigue, and metabolic syndrome and even pre-diabetes (hypoglycaemia).
** Ask your pharmacist if your medication is in one of these categories.
THE HISTAMINE ALARM BELLS
I other words, your auto-immune system slips into alarm mode, which means that lots of histamine is released into your blood as antibodies commence their attack. Histamine causes redness and swelling both inside your body, in your lungs, nose, throat and eyes and also visible on the skin (rashes and welts). The giant mast cells release those antibodies which attack the food particles and histamine and other “alarm” chemicals along with them. These other chemical “messengers” quickly reach the brain, which issues some panic commands.
One of these commands is to order your pituitary gland to release natural opiates or endorphins. This gland is located above the nose, behind the forehead. (In Ayurveda, this is the second chakra). But wait – there’s more, Tim… It happens that codeine, morphine and heroin are similar to our endorphins. What then do endorphins do? Mainly, they eliminate pain and make you feel good – sometimes, very, very good.
The real problem with leaky gut and food sensitivity is that because the gut has no sensory nerves to tell you that it is itchy and endorphins are addictive, paradoxically this makes you become “hooked” on food which may trigger this response, all the while silently harming your gut lining.
The bottom line is that the specialised mast cells in the lungs and nose which react to these insults give a lusty squirt of histamine and antibodies as soon as a pretty flower so much as looks sideways at you.
And that makes you sneeze.
Contact Phil Wade of Lane Cove Wellness Centre who specialises in immunity and food allergy and you’re in business for a happy Spring season. That means that you can direct your attention to the Spring business at hand – forming warming human relationships without mucus malfunctions interfering with a potentially life-changing, personal lip-lock. (Yes Al, that could be your missus, too – think about it).
Refs: Links plus  PP Guide, 2002.
[ii] [ii] Allen R, 2005, Journal of Complementary Medicine July/August 2005; 4:4:35
152 Burns Bay Road, Lane Cove NSW 2066, Australia
Phone Wellness Centre (02) 9420 4959 Pharmacy (02) 9427 1196 Fax (02) 9418 6846
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