Food and Environmental Allergies
What is Allergy?
When a person’s immune mechanism becomes overly sensitive to specific things, like food ingredients, pollen, drugs, or bee stings, an allergic response ensues. An allergen is a component that induces an allergic response. A substance that causes an allergic reaction is called an allergen.
Symptoms of allergy are frequently linked to disturbances caused to the intestinal bacteria, along with malfunction of other major organs such as adrenal glands / endocrine system, gastrointestinal trouble unrelated to microbiomes, as well as modified immunological responses.
The functional medicine approach starts by identifying the cause of a patient’s allergic conditions. To determine the core reason, laboratory testing, food journaling and evaluations, and particular diets eliminating specific foods, as well as challenge and elimination diets, may all be employed. In terms of treatment and therapy, dietary restrictions, atmospheric changes such as house filters and specific cleaning regimens, as well as a variety of medicines and supplements, may be employed.
Types of Allergies
The majority of people suffer from one of three types of allergies –
- Environmental Allergy
- Food Allergy or Acquired allergies
- Chemical Allergy
Most people associate hay fever with allergies caused by breathing stimulants such as pollen, dust, and animal hair. The term “food allergy” refers to an allergic reaction to food items. Allergies that are inherited or developed over time, such as nut allergies, induce severe but brief responses that can be fatal. Intolerances to a variety of synthetic compounds, such as preservatives, drugs, home cleaning agents, and a variety of other man-made goods, represent the third form of allergy. Allergies to chemicals can be induced by both natural and man-made compounds. While occupational chemical exposure may impact some people over the years, others may be harmed by daily products such as skin care products and deodorants.
Seasonal Allergy can strike at any time of the year, and the factors that can cause them varies. For example, although pollen is the primary cause of allergy in the spring, grasses play the villain in the summer. In some people, seasonal allergies can induce extreme tiredness, asthma, respiratory issues, insomnia, and perhaps even depression.
Functional Medicine and its approach to Allergies
1. Assessing the root cause
Allergic responses are often an indication that something in the body seems to be out of harmony. We strive to uncover the underlying cause of allergies, by analyzing what is out of balance in the system and addressing it with diet and alternative therapies.
2. Understanding Digestion
If food is not completely digested, it runs the danger of entering the circulation as larger-than-normal particles. Because the body is unable to discern between them, an allergic reaction is initiated against the potential intruder, causing the body to respond.
As we are exposed to high levels of toxins daily from a variety of sources, we must take efforts to keep the burden on our bodies to a manageable level. Those who are highly immune and have a well-functioning intrinsic detoxification system may only experience mild allergy symptoms. Whereas those who are less immune find their bodies failing in the fight against toxic elements in the environment and are more likely to develop serious medical conditions such as autoimmune diseases and cancer.
4. Adrenal glands
In reaction to stressful conditions, the adrenal glands release a variety of chemicals such as adrenalin, cortisol, and epinephrine. Adrenal depletion or burnout can happen to those who have been exposed to continuous stress for a long time. This is a condition in which the adrenal glands are overburdened and are unable to cope with persistent stress. Adrenal exhaustion is the cause of burnout. Once the adrenal glands reach a point where they can no longer tolerate the stress they are subjected to, it affects hormone production. As a result, many people begin to experience increasing allergy symptoms before they reach the burnout stage.
It is necessary for people seeking a long-term solution to the bothersome condition to undergo a complete examination to identify the main reason and discover a method to conquer it.