In an encore to the bizarre year of 2020, 2021 has begun with an attempt to throw us off once again. Most of the United States experienced some strange weather patterns towards the beginning of the year with massive amounts of snow and ice.
Here in the Midwest, following what felt like an eternal winter, we found ourselves in the middle of a dry spell with almost no humidity, which resulted in dry skin and dry eyes.
Now, as temperatures begin to warm up, the question begs: Will this weather rollercoaster ever end? How do our bodies find balance throughout all of these swings in environmental changes?
New research from Germany suggests that climate change is now causing allergy season to last longer, as rising temperatures are causing plants to bloom earlier, and pollen from early-blooming locations are traveling into later-blooming locations. An early bloom in your area means that you may already be in an extended allergy season.
Many times, the focus of allergy symptom relief and histamine response is something fast acting that will provide immediate relief. Using our Functional Medicine approach of prevention, we know that making sure our bodies are properly working is the best way to have a long-term strategy before allergies ever become a problem.
We know that the month of March is a great time to focus on improving overall health, especially gut health prior to the start of seasonal allergy season. Here are some ways to proactively prepare for allergy season.
Improve Gut Health
Gut inflammation, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and other imbalances of gut bacteria may worsen histamine intolerance and seasonal allergies. Many microbes that reside in the human gut are capable of making histamine.
These microbes produce an enzyme called histidine decarboxylase, which converts the histidine present in various proteins into histamine. The more of these microbes you have, and the more histidine you consume, the higher the amount of histamine that can be produced in your gut.
Histamine can then be absorbed by epithelial cells and travel to various parts of the body, multiplying allergic symptoms.
Individuals with SIBO may have an overgrowth of histamine-producing bacteria, such as Lactobacilli, in their small intestine. While Lactobacilli are important to the gut, they are also major makers of histamine and will cause problems to the small intestine when overproduced. Restoring a healthy balance of gut flora is the best long-term solution to resolving a histamine issue.
If you are experiencing seasonal allergies or trying to prepare for an early season, consider improving your gut health by following a temporary low-histamine diet which eliminates foods high in histamines such as fermented foods (kombucha, sauerkraut, wine/beer), aged foods (aged meats and cheeses, olives, vinegar, canned meats/fish), and other sources like tomatoes, avocados, and spinach.
Many people find that temporarily switching to a nutrient-dense diet can significantly improve their allergy symptoms.
High levels of sustained stress increases histamine production in the body. For this reason, managing stress is key in reducing your overall histamine load, proactively preparing and treating seasonal allergies.
Implement a realistic stress-reducing activity every day and reduce stressful triggers in your life if possible. Breathing exercises and meditation are great ways to find a peaceful moment throughout your day.
Lymphatic massage can do wonders to help open up those sinus cavities and get you on your way to better health (and easier breathing). By promoting good lymph flow, manual lymphatic drainage equips the body’s defense system to react properly, meaning a strengthened immune system and the ability to deal with allergies better.
As a part of the facial lymphatic massage, the neck, entire face, and the ears will receive some well deserved, undivided attention by the massage therapist. Facial lymphatic massage can be a game changer for sinus headaches, tension headaches & stress. Not only that, it’s also a deeply relaxing experience, which leaves you feeling refreshed, clear-headed and well rested.
Ask your massage therapist to apply a couple of drops of peppermint oil to the nape of your neck at the end of your session for an added boost.
Click here to schedule your lymphatic massage with our specialist.
Prepare with D-Hist
Natural D-Hist is a popular supplement containing various antioxidants, enzymes, and plant extracts. The ingredients in D-Hist are intended to degrade the histamine load, reduce inflammation, and thin mucous secretions. Many people use this supplement as a way to reduce seasonal allergy symptoms before they begin.
Whether you are miserable with itchy eyes and a stuffy nose, or want to boost your immune system to ward off future allergy symptoms, the best plan is to keep your gut microbiome as healthy as possible, reduce stress and include lymphatic drainage in your health routine.
Kare Health & Wellness offers many services that can help strengthen your immune system and prepare for seasonal allergies and beyond. Contact our office for more information and to find out how we can best help optimize your health.