Sugar is Fuel for Allergies

Bottom Line:

Seasonal allergies- the runny nose, itchy eyes, and sneezing- are never fun. You may not realize the foods you eat can make your allergies worse. Certain foods can contribute to overstimulation of your immune system, activating your allergies.  Small amounts of pollen on your fruits and vegetables can initiate an allergic reaction. So be sure to thoroughly wash your produce before eating to reduce the amount of pollen and bacteria present on their outer layers. But, perhaps the worst trigger for allergies is good ol’ fashioned refined sugar. So, contrary to popular opinion, your allergies do NOT have a sweet tooth!

 

Why it Matters:

Refined sugar causes inflammation and stresses your immune system. When your immune system is stressed, your allergies get worse. Talk about a catch 22! When you are suffering from a runny nose, itchy eyes and constant sneezing it is enticing to reach for a cookie or pastry. But that cookie may put you in a downward spiral of worsening allergies. Refined sugar raises your insulin levels and then causes your blood sugar to plummet. The spike in blood sugar is stressful to your body and can severely impact your immune systems’ ability to fight off allergens appropriately. And a stressed immune system is never able to function at its highest level.

 

– Refined sugar causes inflammation in your body and can crash your blood sugar levels

 

– Sugary foods put stress on your body and immune system

 

– Reducing refined sugar in your diet can help reduce your seasonal allergies

 

Next Steps:

Avoiding excess refined sugar is a great way to reduce your allergies. The next time you feel your allergies coming on, recognize it’s a body signal that your immune system is stressed out. Try avoiding sugary snacks for a few days and give your body a chance to get well. Also, if you know someone who has been suffering from allergies and has “tried everything” to get well, share this paper with them and invite them to our monthly workshop. This information may help them feel better than ever this spring!

 

Science Source:

7 Foods That Can Help Fight Seasonal Allergies. Prevention 2017.

 

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What are Allergies?

Bottom Line:
The spring season not only starts to bring warm weather- but for over 20% of people, it also brings allergies! Are allergies a sign of a weak immune system? No, quite the opposite. Allergies are a common overreaction of the immune system to a natural product. Every day you come into contact with dust, mold, or pollen. Allergies occur if your body and immune system overreact and over produce antibodies to attack the material. This overreaction of the immune system is what we call allergies. The sneezing, wheezing, itching, runny nose, and watery eyes are all signs that your immune system has overreacted to a perceived threat.

Why it Matters:
When your immune system is working correctly, it should react appropriately to the dust, mold, or pollen. Each day we all encounter millions of potential allergens. The handles on the door to your office, your countertops, your keychain- the list goes on and on. Most of the time your immune system coordinates the response to these allergens, and you move along in your day not aware that your immune system is taking care of business. It is only when your immune system overreacts and creates a body signal, such as a runny nose or itchy eyes, do you stop and take notice.

– Allergies are the body signal of an overactive immune system

– Sneezing, watery eyes, headaches, and red eyes are frequent symptoms associated with seasonal allergies

– Reducing stress through exercise, diet, and adjustments has the potential to improve your seasonal allergies

Next Steps:
It’s not possible (or healthy) to avoid all forms of allergens, and besides- that would be no fun! Just like muscles, your immune system gets stronger as it’s challenged. Help your immune system stay as strong and balanced as possible by reducing stress, daily exercise, getting adjusted, and eating right!

Science Source:
Allergies and the Immune System. Johns Hopkins Medicine. 2018

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