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May 2010 Blogs
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- Allergies - What's behind the watery eyes and runny nose?
- It's Demanding to be PERFECT!
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Allergies - What's behind the watery eyes and runny nose?
HEALTH, May 2010, by Jennifer Papaconstantinou
What's behind the watery eyes
and runny nose?
Do you suffer from itchy watery eyes, a constantly runny nose, hives? Maybe you have ALLERGIES! ‘Tis the season for developing signs & symptoms of this uncomfortable disorder which occurs most often in the spring and fall.
What is an allergic reaction?
Allergic reactions are due to a disorder of the body’s immune system. Picture your immune system as your body’s line of defence; like soldiers standing ready to fight on a moment’s notice. The white blood cells (soldiers) differentiate between what your body’s own organisms are and what is foreign. Then they attack what is foreign! An allergic reaction is a hypersensitive reaction to a “normal” or harmless substance – like pollen.
What does an Allergic Reaction look like?
Common allergic reactions may include eczema (itchy, dry skin rash), hives (raised, itchy bumps), hay fever (constant, runny nose), asthma attacks, and/or reactions to certain foods.
Do you suffer from any of these typical allergic reactions?:
• breathing congestion
• inflamed, bloodshot, or scratchy eyes
• watery eyes & tears
• puffy face
• flushing of the cheeks
• dark circles under the eyes
• stomach ache/intestinal irritation
More severe reactions could cause anaphylactic shock, which can be dangerous if not treated in time. I’m sure you may know someone who carries an 'Epi-Pen' for this reason, often times for peanut allergies.
What causes allergic reactions?
An allergic reaction can be triggered from a variety of different places and substances. Often times, if you suffer from allergies you are allergic to more than one substance.
Categories where we may come into contact with an allergen are as follows:
Includes airborne substances that we may breathe including:
|INGESTANT||Includes substances that we may eat or swallow such as:
- heavy metals in our water
The most common allergic foods include:
- wheat and/or gluten
- milk and dairy products (refer to my previous article)
- food dyes
Medications that cause allergic reactions include
- certain antibiotics
|CONTACTANT||These are substances which come in contact with our bodies and skin, like:
- poison ivy/oak
- latex products like balloons or gloves
- household cleaning products
- even soaps and detergents
- beauty products such as cosmetics and hair dyes (read my article Toxins: Are you Eating & Wearing them?)
|INJECTANT||Reactions may come from substances which enter into our bloodstream – usually through our skin such as:
- insect bites (mosquito)
- stings from bees or wasps
- injected medications or vaccines
What causes your body to react this way?
There are different reasons why the body reacts to harmless substances in the wrong way.
1. The Toxic Overload: Picture the body like a bucket – as toxins are accumulated from the lists above, the bucket begins to fill. Once the bucket is too full, it will start to spill over. This will manifest as symptoms of allergies. Reducing your toxic load/burden or detoxifying your body will help.
2. Imbalanced Immune Function: Many of those who suffer from allergies eat the same foods over and over and over. Make sure you are receiving the best whole, natural foods and eating a variety of foods – try eating from all the colours of the RAINBOW! Making sure you eat a natural yogurt with no-sugar-added (no artificial sweeteners!!) every day will provide your body & intestines with friendly bacteria needed for proper immune function.
INTERESTING FACT: Did you know that approximately 70% of your immune system is located in your gut? Yup, your small intestines!
3. Leaky Gut Syndrome: Sounds gross doesn’t it? It is actually quite common and has to do with the health of your small intestine. If this organ system is not functioning properly to digest foods, the undigested foods and allergens (like pollen and so on) can enter your blood stream. Your body does not recognize these substances and starts to fight them. This is where your immune system (soldiers) kicks in and become “hypersensitive”; and now a reaction occurs. Yikes!
INTERESTING FACT: Did you know that your emotions have a strong reaction on your digestion and small & large intestine? It is important for your health to manage your stress and have positive thoughts.
Several testing options are available to determine different kinds of allergies and the sources of the reaction.
- Skin Prick/Scratch Test – The most common, this test is a good start but is often inaccurate and many times is limited to less than 10% of the cause of allergies.
- IgG ELISA Antibody Test – This measures antibodies (built up immunity to foods) in the blood against foods or environmental allergens. This test is very accurate but is most often practiced by Alternative Medical Practitioners (like a Naturopath or Nutritionist) and can be costly.
- Electro-dermal Screening – This uses a computer to simulate a frequency and measures an energetic reaction by the body. This method is cost effective and accurate especially for finding hidden or unsuspected allergens.
- Muscle Testing – This uses the body and your energy to determine the offending allergen. This method is less expensive but should be performed by a qualified professional trained in Applied Kinesiology. There is even a method to test yourself!
If you suffer from allergic symptoms – it is not the end of the world! There are many things you can do to help yourself. From trying an Elimination Diet to getting the right help and testing or even trying a Detox Diet - giving your body a boost and much needed break. All these can help.
Get your parents involved and dazzle them with your knowledge. After all, knowledge is power. And health is your greatest asset!
May 2010 Partners
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