What are Allergies?
Allergies occur when antigens bind to IgE and this combined compound binds to Mast Cells within the body: Mast Cells then release Histamine and Serotonin in response to Antigens to try to defend the body against invading foreign substances.
Allergies are also caused by Eosinophils (specialized Cells of the Immune System) when they release Hydrogen Peroxidase at the site of the Allergy in an attempt to destroy what they “believe” to be Antigens.
Histamine is released during this process and is directly responsible for most of the unpleasant symptoms associated with allergies (such as itching, sneezing etc.).
Allergies can manifest in a variety of ways such as skin eruptions like hives, or nasal symptoms like hay fever, or migraines, or digestive allergies. The symptoms from allergies can sometimes be complex and not easily distinguishable as allergies. So blood testing should be performed to determine if you are allergic or not.
There are two forms of allergy tests, the first tests for immediate allergic reactions and measures IgE in the blood in response to allergens; this can be ordered from any medical laboratory. The second tests for the more insidious allergies and measures IgG in the blood in response to antigens, this usually requires more specialized laboratories to perform this test, such as Alcat. So if you are suffering from allergies it is best to have yourself tested so you know what foods and food additives you need to avoid.
It is interesting to note that Doctors are finally realizing that about 60% of the population has some degree of Celiac disease, or gluten-intolerance. And diabetes is becoming more and more prevalent, especially among children. Now doctors are also diagnosing both diseases in many people, finding a link between Celiac disease and type I Diabetes.
How to treat and deal with your allergies
It is best to directly treat the immune system when dealing with allergies. First and foremost the best is to avoid, if possible, the allergen you are allergic to.
If it is food based allergies you are suffering form, such as gluten intolerance, etc. and can’t find any creative recipes for your allergy diet then I would advise you get Fun with Gluten Free and Low Glycaemic Index Food! – by Debbie Johnson. Johnson is a very creative chef, who was the former owner and executive chef of the restaurant, The Golden Chalice Restaurant. Having read through her cookbook I can definitely say that Johnson knows what she is talking about. I highly recommend it.
Below is a list of nutrients available to help treat the body’s symptoms of allergies. You can try the following:
Quercetin, stabilizes the Cell Membranes of Mast Cells. This strengthening of Cell Membranes of Mast Cells causes the Mast Cells to be less reactive to Antigens (that are involved in Allergies) and decreases the ease with which they release their stored Histamine.
A combination of Ester-C [a particular form of Vitamin C] (2 – 4 g/day) and Quercetin, (1.000 mg – 1.500 mg/day) both are good natural anti-histamine agents and are therefore important in the natural treatment of Allergies. Quercetin acts directly on the intestinal tract to reduce reactions to dietary allergens. It inhibits production of histamine by stabilizing basophils and mast cells. Bioflavonoids (such as Quercitin) may help reduce the body’s release of symptom-producing histamine, explains Elliott Middleton, Jr., M.D., Ph.D. at the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Betaglucan and Resveratrol, ideal for chemical sensitive people: These patients get headaches, disorientation, muscle and joint pain, mood disturbances, short-term memory problems dizziness, difficulty concentrating, shortness of breath and stomach pains. These patients have reactions to pesticides, perfume, deodorant, household, cleaning products, toner, cigarette smoke etc.
With WGP Beta1,3/1,6-glucan, at least 75 % purified quality (1000 mg/day) and Resveratrol (produced by red grapes 20-60 mg/day or transresveratrol by Polygonum cuspidatum 100 mg); patients have little problems with perfume, toner, cigarette smoke, environmental pollutants and other toxins.
Vitamin C increases the oral bioavailability of Beta-D-Glucan
Resveratrol protects the brain from free radical attack and modulation of the activity the phase 1 and phase 2 enzymes also plays an important role in the detoxification effects of Resveratrol.
Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) helps to prevent and treat Allergies. This supplement should not be used by individuals suffering from multiple chemical sensitivity.
Rutin counteracts Allergies (by inhibiting the release of Histamine from Mast Cells).
Redbush Tea with Stevia is an important basis in the treatment of allergies and other intolerances. Redbush Tea (at least 1 litre/day or more) has anti-allergic effects, because it contains Quercetin. Studies have shown that the average 150 ml cup of Redbush Tea contains about 1.4 mg – 1.7 mg Quercetin.
Mangosteen Extract provides the potent antioxidant benefits of xanthone flavonoids from mangosteen fruit. These flavonoids possess antioxidant properties that may help neutralize cell damage by free radicals (i.a. environmental pollutants), allowing for the maintenance of optimal cell function. The xanthone flavonoids also help to support a healthy immune system and inhibit the release of histamine.
Reishi Mushrooms and Maitake Mushrooms prevent and treat Allergies, due to their Beta-D-Glucan content. Reishi mushrooms also reduce high histamine levels.
Ginkgo biloba alleviates Allergies by inhibiting the activity of Eosinophils (due to the Ginkgolide B content of Ginkgo biloba).
The above recommended nutraceuticals and herbs are recommended for general allergies. When trying to treat more specific allergies, such as skin allergies, hay fever, etc. it is best to consult a practitioner for more specific treatment, such as that offered by Homeopathy.
Homeopathic treatment will target your individual specific symptoms and help you to overcome you allergy sensitivities. Homeopathic doctors may also use auto-sanguineous therapy to deal with allergies which has about an 80% success rate in dealing with allergies. It is best to consult a homeopath for this form of treatment. I homeopath may also prescribe herbs that are better suited to your specific allergies.
Dr Shaun Hutchinson,