Ahhh. The birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming, and tree buds are sprouting everywhere. Everyone is excited about the change……but you aren’t, right? That first sneeze of the season comes on, your eyes and throat start itching wildly, and you know they’re here… the dreaded seasonal allergies!
You start popping Zyrtec, Claritin, Allegra, or Benadryl, eye drops, nasal sprays—whatever you need to do to control your annoying symptoms. But you’re tired and groggy from all the meds and from the constant allergen assault on your immune system. You might start to wonder, is there a better way to deal with allergies?
But before we talk about that, let’s take a look at why allergies, including spring and seasonal allergies, happen in the first place to see if there’s an opportunity for us to intervene and help make our symptoms—and our lives—more comfortable.
What Causes Allergies?
Allergies stem from a weak yet over-active immune system. It’s true that our immune system is our defense system, but it isn’t supposed to be launching an attack against the foods we eat and the world we live in—we shouldn’t be allergic to life!
When the immune system is strong, it launches appropriate attacks only when necessary. According to John Hopkins Medicine, it’s purpose is to defend and protect us against genuinely dangerous and foreign substances like certain bacteria, fungi, and viruses. If an infectious agent does get into the body, the immune system’s job is to attack and destroy it before it wreaks havoc on our system.
But when our immune system is weak, it starts to malfunction and recognize innocuous substances (e.g., pollen, dander, food) as a threat. Obviously, this is not ideal. The goal is to balance the immune system—not weaken or strengthen it—so that it functions as it should in each given situation.
The Drugs Are Not The Cure
Antihistamines like Benaryl, Zyrtec, Claritin, and others are the most common drugs used for seasonal allergies. They work by blocking or opposing the activity of histamine receptors in the body, masking the symptoms (until it’s time for another dose) but doing nothing to help heal the condition itself. These anti-histamine medications can leave you feeling drugged, sleepy, or foggy-brained. They also can have other potent (but seldom publicized) side effects such as dizziness, blurred vision, nausea, or making an enlarged prostate or a yeast infection worse. These are no more than “band-aids” which can even push the body further into dysfunction, weakening your immune system more so that the next time we’re exposed to that allergen, our system reacts even more poorly.
Get Rid of Your Body’s Inflammation
Why are the allergic reactions happening in the first place? Why is my immune system weak and over-zealous? The answers are different for each person but at the core, it is inflammation that underlies it all. You have to substantially reduce the amount of inflammation in your body or you will suffer from allergies. Forever.
Over the years, we have come up with ALLER-BE GONE, a six-step treatment plan to naturally and efficiently and safely reduce inflammation in your body, and thus allergies:
Eat a Clean Diet
Avoid “Trigger-Sensitive” Foods
Fix Your Gut
Eat Anti-Histamine Foods
Take Proteolytic Enzymes Daily
We have found that when these 6 steps are taken, 8 times out of 10 your allergies will substantially improve. The challenge for most people is that they don’t know what foods are triggering them. They don’t know how to heal up their damaged gut naturally. They’re not aware of proteolytic enzymes and how to use them appropriately. Depending on the severity, natural medicine and management can be challenging to handle on your own.
And that is where Functional Medicine Doctor can really help by using these 6 steps in taking a comprehensive look at all the causes of inflammation in your body – and figure out the culprit. Dr. Hilary Rutledge is a Functional Medicine Doctor and can help you remove the guesswork and seize control of your symptoms.
Dr. Hilary Rutledge is a Functional Medicine Doctor located in Wilmington, North Carolina. She has helped many frustrated patients over the years who came to her with a variety of different conditions. In every case, she starts with asking, “What is the cause of this person’s allergy?”, instead of how can we cover up this person’s allergy symptoms. She then works tirelessly to come up with the answers and finally creates a game plan that is designed to empower the person to get better by fixing the cause of the problem. Dr. Rutledge offers a free 15-minute consultation with her either over the phone or in person, to answer any of your questions. Click here to schedule your free consultation.