Drip, Drip, Drip….

Allergy season is hitting hard and early this year often sending you into a spiral of drip, drip, drip…infection.  While we can’t control the amount of pollen, dust or pollution in the air we can help decrease our overall response. All allergens cause a release of histamine in our bodies and we can only handle a certain amount before we start having symptoms.

Here are some other things that raise histamine levels:
  • Chemicals
  • Outdoor allergens
  • Negative emotions- surprising right?
  • Hormone imbalances
  • Foods, dyes, etc

Working on all of these can help lower your overall histamine levels.  The best analogy I have is visualizing your histamine system like a bathtub.  If your bathtub is almost full before allergy season arrives then you will most likely overflow and have tons of symptoms and will likely end up with a sinus infection.  However, if your bathtub water level is low before allergy season hits then when all the histamine starts to raise the water level it might just not overflow.  If you are prone to seasonal allergies, then you need to work on getting your bathtub water level as low as possible the rest of the year to keep you out of trouble.  I want to zero in on foods because I am a HUGE believer that our foods are one of the biggest allergy culprits we have at keeping the water level high.  Symptoms of allergies include not only the drippy nose & congestion but can be diarrhea, bloating, joint aches, headaches, fatigue, insomnia, & eczema just to name a few.  If you have any of these then it’s no surprise that you are stuck on the anti-histamines year round.  Patients are often able to stop their anti-histamines once they eliminate their offending foods.

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Another word about anti-histamines, they may help with symptoms but they don’t do anything to lower the water in your histamine bathtub. These drugs actually contribute to the problem by adding more depletion to an already taxed histamine breakdown system by depleting the enzyme called Diamine Oxidase (DAO).  This enzyme is responsible for breaking down and clearing histamine created by foods in the digestive tract.  I’m not saying stop your anti-histamine because if you haven’t addressed the water level in your histamine bathtub your symptoms will come back with a vengeance.  Start working on all things that contribute and then see if you can eliminate the anti-histamines or at least reserve them only for high outdoor allergen times.