Alleviate Seasonal Allergies by Healing the Gut

 Sauerkraut is one of the most probiotic-rich foods you can find.

Sauerkraut is one of the most probiotic-rich foods you can find.

The gut microbiome is a rapidly growing field of research, and for good reason. It’s being called the second brain, and is being recognized for housing at least 80 percent of the immune system.

The connection between the bacteria that’s housed in the gut and food allergies may seem like an obvious one, but the connection between said bacteria balance and seasonal allergies is not as palpable. The relationship is complex and can be sectioned off into subcategories, but read on for the basics of how you can alleviate your allergies by essentially strengthening your digestive function.

The first part I’ll discuss has to do with histamine. Histamine is an important compound in the body. It acts as a neurotransmitter and is a major player in the functioning of the immune system. (Over the counter allergy medications are called anti-histamines, to put this into perspective.) There are many, many different species of bacteria that live in the gut. Many of them are beneficial and many of them not so much. The key is to have a healthy balance of these microbes. Issues begin when the population of bacteria gets out of balance. One of the reasons for that is that some of the microbiota that reside in the gut produce histamine. When there are too many microbes creating histamine, an excess occurs. This can throw off the immune system and cause it to react to things it wouldn’t normally react to.

The second part I’ll discuss here is antibiotic use. I’m referring to both recent use, but also overuse as a child. I know my generation was overprescribed antibiotics. Amoxicillin was like candy to me. In short, anti-biotic translates into anti-life. These drugs don’t discriminate and they destroy all forms of live bacteria in the body, including the good bacteria that makes up your immune system. That being said, there is absolutely a time and a place for antibiotics, but it’s not for every ailment, every time. Generally after a bout of antibiotics, there is no recommendation from your doctor to rebuild the good parts of the microbiome that were likely lost. That’s where a good quality and powerful probiotic comes in.

This is just an intro into the connection between seasonal allergies and digestive health. If you suffer from both chronic digestive upset and seasonal allergies, working on your gut might help combat both of those issues.

Kaylie Hopper