Allergies

Allergies

What are they?

An IgE antibody-mediated immune reaction causing release of histamine & other inflammatory mediators form mast cells and basophils resulting in swelling, inflammation, and tissue damage.

Goals:

Reduce allergic threshold (reduce airborne & food allergens)
Strengthen the immune system
Adopt a healthful lifestyle (good dietary habits, regular exercise, reduced alcohol consumption, quitting cigarette smoking, improved coping strategies for stress)

Avoiding airborne allergens:

  • Eliminate exposure to dogs, cats, carpets, rugs, upholstered furniture, and other surfaces where allergens can collect.
  • Make sure the bedroom is as allergen-free as possible.
  • Encase mattresses in allergen-proof plastic, wash sheets, blankets, pillowcases, and mattress pads every week.
  • Install an air purifier; HEPA (high-efficiency particulate-arresting) filters are most effective and can be attached to air conditioning and heating units.
  • If rugs and carpets are present, use a vacuum cleaner with an efficient filtering system.

Food allergens/intolerances:

  • Eat a variety of foods (avoid consuming the same foods repeatedly for long periods of time).
  • Avoid foods with additives, artificial colourings (azo dyes), preservatives (benzoates, nitrites, sorbic acid), flavourings (salicylates, aspartame), synthetic antioxidants (hydroxytoluene, sulfite, galate), and emulsifiers/stabilizers (polysorbates, vegetable gums) which have all been shown to produce allergies.
  • Avoid pesticide exposure (consume certified organic fruit and vegetables as often as possible, &/or make sure produce is cleaned properly or peeledbefore consumption).
  • To decrease the inflammatory response: decrease intake of animal fats while increasing consumption of omega 3 oils found in flaxseed oil and cold water fish (ex. mackerel, herring, sardines, salmon; if you can, try to have fish at least 3 times a week).
  • A vegetarian diet alone can be therapeutic in treating many inflammatory disorders.
  • Eliminate excess fats: butter, hydrogenated oils (margarine and shortening).
  • Avoid sugar, refined carbohydrates.
  • Consume garlic, onions, beets, currants, berries, cherries more often.