Allergies and the Immune System

Introduction into Allergies and our Immune System

sneezing outdoors - allergies and immune healthAllergies (an overactive immune system) are on the increase and it is estimated that a quarter of people in developed countries have some form of allergy. Conventional medication such as antihistamines and steroids effectively suppress the symptoms of allergies, but they do not address the root cause which means they can resurface in the body in the future.

The immune system, our defence network, in most cases does a great job of keeping people healthy and preventing infections. However, when under continuous stress, problems with the immune system can lead to it’s suppression, illness and infection.

Understanding the Immune System

immune system in our bodiesThe immune system is made up of a network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to protect the body. This system is truly holistic, as evidenced by the close association of psychological, neurologic, nutritional, environmental and hormonal factors with immune function. In order to truly assess the immune system, one must be aware of the interplaying factors.

The immune system is also intrinsically linked to the gastrointestinal system, with 80% of the immune system said to live in the gut. Often if our gut is inflamed or out of balance this will have a consequent knock-on effect to our immunity. Supporting our digestive system is therefore also a critical part of any healing of the immune system.

Understanding Allergies

allergies caused by pollen in the airAn allergy is an immune response which can be triggered by inhaling an irritant such as pollen or animal dander, ingesting certain foods or by touching certain substances. The body has developed an immunological hypersensitivity that can be either localized to a specific area of the body or systemic, affecting the entire body.

There are 3 common types of allergies which affect most people:

  • Environmental or inhalant allergies, which is what most people know as hay fever.
  • Food allergies, those that come from common everyday foods.
    • Innate or fixed allergies are strong immediate reactions like peanut allergies that are potentially life threatening.
    • Acquired allergies are better described as sensitivities or intolerances that occur when one food is over consumed daily coupled with poor digestion.
  • Chemical sensitivities, to many synthetic substances such as food additives, medications, household cleaners and many other man-made products.

Signs and Symptoms of Poor Immune Health

sneezing into a tissue - supporting immune systemSymptoms of hay fever are sneezing, runny nose, stuffy nose, watery eyes, itchy eyes and nose, and headache. Hay fever is often seasonal (when pollen is in the air), but if constantly exposed to an offending substance (e.g., pet dander), symptoms can last year-round.

Generally, if your immune system is under stress then the following symptoms can appear:

  • Cold hands
  • Dry eyes
  • Fatigue
  • Mild Fever
  • Headaches
  • Rash
  • Aching Joints
  • Repeated Infection
  • Numbness in Hands or Feet
  • White Patches

Here is a list of common pathologies associated with the immune system:

  • Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
  • Graves disease
  • Guillain-Barre syndrome
  • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Psoriasis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus)
  • Type 1 diabetes mellitus

Autoimmunity

pathogens - supporting the immune systemAutoimmunity is described as a series of immune responses of an organism against its own healthy cells and tissues. Any disease that results from such an abnormal immune response is termed an “autoimmune disease”.

Autoimmune disease occurs when an immune response attacks our own tissues. Like all adaptive immune responses, it is focused on specific antigens by T-cell receptors and B-cell receptors. In contrast to infection, the antigens that these cells recognise are processed from proteins within the target organ and this drives a chronic inflammatory process that disrupts the normal function of the tissue.

There can often be a strong emotional aspect linked to autoimmune conditions. As described above, the emotional theme we see is an individual feels under constantly attacked (verbally or physically) by others. A person may have gone through a period of scrutiny or emotional abuse which has affected their sense of safety. As a result they don’t trust their own judgment or those around them.

Mental and Spiritual Aspects to Allergies and Immunity

outdoor in nature - strong immune systemAs we know, mind-body-soul connection means specific imbalances in a person’s mental and spiritual wellness can contribute to susceptibility and the likelihood of certain illness presenting themselves into the body.
What are your allergies trying to say to you? If your immune system is over-reacting to your environment, take a step back and look at what experiences you’re letting in. Are you frequently over-sensitive, defensive and easily intimidated? Be aware that at some level you may be dealing with internal conflicts which needs to be resolved.

It is interesting to note that we often become allergic to foods we enjoy, for example, dairy products. We love ice cream but can’t eat it because we are allergic to dairy. If you are allergic to a certain food, is it possible that you have difficulty allowing yourself to savour the pleasure that comes from the good things in life

Techniques such as Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) and Matrix Reimprinting are very powerful tools in helping identify these memories and clearing the energy behind them and therefore clearing the belief systems.

Transform your Allergies and Immune Health

transforming immune health and allergiesThere are many factors involved when looking at your immune health and why the body may not be functioning optimally. These require investigating holistically and the individual needs to be assessed as a whole to truly determine the root cause(s).

Adjusting your nutritional intake and lifestyle habits, supporting mental wellbeing as well as assessing your spiritual wellbeing will play a crucial role in getting your skin back into balance.

Everyone is individual and therefore there is no one size fits all approach when it comes to health. It is important to get a health plan tailored to your needs, symptoms and life circumstances.

At Higher Healing, being qualified in Naturopathy, Nutrition, Emotional Freedom and Matrix Reimprinting we have a truly holistic offering to provide right support to transform your health. We also are able to offer private functional testing to assess in detail imbalances within the body to give you a clear picture of your health.

Our wish is for you to reach a higher level of healing, so you are able to transform your health. It is possible and you can do it. Start by taking the first step, get in touch to see how Higher Healing can help.

Book a free 20 minute health assessment

Find out how we can help you achieve your health goals. Simply book through our online form or leave a message and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Helping bring your body back into balance

Our holistic health consultations look to identify the root cause and address imbalances in your body systems to help bring them back into balance.

Treat the individual; not the symptoms

One of the principles we follow in our naturopathic based consultations is to treat the individual as a whole (mind, body and soul). Learn more about these naturopathic principles.

Book a free 20 minute health assessment with Higher Healing

Find out how we can help you achieve your health goals. Simply call us or leave a message and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.