Does Poor Gut Health Increase Seasonal Allergies?
Are you getting ready for spring?
Unfortunately, for people with seasonal allergies, spring pollen is a huge enemy. But if you’re one of these people, you can still enjoy the new season without the itching, sneezing, and teary eyes. The first step is by understanding the relationship between gut health and allergies.
It starts as early as infancy. Your gut is a key player in regulating your immune response, and studies show that non-allergic and allergic babies have differing concentrations of healthy gut bacteria.
A genetic deficiency might put you at a disadvantage, but healthy habits like taking probiotics and following a high fiber diet can help get things up and running.
Improving gut health could be the key to easing your allergies! Get started by understanding the relationship between seasonal allergies and gut health here.
Allergies as an Immune Response
Your immune system balances eliminating things that might make you sick by preventing autoimmune reactions. Autoimmunity is when your body attacks itself, mistaking your own cells and tissues for foreign bodies.
There is a link between allergies and people with compromised immune systems. Over the years, we’ve been able to develop gene alterations and novel therapies for allergies and autoimmune disorders. However, seasonal allergies are not a form of autoimmunity, as an allergic reaction results from an external stimulus.
Allergies are a form of an exaggerated immune response. Your body goes into overdrive. Substances that should otherwise be harmless like dust or pollen trigger an enormous inflammatory response.
The inert substance sends your immune cells into a frenzy. They generate chemicals called immunoglobulin E antibodies that bind to the allergen. This releases histamine and offsets a cascade of inflammatory reactions.
The chemical reactions in your body result in typical allergic manifestations. These effects include sneezing, itching, redness, teary eyes, fatigue, and labored breathing. Different allergic triggers could cause different allergic reactions or symptoms.
Sometimes, allergic reactions can be life-threatening such as when they cause bronchoconstriction. This is when your airways start to close up and it’s harder to breathe.
People with allergies often resort to avoidance. But when you’re staying away from certain foods or hiding inside during the spring, seasonal allergies can feel like a very restrictive condition. So, if there was something you could do to ease your allergies, wouldn’t you want to?
Looking into your gut health might be the key.
The Function of the Bacteria in Your Gut
Did you know that the human microbiome houses approximately 100 trillion bacterial cells?
When you think of bacteria, you might think of disease, filth, and illness. But many of the bacteria in our bodies are good bacteria. These are nonpathogenic and live alongside the cells in our bodies.
Good bacteria that make up the human microbiome help with various bodily functions. Gut bacteria, in particular, help in digestion and nutrient absorption. Without the right bacteria, we’d lack the enzymes needed to digest food like milk, meats, and vegetables.
Your gut microbiome extends beyond metabolic functions. It also regulates your mood and immune system. Your everyday healthy bacteria maintain regular housekeeping functions you don’t see. They send signals to and fro, keeping everything in balance.
The bacteria in your gut are a crucial component of many of the inner workings of your body. A compromised gut system can result in a greater susceptibility to allergies.
Impact of Gut Health on Allergies
Your gut plays a major role in regulating immunity and keeping everything in balance inside your body. When babies had lower amounts of Clostridium bacteria, for example, they were more prone to allergies.
A comparative study shows that imbalanced gut microflora resulted in increased allergen sensitivity. A group of rats had their gut health manipulated into dysbiosis. Scientists exposed both groups to allergens like mold, pollen, dust, and dander.
The affected rats exhibited signs and symptoms similar to asthma. On the other hand, rats with undisrupted microflora showed no signs of allergies or distress.
When your gut isn’t at optimum condition, you make yourself more vulnerable. When you take antibiotics, for example, you don’t just kill the bacteria that are making you sick. You kill the good bacteria in your gut, too, and studies show an increase in asthma and seasonal allergies due to the more frequent use of antibiotics.
Sometimes after a series of antibiotics, a yeast called Candida rears its ugly head. This yeast secretes molecules that amplify the immune system’s response to allergens.
Candida also causes “leaky gut” syndrome. This condition is when small openings appear in the intestinal wall. Inflammation and weakened intestinal walls accompany symptoms of fatigue, malabsorption, and gastrointestinal distress.
Listen to Your Gut
While genes can put you at a disadvantage, taking care of your gut health can send you rebounding back to health. Forms of gut dysbiosis result from either too much or too little of the housekeeping bacteria we have in our colon.
Foster a healthy lifestyle with a diet oriented towards bolstering gut health. These diets consist of high-fiber food like legumes, vegetables, beans, and fruit. Our bodies have a harder time digesting fiber, but it’s the perfect food source for certain gut bacteria, helping them thrive.
Other gut superfoods include green leafy vegetables and fermented food like kimchi and pickled ginger. Fermented foods not only stimulate the growth of good bacteria, but they also help introduce more into your system with probiotics!
Probiotics contain a mixture of good bacteria essential for maintaining gut health. They are central to a healthy lifestyle and can even help with weight loss and heart health.
In addition to packing in those foods that are great for improving gut health, you might have to avoid some, too. Substances like alcohol, artificial sweeteners, meat, and processed food can cause common gut problems.
Seasonal allergies and asthma are ways your body communicates with you. Listen to your gut. And if you want to help support your gut health, check out this handy guide for choosing the right probiotic for you.
Restore Your Gut Health with Probiotics
Listen to your gut. Unhealthy diet habits, genetic factors, and environment can contribute to an imbalance with the good bacteria in our guts that take care of us. Probiotics can help restore your gut microbiome to its former glory, boosting your immune system in the process.
If you suffer from seasonal allergies, you don’t have to let it impact your quality of life.
Understanding your body and the relationships between body systems is the first step towards health. Check out Probonix, our probiotic specifically for those with seasonal allergies, and welcome the spring with open arms!