What Causes Seasonal Allergies?
Spring is just around the corner, but for every blooming flower and singing, the bird is a running nose and an itchy throat. That’s right, it’s allergy season. Seasonal allergies are a natural result of your body’s immune system responding to the pollen that is released as plants bloom in the spring.
You may think that pollen is only an issue when you’re close to blooming flowers, but many kinds of plants release pollen that can travel for miles. Trees, weeds, flowers, and grasses all releasing pollen that can lead to allergic reactions. Dust, dander, and molds can trigger a similar response. As you breathe in these airborne substances, your body might identify them as foreign sources of danger and respond by releasing histamines into the bloodstream. Histamines trigger common allergy symptoms to flush the foreign materials out of the body.
Your runny nose, cough, itchy eyes, and non-stop sneezing aren’t there just to torment you. They are a result of your body’s immune system working to block or expel pollen and other irritants your body.
How Are Seasonal Allergies Tied to Gut Health?
Gut health is tied to seasonal allergies because gut health is tied to immune health. Your immune system is responsible for reacting to allergens, triggering histamine reactions, and flushing allergens out of the body. Nearly 70 percent of your immune system is in or around the gut, so when your gut health is poor, your immune system is more likely to be compromised.
One way poor gut health can affect seasonal allergies is through the lining of the gut. When the gut lining is healthy, it acts as a firm barrier that lets nutrients and beneficial substances into the body while blocking toxins, pathogens, and other foreign substances. When the gut lining is damaged, unwanted substances are more likely to pass through the gut and into the bloodstream. This is known as Leaky gut Syndrome. When the body identifies these foreign substances in the body, it can trigger autoimmune responses, leading to issues like cramps, fatigue, joint pain, and a number of potential autoimmune disorders.
This added stress on the immune system can lead to increased sensitivity to allergens. It can even lead to histamine intolerance.
Another factor related to both gut health and seasonal allergies is your gut microbiota, or in other words, the balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut. When this balance is out whack, it can lead to issues like bloating, diarrhea, constipation, poor digestion, and more. It can even affect sensitivity to common allergens and the severity of allergy symptoms.
Can Probiotics Help with Seasonal Allergies?
Probiotic supplements can help with seasonal allergies. Probiotics are good bacteria that can provide a wide array of benefits to the body, including:
- Better digestion
- Improved immune health
- Reduced gas, bloating, and bowel issues
- Lessened allergy symptoms
- and much more
Having a good number of these healthy bacteria is one of the keys to a healthy gut.
Probiotic supplements provide the gut with more of these good bacteria to improve the balance of good to bad bacteria in the gut. A healthier gut leads to a healthier immune system that is better equipped to deal with both allergens and allergic reactions.
Does it Matter which Probiotics I Take for Seasonal Allergies?
All probiotics benefit seasonal allergies in some way through their impact on overall gut health. One of the main ways that probiotics help to improve immune health is by crowding bad bacteria out of the gut. Good bacteria attach to cells on the intestinal wall. These are the same cells that bad bacteria try to latch onto when they enter the gut. The more good bacteria your gut has, the fewer open cells there are for the bad bacteria to grab. If the bad bacteria can’t find any free cells to latch onto, they will be swept out of the gut and pass through the body without causing any harm.
While it is true that all probiotics are good for gut health, there are certain probiotic strains that have a more direct impact on seasonal allergies. If you are wondering if you can take probiotics with allergy medicine, read here.
Which Probiotic Strains Are Best for Seasonal Allergies?
Bifidobacterium bifidum (B. bifidum) is one of the best strains to look for when searching for a probiotic to help with seasonal allergies. B. bifidum helps to reduce allergy symptoms by discouraging the production of histamine in the body. The more histamine your body releases in response to allergens, the worse your allergy symptoms will be. By reducing the amount of histamine produced, B. bifidum helps to reduce the severity of allergy symptoms.
Strains like Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus helveticus, and Bifidobacterium breve help to improve nutrient absorption in the gut, which can lead to better immune responses to allergens and milder symptoms. Studies have shown that L. acidophilus might also lessen the severity of pollen allergies.
Lactobacillus gasseri has been shown to increase the number of regulatory T cells in the immune system which can lead to a more effective allergen response. Lactobacillus salivarius, Streptococcus thermophilus, and Bifidobacterium longum all have anti-inflammatory properties which can reduce the severity of allergy symptoms like itchy eyes, scratchy throat, and coughing.
Where can I Find These Probiotics?
Some of these probiotics can be found in yogurts and fermented foods, but there are usually only a couple of different strains in any one type of food. If you want a good variety of probiotics to help with seasonal allergy symptoms, check out Probonix from Humarian.
Probonix provides your gut with up to 12 strains of probiotics that are scientifically proven to make it to your gut alive. Probonix can give your gut the tools it needs to help keep your allergies at bay and let you enjoy spring to the fullest.