Watery eyes and uncontrollable sneezing can be annoying, but is there more to your yearly hay fever than the irritation it causes, says Jayney Goddard, and what can you do to…
Seasonal allergies can run the gamut from being relatively mild to being seriously debilitating. What’s worse is that they have a negative impact on the way our immune system functions and can even make us biologically older and more vulnerable to chronic diseases. I believe that allergies of all types – including seasonal allergies – are on the increase and I’m seeing more people than ever in my practice who are now suffering badly – even if they’d never previously experienced allergy misery. Allergies used to develop in early childhood, but now we are seeing them occur for the first time well into adulthood. A number of factors could be responsible, including nutritional issues, unmanaged stress, and environmental pollution. The latter is probably the worst culprit as we’re consistently being bombarded by unprecedented numbers and types of environmental pollutants.
Our foods are also potential allergen sources. Unless we opt for organic produce, the foods that we eat are most likely contaminated with fungicides, pesticides and insecticides. (See my list of the “Dirty Dozen & The Clean 15”. This list is updated annually and it details the fruits and veggies that are the most polluted, so we should try to buy the organic version – versus the clean ones which are either less polluted, or have thick or peelable skins that are not penetrated by chemicals, so you don’t have to buy the organic version – saving lots of money! It’s over at JayneyGoddard.org).
The chemicals we use on a regular basis – to clean our homes and ourselves also have the potential to harbour an enormous toxic burden. We also have to factor in the chemicals in our cosmetics, deodorants; our needlessly ‘scented’ tampons, shampoos, conditioners and more. In fact, it is estimated that we are exposed to more than 700,000 different toxic chemicals on a daily basis – excluding those in our foods. Overall, it isn’t abnormal to be exposed to 2,100,000 toxins each and every day. Finally, indoor air may have toxic chemical concentrations of up to 100 times higher than outdoor air (think fire retardants in furnishings, paint fumes, cleaning fluids, carpet treatments).
All these toxins, whether we breathe, ingest, bathe in them, or put them on our skin, provoke an ‘up-regulation’ of our immune response, putting our immune systems into a constant state of red-alert, and this causes us to be excessively reactive or sensitive to allergens, so that we overrespond to other elements such as pollens, dust and more.
There are many factors which are involved in the ageing process. These include wear and tear, oxidative stress, psychological stress, inadequate nutrition – which, in developed countries, means that we consume an excess of calories through very nutrientpoor food. All of these lead to inflammation, which is a natural response to stressors and is usually helpful and protective, however when it gets out of control it becomes chronic inflammation which underlies every degenerative disease. Inflammation lies at the heart of the allergic response. In hayfever or seasonal rhinitis, every time an allergic response is provoked by an allergen, precious resources are diverted away from our immune system – meaning that it can’t do its normal job of keeping us well – and this increases the degenerative, and thus ageing, effects of stressors.
Conventional or pharmaceutical medicine currently don’t offer cures for allergies – instead offering antihistamines for temporary symptomatic relief. By contrast, complementary medical approaches offer solutions which are extremely helpful – they work preventatively because they address the underlying reasons for a person’s hyper-reactivity to allergens. Several complementary medicine disciplines are outstandingly effective in this arena; homeopathy, acupuncture, herbalism, Ayurveda, nutrition, and more.
To deal with symptoms immediately: Acute prescribing – a homeopathic medicine is given to immediately address the symptoms of allergies, quickly and effectively. The medicine will usually be a highly diluted mixture of the allergens that the person is reacting to and the symptoms are relieved within minutes. For allergy prevention, there’s constitutional prescribing – this is more individualised as the homeopath makes a highly detailed analysis of the patient’s symptoms, lifestyle, medical history and more, so that the person’s ‘constitutional remedy’ can be prescribed. The carefully chosen homeopathic remedy helps the person to become more balanced and healthier overall and better equipped to deal with stressors – including allergens.
Want to know more? To find qualified, professional practitioners – or to find a selection of the best training schools that teach these approaches, visit The Complementary Medical Association website: The-CMA.org.uk. Find more ways of combating inflammation, allergies and betting biologically younger in Jayney’s new book: Rewind Your Body Clock: The Complete Natural Guide to a Happier, Healthier, Younger You.
Jayney Goddard is president of the Complementary Medical Association. Find out more at the-cma.org.uk
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