By Kennedy Shelley
Seasonal allergies afflict millions of people each year. It is miserable to have watery eyes, sneezing and coughing.
And the COVID-19 epidemic made it even worse because every time you sneeze everyone seems to freak out.
But what if changing your diet could reduce or possibly end your allergy symptoms?
An allergic reaction is an over-response to the body for some time of normally harmless substance. Pollen from grass or trees is not toxic, but the immune response to it is what causes all the symptoms.
Histamines are released by the body to stop what is perceived as a dangerous invader and the cascade of symptoms begin.
Which is why we use antihistamines to block this overreaction. But all that does is affect one aspect of the cycle. Is it possible to make your immune system less over-responsive?
The theory is any diet which reduces chronic inflammation in the body will improve the immune system.
Calorie reduction will reduce inflammatory cytokines in blood, which suggests that incorporating fasting into your lifestyle should reduce some of your allergy symptoms.
But there is very little research to make this a specific prescription.
No one has done a study to see if you use intermittent fasting (taking a 16-hour break between meals) or long-term fasting works best.
There are two types of inflammation – chronic and acute.
Acute is the body’s immediate response to injury. When you twist your ankle, it begins to swell. That is actually how the body works to help heal from an injury.
Often, we try to stop the symptoms by taking an anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen, but that is really the wrong response. It actually stops the healing process.
(See this article in Freedom Health News to understand this better)
Chronic inflammation is where the body thinks it is treating an injury all the time. The result of chronic inflammation is inflamed arteries, leading to heart attack, stroke, Alzheimer’s and kidney problems.
Most chronic inflammation results from high blood insulin levels.
Since carbohydrates and particularly all forms of sugar tend to increase insulin the most then the simplest solution is to reduce or eliminate sugar and carbohydrates from the diet.
There are those who believe that wild honey is a great solution to solving allergies, but it actually would spike your insulin levels increasing chronic inflammation.
Just switching to a low carb, no sugar diet would radically alter your metabolic health and the results will show up in hours and days.
The body only has a few hours of glucose in the system at any given time.
This is why high carbohydrate marathon runners need to eat during a race or they hit the “wall” or that period where their glucose runs out.
Studies show that low to zero carb athletes do not have this problem. Their body efficiently uses their own body fat for fuel.
Just not putting carbs in your diet shuts down the need for insulin, which reduces the inflammation it causes.
As your body adjusts you will probably notice that the allergic response will lessen just as type 2 diabetics find they need less and less insulin when they quit eating carbs.
Carbohydrates are not necessary to maintain good health so there is no risk with removing them from your diet during allergy season.
On a personal note, before I went to a low carb diet, I was on three allergy medicines a day trying to stay in control of my allergies, now I don’t need any.
This was a surprising positive side effect. Hopefully you will get the same result.