Have you wondered why your allergies may still be bothering you now that it’s summer? It may sound strange but your gut may be causing your allergies to flare up. Your sinuses are directly connected to your digestive tract and both the respiratory tract and the gastrointestinal (GI) tract are immune barriers – these systems help protect the body from foreign substances. The common culprit for allergy symptoms is often toxicity and leaky gut syndrome. Leaky gut syndrome, also known as increased intestinal permeability, is the result of damage to the intestinal lining. When the GI tract is damaged and the walls are weakened, there is less protection for toxic substances – undigested peptides, bacteria, yeast, etc. from leaking into the bloodstream. When these substances leak, the immune system responds by producing antibodies that often contribute to inflammation throughout the body. Individuals often experience bloating, constipation, heartburn, and the symptoms that are not directly associated with the gut can include joint pain and common allergy symptoms, like sneezing, coughing, extra mucus production, headaches, etc.
Treatment for leaky gut, depending on all the symptoms, may include an anti-inflammatory diet (allergy testing might be helpful to determine if food allergies exist), detoxing to help the body rid itself of toxins, increase intake of probiotics, amino acids and essential fatty acids, as well as digestive enzymes. Seeking professional treatment is recommended. Before you go back to your allergist or increase your allergy medicine, consider speaking with a naturopathic doctor who may be able to evaluate multiple systems in the body together to truly determine what is causing your symptoms.
Dr. Karampahtsis is a naturopathic doctor, formulator and founder of ProlifeStream, a nutritional system aimed to detoxify and support the body. He has been in clinical practice for over a decade in Scottsdale. Dr. Karampahtsis holds a doctorate in naturopathic medicine from SCNM (Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine) in Tempe. He is board certified from the American Academy of Anti-aging Medicine (A4M) and specializes in hormone balancing, gastrointestinal health, weight management and cancer care.