Dr. Lee Aberle, ND, IFMCP
AhChoo! Long term solutions for allergies
Sneezing, watery eyes, itchy eyes, and sinus and nose congestion are common with spring allergies. But in addition to the seasonal pollens, our bodies can react to foods or mold, making it hard to separate the seasonal histamine reactions, including migraines, rashes, and itching, from common chronic histamine intolerances and allergies. Other histamine reactions can include brain fog, bowel symptoms like diarrhea, constipation, indigestion, or heart symptoms like a racing heart, palpitations, and chest pain.
Women can experience irregular menstrual cycles and cramping. During menopause, histamine reactions might manifest as alcohol intolerance. Other possible histamine symptoms are dizziness, tiredness, anxiety, irritability, and depression. Separating which response and how to treat it effectively isn't easy. Still, once you understand your pattern, you can control your reactions much more effectively.
Short-term solutions may include supplements, herbs, over-the-counter medications, and prescription options. We advocate that our patients implement long-term solutions while addressing short-term symptoms for many reasons. One of the concerns is that the pattern of antihistamine medications can contribute to a " rebound worsening" of allergy symptoms over time. You should note that antihistamine medications impact the histamine receptors but not the levels of histamine created. Suppose our bodies are still making the histamine. In that case, a concern is that prolonged exposure to histamine is connected to dementia, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's.
My goal is to help people get to the bottom of symptoms, to get below what is happening, and to the deeper root causes of why it is happening. If you treat the root cause, the need for short-term allergy treatments is often avoided. With allergies, we have many underlying issues contributing to the presence and severity of allergy symptoms. It may be that one or more of the following issues in this list is your issue:
• Gut issues,
• Impaired kidney detoxification,
• Impaired liver detoxification,
• Low methylation function
• Microbiome imbalance,
• Mold exposure,
• Pesticide exposure - Specifically glyphosate exposure,
• Vitamin and mineral deficiencies,
Identifying all these possible concerns independently might be challenging, but you can adjust your diet. If you know you have food allergies or sensitivities, work to avoid exposure, especially during allergy season. If you are unsure if you have food allergies or sensitivities, do an elimination diet or IgG food testing or even have your allergist test your IgE allergies. The elimination diet will give the most information, and the blood tests will get some information to you quicker.
A low histamine diet can impact symptoms. Certain foods with high levels of histamine promote histamine release in the body. The intensity of your body to tolerate or react to foods is quite variable. The histamine diet information is incomplete, but an excellent place to start for most. I will provide a short list of the avoid or limit foods and suggestions for the foods to eat list.
Here is the “Keep Away” List: Tomatoes, alcohol, cheese, spinach, nuts, tuna, fermented foods (sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, canned food, kefir), peppers (including cayenne, paprika, and chili powder), eggplant, mushrooms, avocados, white potatoes, citrus fruits, strawberries, bananas, peanuts, coffee, chocolate & chocolate products, dried fruit, aged & foods.
Let’s now focus on the foods you can eat to help your histamine:
- Parsley is a great natural antihistamine. Consider making pesto with parsley, allowed nuts, and olive oil. Here is another pesto link.
Red Onions will help stabilize your mast cells with the natural quercetin. The onions, cucumber, celery, and herbs can mix nicely to make a salsa. Here is a link to another recipe.
Nettles have been shown to inactivate and inhibit the one kind of histamine receptor and stabilize mast cells. Organic Nettle tea will impact the histamine receptors and production.
Ginger can reduce the release of histamine. You can make a smoothie with fresh ginger root, carrots, black pepper, and apple juice.
Our immune system is a whole-body defense system. If we get symptoms, our bodies signal that our system is overwhelmed, and we must do something to address the symptoms. When our system works well, we may need to be made aware that our immune systems are defending us.
A mentor told me how the immune system is like a bucket. Your immune response is drip, drip, drip, getting rid of the things your body needs to get rid of to work well. The top of the bucket is where allergens and other irritants are poured into cup by cup.
As long as the bucket doesn't overflow, you don't experience bad symptoms because your immune system is doing its job. But combinations of food or seasonal allergies can cause it to spill over. You get control back when you control what gets poured into your bucket or how fast your bucket empties.
Dr. Lee Aberle.