Allergies are a common condition affecting people of all ages and backgrounds. A 2021 survey conducted by the Center For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that one in three adults and one in four children in the United States reported having seasonal allergies, a food allergy or eczema.
We often don’t know exactly why some people develop allergies while others don’t. However, some researchers theorize that gut health may play a role.
Having an Allergic Reaction is an Immune Response
When you have an allergic reaction, your body responds to an allergen like pollen or a protein from a certain food, as though it is harmful and develops an immune response to fight against it. This response releases chemicals that are responsible for your allergy symptoms, like sneezing, itchy eyes and nasal congestion, among others.
Immune Response, Gut Biome and Allergies
A large part of our immune system is actually located in our gastrointestinal tract, which is part of the reason why some have wondered if changes to our gut biome may play a role in developing allergies as well as other illnesses. Research has shown that disruptions in the gut biome are associated with chronic inflammatory disorders, and treating the imbalance may be beneficial in treating these conditions, which include allergies.
The Importance of Treating Your Allergies
The relationship between gut health and allergies is an interesting one, and more research needs to be done to see what, if any, treatment options can arise from learning more about this association. However, in the meantime, if allergies are affecting your daily life and making it harder to perform everyday activities like going to work, getting regular sleep or getting to enjoy a meal out with friends at Main Street Café, it’s important to seek treatment.
You can try over-the-counter antihistamines as well as lifestyle remedies like using an air purifier at home, staying indoors when pollen levels are high and regularly cleaning and vacuuming your home to limit exposure to your triggers.
However, if you are unsure what is triggering your allergy symptoms or if they aren’t being controlled by at-home treatments, schedule an appointment with an allergist. They can decide whether allergy testing is necessary to help you identify your triggers as well as recommend prescription treatments that may be more effective in managing your symptoms.
To learn more or to schedule an appointment, call North Alabama ENT Associates today.