Dr. Alison shares what you need to know about allergies, root causes, how to test, what to eat, and why you wake up with coughing.
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This is going to be a quick introduction to allergies, mold, the immune system and what you need to know for testing, functional support, and a little on essential oils. So I would love for you to join us on April 12th for my free class on seasonal support where we will go more in depth. The RSVP link is in the description here for you or go to my website littleblackbagmedicine.com and check out all the events I have going on in march.
Seasonal support includes allergies, mold, food sensitivities, and stress. Now, you probably know that you have allergies and what you are allergic to, or you know at least in the summer and fall you are dealing with chronic sinus issues, sneezing, coughing, and lung issues.
Let me tell you about a patient, we will call her Jill, who comes to see me for sinus issues, lung issues, insomnia, and gut complaints. She wakes up in the morning and is coughing, hacking, her sinuses are stuffy. She is fatigued, deep blue or purple bags under her eyes. She is using inhalers, allergy medication, all of the essential oils to help but nothing is working.
Every night she has a bowl of cereal, usually Cheerio’s with cow’s milk. Sometimes she eats icecream, or chocolate. She has chronic diarrhea, and always catches every illness her kids bring home from school and daycare.
Now if this sounds like you, pay attention to this podcast because we are going to cover why she is feeling this way and how we addressed it.
I will tell you another silly anecdote: every year in college during exam times I would get dreadfully sick. I always assumed that it was the stress making me sick and would take Dayquil and nyquil, and this is before I knew anything natural so don’t judge. But it wasn’t until I was in my late 20’s and maybe later that I realized that OMG I don’t have a spring cold, it’s allergies!! So just something to think about if you are chronically fighting an illness and nothing is working, it could be allergies.
Let’s start with testing. Obviously you can go to an allergist and have the tests done. From a functional perspective you want to do a blood draw to test for environmental allergies like the specific trees, grasses, mold you are sensitive to. I would also recommend a food sensitivity test because food is a great mimicker of environmental allergies. When you do these tests you want to make sure they are done through blood to be the most accurate. Hair, saliva, and urine are not great options.
In my opinion, one of the most important parts of working with allergies is the immune system, specifically Secretory IgA, which is also known as sIgA. This lines the mucous membranes of our body including the sinuses, mouth, throat, the lining of the gut, eyes, ears, vaginal and bladder tracts. When this sIgA is lowered and under functioning, it will lead to leaky gut, leaky lung, leaky blood brain barrier, sinus issues, and chronic illness. This also leads to persistent viral and bacterial loads because the body can’t fight the infections and they just persist in the body for a long time, further weakening in the immune system.
So let’s go back to our friend Jill. Her actual main issue is that she has a food sensitivity or allergy to dairy, glyphosphate, and gluten that is irritating her gut, suppressing her sIgA, and keeping her chronically sick. When she eats dairy at night and then goes to sleep she creates chaos in her stomach. As she is laying down, sleeping, her stomach is refluxing putting more acid into her esophagus. Because she is sleeping she doesn’t feel it and because she is laying down, the acid is entering her lungs and sinuses causing mucous build up and also destroying her sIgA in those membranes. Then when she wakes up she has to cough, clear her throat, and blow her nose to get rid of all the mucous and reflux build up.
So food sensitivities, dairy, late eating at night are a major factor in sinus health.
Another common issue, especially at night is mold build up from the bathroom connected to the bedroom. And dust and dirt circulating through the vents. Mattresses, pillows, blankets all absorb the mold and continues to cause reactions in the body. Here, you need to get rid of mold and do a home test. You can call a company or use a home test from your local hardware store. Get your ducts cleaned regularly. And if you have mold and severe duct issues you will want to replace your mattress, comforters, pillows, couches, anything soft that is absorbing these things.
Let’s talk treatments quickly: I like to start with obviously discovering the root cause. Is it environmental, something in the home, food, or autoimmune conditions?
Then supporting the sIgA with products like the Repairvite powder from apex energetics which has aloe, and enzymes, and other herbs that soothe and calm the tissues. While it is created for gut health and supporting the lining of the gut, I also use this for all of my lung and sinus patients.
To be clear: I do believe in using the best of both worlds. Meaning, yes, you might need to take an OTC medicine daily for general support and then using everything you have from a nutrition, herbal, homeopathic, and essential oil perspective.
Essential oils are my next go-to and the main ones we use are lavender, lemon, peppermint, and tea tree. You can diffuse those or add them to a veggie cap to take as a supplement.
When the allergies are severe, I use a drop of Blue Tansy and Roman Chamomile under the tongue. Those are essential oils.
You also want to use quercetin, zinc, vitamin C, A, and D for lung and mast cell support.
I have included links to my Fullscript protocols for you and the essential oils so you can grab those. There is so much more information to cover on this topic, this is just the first few pages of the book, if you will. So please join us for the master class, and if you need personalized help, book your initial consultation online and we will create a plan just for you! Thank you again for listening today and see you next week!