I clearly remember the day it hit. I was driving in Maine, on my way to visit an account, and my nose was running, my eyes were itchy, and I felt like my face was about to explode through the windshield. I began to wonder if I was getting sick but as I watched the clouds of pollen float by, it occurred to me that I was suffering from allergies – for the first time – at 30 years old. That was the beginning of a path that led me, and eventually my husband, to start our mornings, every day for months, with an Advil Cold & Sinus and a Claritin for breakfast. Flash forward ten years and lo and behold… my allergies are gone. No drugs, no symptoms.
Before I tell you how I did it, let me explain a little about allergies and how the immune system works. Allergies are an over-reaction of the immune system to a foreign substance – often a protein. In a healthy, balanced immune system when a foreign protein (aka
the “allergen”) enters, your body examines it and determines if this is a serious threat or a harmless invader. Things like pollen, animal dander, and peanuts should not cause the body to freak out. Your body should recognize these as harmless and move on to searching for actual threats. In the case of moderate to severe allergies, your body goes into Red Alert mode and does everything possible to attack, kill, and expel this invader. Your immune system comes in “Guns A’Blazin’!” The sneezing, coughing, and running nose and eyes are your body trying to flush out the allergen. Special white blood cells go to work to attack the invader and your immune system becomes preoccupied with eliminating the supposed thread. Inflammation occurs, often in the respiratory tract, to increase blood supply to the war zone and bombard the offending pollen grain with everything it’s got. In a healthy, balanced immune system, you might sneeze once or twice to clear your nasal passages of the pollen, but your immune system would stay on patrol and not go into attack.
Here’s my theory on why so many people develop allergies as an adult… because their immune system is so preoccupied with managing toxins from our diets, environment, and lifestyle that it is no longer capable of handling a simple pollen grain. You see; every day, the average person consumes a diet of processed food and soft drinks loaded with artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, and preservatives that their body has to process and eliminate. I call these ingredients “anti-nutrients” because they bring zero benefit to the body while requiring a concerted effort to get rid of them. Over time, your immune system gets tired, overwhelmed really, with handing chemical, after chemical, after chemical, to the point where it becomes so disoriented that it begins to overreact to common, natural proteins.
Flash forward ten years… Today, my husband and I eat a whole-foods diet that consists of mostly plants. We no longer purchase, prepare, or eat processed foods packed with artificial ingredients, and our allergies are virtually gone. There is no soda in our house. There is no high-fructose corn syrup here. You won’t find sodium benzoate, monosodium glutamate, aspartame, or FD&C yellow #5 in our pantry. You will find brown rice, kidney beans, homemade chutney, honey, and sweet potatoes, though.
Within a year of transitioning to a whole-foods, plant-based diet, we noticed our allergies had declined significantly. Within two years, our allergies had virtually disappeared. To this day, we very rarely show any signs of allergies and when we do, a shower seems to take care of it. You see, by putting natural ingredients into our bodies, our immune system was no longer distracted by the artificial ingredients we had been eating and it began to come back into balance. My mother experienced a similar result after transitioning to a whole-foods, plant-based diet; she was no longer allergic to my cats! It took many years to get our immune systems to the point where they just couldn’t function properly anymore and it only took a year or two to get back into balance. The body’s capacity for healing is amazing if you provide it with the right environment.
So if you’re one of the millions of people who developed allergies as an adult, and you’re tired of the misery and the pharmacy, consider healing yourself from the inside and getting back into balance. Start by reading the labels on anything you intend to eat or drink and ask yourself what your immune system might think about that Dorito.
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