A deep dive on what allergies are, why they occur, and what to do about them.
We are no strangers to allergy season around here. It doesn’t feel that long ago that my family found ourselves scrambling from doctor to doctor, piling on new treatments, and hoping for the best when it came to my daughter’s allergies. You know how you have that one child who has all the problems? She was that child. Her allergies set off her asthma, and both set off her eczema. All three of those conditions resulted in other concerning challenges with her health.
She was on a first-name basis with the nurses at our local emergency rooms. We would go to check her in and they had so much of our information memorized. She knew the procedures from triage to treatment and we went along with them almost methodically. Her allergist had her on every experimental treatment once the “tried and true” ones didn’t work out. My child was taking over 8 medications every single day multiple times a day.
Beyond the medical expenses, taxed time, and depleting treatments causing more side effects she had to heal from, the emotional side of battling allergies was just as saddening. The heartache of feeling like this would be her life forever broke my heart and put her in a place of despondence at times. Because her eyes would swell every night around the same time, she hated going to sleep. Sometimes she would cry herself to sleep already anticipating the next morning’s pain. She would cry herself awake to soften the brutal, prickly crust holding her eyes shut.
Whenever we were invited places, we had to check and double-check to ensure they didn’t have animals. We were blessed with amazing friends who did their absolute best to deep clean their houses and keep their animals contained so my child could still spend time with her friends at their houses, especially for parties. Nonetheless, she still wound up popping a Benadryl and laying in a corner or the car with a hot towel on her swollen, congested face. Often, she would expect this outcome and would still attempt social gatherings just to feel a little less left out.
I remember going to PetSmart with her because we hadn’t been to one in forever. She loved animals. Obviously, PetSmart is one of the worst stores for her existence, but my husband and I still decided to let her have a few moments of happiness before heading back home. We looked at the water animals first and quickly made our way through the sections of furry friends. She loaded up on tissues for her nose before we left, and we hoped for the best. As her eyes began to swell on the way home, she cried and told me she didn’t understand why so many other people could enjoy such a simple pleasure but she was banned from it. It broke my heart. This is what those living without allergies struggle to grasp. It’s more than some momentary inconvenience. Planning our lives around “simple” allergies like a single food allergy or seasonal allergies becomes isolating and debilitating as they get worse. Conventional treatments for these conditions only relieve the pain and not the problem. After years of Claritin and Singulair and allergy shots and Advair, and, and, AND…we’re still relying on some kind of drug to mask our symptoms that we’re going to face again the next day. The allergy treatment market is worth an estimated twenty-two billion dollars! If the powers that be are cashing in this much money, and we’re still struggling through our food and environmental allergies, we have to start doing some critical thinking because those kinds of paychecks have the power to blind the mind to public interest and rationale.
What are allergies?
Sure, we know seasonal allergies are aversions to outdoor elements like pollen and ragweed and tend to remain prevalent at specific times throughout the year. We’re aware that environmental allergies are reactions to things found indoors or outdoors basically all year long. However, when it comes to treatment does the difference really matter? The exciting news is that allergies are not a life sentence.
Allergies are by definition, a war in our immune systems. They are the result of an unhealthy, inflamed gut. We often think of our gut as our stomach, however, it’s a whole system of organs within your body – including your esophagus, stomach, large, and small intestines. In your large intestine, that’s where the motherload of all of your bacteria lies. You’ve got trillions of good and bad bacteria, and when you lose the balance between good and diverse bacteria, that’s when allergies come into play.
Are allergies curable?
The short answer is YES! But first, we have to determine if we truly want to be well. Considering allergies begin in our guts, there are a few things we can do to diffuse tensions and prepare it to properly fight bacteria without making you suffer.
- An Elimination Diet. The elimination diet is how we cured my daughter of her food, environmental, and seasonal allergies. She could cuddle cats, eat freely – for better or worse – and enjoy spring without her purse full of tissues, cloths, and allergy meds.
Here’s why it works: If we’re eating the same foods all the time, we’re getting the exact same types of nutrients all the time. Those nutrients only work to fight off certain kinds of bad bacteria – like a vaccine. The bad bacteria adapt to the areas it faces little to no opposition and wreaks havoc.
If we’re consuming lots of prepackaged foods with additives, harmful pesticides, those are only inflaming our guts which could lead to issues like leaky gut – when the lining of your intestines rip and its contents leak into the rest of your body through your bloodstream.
The elimination diet helps the body balance good and bad bacteria, reduce inflammation, and cleanse itself of the toxins that have been running amuck. In the beginning, you’ll cut out a list of foods, and after a minimum of six weeks, you’ll reintroduce foods and notice how your body feels. It is very important to consult a medical professional – preferably a naturopath or holistic care provider – to assist you on your journey. The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll see reduced reactions to your allergens until eventually they’re completely gone. Remember, allergens are common, but not natural!
- Improve Stress Management. This might feel completely unrelated, but in many cases, stress management directly affects the severity of our reactions. Exercise not only helps train our bodies to handle stressful situations, but it also helps:
- Balance hormones
- Balance electrolytes
- Improve heart health
- Improve the quality of sleep
And so much more. They all contribute to strengthening your immune system and kicking allergies for good.
- Sleep. Imagine driving a fully electric vehicle. The average electric vehicle needs four-ish hours to charge. If you try getting away with a one-hour charge before a long day of driving, your chances of having to spend money on an uber to rescue your stranded self are fairly high.
We should be getting 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Since vital organs begin repairing themselves during your sleep between nine and eleven pm, it’s best to try to already be in a deep state of sleep by then. Studies show that the average American adult sleeps less than six hours per night, and typically goes to sleep to a digital screen, like a phone or tv. This lowers the quality of sleep and makes those six hours even less effective. Sleeping properly will help our organs cleanse and regenerate which will strengthen our immune systems against allergens and assist with proper oxygenation and balance throughout our bodies for improved overall health. Cheating our bodies for those vital hours of sleep could land us in the same situation as the car – relying on others to take care of us because our bodies have been depleted of their power sources.
Stay educated in healing yourself.
This is why I am so passionate about teaching others how to heal themselves from the inside root to the outside fruit. This is how Cleangoodeats and Holistic Coaching With Sakinah B. began. The sleepless nights, the heartaches, swinging from doctor to doctor, and either feeling unheard or let down when their hard work to find new treatments didn’t work; I learned that our family wasn’t alone. I also am a fixer. I don’t take no for an answer. I knew these conditions weren’t always around and science says that whatever is done can be undone if we diligently retrace our steps.
My career as a lab tech in conventional medicine sprang my desperate mind into a research frenzy. From there, it was like I opened Pandora’s box to this entirely new side of healthcare! Conditions we’ve been wired to believe are incurable have real cures. “Natural” or “generational” diseases show themselves to be far more avoidable. Realizing how much more control we have over our health than we were originally told was an emotional realization. You, my friend, are entitled to that power!
Whether you are experiencing or caring for someone experiencing health issues, this is just the tip of the iceberg. iHeal is a community of women on a mission to create their legacies of wealth in health! They are accomplishing all of their ambitious goals and dreams because their health isn’t slowing them or their families down. iHeal members enjoy
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Trying some of these methods? Comment your experiences below! If you have questions, don’t hesitate to schedule a consult with me for some professional guidance. These aren’t just experiential stories. These are ancient methods that are biblically and scientifically backed, and globally effective!
Bringing the family back to the table,
Sakinah is an Army Veteran, Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Wellness Advocate, Best Selling Author, Keynote Speaker, and Home Grown Chef.
After the untimely death of her husband and business partner and autoimmune complications suffered by her daughter, Sakinah realized life was no longer business as usual. She made the collective decision to redefine how she and her family approached health and healthcare. She has a passion for helping families come back to the table by restoring healthy relationships with food, others, and self. Sakinah believes when women, the cornerstone of the family, learn to restore healthy relationships with food, others, and themselves, it creates a ripple effect for the entire family and generations to come.
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