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By Dr. Doug Williams
April 12, 2016
Tags: supplements   allergy   relief  
Over the last few weeks, Emily has posted some great blogs on how the food you eat can cause inflammation in the body and how inflammation can have devastating effects with respect to pain and disease. Last week, we covered some of the types of foods that can actually help to reduce inflammation. However, did you know that eating in ways that reduce inflammation in your body may also help reduce the effects of seasonal allergies? It can!

What exactly are allergies? Most of us may not be able to describe exactly what allergies are, but as the old adage goes: "I know it when I see it." In this case, the it is usually:
  • Itchy and watery eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Scratchy throat
  • Headache
  • Sinus pressure
A full scientific breakdown of what allergies are is beyond the scope of this newsletter and, truthfully, beyond the scope of this author! What you need to know (and probably already do) is that an allergy is a hyper-response to a non-threatening substance. For instance: flower pollen. For the most part, flower pollen does not contain any toxic chemicals, or dangerous/life-threatening bacteria or viruses. Yet, some people's heads blow up like a wet balloon when pollen is first emitted and others' don't. It is the second part of this statement that should get the gears moving: "OTHERS' DON'T." 

If you are like me, an allergy sufferer, then you should be thinking: YEAH, WHY THE HECK NOT! THAT IS TOTALLY NOT FAIR, I AM GOING THROUGH A BOX OF PUFFS A DAY AND THAT DUDE IS ROLLING IN THE GRASS WITH NO PROBLEM! Okay, maybe you are more mature than me, but you probably know what I mean.

Dr. Dan Murphy did a great review of an article published in the Annuals of Epidemiology on Seasonal Allergies (Rhino conjunctivitis) and Fatty Acid Intake. His summary is fairly technical, but you can read it here. The article looked at over 1000 people and how they ate. Dr. Murphy found a dose-based correlation between the consumers and what they consumed: the ones who consumed foods high in Fatty Acid Omega 6 had more allergy symptoms, meaning the more they ate, the worse allergy symptoms they experienced. Omega 6 Fatty Acids are found primarily in vegetable oil (corn, soy), which are a major ingredient in processed foods that have a shelf life. Think crackers, potato chips, store-bought cookies, and margarine, to name a few.

Another great review of foods that cause inflammation (and guilty by association increase allergies) is Dr. David Seaman's Deflaming Guidelines. In it, he outlines how grain plays a large role in dietary inflammation, along with some fairly simple strategies for how to eat to reduce inflammation in your diet.

I personally try to follow the guideline:
If it wasn't hunted or picked, don't eat it!
Hunting down Ben and Jerry's Double Chunk Ice Cream doesn't count!

It makes logical sense that if some foods increase inflammation in your body, others can decrease it, which has been found to be true. You can review last week's blog post on foods that fight inflammation.

Take It Home: If you want less allergy symptoms this year, eat a lot less pre-packaged and prepared foods, and eat a lot more lean meats, fresh fruit and vegetables. Remember, the relationship between your allergies and how you feel is a dose-based relationship. The worse you eat, the worse you feel; the better you eat, the better you will feel!
Until Next Time: Eat Right, Move Right and Think Right!

Doug Williams, D.C.
Care Chiropractic, Lafayette, Indiana

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