An allergy is when your immune system has a misguided or abnormal response to a specific allergen or allergens. Common allergens include pollen, fur, dust, and people can even have internal allergies to some food and medicine. Being allergic to something means that your immune system mistakes the allergen as something harmful to your body when it is not.
In Canada, around 27.3% of the population over 12 years of age reported having an allergy to something (2017). That is around 8 million people. So, if you thought you were suffering from allergies alone… you are not. Allergies are very common all around the world and there are hundreds of things that people are allergic to.
WHAT CAUSES AN ALLERGY?
An allergy to something is basically a miscommunication happening in your body. Your immune system produces a substance called antibody. The antibodies attack any foreign or harmful substances found entering your immune system. You become allergic to a substance when the antibodies in your immune system mistake a substance as a foreign invader when it is really something that means no harm. When the immune system believes that a substance is harmful it affects the whole body. So, whenever you come across this allergen your immune system’s reaction can affect the skin, airways, sinuses and digestive system.
HOW ARE ALLERGIES TREATED?
When treating allergies, there are many different ways to do so. The conventional treatment methods are antihistamines and steroids. Conventional medications are widely used and relied on but they come with many side effects like dizziness, blurred vision, dry mouth, constipation and difficulty urinating. After using these methods for a while, your immune system starts to build a tolerance to the antihistamines and steroids. This means that the medicine will no longer have an effect against your allergies. With this issue, many people are starting to turn to naturopathy as an alternative to allergy medicine and to medicine in general.
WHAT IS NATUROPATHY?
Naturopathy is an alternative to the widely used traditional medicine we encounter daily. Naturopaths utilize natural methods of treatment and therapy. This practice originates from the belief that nature has the power to heal the body. Known as a holistic approach to regular medicine, naturopathy embraces the entire body and mind.
HOW CAN NATUROPATHY HELP WITH MY ALLERGIES?
The main medication that fights against allergies are antihistamines. Using naturopathy, you are to replace the antihistamines with natural resources that serve the same purpose as the conventional medication. Specific herbs can act as natural antihistamines as they have the same properties. Some examples are:
- Common Nettle: This is a plant that can be taken through tea or tincture form. It has been studied to show that it can help clear up any inflammation in airways that are caused by allergic reactions.
- Eyebright / Euphrasia officinalis: A wild plant most native to Europe. It is used in the format of an eyedropper because it helps clear up any allergy related inflammation in the eyes.
These are only the most common naturopathic medicines used to help with allergy related inflammation. Other natural solutions include: Butterbur, Yarrow, Quercetin (found in onions, citrus, and shallots), and N-AC (long form: N-acetyl cysteine).
WHERE CAN I GET NATUROPATHIC SERVICES FOR MY ALLERGIES?
Considering getting naturopathic services for your allergies? Not many people practice naturopathy so it may be hard to find a naturopath willing to help… but we offer these services! Our naturopath is available at our Matheson Blvd location in Mississauga and our The Westway location in Etobicoke. The Health First Group’s locations are listed in more detail if you scroll further down. Come in and get the relief you need!