What are Allergic Reactions and How do you Manage them?

An allergic reaction is, in essence, your body’s way of reacting to a potentially dangerous foreign unknown invader in the only way it knows how to. When your body encounters a potential threat in the form of an allergen most commonly, certain types of food, plant pollen or fur from animals; it triggers a series of cellular and chemical reactions to place you in a state of immunity.

The allergic reaction consists of Mast Cells in your body releasing immune factors such as histamine in an attempt to destroy any foreign threats it perceives as harmful or substances that could potentially throw your chemistry off balance. The downside of this is us being in a state of inflammation overdrive which can often times result in uncomfortable and frightening symptoms.

We have all experienced the red, itchy rash that forms around our skin whenever we have foods that disagree with us, we have all experienced the intestinal, stomach pains and bloating that comes from overindulging in low quality foods. Perhaps another overlooked aspect of an allergic reaction is the brain fog, tiredness and lack of cohesive thinking that can come just as much from the air we breathe and the foods we consume. Some allergic reactions are seasonal and can also come in the forms of sinus congestions, infections and sneezing fits.

In design, and by nature, an allergic reaction is really just an immune response. The hyper-reactive inflammatory state that our bodies enter is meant to be transient, temporary and reflexive. We are designed to inherently deal with threats, develop understanding and then form strategies around them.

As we progressed with food technology, living conditions/ environments and lifestyle requirements; the threats of allergens in our lives may come in forms that are increasingly difficult to identify, persistent and ever present. The ever-increasing threats of chemical, mental and physical imbalances is what forms and perpetuates the cycle of inflammation. This is where the allergic reaction becomes one of chronicity and ever continuing. Overtime we face the chronic repercussions of the mental, chemical and emotional strain on our bodies.

The increasing amount of people developing chronic allergic reactions in the 21st century has triggered a cascade in the demands and development of symptom relieving products in the market. Some of these products address the symptoms but not the cause. Often the lines can be blurred; antihistamines, and anti-inflammatories are not always the answer, and are not the cure to allergies.

Is it possible to develop a resilience to allergens? Is it at all possible to avoid and restrict our bodies from all that is stressful? One must ask what the underlying reason is to why there is imbalances, dysregulation and panic reactions from our bodies in the first place.

Tips on Managing Allergies

I believe that the healthcare industry has failed to address the issue of the decline in immunity and with educating the public on healthy ways to increase their tolerance to allergens.

Here are some key areas that I believe needs to be identified, understood and implemented as strategies to develop resilience to allergens.

The first step to triggering a healthy immune response is through a healthy physical and mental state. As a Physiotherapist operating in a Wellness setting, we often encounter clients who are unable to realize their health goals due to a poorly functioning physical state. A healthy body enables us to move better, avoid chemical and immunity issues that comes from poor metabolism and nervous system dysfunction. Movement regulates our airways, allows for adequate chest expansion that rids our lungs of bugs. Healthy movement in the forms of exercise improves immune system regulation and stress hormones that perpetuate chemical imbalances. Work on uncovering the root causes of your joint pains, headaches, stiffness and notice the huge relief in mental stress and emotional resilience that comes with it.

Work on learning about restoring our defence mechanisms. Mast cells, and inflammation are not the only lines of defence in our bodies. We in fact have a mucosal line of defence that helps provide insulation from foreign invaders. Our breathing passageways and digestive pipes are lined with mucus that act as a first line barrier to invaders. Mucus contains immune factors that can also help combat allergens that come into their contact. Consider keeping yourself adequately hydrated, utilizing a humidifier, and consuming foods that help with this specific immune system such as Shiitake and Reishi Mushrooms.

As much as mucus is there to help line our guts, there is a need to improve on the other aspects of gut health. Repair the lining of your gut with glutamine rich foods, dietary fibre, fish oil. Leverage the power of organisms that act as symbiotes in our bodies (Probiotics).

Detox regularly, we accumulate toxins and dietary allergens within our system when consuming sub optimal foods. These allergens can compound to a point where they become immunologically active. The reduction and release of these toxins can be beneficial in reducing the intensity and exaggerated response of our immune system. Start with the liver as it functions as an exchange centre to detoxify the bloodstream. As the bar scene and craft beer culture in Perth continues to grow, it is imperative that we control our alcohol intake.

Lastly, and this comes at a point that is not often addressed enough in adolescents and teenagers. Engaging in unprotected sexual activity with multiple partners may also be a risk factor for those struggling with their immune system. We each carry a unique set of bacterium and microorganisms that we are immune to, it is what makes us who we are as biological beings. Engaging in unprotected sexual activity is one way of sharing or exposing ourselves to other foreign microorganisms which can sometimes cause a spike in our body’s immune response.

Understanding Wellness is about finding a fit for Physical, Chemical and Emotional health for an individual at a given point in life. As a Wellness Centre, we hope that the public is empowered to further their understanding of their health and place it as top priority.


Mushrooms to Consider: Shiitake or Reishi mushrooms.

Glutamine for Gut Health: Parsley, Bone Broths, Asparagus, Legumes, Kidney Beans, Red Cabbage, Grass fed Lamb/Beef, Offal.

Probiotic Rich Foods: Yougurt, Kefir, Sauerkraut, Kimchi, Pickles

Foods that help Liver Detoxification: Tumeric, Broccoli, Beetroot, Garlic, Berries, Fish Fats.

To Reduce: Alcohol, Refined Sugar, Starchy Foods Consumption, Radiation.

To Discuss with your Healthcare Professional:  Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs NSAID, Antibiotics, Amphetamines, Chemotherapeutic agents.