Allergies and the Immune System

Do you ever wonder why your body shows signs of a runny nose, itchy eyes, sinus pain and swelling during allergy season? In simple terms, allergies occur when your immune system reacts to foreign substances causing an inflammatory response.

Inflammation occurs in many forms throughout our lives, from swollen joints, swollen hands and feet and even sinus swelling just to name a few. But, what is the link between inflammation and allergies? The first step in understanding your allergies and how to treat them is by looking at the link between immunity and allergies.

Immunity and Allergies

Your immune system works diligently to protect our bodies from foreign substances, specifically pathogens. Pathogens contain proteins called antigens that enter the body and are recognized as a threat by your immune system. In order to protect your health, the body generates an immune response to these possibly infectious diseases, which in turn causes inflammation. 

Inflammation often occurs in the form of pain, heat, swelling, redness and loss of function to affected areas. Typical inflammatory symptoms as a result of our bodies' defenses to disease are swollen lymph nodes, irritation to affected areas, fatigue and possible fever.

The above-mentioned inflammatory responses are crucial to keeping us healthy but sometimes our immune system reacts to substances that aren’t actually a threat to our health. This is known as allergies.

Foreign substances such as pollen, especially during hay fever season, enter our bodies when exposed. In some individuals these harmless substances are recognized as a threat and cause symptoms commonly known as seasonal allergic rhinitis.

Overall Inflammation and Allergies

Treating allergy symptoms can be achieved naturally with natural allergy remedies and reducing overall inflammation. 

Dealing with overall inflammation and allergies can be taxing. Symptoms such as headaches, runny nose, itchy eyes and wheezing can make you feel run down. Especially when the weather is warm, we want to spend time outside, but sometimes your allergy symptoms might keep you from enjoying the day. 

Unfortunately there isn’t a way to cure allergies. One of the most common ways to combat allergies is to manage symptoms. There are many products available that help manage existing symptoms of allergies including OTC allergy medications, natural remedies and prescriptions.

Swelling and Allergies

Since our immune system and allergies are so closely linked, another way to help manage inflammation caused by the immune system is to support our lymphatic system

Our lymphatic system helps support the removal of toxins, excess fluid and unwanted foreign substances in the body. Your lymphatic system is one of the most important support systems for our immune system.

The lymphatic system has many functions, one being the provider of white blood cells that form the defense system. Another important function of the lymphatic system is removing toxins and excess fluid in the body. When this function of the system isn’t in top shape, swelling and inflammation lasts much longer and might be more severe when exposed to allergens. 

In order to help manage overall inflammation, contributing to a fluid lymphatic system can help to reduce inflammation. 

Ways to promote a fluid lymphatic system:

  • Regular exercise and movement
  • Lymphatic drainage massages
  • Increasing water intake
  • Dry brushing
  • Eat healthy fruits and vegetables
  • Avoid processed foods
  • Natural remedies for lymphatic drainage

 

Improving lymphatic flow can help with inflammation associated with allergies, but it isn’t the only type of inflammation it can help with. Your lymphatic system plays many important roles supporting our overall health from supporting the body to fight off illnesses to aiding in the healing process.

Types of inflammation and symptoms that can be improved by stimulating the lymphatic system:

  • Allergies
  • Sinus congestion from allergies or sinus infections
  • Joint pain and joint swelling
  • Swelling from types of arthritis
  • Sports injuries
  • Sore, stiff muscles
  • Swollen ankles and feet
  • Overall bloating or feeling of water retention
  • Food sensitivities
  • Brain fog

 

Improving lymphatic fluidity can also help reduce the risk in developing new or worsening symptoms associated with a clogged immune system. Along with lifestyle choices to improve lymphatic drainage, natural remedies can help kick start the process or add extra support when the body is under more stress. 

When dealing with an infection or illness, increased support to your lymphatic system can help speed up the healing process and support your immune system. 

Changes in Allergies

Throughout our lives, our body can respond differently to different allergens. 

Your body might react more strongly when exposed to different allergens or you might have decreased reactions over time. For example, you might develop seasonal allergies as you age or the family cat you once experienced eye allergies from no longer bothers  you. 

When allergies worsen or are new it can be a difficult adjustment. Understanding your allergy symptoms and how to manage them is an important part of taking care of your health. 

Reducing your body’s inflammatory response is a great way to help manage allergies long term. Removing potential or known allergens from your environment can help reduce symptoms. 

Lifestyle choices including an anti-inflammatory diet can help reduce inflammation in the body in response to triggers from food. Different types of inflammation from inflammatory foods are joint pain, joint swelling and excess fluid. 

Other methods to help with new or worsening allergies include nasal irrigation and natural allergy remedies. 

Allergies are bound to affect everyone at least once during their lifetime. Unfortunately since there isn’t a cure, managing and understanding your body’s reactions is the best way to navigate them! 

 

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