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Allergies and Inflammation

Allergies and Inflammation

With the long awaited onset of Spring, comes the dreaded seasonal allergies along with tissues, eye drops and allergy medication for some. Allergies are more than just the symptoms of a runny nose, watery eyes, constant headaches, sneezing or reactions to certain foods. Understanding your body’s immune system functions and getting to the root cause of your symptoms, can help you make more effective choices for your health that do not necessarily include medications or shots.

The main cause of allergies is the inability of the body to manage inflammatory levels of prostaglandins and cytokines that are responsible forimmune hyperactivity. There are a variety of situations that cause inflammatory reactions to burden the body. From environmental and seasonal causes, to the normal aging process, many individuals deal with all types of inflammatory reactions. For instance, usually by age 40, there begins to be chronic elevated inflammatory levels in our blood and body tissues due to our standard American diet, that results in joint and muscle (muscular-skeletal) conditions. Adrenal hormones are then increased in an attempt to balance the levels of inflammation. This can result in anxiety and panic syndromes and finally general adrenal gland exhaustion.

Prostaglandins, one key component of inflammation, are just one of a number of hormone-like substances that participate in a wide range of body functions such as contraction and relaxation of smooth muscles, dilation and constriction of blood vessels, and modulation of inflammation. Cytokines are small proteins released by cells that have a specific effect on the interactions and communication between cells, which reflects the behavior of cells.

In dealing with the management of inflammation, the ability to buffer body acidity (pH) through proper physiology and general mineral supplementation is one of the most important mechanisms that we must support in our body. By keeping the body alkaline and balanced we may reduce the inflammatory responses resulting from acidosis (abnormal condition of excess acid in the body). Another solution in reducing inflammation is to unburden the body of its chronic immune responses, especially that of allergies. Many environmental allergies that we suffer from are actually secondary allergies being driven by primary allergic responses, principally to foods. It has become obvious in clinical practice that when basic food allergies are eliminated environmental sensitivities vanish. For example, by simply taking a person off of a basic food allergen like milk or wheat there oftentimes will no longer be an environmental sensitivity such as: cats or dogs. The basic four food allergies are; wheat, milk, corn and soy (followed by beef, tomato, peanut and chocolate). The hypo-antigenic diet consists of eliminating these eight foods. Indeed these basic food allergies could actually be called “allergy engines” that up-regulate the entire inflammatory system making one even more allergy sensitive.

Usually within several days of eliminating of these eight foods – chronic inflammation reduces and the elevated adrenal responses begin to down- regulate. Although improvement will continue for months after eliminating a basic food allergy, change is felt almost immediately, sometimes as; increased energy, clarity of mind, digestive wellness, and a reduction of allergic symptoms. By simply reducing these items experimentally for two weeks at a time and then reintroducing the allergen – suddenly it is apparent as to whether or not a food allergy is occurring. Upon re-introduction of an eliminated food allergy one may notice an immediate inflammatory response, such as; a rash, itching or burning eyes. It may also cause aching in the body or digestive distress (cramping and bowel irregularity). Sometimes two or three days after the reintroduction of the food allergen a virus, cold or immune issue may occur. This means that the food allergy caused an increased inflammation in the gut lining which had lost its ability to be sealed and impermeable. Thus, a resident virus in the lumen of the intestine is allowed to get into the blood. Then the body has to manage a viral process.

In practice this food allergy elimination trial has been so successful that I no longer consider the diagnosis of an environmental allergy to be accurate until after these basic food allergies have been eliminated. Once the inflammatory response levels in the body have had an opportunity to normalize, then, one may determine what allergies are actually real and what allergies were just secondary to an elevated inflammatory system response. Often answers are simpler than we had suspected. Basic food allergies are oftentimes the result of genetic predispositions, blood types and unique metabolism. Reducing inflammation will lengthen our lives, reduce discomfort, especially of the musculo-skeletal system, and spur the immune system to be active to protect us against more serious health threats.

Please don’t assume that life-long monthly injections or usage of allergy medication is mandatory until you’ve eliminated other potential causes of you allergic responses. I would always suggest eliminating the cause; not just treating the symptoms of any condition. If , tree pollen, ragweed, cats and dogs were truly the problem – why isn’t everybody allergic to them? Our physiology dictates our response. You can change your physiology.

For additional information on allergies, immune responses and natural ways to address the root causes and reduce or eliminate the symptoms, register to attend the free educational seminar presented at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 25th at the Natural Wellness Centre, 108 W. Main Street, Bremen, Ohio. For more information pertaining to a variety of programs offered for helping you improve your health and lose weight; please visit us on the web: This article is authored by Dr. James R. Grilliot, a chiropractic physician and director of Natural Wellness Centre. For a free, no obligation consultation with Dr. Grilliot call 740-687-0279 to schedule a time. To read more articles by Dr. Grilliot, please sign up for our online e-newsletter at

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