How Stress Causes Allergies


Allergies aren’t forever. Allergies are simple malfunctions that can be reversed with food, supplements, and lifestyle adjustments. Allergies and autoimmune disease occur as our adrenals, immune system, digestion, and liver become weak. Each system can be healed to alleviate allergies and reverse autoimmune disease.


Healthy adrenals alleviate allergies.

Our body uses the adrenal hormone, cortisol, to give us energy and to alleviate allergic reactions. If the adrenals are strong, they do a great job and we may never know about a mild allergy. When we’re all stressed out over covid-19, work, and politics, then the adrenals become too weak to ameliorate an allergy and symptoms start to show. In more severe cases, the emergency room uses the same hormone, a shot of adrenaline, to calm a dangerous allergic reaction.


An allergic reaction causes an adrenaline rush first and inflammation later. This is how an allergic food can feel addictive. Then the immune system mounts an attack that causes inflammation. What’s the fastest way to make the inflammation go away? Eat the food again and here comes another adrenaline rush to replace the pain until the adrenaline wears off and you’re in pain again!


What is your favorite food? Do you love bagels? Corn chips and popcorn? Ice cream and cheese? What is the basic component of your favorite food and could it be giving you an adrenaline rush and inflammation?

A healthy immune system works to remove pathogens. Whatever your body isn’t capable of digesting, detoxifying, and removing, causes an immune response: Virus, bacteria, pollen, mold, wheat, dairy, etc. An allergy occurs when the immune system tags pollen, mold, gluten, dairy, or anything else as a pathogen. This has some benefit – you may sneeze to remove pollen from your nose; get a nose drip to lubricate the nasal passages and prevent inhaling mold spores. If you’re constantly consuming an allergen, then the adrenals and immune system are being triggered all the time. The adrenals get weaker and weaker; the immune response (allergy) gets stronger and stronger.


The digestive system and the liver are designed to break down food and toxins into usable pieces of nutrients and remove toxins. If digestion is working great, then the immune system never sees a whole piece of wheat – it only sees the basic components of nutrients like protein and vitamins which the immune system knows are good. If the liver is working great, then anything that could be tagged as an allergen is rapidly broken down and removed before the immune system notices it. When digestion and liver function get weak, then the immune system is more likely to be bombarded with things that look pathogenic – whole wheat molecules and toxins like mold.


An overworked Immune system can get confused and start an autoimmune reaction. The immune system can get so busy attacking the allergen that it gets confused and begins attacking the body – Crohn's and Colitis occur when the immune system attacks the gut lining. Alopecia occurs when the immune system attacks the hair follicles. There are over 100 autoimmune diseases, depending on which body tissue the immune system has identified as a pathogen that needs to be attacked.


The conventional medicine approach to autoimmune disease is usually medication to suppress the immune system so it stops attacking the body. In Functional nutrition, we investigate why the immune system is getting confused in the first place and remove the allergen or trigger while healing the weak systems that allowed immune confusion in the first place.


How to reverse autoimmune disease Go backward through the steps of how stress turns to allergies. Remove the allergen to calm the immune system, strengthen the digestive system to break down potential allergens, improve liver detox to remove any potential allergens, and strengthen the adrenal glands to soothe and compensate for any mild allergy.


For more information on strengthening the adrenal glands check out How can I recover from Adrenal Fatigue.


To set up a time to talk about your autoimmune disease schedule here.


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Anna Rathbun, Food Therapy

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