What You Can to Do to “Outsmart the Inevitable”
By Cesar Collado
When seasonal allergy season comes, over 50 million people in the US, dread the annual arrival of nasal congestion, eye itchiness, coughing, sneezing, and other inflammatory symptoms that accompanies it. The symptoms are the core annoyance that we want to avoid. To do so, it is helpful to recognize the things we can do to avoid the inflammation that causes the symptoms altogether. If this is your objective, there are things you can do to avoid relying on conventional allergy medicines that alleviate some of the symptoms, but still leave you dealing with the side effects.
OVERLOOKING THE OBVIOUS
UNDERSTANDING MOLD, FOODS TO AVOID THAT PROVOKE SEASONAL ALLERGIES, AND FOOD ALLERGIES IN GENERAL CAN BE ESSENTIAL FOR MINIMIZING SEASONAL ALLERGY SYMPTOMS.
Mold is a year-round allergen and ubiquitous in the environment. It is most vibrant in wet and moist climates created by rainy seasons. For example,
- When rain reaches organic matter outside, mold forms as part of the natural decomposition process.
- All homes can develop leaks from the roof, clogged gutters, and pluming issues. Any moisture source combined with building materials becomes a breeding ground for mold. Many common indoor molds, like aspergillus and penicillium, produce mycotoxins as well. This can lead to severe symptoms beyond allergies and severe illness. Occasionally checking your home for leaks and having them fixed quaickly takes little time and can help you to avoid a moldy home to remediate. Read about 13 steps to check your home for water leaks and moisture HERE.
- Indoor humidity that is above 40% can be enough to make dormant mold begin to reproduce. Building physics will allow moisture to accumulate or condensate in specific places. This creates enough moisture in building materials for mold to reproduce. Proper functioning HVAC systems will keep humidity down. Also, many homes have crawlspaces and basements that are not air conditioned. The combination of dust and humidity can allow mold to get a strong foothold in these areas. Avoid neglecting your basement and crawlspaces by keeping them clean and installing moisture barriers and dehumidifiers to keep humidity below the 50% threshold. The “Stack Effect” is the physical phenomenon that brings all lower, moist and cooler air up through a home and into the living spaces, allowing mold to also move upwards into the home.
Mold is the master antigen; therefore, when the environment is mold rich, seasonal allergies will get much worse. The reverse is also true, remove mold from the environment and allergic symptoms reduce and even resolve in some allergy sufferers.A key reason mold is the master antigen is because all fungi have the same 1-3 Beta Glucan cell walk structure. Thus, when you breathe a lot of mold, you can begin to cross react to your own gut yeast, because your body is identifying all yeast as one antigen. The allergic and inflammatory symptoms get worse as you breathe more mold.
Practicing good mold hygiene in your home to keep mold levels down is important to keep seasonal allergies at bay. Good indoor air quality is essential to the body’s ability to heal, because you are not continuously assaulting your immune system with mold triggers.
These Mold Hygiene moves will keep you ahead of your allergy symptoms:
- Misting or fogging your home with EC3 SANI+TIZER Mold Fogger (Which comes with EC3 Mold Solution Concentrate) will reduce the fungal air count to close to zero. Regular fogging will keep the mold count low, because mold takes a while to gain a foothold.
- Using an Air purifier in your home will also reduce mold spore counts in the air.
- Using EC3 Air purification candles will remove mold and mycotoxins from the immediate air in the rooms where they are burned. The candles are also great when you are traveling or staying places other than your home.
- Empoweringyour innate immune system to combat mold antigens with the use of Transfer Factor or Colostrum. Colostrum/Transfer Factor from a bovine source contains all of the antibodies to which that cow has been exposed, which includes many outdoor allergens. Sinus Defense is a homeopathic supplement that provides sublingual delivery of Transfer Factor that is formulated specifically to tag mold, bacterial, and viral co-infection antigens. This provokes the body’s immediate immunity, T-cells, to kill and remove the antigens extremely efficiently. You can read more about Sinus Defense and how it works HERE.
- Rinsing your nasal passages with saline alone or with CitriDrops 2-3 times a day during allergy season.
Avoid Foods that make Seasonal Allergies Worse
Certain foods can trigger allergies or make them worse. Patients often go to the doctor for their allergy prescriptions; however, your doctor may not take the time tell you that some of the most common foods you may be eating (or drinking), could be making your seasonalallergies worse.One of the reasons for this is that some foods and drinks contain histamine, which can both cause or worsen allergies. Many items that are aged, pickled, or fermented have naturally-occurring histamines (the histamines are produced by yeast or bacteria during the fermentation process) and can lead to sneezing, itching, coughing, and headaches. If you suffer from seasonal allergies, eating and drinking fermented foods (alcohol) could make your symptoms worse.
Avoid Oral Allergy Syndrome
Oral allergy syndrome, also known as pollen-food allergy syndrome, is caused by cross-reacting allergens found in both pollen and raw fruits, vegetables, or some tree nuts. (See chart above.) The immune system recognizes the pollen and similar proteins in the food and directs an allergic response to it. People affected by oral allergy syndrome can usually eat the offending fruits or vegetables when they are cooked, because the proteins are changed during the heating process, and the immune system no longer recognizes the food as an antigen.
Avoid Food Allergies
Food allergies are reported to affect 4-6% of children and 4 % of adults. The majority of these allergies (90%) consist of 8 key allergens that can be life threatening: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, wheat, and soy. These allergies trigger a histamine response similar to other allergic reactions. Symptoms can be quite serious and include:
- Vomiting and/or stomach cramps
- Shortness of breath
- Repetitive cough
- Shock or circulatory collapse
- Tight throat; trouble swallowing
- Swelling of the tongue
- Weak pulse
- Pale or blue coloring of skin
- Dizziness or feeling faint
The most serious reaction is Anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction that can impair breathing and send the body into shock; reactions may simultaneously affect different parts of the body. Patients with diagnosed allergies carry an EPI Pen (adrenalin shot) to take when they have an unexpected reaction due to cross contamination of foods prepared by restaurants or others.
The Food Allergy Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 (FALCPA) mandates that manufacturers of packaged foods produced in the United States identify, in simple, clear language, the presence of any of the eight most common food allergens – milk, egg, wheat, soy, peanut, tree nut, fish and crustacean shellfish – in their products. The presence of the allergen must be stated even if it is only an incidental ingredient, as in an additive or flavoring.
Some goods also may be labeled with precautionary statements, such as “may contain,” “might contain,” “made on shared equipment,” “made in a shared facility” or some other indication of potential allergen contamination. There are no laws or regulations requiring those advisory warnings and no standards that define what they mean.
Avoid Food Sensitivities
A key concept to remember is that, basically, inflammation from any source makes inflammation from another source worse.
Approximately 80% of us have some food sensitivities, whether we know about them or not. These sensitivities trigger an antibody response which is responded to by our innate immune system. When someone has “leaky gut,” partially digested foods can pass through the gut lining into the bloodstream causing systemic inflammation. Normally, these foods are contained inside the digestive system, and are not problematic. But, when leaky gut occurs and digestion is compromised, which often happens for mold patients and for people with Candida infections of the gut, symptoms such as migraines, stomach pains, irritability, skin disorders, joint pain, and hyperactivity can occur. Until the leaky gut issue is solved, the list of “intolerant foods” may continue to grow. Stopping the initial inflammation from the environmental mold and/or the gut yeast should be addressed first, and the food intolerance and avoidance of inflammatory foods so be part of that of program to heal the gut and the patient.
You physician or you yourself can order an ALCAT food sensitivity test to determine the IgG and IgE antibodies in your blood that are specific to foods. The blood test will provide a report that tells you which foods you are mild to severely sensitive to. It will also provide an explanation of each food you are sensitive to and why. This is not a definitive test and results will change as the patient becomes healthier and learns to control their overall body burden and inflammation.
For some, seasonal allergies are a burden that can be tolerated with medication. For others, including those who are sensitive to mold or have compromised immune systems, the allergies are not tolerable, interfere with life, and can lead to other respiratory illnesses such as chronic sinusitis or asthma. If this is the case, it can be very beneficial to manage the things within your control to minimize the impact of allergy season. Doing so can dramatically impact a person’s quality of life for more than half of the year. Avoiding foods that you have sensitivities to or foods that make your allergies worse can be very impactful. In addition, avoiding any chemicals, medicines, or other specific allergies you know you have is essential.
A physician can also request the diagnostic test to measure IgE and IgG antibodies in your blood for mold species. This will tell you what specific molds you are allergic to. When this occurs, you can practice mold hygiene to avoid symptoms rather than to attempt to treat them with multiple medicines.
Other things you can do to avoid allergies before they cause your health problems:
- Determine whether you have mold in your home with EC3 Mold Screening Test Kits.
- Rinse your nose daily (2-3x/day) with a nasal rinse system and saline with CitriDrops Dietary Supplement. Thisis the most effective way to remove the mold spores that are specifically making you sick
- Fog, clean, or treat surfaces in your home with EC3 Mold Solution Concentrate.
- Wash clothes and linens with EC3 Laundry Additive to remove mold that you carry with you or sleep with.
- Use EC3 Air Purification Candles to remove mold and mycotoxins from your immediate air. They are also great when traveling and staying in hotels.
- Use Sinus Defense to enable your innate immune system to safeguard you against mold allergen threats.
- Avoid any foods that can trigger allergies or make systemic inflammation worse.
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