Seasonal allergies happen when the immune system reacts to a substance that should otherwise be harmless.
It’s like an immune response gone rogue.
What happens next is the release of histamine—a tiny chemical messenger that leads to a cascade of inflammation and annoyances like itching and sneezing.
(note that we are discussing mild seasonal allergies here and not the type of allergic response that can lead to anaphylaxis)
Lots of people take antihistamines or medications that block the release of histamine to control seasonal allergies, but from a functional medicine standpoint?
❌ That only scratches the surface. It doesn’t address the root cause.
We like to go deeper and look at what other factors might be at play to trigger histamine and inflammation in the body—because any of those things could potentially make a person’s experience of allergies even worse.
Here are some little-known but common histamine triggers:
➡️ Poor gut health (especially leaky gut)
➡️ Food intolerances
➡️ Mold exposure
➡️ Foods high in histamine (like wine, aged cheese, and processed meats)
Also, we need to consider other factors that worsen inflammation and put the immune system on high alert:
➡️ Processed foods
➡️ Diet high in sugar
➡️ Lack of Exercise
The bottom line? Anybody who wants to break the cycle of seasonal allergies could benefit from looking deeper to uncover patterns that could be making things worse.
Next up we’ll be discussing nutrients and nutrition for anyone struggling with allergies. Stay tuned for that!