Episode 179: Atopic Triad: Allergy, Asthma, Eczema
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In this re-released episode from 2021, Dr. Lisa and Dr. Toni discuss the atopic triad of allergy, asthma and eczema that both perimenopausal moms and their kids can experience. Find out what you can do to prevent and treat these inflammatory issues today.
What is an allergy?
Hypersensitivity disorder of your immune system, where you react to normally harmless substances in the environment that most people won’t react to.
Allergic symptoms include:
Itchy, watery, red eyes
Headache or pressure in sinuses
Constant clearing of throat
More serious symptoms include:
Eczema – inflammatory skin condition
Asthma – immune reactivity and inflammation in airways causing wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath
Hives and anaphylaxis
The prevalence of allergic symptoms is increasing!
Allergic rhinitis, including runny nose, dark circles under eyes and throat clearing, affects as many as 40% of kids in US
CDC reported food allergies increased by 18% in US since 1990s
Eczema affects about 1 in 5 kids in US, with rates tripled in past 3 decades
Asthma affects at least 1 in 8 kids in US, with rates tripled between 1980 and 2008
Increased immune system reactivity causes may include:
- Hygiene Hypothesis or Microbiome Disruption
- Your immune system needs to learn to respond to components in dirt and soil
- Babies born by C section are 5x more likely to develop allergies than vaginal birth, since they are not exposed to mom’s vaginal microbiome
- Also influenced with breastfeeding
- Good bacteria are needed for “oral tolerance” and immune tolerance, so you are less reactive to foods and environmental allergens
- Reduced gut flora diversity linked with increased risk of eczema, damage to gut lining allows foreign particles to trigger more immune reactions since more than half of your immune system is found along your gut – see Episode 8
- Germ phobia can make kids more allergic
- Insufficient micronutrient and antioxidant intake
- Environmental pollution and compromised liver detoxification pathways
- Liver filters all the blood in the body from the digestive system and removes toxins, allergens, hormones, chemicals, drugs, etc.
- Your liver contains the Reticuloendothelial System (RES) containing immune cells that remove antigens from the digestive system
- If overworked with high levels of chemicals and pollution, your liver will not be able to remove allergens appropriately – see Episode 33
- Stress and adrenal function
- Adrenal glands produce stress hormone cortisol, which is needed for an appropriate immune response
- If overstressed or burnt out, you produce less cortisol resulting in more inflammation – for more info, see Episode 24
- Can be modified by environmental factors
- Just because your parents suffer from allergies doesn’t mean you have to!
Immune system balance is like a teeter-totter or see-saw
Th1 vs.Th2 response
- Infants born with an allergic tendency and proper amounts of beneficial bacteria or microbiome supports more balance away from allergy while preventing autoimmunity
Research has shown that children in Estonia are less allergic than those in Switzerland and Estonian children have higher numbers of good bacteria in their intestines
Components of the Allergic Response include:
Allergens are also called antigens, like food, animal hair, insects, pollen, mold, dust, trees, chemicals, drugs, dyes, detergents, additives, etc.
Antigen binds to IgE antibody receptors on immune cells called mast cells, which triggers the release of inflammatory substances including prostaglandins and histamine
Histamine acts in many areas in the body causing:
- Vasodilation – swelling, redness, inflammation
- Skin – itching, swelling, redness, hives
- Nose – runny nose, sneezing, nasal congestion
- Eyes –watery
- Lungs – congestion, bronchoconstriction of airways, difficult to breathe
- Digestive System inflammation
What Else is Happening?
Join Dr. Lisa’s Facebook group Wild Woman Adventures Toronto if you want to get out in nature, connect with other women and push yourself out of your comfort zone. Activities include: sunrise/sunset SUP, tree-top trekking, a new moon workshop and more!
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Stay safe and healthy everyone!
Disclaimer: The information provided is not meant to replace treatment with a licensed health care practitioner. It is for informational purposes only. Consult with a Naturopathic Doctor or other licensed health care professional to determine which treatments are safe for you.