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Could Your Hay Fever Be Caused By Your Gut? Here’s What We Know

January 5, 2022

Hay fever or allergic rhinitis affects 1 in 5 people in Australia. In fact, it is one of the most common allergic conditions in the country.

Antihistamines could be an easy quick fix but what if we tell you that you can navigate the symptoms of hay fever by changing your diet?

It all starts with understanding the relationship between your gut, your immune system and your allergies.

The Gut: Where Allergies Start

70% of our immune system is housed in our gut. As a matter of fact, ensuring that our digestive system is in its best shape is key to addressing many bodily woes including allergies.

Our gut partners with our immunity in conjunction with our respiratory system to guard our body against external irritants or “invaders” called allergens.

When our body recognizes anything that is “foreign” including normally harmless substances such as pollen or dust, the immune system may overreact and launch an attack to these stimuli which creates inflammation throughout the body.

This inflammation may manifest into hay fever with symptoms we are all familiar with like sneezing, sniffling and itching. Hay fever typically causes respiratory symptoms in the nose, throat, and eyes.

Allergies may indicate that our immune system is overactive, disrupted or not functioning correctly.

And since our gut works closely with our immune system, an imbalance between the good and bad bacteria within the gut ecology may compromise our immunity and increase our risk of developing allergies.


How Changing Your Diet Can Improve Hay Fever

Within the gut, certain bacteria balance our immune response to external irritants. These bacteria ensure that the immune response is effective but not too violent to the body which often results in chronic inflammation or allergies.

Thus, it makes sense to feed your body with foods that are beneficial to the balance of good and bad bacteria in your digestive system.

Some foods also contain naturally occurring antihistamine that can help you soothe the symptoms of hay fever. This includes the following:

  • Figs
  • Bananas
  • Onions
  • Lemons
  • Garlic
  • Okra
  • Basil
  • Asparagus
  • Salmon
  • Cantaloupe

A study in Allergy Centre Charité Berlin also found that symptoms of hay fever can be significantly reduced by taking probiotic food supplements for people with birch pollen allergy.

Researchers found that a probiotic consisting of both Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria can help alleviate hay fever symptoms and improve quality of life during allergy season.

When your gut health suffers, so does the rest of your body including your immunity. And when your immunity is distorted, so does your defence against allergens. To keep hay fever at bay, a healthy gut is key.

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