Allergies and Food
Some people may be more prone to seasonal allergies and runny noses than others. Others may find the urge to blow their noses during a meal more often than not. Have you ever wondered why you may get runny noses when eating certain foods?
The gut microbiome is the community of microorganisms that reside in our small intestines. This is composed of different (mostly harmless) bacteria and fungi. Maintaining these healthy bacteria in our guts is essential to good gut health, despite how off-putting it may sound! The gut microbiome is not only linked to the state of our digestive system, but the body as a whole. It can affect susceptibility to cancers, mental health, the immune system in general, and much more.
Consequences of Poor Gut Health
There are many consequences to having poor gut health. This includes but is not limited to:
- More stomach aches
- Weight fluctuation
- Cravings for more sugary foods
- More acne
- Constant sleepiness
The symptom that we will dive into through this post is allergies and runny noses.
Studies have shown that incorporating certain diets as well as probiotics into one’s routine can be effective in reducing seasonal allergies. The common denominator between gut health and allergies is the immune system, which is the body’s line of defense against viruses, toxins, etc. that may be harmful to our bodies. As mentioned before, the small intestine’s microbiome contains a lot of the important bacteria cells that are essential to our overall health. This information correlates with the link between seasonal allergies and gut health.
Interestingly enough, it has been proven that having certain GI disorders can result in a greater risk of developing and exhibiting more seasonal allergies and other conditions like eczema and asthma. It was also found that people who had chronic seasonal allergies were more prone to developing a GI disorder like IBS, gastritis, etc.
Fighting Seasonal Allergies
Overall, you can try and combat your seasonal allergies by intaking more healthy probiotics. This can come in the form of vitamins and supplements, or foods, such as yogurt, pickles, and other healthy fermented foods. You can also try to eliminate foods from your diet that have a tendency to upset your stomach. For people with food intolerances or sensitivities, this can be eliminating gluten, dairy, trying a low FODMAP diet, and much more. Maintaining a healthy gut microbiome is imperative to controlling those pesky sneezes and runny noses! Looking at and taking care of our bodies holistically allows us to understand why certain parts of our bodies react in certain ways and how we can control it.
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-Written by Kaila An (MPH Candidate USC)