• Pamela Spence MNIMH

Allergies & Intolerances

Allergies are on the rise in Europe with asthma, potentially one of the most serious, now affecting over 30 million people. You can become allergic to just about anything: dust, washing powder, pollen, food to name but a few, with the resulting symptoms causing misery for many.

Allergic responses are often poorly understood and typically managed by dampening down the symptoms rather than getting to the bottom of what is actually going on. Hayfever, the most common seasonal allergy, happens when pollen causes the body to respond with an excess of histamine. The resulting itchy eyes, streaming nose and frequent sneezing can put paid to summer fun! Luckily for us, nature is a very generous medicine cabinet and provides elderflower at just the right time of year for us to address some of those symptoms. Coupled with eyebright, plantain and nettle. herbalists can support and optimise the body’s immune system to resolve symptoms and often get rid of them altogether, much to the relief of our patients!

If you are one of the 20% of people who suffer from food intolerances you’ll know the discomfort they can cause. Bloating, heartburn, cramps and changes to bowel habits can have many a person mapping out their day according to the nearest loo. Food intolerances often feel like a minefield – how do you figure out which food is the culprit? What on earth can you eat when the most common allergens (wheat and dairy) seem to be in everything on supermarket shelves and cafes? Medical herbalists know only too well how difficult it can be to chart a course through food challenges and we’re here to do it with you. With herbs chosen specifically for your condition we can hold your hand through the process.

Of course allergies are not just a nuisance - to some they even can be life-threatening. If you are at risk of anaphylactic shock, where the body has such a severe reaction to an allergen that it may cause death, then you will likely carry an Epipen. These devices deliver a life-saving dose of the drug epinephrine to reverse the allergic reaction and save lives. This is a perfect example of pharmaceutical medicine at it’s very best and it would not be appropriate to treat a severe allergic reaction in any other way.

Whatever your allergy challenge there is a way to improve and sometimes even remove symptoms. The key is in listening to your body, decoding its signals and giving the right diet and lifestyle advice and herbs to get on top of your symptoms. There is no magic bullet because one size does not fit all, but guidance along the way can help relieve the frustration and overwhelm and get real results. What have you got to lose? Contact us to find a NIMH member who can help.

Pamela Spence / FB: @PamelaSpenceHerbalist

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