Allergies & Dysbiosis

Most of us think of allergies as a slight inconvenience, a few days' worth of sniffles, a bit of eye watering.  But for many people, more people every year, allergies are an acute, debilitating condition that is a core first step in Immune Dysregulation Disorder©.  Those sniffles, the watery eyes, the slight headache are all due to high levels of histamine being released from immune cells in connective tissue as part of the immediate protective reaction to foreign invaders.

This is a learned response and relies on your past experience, current immune load and identification of "danger" elements.  There are many plants and typical allergens that require slow introduction during infancy and early childhood in order for your body to develop a tolerance and to help distinguish normal response from abnormal response. 

If the immune system is already in crisis or chronically being challenged, then any introduced potential allergen during that time will become "tagged" as a harmful substance leading a lifetime of allergies.

The Histamine Problem

The balance of histamine release is essential to our health and our immune regulation.  But histamine is not just present as part of an immune reaction, it does many other things.  This means that the more histamine that is released, the more body functions become imbalanced and the more symptoms will develop across body systems as a result.  Histamine is known to be involved in 23 different physiological functions:

  • It increases the permeability of capillaries to white blood cells and some proteins. This can create an autoimmune reaction in tissues that are already damaged or stressed.

  • It is present in the brain and functions as a neurotransmitter to promote wakefulness, regulate body temperature, control pain perception, balance hormones throughout the endocrine system, regulate appetite and is involved in cognition.

  • In the lungs it causes constriction of the bronchial tubes and promotes hypersensitivity of the organs and viscera.

  • It is the controlling factor in "itch" perception and hives.

  • It is involved in stimulation of gastric acid secretion and modulates your gastrointestinal function.

  • It is involved with the release of acetylcholine, norepinephrine and serotonin.

  • It has a controlling factor in food intake.

Now you can see that allergies are not only a driving factor in chronic symptoms, they are a trigger for numerous chronic autoimmune conditions and long-term immune dysregulation symptoms. 

Do you have illnesses and symptoms that never resolve? 
Did you have allergies as a child? 
Can you see the link?

The Human Microbiome, Autoimmune Diseases & Allergies

We now know that most of our immune system resides in our digestive tract.  This is because the natural protective bacteria that populate our gut ferment the fiber in food and create profoundly anti-inflammatory and anti-allergenic compounds that help to regulate our reactions to foods and our immune system response.

Because of this immunological factory in the gut, the overuse of antibiotics is now known to permanently change the microbiome, our natural healthy gut environment, home to countless protective cells.  This is believed to be the cause of obesity, the increase in Inflammatory Bowel Disease, type 1 Diabetes and of course allergies.

Children with allergies were found to have differences in their gut microbiome compared to non-allergic children that allowed bacteria such as Staph aureus and Clostridia to develop, leading causes of bacterial infection.  Babies given probiotics are less likely to develop allergies overall, 57% less likely to develop atopic dermatitis and 44% less likely to react to pollen, dust mite and cow's milk.

A bacterial class of Tuberculosis known as Mycobacteria is a leading focus of research because it has been found in 30% of Crohn's Disease cases, especially in patients of European descent.  It causes mutations in the gut microbiome that create a loss of function.  This is yet another case of molecular mimicry and the havoc it can play in the human host. 

The human microbiome

The human microbiome

Gut-associated lymphoid tissue represents almost 70% of the entire immune system.
— NCBI, a part of the U.S. National Library of Medicine
While concerns about antibiotics focus on bacterial resistance, the permanent changes in our protective flora could have more serious consequences. Our friendly flora sometimes never fully recover from a course of antibiotics. Each generation could be beginning life with a smaller endowment of ancient microbes than the last.
— Prof. Martin Blaser, Nature Magazine, 2011