Each year millions of Canadians suffer from the tiresome and annoying symptoms of seasonal allergies. Itchy, watery eyes, a runny nose, sneezing, nasal congestion, coughing and wheezing………..sound familiar? These are several of the symptoms that you may have to contend with during spring, summer or fall. They are also signs that your immune system is working overtime! Did you know that doing a whole body cleanse can help to reduce your seasonal allergy symptoms? Here’s why….
In our daily lives, we are exposed to a significant number of toxins, including in the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe. Environmental toxins include lead, mercury, radon, formaldehyde, benzene, cadmium and also human-made chemicals like BPA, phthalates and pesticides 1. In the current modern world that we live in, we are also exposed to substances that are known as endocrine disruptors. These substances interfere with how our hormones work.
They are found in many of the products that we use every day, including plastic bottles and containers, food can liners, detergents, flame retardants, cosmetics and pesticides 1. Even the food we eat contains additives, such as preservatives, colouring agents and anti caking agents 2. As you can imagine the toxic burden on our bodies is significantly high!
Fortunately, our bodies have a natural detoxification system. We are continuously removing toxins from our bodies through the skin, liver, lungs, large intestine and kidneys. However, a problem arises when our detoxification system gets overloaded. When the overall toxic burden on the body is high and our detoxification organs are overworked, this is when allergies can arise. Keep in mind that many factors can affect the development of allergies including genetics, gut flora, pollutants and nutrient deficiencies. However, the idea behind doing a whole body cleanse is that by clearing toxins from the body, it reduces the load on our detoxification pathways. As a result, our liver is better able to filter the blood and deal with the allergens, thereby reducing the load on the immune system.
What does a whole body cleanse involve? First and foremost, it requires eating a whole foods diet, with lot’s of fresh fruits and vegetables, preferably organic. While avoiding food that is pro-inflammatory such as refined sugars, processed food, gluten, dairy, red meat, eggs, alcohol and caffeinated beverages. By reducing these foods for a period of time, it reduces intestinal inflammation and can help to alleviate allergy symptoms 3. If you are thinking about doing a cleanse, consider booking an appointment with a naturopathic doctor. The benefit of seeing a naturopathic doctor during a cleanse is that they can provide you with nutrient supplementation and liver support which are key in enhancing the detoxification process.
Finally, there are a few other steps you can take to enhance your cleanse. First of all, drink lot’s of water to help flush the toxins out of the body. Next, remember your good friend, exercise? Exercise is great for detoxifying the body. It increases lymphatic flow, increases blood circulation, increases metabolism and helps to remove toxins via sweat 4. Speaking of sweat, saunas are also another great way to increase blood circulation and helps remove toxins from the body.Furthermore, during your cleanse, be sure to get a full night’s sleep to allow your body to repair itself. Finally, take the time to reduce stress, clear your mind and breathe deeply!
Resting, cleansing and nourishing the body, are key to improving vitality, reducing toxic burden and reducing allergy symptoms. Look forward to having more energy and greater clarity of mind after your cleanse, and perhaps….. this is the start of an “allergy season” you can actually enjoy!
4. Pizzorno, J. E., & Murray, M. T. (2013). Textbook of Natural Medicine.