Here at AAPRI and the Center for Functional Medicine, we take a holistic approach to your health. This means we treat the whole patient to provide integrated solutions for better health. In fact, Dr. Z’s mission has always been to “treat the cause, defeat the symptoms.” In other words, we aim to make symptoms go away by addressing the root of what’s causing them.
In the past, we’ve discussed the important connection between allergies and gut health. But how can maintaining the right balance and diversity of microorganisms in your digestive track help alleviate allergies? We’re glad you asked.
Gut microbiota plays a central role in immune response
Allergies are inflammatory diseases that are characterized by an immune system response in the body, which is modulated by gut microbiota. Over the last few decades we’ve seen a rise in allergies and asthma and it’s now clear that gut microbiota has played a central role. Changes to gut microbiota caused by diet, antibiotics, or environmental factors can result in an imbalance with varying and often adverse effects on your health.
Here at AAPRI, our mantra is “food is medicine”
Diet is a key factor in preventing the onset of allergies and treatment. Since ancient times when the Greek physician Hippocrates is attributed to have said, “Let food be thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food,” the key to good health was keeping the body in balance. This principle is even more important today. As Dr. Z explains, “What you eat determines what nutrients you absorb, and that’s what creates your own unique microbiome, which affects many aspects of your health—including allergies.”
So, what should you be eating and/or avoiding in your diet?
Dr. Z recommends reducing the amount of refined sugar and processed foods, as these foods increase inflammation, weaken the immune system, and have little nutritional value. Also, avoid foods that are grown using pesticides, which can destroy the beneficial bacteria in your gut. Be sure to drink plenty of water, aiming for half your weight in ounces of water per day (for example, if you weight 150 lbs. you should drink 75 oz. of water). Eat a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, too—Dr. Z is passionate about Juice Plus+ as a dietary supplement. And it’s essential for gut health to get enough foods that contain fiber, probiotics, and prebiotics. Probiotics are beneficial organisms, or “good” bacteria, that can boost your immune system. Prebiotics are the plant fiber that feeds the healthy bacteria in your gut.
Antibiotics wreak havoc with your gut
Taking antibiotics, though sometimes necessary for treatment of certain bacterial infections, also kills your good bacteria in the process—and unfortunately destroys the balance of your microbiota. Taking probiotics, prebiotics, or synbiotics, which are a combination of probiotics and prebiotics, can help restore your healthy gut microbiota and boost your immune system against allergies.
We’re ready to help you
The human body is an incredibly complex machine. Treating allergy symptoms without addressing the cause is like pulling up a weed by the stem and leaving the root behind. Our team at AAPRI is committed to helping you pull up the weed by the root so that it doesn’t come back. Learn more about functional medicine or schedule an initial consultation today!