Allergies are exploding in Western cultures especially from peanuts, gluten, nuts, certain types of seafood, dairy, & eggs, with some experiencing a severe reaction simply upon contact.
Our body’s defenses work within parameters, & when thresholds are reached an attack cascade is triggered, & we often experience by-products of the attack, like inflammation or fever. This is great when things work the way they should, however, when diet or stress weaken our gut microbiome & thereby our immunity, & we’re then exposed to certain allergens in our food or environment, the attack cascade is known as allergies.
Allergies result from a systemic immune reaction against a harmless foreign “invader”. Immune cells try to clear the allergen from the body, causing the release of histamine, which is responsible for many of the symptoms such as: sneezing, runny nose or congested sinuses, red & watery eyes, hives, swelling, abdominal pain, nausea, & diarrhea. In severe cases, the body can go into an extreme reaction known as anaphylactic shock, requiring an epinephrine injection.
Gut Microbiome’s Allergenic Link
The gut microbiome manages immune responses using multiple methods such as activating T-regulatory cells, which are found depleted in mice bred to be germ-free, that then have a predisposition to developing food allergies.
A healthy gut microbiome protects against allergies by affecting the enterocytes that line the entire intestinal tract, absorbing our nutrients while maintaining a barrier against harmful substances. Allergy sufferers have antibodies in their stomachs against their allergens.
Gut bacterial strains such as Bacteroidetes & Clostridiales protect against the development of food allergies in children. When these microbes were given to mice, their pre-existing food allergies were reversed.
Microbial diversity has been drastically reduced by Western diets, living environments, & lifestyle over the past several decades. The rates of allergies have been correspondingly rising steeply in the last few decades, as humans settle in more & more nature-less environments & vocations.
Gut diversity develops mostly in our first 1,000 days, a window in which gut microbiota shape food allergy outcomes throughout childhood. Vaginal birth directly transmits beneficial bacteria, which is strongly influenced by immediate environmental factors. Breastfeeding is rich in sugars known as oligosaccharides that nourish these microbes.
The use of antibiotics during pregnancy & infancy has been linked to increased risk of allergies later in life, since they indiscriminately kill off both good & bad bacteria. A healthy & diverse gut microbiome is associated with fewer allergic symptoms.
Dysbiosis is a severe state of imbalance in the gut microbial ecosystem that leads to increased intestinal permeability, which triggers disease & inflammation throughout the body.
Dysbiosis precedes the onset of food allergies, particularly in the first six months of life. Numerous studies are unable to pinpoint a specific species responsible for causing allergies, instead finding that it is all about the ratios, which ideally is around 85% beneficial, to 15% opportunistic microbes, meaning they will morph into a disease-causer when the environment allows.
The severity of dysbiosis disruption to our gut also decides how persistent food allergies will be, says studies comparing children who outgrow their food allergies with more persistent cases into adulthood.
Modern synthetic chemicals can also disturb the composition of our gut ecosystem into dysbiosis, triggering allergic reaction. These include toxins such as food additives & colorings, flavorings, sweeteners, & preservatives.
Synthetic air pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide are responsible for increasing the allergy symptoms, as inhaled air pollutants are able to modify the composition of gut microbiota by weakening the immune system, leading to the same inflammation & increased gut permeability.
Increased Intestinal Permeability
Instead of the muscle wall remaining tight, a weak lining allows an increase in our intestinal permeability, allowing particles to enter the bloodstream that shouldn’t, which confuses the immune system. It attacks these food molecules as allergens or foreign particles, & the immune system gets exhausted in the endless battle.
This triggers a defensive inflammation response throughout the body that can cause a wide range of unpleasant symptoms, including all types of allergies, usually including attacking harmless food particles due to confused immune cells & high inflammation levels. These allergies & sensitivities further inflame our intestinal lining, exacerbating the increased intestinal permeability, or “leaky gut”, & the downward spiral has begun.
There’s no resemblance among any of the top food allergens, from nuts to shellfish to milk. What they do have in common is the ability to remain intact, even as the actions & acids of the digestive tract try to break them down into micro particles for efficient absorption & utilization by the body. That’s why peanuts are the most common allergy, because of its resistance to degradation in the gut.
Different Gut Microbiome for Allergy Sufferers
Who will develop allergies is apparently decided just a few weeks after birth, as the gut microbes present in one-month-old infants predict a three-fold higher risk of developing allergic reactions by age two & asthma by age four. The perturbed microbial ecosystem present in these at-risk babies produces chemical compounds that reduce the quantity of specialized immune cells that helps prevent allergic sensitivity.
Children with food allergies have a distinct gut microbiome, with significantly lower fecal concentration of butyrate than healthy controls. Butyrate is an anti-inflammatory fatty acid that is essential in maintaining the integrity of our intestinal lining.
Food allergy is the most common allergic disorder & has become a global health problem; just in the last decade, there’s been a 7-fold increase in hospital admissions for severe allergic food reactions in children in the US, UK, Australia, & Italy.
A growing list of more than 170 foods have been identified as allergic triggers. Common factors among sufferers are: caesarian delivery, formula fed, use of antibiotics, use of antiseptic agents, no exposure to rural environment, increased family size, low fiber diet, no consumption of unpasteurized milk or fermented foods, & no exposure to farming or gardening.
All these environmental factors disturb our ratios of gut microbiota species, which in turn are responsible for the epigenetic regulation of genes involved in immune tolerance.
- attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- autistic spectrum disorders (ASD)
- gastrointestinal disorders
- inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- psychiatric disorders
Seasonal & Other Types of Allergies
Not all allergens are food. Some can be inhaled or even injected by a protective insect. Pollen, mold, dust mites, pet dander, or even cockroach feces can trigger allergic asthma or rhinitis.
Seasonal allergies, aka. hay fever, are allergic rhinitis triggered when outdoor molds release their spores, or when plants or trees release tiny pollen particles into the air to fertilize other plants.
Pollens are tiny, egg-shaped, powdery grains released from flowering plants that are carried by the wind or insects, which are trying to cross-pollinate other plants of their species to reproduce. Pollen enters our eyes, nose, lungs, & skin.
Seasonal allergies depend on what the individual is having a specific immune reaction too. In the mid-Atlantic states, tree pollination happens between February & May, grass pollination happens from May to June, weeds from August through October, & mold spores increase mid-summer through the fall.
Allergic asthma is the most common type of asthma, causing shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, & a tightening sensation in their chest. The overreaction of the immune system constricts airways & floods them with protective mucus, making breathing difficult.
Getting Rid of Allergies
Adequate intake of whole plant foods during pregnancy & early life has been demonstrated to have a protective role against allergic disease in children, due to the high intake of dietary fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, & high levels of antioxidants.
Non-digestible dietary carbohydrate fiber is the primary prebiotic nutrient source for gut bacteria. Other factors associated with a protective effect against developing allergies include:
- Active rather than sedentary
- Eating fermented food
- Exposure to rural environment
- Maternal diet during pregnancy
- Rural environment
- Vaginal birth
Healthy Healers Ready to Move In
Probiotics are live microorganisms that when administered orally in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host. Now there is an FMT probiotic capsule treatment that has over 1,000 bacteria, in perfect healthy ratios, rather than just taking a regular store probiotic with less than a dozen species in no particular ratio.
Shaping the gut microbiome with an intervention in the form of diverse donor fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is a promising strategy against allergies. FMT from a healthy donor can restore a healthy gut balance that promotes oral tolerance of previously allergenic foods.
Mice colonized with fecal microbiota from healthy infants quickly heal their gut dysbiosis, leading to the resolution of their allergy symptoms.
Both seasonal & food allergies seem to be created by a gut microbiome disruption in our early development, usually begun by childhood antibiotics or C-section births, which require antibiotics. If the imbalance is not properly & permanently helped to heal, then any non-perfect diet will eventually lead to digestive issues & immune system problems in these distressed guts.
This sounds like a call to heal your gut with the best probiotic that you can find! Our single stool super donor consistently produces the most diverse & well balanced gut microbiome. This is where to buy the best poop pill stool transplant, freeze dried into enteric coated capsules to be easily taken orally with water. These FMT capsules open once they reach your intestine & begin the re-seeding.