More notes on allergies and sensitivities:
2. Dealing with the barrage of toxic crap increases our sensitivity to potential allergens and irritants.
3. Allergy and sensitivity are directly related to overall health and stress levels.
Some people seem to think that immune reactions are as fundamental and unchanging as eye or skin color. Not so. Our bodies are much more interesting than that. Our immune reactions are often mediated by stressâ€”psychological or physical.
It’s possible to be allergic to something only when you’re stressed out. I see this often in people who have been diagnosed with “Irritable Bowel Syndrome.”
They can eat a trigger food with no problem most of the time, but if they’re tired or stressed out, the food triggers an IBS attack. So the real trigger is the interaction between the food and the stress. Knowing this, people can learn their triggers and take care of their health much more easily. They can say “I’ve had a long day, and wheat is a stress-related trigger for me, so let’s have rice for dinner instead of pasta.”
It makes sense to me that our nervous systems and our immune systems are so closely connected. If we’re feeling threatened in one sphere, why shouldn’t all our systems be up in arms?
Here’s a funny, geeky bit about stress and immune reactions:
“Psychological stress may be conceptualized as a social pollutant that, when ‘breathed’ into the body, may disrupt biological systems related to inflammation through mechanisms potentially overlapping with those altered by physical pollutants and toxicants.” From The impact of stress on the development and expression of atopy. Current Opinion in Allergy & Clinical Immunology. 5(1):23-29, February 2005. Wright, Rosalind J a; Cohen, Robyn T b; Cohen, Sheldon c