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Allergies and Food Intolerances? Look To The Gut | BIOHM Health

Allergies and Food Intolerances? Look To The Gut | BIOHM Health

Can’t step outside in the spring without sneezing up a storm? Does leftover food make you feel queasy? Andrea talks to Integrative Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Heidi Turner, about why people have allergies and how typical ways of dealing with them, such as anti-histamines, aren’t getting to the root of the problem.

Supplements, herbs and diet are discussed as long term answers to allergies, histamines and mast cell issues.

Andrea Wien:
Welcome to The Microbiome Report powered by BIOHM Health. A leader in gut health and the first line of probiotics to address both bacteria and fungi in the gut. I’m your host, Andrea Wien, and today we’re talking about something that nearly everyone has at least some experience with, allergies. Whether you sneeze up a storm during spring pollen season or can’t even look at a peanut without breaking out in hives, there’s usually something that causes your allergies to flare up. My guest, Heidi Turner, spends her time uncovering the common root causes of allergies and helping her patients overcome their symptoms for good. Heidi is an integrated registered dietician with her own private practice for the last 14 years. She sees a broad range of very complex immune and chronic issues every day. Her specialties include autoimmune conditions, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, also called SIBO, digestive issues and mast cell and histamine disorders. On this episode I talk to Heidi about allergies, histamine intolerance, common allergy medications and natural long lasting remedies that target the reasons why we react to our environments in the first place. This show is packed with actionable advice and excellent tips about how to tackle your allergies and keep them in check for good. Enjoy the show.

Heidi, thank you so much for joining us.

Heidi Turner:
Yeah. Thanks for having me.

Andrea Wien:
I would love to just set the groundwork for our discussion and define a few terms and processes if you will just to make sure we’re all on the same page for this discussion. So can you walk us through what histamines are, mast cells, how they function with what we call allergies? How does that all work together?

Heidi Turner:
Let’s talk about what a histamine is and then we kind of move our way through there. Basically, we kind of think of histamines from a allergy perspective. So many of us understand the word histamine as when we’re thinking of antihistamines. So we might take a medication such as a Claritin or a Zyrtec or something like that to calm a histamine response that’s maybe related to an allergy that we might have. So histamines are basically just chemicals that our body produces for a number of different purposes throughout the body. One of the things that it does do is it does mediate our allergy response. So let’s say we inhaled a pollen, we have a mast cell reaction that produces histamine. I’ll get to mast cells here in a second. That produces histamine. Histamine basically opens up all of our blood vessels so that our immune system can get in there to do something about it. And if we take an antihistamine and that helps to kind of calm all of that down so we don’t have that kind of snotty, sneezy kind of stuff, runny eyes that we might typically see when we’re working with an allergy.

So that’s one way that histamine kind of works in the body that we’re probably more familiar with. But histamines actually…Our body is kind of rife with histamine receptors. We use histamine for a lot of different biochemical purposes. We use it as a neurotransmitter. It has sort of a neuroexcitatory ability. It helps with our sleep and our wake cycle. It helps us to metabolize and produce estrogen as part of our menstrual cycle. It helps us with our heart rate and our blood pressure and our cardiovascular system. And it also actually helps us to produce stomach acid and helps to support digestion as well. So histamine is like…We have these histamine receptors placed all throughout our body. So histamine is a really important part just as far as us doing everything we need to get done. So when we produce the histamine, typically we will produce it, our body produces enzymes that break it down. And once we break it down we’re done with it and we move on. So we have this lovely regulatory system where we kind of build histamines, break them down and then move on until we build more and then break them down and move on. And then we have a nice little regulated homeostasis within the system.

So that’s kind of how histamines…Where they might exert themselves, what they are, how they work. In a nice good kind of balanced situations everything is good. Does that make sense?

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