Seasonal Allergies and the Immune System
The talk on the news and around the water cooler might be centered on March Madness, but if you’re a healthcare provider this time of year often signals the beginning of allergy season.
Allergy symptoms related to the seasonal changes of spring and fall are due to an uncontrolled immune response to natural elements of the environment leading to excessive tissue inflammation. Symptoms include sore/itchy throats, stuffy nose, nasal congestion, sinusitis, post-nasal drip, cough, sneezing, asthma, bronchitis, earache/congestion, ringing in the ears, and even dark circles under the eyes. The constant presence of unrelieved symptoms can also disrupt a good night’s rest, leading to fatigue and exhaustion.
But wait? Allergies are a response to natural elements of the environment? What’s natural about that?
For centuries, the human population lived in harmony with the “outside elements” as we tend to refer to them in modern times. If nature is our natural environment, then we should expect to not be allergic to it. Living in harmony with nature provided a natural and healthy exposure to all manner of bacteria, fungi, microbes, and “allergens.” In addition to preventing any sensitizing to the natural environment of trees, grasses, pollens, and the like, daily contact with our natural environment was, and still is, key to a healthy immune system. Let’s not forget to mention more than adequate vitamin D levels from sun exposure.
Fast forward to today and our squeaky-clean environment that keeps us indoors and unexposed for the vast majority of our days and nights. We work, sleep, learn, celebrate, and otherwise live our lives sheltered from the elements. We rarely get our hands dirty, lay in a grassy meadow, climb a tree…. even breathe the air! By reducing our exposure, we weaken the immune system and sensitize our systems to the natural elements we now call “allergens.”
The concept of “allergy” was originally introduced in 1906 by the Viennese pediatrician Clemens von Pirquet, after he noted that some of his patients were hypersensitive to normally innocuous entities such as dust, pollen, or certain foods. In 1966-67, a major breakthrough in understanding the mechanisms of allergy was the discovery of the antibody class labeled immunoglobulin E (IgE). 1
Management of allergies typically involves avoiding what triggers the allergy and medications to improve the symptoms. Allergen immunotherapy may be useful for some types of allergies.
Consumer Demand for Natural Approaches
Many of our healthcare practitioners, and the public in general, appreciate and recommend more natural approaches to the treatment of chronic conditions such as seasonal allergies. Those who practice complementary and alternative medicine recognize the advantages of solutions that address root-causality, promote healing and restore balance, and protect against unwanted side-effects.
Systemic Enzyme Therapy
- Regulate the inflammatory response
- Provide relief to an overworked immune system
Systemic Enzyme Therapy is based on these same premises. Enzymes, when used systemically rather than as a digestive aid, address both the inflammatory and immune response component of chronic allergic reactions. Systemic Enzyme Therapy has been shown to reduce pain and inflammation, regulate the immune response, remove excess fibrous tissue, and restore healthy blood flow and volume.
3 Effect of the proteolytic enzyme serrapeptase in patients with chronic airway disease. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12911824
4 Evaluation of Serratia peptidase in acute or chronic inflammation of otorhinolaryngology pathology: a multicentre, double-blind, randomized trial versus placebo. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2257960
5 Effects of orally administered drugs on dynamic viscoelasticity of human nasal mucus. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2404442
6 The effect of an orally administered proteolytic enzyme on the elasticity and viscosity of nasal mucus. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3279939
7 Effect of expectorants on relaxation behavior of sputum viscoelasticity in vivo. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6375756
8 A new method for evaluating mucolytic expectorant activity and its application. II. Application to two proteolytic enzymes, serratiopeptidase and seaprose. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7049188