Allergies, intolerance and hypersensitivity to, for example, food or pollen are frequent complaints in our population. In these conditions, the immune system overreacts to altogether harmless substances as if they were infectious agents or molecules that need to be eliminated.
It’s a common notion that allergies and hypersensitivity develop for no particular reason. Standard medicine interventions are exclusively based on avoiding the trigger and pharmaceutical drugs to calm the immune system down. However, thanks to excellent research in this field, it’s now known that both allergies and intolerances have several common denominators. They often occur as a result of leaky gut, a lack of particular gut bacteria and some type of imbalance in, or overreaction of the immune system. Stress also has a major impact on our immune system and has, in line with this, also been shown to increase the risk of allergic reactions. Allergies and intolerances are related to autoimmune conditions and often occur together. In autoimmune disease, the immune system overreacts towards harmless proteins just as with allergies, but in autoimmunity it reacts towards proteins in our bodies.
Allergies can be life-threatening. Allergic reactions are caused by mast cells, which in turn activate immune cells that are supposed to remove the allergen. Regulatory T cells who normally control the reaction can’t perform their job properly, and a massive inflammatory reaction occurs. Intolerances to foods or other substances arise through slightly different cellular mechanisms than allergies but can also cause major problems in everyday life.
At Nordic Clinic our approach to allergies and intolerances involves an individual investigation and action plan. We usually place particular on gut microbiome and function. If necessary, we can prescribe lab tests to confirm or rule out a true allergy.