Monday, September 14, 2015

Do seasonal allergies trigger flares? Plus easy frappuccino recipe

Can a change of season with its accompanying seasonal allergies trigger a flare up of your digestive and fibro symptoms? I say a definitive "yes." Every year in May and again in late August to early September, I experience a predictable flare up. Perhaps, you experience the same unpleasant phenomenom. I have searched for answers as to why this occurs but more importantly, how to prevent these flares.  (Please participate in my informal poll on the left-hand side of this page to find out how many experience seasonal flares.)

 Can A Change Of Season Cause a Flare?

People with all kinds of autoimmune diseases, ranging from ulcerative colitis to Graves' Thyroid Disease, have noticed they have a flare when the weather changes in the fall or spring. There is a theory that links these seasonal flare-ups to seasonal allergies.

Allergies are your immune system's response to an allergen. Throw in your autoimmune disease and your immune system goes haywire. Your body may start mistaking things you were okay with before as invaders. The result is the flare up of your symptoms.

I have had flare ups, especially of stomach symptoms, for years in the spring and fall. The fall flare up is the one from hell. I cannot take regular allergy meds so I try to do what I can to minimize these flares---keeping stress low, sticking with my regular routine, eating a clean diet, getting lots of rest. Even so, it is what it is.

What types of things do you do to minimize your flares?

Making toast the rustic way while backpacking

Here's why we may experience flares?

First of all, studies show that most people with all kinds of autoimmune disorders have allergies. So, there is definitely an allergy connection. Many also have bowel, digestive disorders.

When allergies are at their worst (e.g. during spring and fall), our mast cells get activated. They in turn release all kinds of stuff, including leukotrienes. These leukotrienes attract a type of white blood cells called eosinophils.

These special white blood cells are ready to do battle with an invading allergen but in the process they release four chemicals that are toxic to the body. In studies of individuals with IBD (Irritable Bowel Disease), these toxic substances are found in their stools in greater amounts than they are in people without IBD.

Not everyone with autoimmune disorders reports a spring, fall connection to flare ups but there are plenty of us who do.  Studies have also shown that elevated IgE and eosinophil levels directly correlate with the severity of symptoms and the occurrence of relapses in patients with Graves' disease, an autoimmune hyperthyroid disease.

Easy-to-make frappuccino
 I am still dealing with my fall flare up as I am most allergic to sagebrush which is producing pollen like crazy in my area. What am I experiencing? My stomach is super sensitive; my eyes, nose and throat are irritated 24/7; and my pain is worse.
As I mentioned before, I am digging in my heels and sticking to my regular routine. I am especially monitoring what I eat,so I guess I won't be eating one of these delicious frappuccinos for awhile.
Here's what you need to make one:

1 cup yogurt or milk beverage of your choice (I used full-fat, lactose-free yogurt)
1 1/2 T. cocoa
smidge of vanilla
pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup cold coffee

Here's what you do:

Blend the above ingredients in your blender. Pour the mixture into ice cube trays to freeze. When ready to eat, remove the frozen cubes and blend again in your blender. Add a bit of additional cold coffee or milk beverage, if desired, to hasten the blending process.

Enjoy with a dollop of yogurt on top drizzled with chocolate sauce. I make my chocolate sauce by blending 1/4 cup melted coconut oil with 2 T. cocoa powder and stevia, to taste. Use a bit for a drizzle and save the rest to make homemade chocolate chips by hardening the mixture in the fridge.

1 comment:

Blogger said...

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