The Anatomy and Progression of Allergies

In this article I am going take you the reader on a step by step "tour", of how I believe that most Allergies develop. We will start at childhood and work forward. I will use a compilation of all the previously agreed upon and accepted data in the fields of Naturopathy and Clinical Nutrition.

An allergy whether it is to "airborne allergens" like pollens, molds dust etc, to foods or to chemical or metallic substances all have the same begins. An Allergic person does not have a weak immune system. In fact their immune system is hyperactive. It is in a constant alarm state of awareness or readiness, constantly ready to attack a foreign invader at the slightest provocation. The Allergic person's immune system is truly hyperactive, so much so that it attacks things without careful enough examination of whether or not it is correct to do so.

The Allergy begins in the intestinal tract with the disruption of normal intestinal flora. Lactobacillus Acidophilus which inhabits the 20-30 foot long small intestine and Bifido Bacterium which inhabits the 6-8 foot long colon are the most abundant protective bacteria in the digestive tract. They help produce vitamins, help us digest and absorb nutrients from our foods and also protect us from harmful bacteria, parasites and yeasts which find their way into our digestive tract. When medication such antibiotics, steroids, antacids, and immune suppressing drugs are taking these friendly protective organisms die-off. This condition is called "Dysbiosis". "Dysbiosis" is a state of imbalance where the harmful micro-organisms achieve an abnormal dominance over the good organisms. This allows a build up of toxins produced by the organisms and also disrupts normal digestion. Due to this, stomach acid and enzymes produced by the pancreas that digest foods (particularly proteins) lessen. This leads to incomplete digestion of proteins. This is where the allergy really begins.

Leaky Gut Syndrome

The condition of Leaky Gut syndrome is formally known as "Intestinal Permeability". In this condition, the harmful microorganism that make up "Dysbiosis", harmful chemicals, drugs or toxic metals, and continued intestinal Allergic reactions damage the lining of the intestines. The Mucin lining is damaged. This is a protective barrier of proteins that are the first line of defense. Next microscopic damage occurs to the gut lining. This is not visible by a scope of any kind. This allows proteins, improperly digested foods chemicals and allergens that we breathe in to "fall through the cracks" and enter our blood stream. This condition underlies many auto immune diseases. It is the next stage of the chronic allergy state.

When proteins and other foods are not digested correctly and to the degree that the body wants them digested the body has difficulty recognizing them as food and handling them.
It could be truly said that when protein and foods are not digested correctly the body the views them as foreign invaders and the immune system attacks them. This is the most basic form and explanation of a food allergy is.

Also the "Parotid" gland has a functional role in preventing this abnormality. The Parotid gland is located in the area beneath ones tongue. It is the largest salivary gland. It job other then the mere production of saliva is to "tag" or identify for the immune system foreign bodies that should be attacked as an invading germ or toxin versus a substance which should be welcomed as a nutrient. The Parotid gland may become under active and this identification process may slacken.

During this attack histamine is produced in the body. It is the liver's job to reduce the histamine by detoxifying it. The Adrenal glands also produce anti-inflammatory hormones which further reduce the Allergic reactions. It becomes the job of the Liver and Adrenal glands to reduce the histamine produced by "mast cells" which are produced as part of the immune systems response to its attack. The Liver and Adrenals glands must also reduce the general inflammatory response that occurs due to immune systems attack.

If the liver and adrenal glands are not fully functioning or are themselves deficient in nutrients, then the histamine reaction and the inflammatory reaction can not be reduced correctly. This prolongs the allergic reaction and may intensify it.

Technically, allergic reactions of this kind are occurring constantly. There difference between the allergic person and the non allergic could be argued to be the ability of the person Adrenal and Liver function to "put out the fire" of the outbreak.

The Hyper immune Response

The Thymus gland is often referred to as the "Master Immune" gland. The Thymus and Adrenal glands have an antagonistic action on each other. When the Adrenal glands become under active due to long periods of exhausting stress the Thymus gland will tend to be overactive. It is the over activity of the thymus gland without the balancing effect of the Adrenal glands that ultimate produces the chronic state of an overactive Thymus gland.

The Allergic person does not have a weak immune system as stated earlier. The over activity of their immune system is as a direct result of the hyperactive state of their Thymus gland … It is the constant alarm state of the Thymus that ultimate powers much of the continuation of the Allergic state of being. The Thymus gland also stimulates and increases the activity of other parts of the immune system which are all part of the attack.

The Adrenal glands when properly functioning produce hormones of the Cortisol, Cortisone, Prednisone family which suppress and balance the excessive activity of the Thymus gland. This is in fact the theory behind treating auto immune conditions and conditions of excessive immune function like Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Leukemia and other such illness with Prednisone. This is following the same basic law as described early of the Adrenals (which in turn produce prednisone) balancing the Thymus gland and its counterparts in the immune system.

So to help the Allergic person overcome their Allergies the following needs to occur.
Phase 0-2, the intestinal imbalance we call Dysbiosis, Leaky Gut syndrome, needs to be corrected, and normal flora and digestion restored. Phase 3-4 would include restoring Parotid, Adrenal and Liver function and balancing the axis between the Adrenals and Thymus gland. This can be expected to take quite a few months to do maybe longer. But it is the only system that addresses each stage of the Anatomy of the Allergy and corrects all the underlying causes!