Allergies Inhibiting Weight Loss?

Histamine, Mast Cells, and Weight Loss.

I have had so many clients these last few months plagued with allergies and stalling out on their weight loss journey.  We had to add a few supplements to their routine and tweak some food programs for them.

   

I want to discuss the science behind the phenomenon of allergies causing weight gain with you all.

First and foremost, I want us to all get up to speed on a few allergy facts.

  1.  Allergies are an imbalanced response in the immune system.

  2. The reactivity of the immune system and pathways are scared and designed to respond to viruses, venoms, bacteria, parasites, and chemical and metal toxins.

  3. Oftentimes with adrenal fatigue, immune stress, autoimmune disorders, or environmental exposures to chemicals and toxins the body can become imbalanced and secret immune hormones to things that should be pretty “safe” to be around, like pet hair, pollen, grasses and trees.

  4. This confused immune message triggers a response in areas of the body called Mast Cells.

 

Let's Talk about Mast Cells.

These specialty cells are all over the body but have a higher affinity for the lining of the lungs, GI tract, just under the surface of the skin, the nose, throat and mouth.  This is where we see common allergy responses manifest, like runny nose, swollen eyes, difficulty breathing, hives, etc.

The mast cells secrete a chemical compound called histamine.

Many of us have heard about histamine from commercials for allergy medications called histamine blockers.  These can be lifesaving drugs in the event of an anaphylactic or a rattlesnake bite but ideally, these are not designed for everyday use as they might temporarily “mask” a response. They don’t help to rebalance the body's immune system dysfunction.  As a matter of fact, we need to flush histamine from our tissue and bloodstream and not just block the receptor sites to prevent the hormone imbalance that allergies can cause.

Histamine is a compound in the body that promotes a flush of hormones in the body called prostaglandins. These regulate all of your sex hormones.  See, there is a reason you might not feel particularly frisky when you are all rashed out in hives with a runny nose, uncontrollable sneezing, and swollen eyes!  

Given this visual, you can also see that histamine is also a powerful catalyst for the hormones that cause inflammation.  This is why when you are having allergies your arthritis can flare up, you can have increased pain in your knees and shoulders, your back might ache and you can have significant fatigue. 

Close up of Metabolism Histamine with pills falling out of bottle. 

Here is the Hook:

Inflammation causes insulin resistance and that can slow weight loss. Any pain or inflammation syndrome causes it to be very difficult to lose weight.

But, allergies and the elevation of histamine in the body targets a very important metabolic pathway that we as a community talk about A LOT!

The primary way we get rid of excess histamine is through a process called METHYLATION and—you guessed it—the LIVER plays an important role. This pathway is also key in FAT LOSS!!!

If you are trying to clear histamine it is difficult to lose fat!!!!

Give yourself grace and the knowledge to heal these pathways ASAP!!

 

So, Our Bodies Need to do Three Things:

  1. Clear histamine effectively in the blood and tissue. Micronutrients from food & supplements are the only things on this planet that can help with that.  There is no drug, yet, that does this.

  2. Rebalance the immune system so it does not see “safe” things as dangerous. You guessed it, this is a micronutrient-dependent process as well!

  3. Rebalance the hormones of inflammation and insulin-resistance.  I believe that this last step is best achieved by micronutrients coupled with body work such as massage, acupuncture, sauna and exercise.  

 

 Things to Think About:  

  1. If you did get any vaccines recently, remember, they are designed to modify the immune system response. This is one of the fundamental principles of an inoculation.  Your body may need some extra TLC to bring it back into balance.  Journal your potential allergy responses right now and be very aware over the next 12 months of any changes or signals that your body may need more support.

  2. If you have been wearing masks often you have probably helped filter out a lot of bad things from getting into the nose and mouth (I am an advocate of this BTW). However, the body is an adaptive unit of amazing wonder and these conditions are not typical in its incredible plan for keeping your immune system balanced.  So, we just need to recognize that this was a huge change for our bodies and be extremely kind and supportive to your body for adapting to these new conditions.  Look for signs that you need more support.

  3. If you have had added stress and a sudden change in environment this can really tax the adrenals and slow down the body’s ability to flush out histamine that is naturally produced in everyday activities.  This pooling of histamine can elevate inflammation and slow weight loss.  It is more than taking a histamine blocker, (those have the side effect of slowed weight gain too), you must feed and supplement the pathways that allow your body to break down and flush histamine out of the bloodstream.
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