I live in Missouri. It’s a tough place to be if you have allergies. So many of the places we call home show up on those “Worst Places to Visit for Allergy Sufferer’s” lists every year.
In fact, when I first moved here, my doctor, who had seen me suffer miserably for years throughout my childhood with “seasonal allergies” with a sincere level of concern said, “Good luck!”
I sometimes find it funny that all the stuffy and runny noses, sinus pressure, headaches, sneezing, watery and itchy eyes, congestion, and earaches were even called seasonal at all. It seemed that year after year they followed the seasons less and less and simply happened more frequently and for longer.
My poor mother seriously wanted to help me. She hated seeing me in misery, so she did “as directed.” She poured syrups down my throat. She made sure I swallowed the pills and didn’t just hide it under my tongue to spit out later. She is a great mom and followed the conventionally recommended course of action.
This is the same story over and over for so many families. The sad part is that every year, month after month, they just squeak by … dealing with the seriously uncomfortable symptoms of seasonal allergies and the time drags on and on.
Little did we know that every one of our bodies produce our own anti-inflammatories. Have you ever heard of a Cortisone shot? Like the athletes get so they can go back out and perform even though they are miserable with injury.
Well, a dirty little secret that the medical industry doesn’t really care if you know is that they didn’t invent Cortisone. There was no genius doctor that developed it as a miracle for curing inflammation. Every one of our bodies produce it naturally.
That’s right our bodies produce its own … and it’s called Cortisol. In fact, another thing I can guarantee you’ve never heard your doctor say is that Cholesterol is converted (after a few steps) into Cortisol.
In fact, this process is so important that about 80% of the Cholesterol you’ll find in your body is actually created in your liver and only 20% comes from your diet (Harvard Health University – Harvard Medical School, 2017). You won’t hear that on a Crestor commercial!
So doesn’t it make sense that if you have chronic inflammation your body would nearly constantly demand that your liver produce more Cholesterol so that it can eventually produce more anti-inflammatory Cortisol? Yes, it would.
Well that’s not the end of the story. Since the subject of this article is how this dirty little secret about Allergies, Inflammation, Cholesterol and Hormones … we’ll skip the part about how everyone has been duped into taking the statin family of drugs to fight against a natural process that is occurring in the liver.
You’ll just have to come back and read one of our future articles about that.
Instead, I’m going to show you a diagram. Now, don’t get flustered by the big names. I promise you’ll be able to follow along and you’ll get it.
Figure 1: Stealing the raw material, Cholesterol to produce mass amounts of anti-inflammatory Cortisol inhibits the production of Testosterone and Estrogens.
In this diagram you’ll see Cholesterol at the top of the chart … just waiting to run downhill through the biochemical pathways that would normally produce your hormones Testosterone and the Estrogens (Estrone and Estradiol).
However, instead of spreading throughout all the pathways, Cholesterol is stolen during times of high “stress”.
Now what you must understand here is that stress in this context is a lot of things. Physiological stress is defined as a condition such as an injury, threat, or challenge to a normal physical and/or psychological barrier or process. It could be anything from a chemical burn to a twisted ankle to an infection to a night without good sleep.
So now it probably makes sense how allergens, which we find all over the place can lead to a situation where the liver can’t keep up producing Cholesterol fast enough and there is not enough to go around in regard to Testosterone and Estrogens.
What you really have to remember in all of this is that at the same time that those allergens are floating around in the air or hiding in your food or circulating through your house … you are also having stressful days at work and not drinking enough water and maybe you didn’t eat that great of food for lunch or maybe you didn’t eat lunch at all.
Well if we can’t suck up all the allergens with the world’s largest vacuum, then what are we going to do? The answer is that you have to address the things you CAN influence.
The absolute most common source of stress and inflammation is your gut. There are so many reasons I can’t detail them all here, but we can refer to some of them in short.
- Bacterial overgrowth
- Diet high in processed foods
- Bacterial infection
- Yeast infection
- Food triggers
- Parasite infection
- Fungal infection
- Toxin-laden foods
- Low fiber diet
- High levels of certain enzymes that unfortunately recirculate toxins into your body rather than pooping them out … and the list goes on …
So, the ultimate cover-up here is that no amount of medication or supplements or even healthy food will fix some of these causes. Food is medicine … but it won’t kill a parasite.
There are plenty of people out there that will prescribe, consult, coach or sell you book after book after book … but the truth is if you don’t work with a team who can find and fix the cause of your problem, you’ll never truly get a different result.
Functional Health Team Members understand this. We are Health Detectives and we are better than medicine.