Finding the source of your allergies

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Summer is here, and for many this time of year that means one thing – allergies are back in full force. Whether it is the occasional stuffy nose or an insufferable combination of sneezing, coughing, and itchy eyes, allergies have the potential to turn the most beautiful time of year into the most annoying. Allergists recommend finding help if you always feel sick with a cough or head congestion, but there are many things you can do to overcome seasonal allergies beyond simple over the counter medications.

“When we talk about allergies one of the most important things to think about is that allergies are just a histamine response,” says Dr. Robert Kuyper, chiropractor at the Alternative Health Care Center. Preventing that response when possible is one of the greatest ways to lessen the effect of the allergy season.

Replacing your home’s HVAC filter and keeping your windows closed can help to make your home a safe space from airborne allergens. Dr. Kuyper says that your diet can also impact how your body responds to allergens and stresses the importance of avoiding inflammatory or histamine foods.

“When a patient comes in with a complaint of allergies,” Kuyper says, “we can do a number of blood tests for both food sensitivity and outside allergens, and even chemicals.“ By understanding what foods already put your body on high alert, you can avoid worsening the effects of other allergies.

Dr. Kuyper says that the tests at Alternative Health Care Center can identify food sensitivities that can oftentimes go unnoticed. “Some of these foods don’t cause immediate reactions,” Kuyper says, “but they can run your body down and run your immune system down, making you more susceptible to other things.” Kuyper had a surprise of his own when he ran his own panel, finding that his body reacts negatively to almonds. Though some foods are ‘healthy’ additions to most diets, the negative effects they have on your immune system can outweigh their benefits.

“People have to remember that food is our fuel, and food sensitivity is so important to understand and know what foods work for you, not against you,” Kuyper says. “We want to make sure that the food you’re eating is going to make your body and your immune system as strong as possible.”

To see if you can benefit from a food sensitivity panel call 605.341.4850 or visit the Alternative Health Care Center of the Black Hills website to schedule an appointment.

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