You know that feeling of seasonal allergies coming on- runny nose, congestion, headaches, sometimes even phlegm build up in the lungs, or even worse, anaphylaxis. It can go from annoying to potentially life threatening, and so many people struggle with allergies on a seasonally, if not daily basis that require them to be diligent and mindful over where they go, what they eat, what they smell, touch, etc.
However, there is some science behind how and why people develop allergies in the first place, and one of them is heavy metal toxicity.
Let us explain: Heavy metals are irritants to the body. They are non essential elements, and if in high concentrations or if we can't detox them properly, can cause damage to certain organ systems. In addition to potential damage, metals can also affect and push out essential minerals that are required to manage histamine responses and the immune system overall. It's this whole cascade reaction of these heavy metals impeding on normal body functions.
Allergies occur when a person reacts to a substance or several substances in the environment that should technically be seen as harmless to most people. These substances are known as allergens. Allergens are found can be considered as things in the environment (like dust, mold, pollen), animals, food or medication. When someone who has a susceptibility to a substance that is considered an allergen, such as dust, mold, or pollen, the immune system over reacts by producing antibodies that "attack" the allergen, also known as a histamine response. This can cause wheezing, itching, runny nose, watery or itchy eyes, and other less serious symptoms, or even anaphylactic shock.
The question is, why is it that some people react and why don't others? Well, sometimes it's heavy metal toxicity, and we thought we'd explore what metals can do which can cause allergic reactions.
1. Metals Can Weaken The Adrenal Glands
The adrenal glands are responsible for producing our stress hormones, also known as cortisol and cortisone. That being said, these hormones are also recognized for their anti inflammatory abilities, for they help reduce the sensation of pain or of a reaction to occur. This includes stopping or reducing allergic reactions.
Ever heard of cortisone therapy? Its very purpose is to reduce inflammation, pain, an itch, you name it. That is exactly why we're capable of producing it.
They also produce adrenaline and epinephrine which help with keeping the body alert and running when its in the midst of a reaction, which has been shown to slow or stop an allergic reaction. This is why some people with severe allergies that can have anaphylaxis carry an EpiPen, it contains epinephrine.
Unfortunately many people have weak or over active adrenals and struggle with find balance between their sodium, potassium and magnesium levels according to their hair tests, as metals could also affect these essential electrolytes.
2. Metals Can Push People Into A Severe Fast Or Slow Oxidative State
Your metabolic rate can vary and change all through out your life, but we ideally want to keep people are close to a Slow or Fast 1 when it comes to the oxidative states their body is in. This is the rate of the metabolism. Either fast or slow is not good or bad, but the level in which someone is fast or slow can become problematic. Anything beyond a Fast 1 or Slow 1 (such as a Fast 2, 3, 4 or Slow 2, 3, 4) is when we start seeing severe issues arise, and this could be allergies.
Those in a fast oxidative state are more prone to severe allergic reactions, such as anaphylaxis, because their bodies are working at an excessive rate. Most fast oxidizers have low adrenal reserves are are in an inflammatory state which can be associated with high histamine levels, also coined as a histadelic state of the body. Allergies are when we release histamines, as mentioned before. To read more about fast oxidizers, click here.
In terms of slow oxidizers, these people are more prone to chronic conditions and more mild allergies like environmental. Their body has already weakened to the point it cannot produce an acute reaction, let alone a response at all. They struggle with weak adrenal glands and kidney function, which has been associated with an inability to detox and weakened capillaries, making them prone to having numerous allergies versus just one severe one. To read more about slow oxidizers, click here.
3. Metals Can Cause Allergic Reactions Themselves
This is redundant and obvious. Metals in themselves are poisonous, so of course they could cause allergic reactions or a systemic reaction masking itself as an allergy.
4. Metals Can Replace Vital Minerals Required To Protect The Body
Metals have this ability to push out minerals and replace them in the body which can hinder one's ability to synthesize enzymes that would signal to the immune system a compound is safe or not. Minerals are also essential for energy production, the control of histamine, and more. Minerals particularly important for regulating histamine is copper, for there is an enzyme called the DAO enzyme. DAO in particular is important, and is meant to help break down histamine so it’s no longer active. However, often times when one has histamine issues they’re struggling to make enough DAO. DAO is made in a few parts of the body such as the kidneys, thymus and the intestinal lining and is dependent on copper to be produced. Hence if there is copper dysregulation present, the DAO enzyme will most likely be suppressed.
5. Metals Damage The Cell And Mucus Membranes Of The Skin And Intestinal Lining
Our mucus and cell membranes are like barriers to the outside world. When they are hindered we are a lot more susceptible to reacting to potential allergens. Cell permeability is typically caused by low calcium levels on a hair mineral analysis or even a diet deficient in omega 3 fatty acids. This is dangerous for it can allow proteins from these allergens to pass into the cells too easily. Calcium is a buffer on as to what can and cannot enter.
The intestinal lining on the other hand is a barrier right after the stomach that should technically repair itself every 3 days. However, if metals are present and there is an inability so make a new gut lining due to lack of nutrients or toxicity, substances that can cause an irritation within the intestines then pass from the intestine into the blood (such as partially digested food, food toxins, chemicals, pathogens, etc).
6. Heavy Metals Can Damage And Kill Immune Cells Such As B And T Cells
Heavy metals can also suppress the production or eliminate our B and T cells which are important for the immune system. The main difference between the two is that B cells produce antibodies to fight infection, where as T cells protect people from getting infected by destroying cancerous and infected cells. Both are a response from the immune system which can take part in allergic reactions.
The best way to see if your allergies are a result of heavy metal toxicity is to test via a hair tissue mineral analysis through us which you can find here!
Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Practitioner
Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner
Integrative Health Coach