Fusion Health Co-founder and Technical Director Paul Keogh was recently interviewed for the Healthy Living podcast series. The fourth podcast episode talks about allergies.
Listen to the interview now, or read the interview in full below
Full interview transcript
INTERVIEWER: In this podcast we’re talking ALLERGIES. Paul, we know that Allergy symptoms can be uncomfortable and distressing – but what exactly are allergies?
Paul Keogh: Allergies are a diverse range of conditions caused by hypersensitivity of the immune system due to internal factors or to something in the environment that usually causes little or no problem in most people.
IV: And what are some of the risk factors for allergy?
PK: Risk factors for allergy can be placed in two general categories, namely internal and environmental factors. Internal factors include heredity, sex, race, and age, with heredity being by far the most significant. However, recent increases in the incidence of allergic disorders cannot be explained by genetic factors alone. Four major environmental factors are alterations in exposure to infectious diseases during early childhood, environmental pollution, allergen levels, and dietary changes.
IV: So what triggers an allergic reaction?
PK: Allergies like hay fever, hives, eczema and certain food allergies are commonly triggered by environmental substances or antigens in susceptible people. Broadly, there are two types of antigens: protein antigens including pollen, dust, mould, and certain foods (cow's milk, soy, eggs, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish), and non-protein antigens such as latex and various chemicals and pollutants.
IV: Does food play a part in how our immune system copes with antigens?
PK: In general, high quality, low processed foods support healthy immune function but sensitive people can react to normal every-day foods. Depending on the degree of sensitivity some people may not be able to smell or touch certain foods e.g. peanuts or shellfish.
IV: What are some of the common symptoms of allergy?
PK: Mucosal inflammation and swelling, sneezing, watery nasal discharge, itchy and dry eyes, nose and throat, pruritic (itchy) and inflamed skin, bronchial irritation, nausea, heartburn, reduced appetite, and gastrointestinal discomfort.
IV: Do we develop allergies or are we born with them?
PK: Both are true. Heredity plays a part and how our immune responses develop during childhood affect our susceptibility to allergies.
IV: We know that seasons aggravate certain allergies – do you have any tips to prepare in advance and minimise the effects?
PK: From my clinical experience, the best way to minimise the effects is to minimise exposure to known antigens. Another helpful approach is to take a specific Chinese formula that provides broad antiallergic effects including antihistamine or histamine blocking action that doesn’t make you drowsy and can be taken as a daily tonic if necessary.
IV: What is this Chinese formula called and is it produced in Australia?
PK: The formula is called Minor Bupleurum Combination and it is now manufactured to therapeutic standards in Australia.
IV: Can this medicine also help with management of allergy symptoms?
PK: Yes. Minor Bupleurum Combination can not only be taken as a daily tonic for year-round support but can be taken at the onset of symptoms to assist in the management of allergies such as hay fever, hives, eczema and certain food allergies.
View our full range of Allergies products here.