A European study published online last month concluded that allergic reactions to ragweed (the most common cause of what is known as “hay fever”) are in fact getting worse; people who are already sensitive to ragweed are becoming more sensitive, and more and more people who never had problems before are becoming allergic. In fact, in 25-40 years, these researchers estimate the population of Europeans sensitive to ragweed will double, from 33 million to 77 million.
Although this study was done in Europe, similar factors, associated with climate change, are at work here in the US. As explained by Lewis Ziska, a plant physiologist at the US Department of Agriculture, warmer temperatures and higher levels of carbon dioxide have encouraged ragweed growth, producing a larger plant and about ten times more ragweed pollen. In addition, it appears that this pollen is a more potent allergen.
Meanwhile, according to WebMD, climate change has also produced a longer ragweed season. In most of the US, while the season used to begin in mid-August and run through September; it now starts around the first of August and extends through mid-October. (Use weather.com’s Allergy Tracker to monitor pollen counts in your area.)
Finally, the European study attributes about a third of the expected increase in ragweed allergies to an increased spread of this invasive plant species as it conquers new territories.
Although the factors cited in the European study can certainly exacerbate the problem, at Beyond Health, we believe the most significant factor in developing allergies is a faulty immune system.
In an allergic response, the immune system mounts a vigorous defense to a substance that is actually harmless. A healthy immune system would not make this mistake.
Many factors in modern life have made impaired immunity almost universal, and this is the primary reason allergies have become a major problem.
As Raymond Francis warned in his article on allergies, allergies are serious immune dysfunction diseases that can lead to loss of vitality, infections, cancer and other diseases, and a shorter lifespan.
To rebuild immunity takes some work. It means cleaning up your diet; minimizing toxins and exposures to allergens; detoxification; restoring a healthy biome by clearing up intestinal yeast, bacterial and parasitic infections (70% of the immune system resides in the intestines); getting appropriate exercise and rest; and covering fundamental nutritional bases with high-quality supplements, especially vitamins C and D and essential fatty acids along with a high-potency multivitamin.
All the above should be done to maintain health and prevent allergies. However, if you already suffer from allergies, Beyond Health has a sensational new product, Allergy Defense Formula, that offers outstanding ongoing immune support along multiple biochemical pathways. MSM can also be helpful. An approved air filter as well as being conscientious about cleaning to minimize dust are recommended.
- Lake IR. Climate change and future pollen allergy in Europe. Environmental Health Perspectives. Published online August 24, 2016.
- Carroll L. Ragweed, hay fever: why fall allergies might keep getting worse. Today Health and Wellness. today.com, August 25, 2016.
- Freeman D. Ragweed pollen and fall allergies: most cases of hay fever are caused by allergies to ragweed. WebMD.com. Accessed September 2, 1016.