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Natural Awakenings Twin Cities

Getting to the Root Cause of Allergies: A Breakthrough Approach

Mar 02, 2019 08:49PM ● By Michele Schramm

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According to the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America, nearly 50 million Americans (that’s one in five) suffer from some type of seasonal allergy. Conventional wisdom tells us that allergies are due to overactivity of the immune system which causes damaging responses that can affect the whole body. Some of the most common allergens include pollen, animal fur, dust and certain foods.

Allergy symptoms occur when the body responds to these potential allergens by producing a chemical called histamine which works by helping to counteract the allergen. While over-the-counter decongestants and antihistamines immediately help to decrease symptoms, they also increase the risk of side effects. More importantly, they fail to address the root cause of the problem and you will likely continue to have allergies.

In the world of complementary medicine, experts agree that gut issues are the underlying cause of seasonal allergies and food sensitivities. Seventy-percent of the immune system is in the gut, and when the gut is irritated, it reacts to everything. Strategies commonly cited for healing the gut include an elimination diet, the use of powerful gut-healing nutrients and stress management. These are all excellent suggestions.

But what if you are one of the people who have tried all these strategies and still suffer from allergies? The new kid on the block when it comes to the root cause of unexplainable or difficult (impossible) to fix health issues is “dirty” genes. Genes can be born dirty or merely act dirty in response to your environment, diet or lifestyle, causing lifelong chronic health problems including allergies.

When it comes to dirty genes, there are two types, both of which present a host of symptoms and disorders. In his book, Dirty Genes, author Ben Lynch, N.D. discusses seven genes he calls the "Super Seven". They are extremely common, well-researched, and have the most far-reaching effects on the body.

The gene that is most relevant to allergies is the D-amino acid oxidase (DAO) gene which is responsible for expelling the histamine that lives outside the cells, mainly in the gut. Histamine is a biochemical messenger that affects immune response and gut function as well as thought and emotion.

Those with a dirty DAO gene overreact to histamine and, as a result, are more likely to develop food sensitivities and allergic reactions, including hives, runny nose and itchiness, food sensitivities, car and sea sickness, leaky gut, migraines, indigestion and small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO).

Keep in mind that every moment of every day your genes are writing a document about your health. What do you suppose will happen when you eat a diet that is high in sugar and processed foods, skimp on sleep and routinely work 60-plus hours per week? The document will read like your worst nightmare: Please give this woman horrendous PMS, “seasonal” allergies that seem to last most of the year, mind numbing fatigue, plenty of acne and a touch of rosacea.

On the flip side, when you care for your body in conscientious ways including mindful eating of healthy fats, plenty of sleep and carving out time for fun, you see a totally different document: Please give this woman healthy, glowing skin that makes her look 10 years younger, abundant energy, symptom-free periods and no seasonal allergies.

In Dirty Genes, Lynch shows how to identify and optimize both types of dirty genes by cleaning them with targeted, personalized plans, including healthy eating, restful sleep, stress relief, environmental detox and other holistic and natural means.

Contrary to what so many scientists and doctors believe, our genetic destiny is not fixed. We have the capacity to turn genes on and off—this process is called epigenetics. We have the power to transform our genetic destiny through a combination of diet, supplements, sleep, stress relief and reduced exposure to environmental toxins.

More good news is once you understand what makes your genes dirty and how to clean them up, you can make changes that help you feel better than you ever thought you could.

Michele Schramm suffered with food and environmental allergies from early childhood. Genetic testing through as well as questionnaires found in Dirty Genes provided her tremendous insight into the problems that had plagued her since she was 2 years old. As a student of natural healing for more than 15 years, she is pleased to now be able to share these new protocols for optimizing health and vitality.

Schramm has a BA in psychology and a master’s in education and is a certified nutritional therapy practitioner and biofeedback specialist. She is the owner of Optimal Wellness Solutions, located at 2565 Hamline Ave. N, Ste. A, Roseville. For more information or to schedule a complimentary health coaching consultation, visit 

Read the full April 2021 Magazine