May has been one of the nicest months in my recent memory. With mild temperatures and occasional rain showers, which fortunately happened mostly during the week, we were left with many gorgeous sunny weekends to enjoy.
As a weekend gardener, this has been the ideal month. My newly planted annuals took root easily in this weather and they were doing well – that is until the deer came to visit… I’m fighting a losing battle with the deer in my neighbourhood when it comes to my garden, but I’m not giving up. Not just yet.
The beautiful springtime weather brings another challenge to a seasonal allergy sufferer like me (though my case is mild). Apparently, the pollen count this year has been at record high due to the mild winter we had in this region.
Earlier this month, I visited a childhood friend of mine in Dallas, Texas, who is officially trained in Chinese medicine and specializes in treating allergies using acupuncture techniques. In our conversation, she mentioned the interconnectivity between some allergies and weight issues, which had never crossed my mind.
In my former life working in the biotech business, I dedicated a significant portion of my research to finding immunotherapies for some common allergies. Therefore, I was intrigued by this idea. Upon further exploration, I found that there isn’t a lot of solid evidence to prove the connection between the two.
Anecdotally, we know that allergies cause inflammation, which triggers your adrenal glands to secret hormones such as corticosteroids, which affect your insulin and blood-sugar level. This, in turn, signals your body to change how it metabolizes fat. Thus, allergies, in some cases, can lead to weight gain. Yet, a high amount of body fat can promote inflammation and further exacerbate the allergy symptoms.
Although the real causes of allergies still remain poorly understood, maintaining a good, healthy, active lifestyle can only be advantageous. My personal remedy for anti-allergies is to expose myself to different environments by engaging in a variety of outdoor activities, traveling, and consuming diverse sources of foods from different parts of the world as often as possible. I believe that these activities can help boost my immune system and increase my body’s tolerance. Even if it doesn’t work in all cases, I sure have fun trying!
Enjoy the rest of Spring!