As our Canadian crew head into the spring and summer seasons we’re hearing a lot more about itchy, watery eyes, congestion and stuffiness, and overall increases in inflammation. Folks are downing allergy meds like they’re MTMM #AlmondButterCups but did you know it might not just be the pollen that’s causing you grief?
As part of #MastersMondays coach Kat will be bringing us snippets of insight from her current work in her Masters program, and this week her research has focused on the histamine response and aggravating factors.
Many of us are familiar with the term histamine and might even know that it is a powerful neurotransmitter involved in the inflammatory response. What isn’t so commonly understood is the link between histamine and fluid status. What many people don’t know about histamine is that is also plays a central role in managing dehydration – when even slight decreases in hydration occur histamine becomes active, racing to the scene and re-distributing water throughout the body and shunting it to vital organs.
This is most apparent in the lungs, where significant amounts of fluid are lost through respiration. Histamine will attempt to save fluid by constricting the bronchioles, and this can result in chest pain, hyperventilation and asthmatic symptoms. Often the human response to this is to medicate: inhalers, anti-histamines and the like to open up those airways and make us more comfortable. The problem is we’re now perpetuating the water loss histamine is attempting to combat, and a greater histamine response is initiated - see where this is going?
Chronic dehydration causes histamine to become overactive and can induce histamine intolerance. Common symptoms associated with dehydration and elevated histamine include asthma, allergies, acid reflux, tension headaches, constipation, irritable bowel, rheumatoid arthritis, migraine headaches and chronic pain – not good stuff, but certainly good motivation to water-up!
So what can you do?
Drink early and often – start your day with a 16oz glass of room temperature water and mineral rich Himalayan sea salt to replenish fluid, electrolytes, and minerals lost overnight.
Stay hydrated throughout the day – aim for a few sips every thirty minutes, or a small glass every waking hour
Carry a water bottle with you – you won’t drink what you don’t have, plus it’s environmentally friendly
Throw some herbs or squeeze a bit of citrus into your water to keep it interesting and boost mineral intake throughout the day