Skip to main content

Understanding the Causes of Spring Allergies

May 6, 2024

Springtime is beautiful! Flowers are blooming, green is reappearing, and the weather is warming up (at least here in the Midwest). But spring also brings seasonal allergies that can put a damper on the season. Understanding the causes of spring allergies is key to managing and reducing their impact. In this post, we’ll explore the external factors that contribute to spring allergies, as well as the internal conditions in the body that can make allergic reactions more severe.

External Causes of Spring Allergies

  • Pollen: Trees, grasses, and weeds release pollen into the air, which can trigger allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Pollen counts tend to be higher on warm, breezy days.
  • Mold Spores: Mold thrives in damp environments and releases spores into the air, especially after a rainy period. Mold spores can be found both indoors and outdoors.
  • Dust Mites: These microscopic insects live in dust and can trigger allergic reactions when their waste particles become airborne. Dust mites thrive in warm, humid environments, such as bedding and upholstered furniture.
Spring Allergies

Internal Factors Contributing to Allergic Reactions

  • Immune System Sensitivity: People with allergies have an immune system that overreacts to allergens, producing antibodies that trigger the release of histamine and other chemicals that cause allergy symptoms. This heightened immune response can lead to inflammation and discomfort.
  • Genetics: Allergies can run in families, suggesting a genetic component to allergic reactions. Having a family history of allergies can increase your risk of developing allergies yourself.
  • Leaky Gut Syndrome: A condition where the lining of the intestines becomes more permeable, allowing allergens, toxins, and undigested food particles to enter the bloodstream and potentially trigger allergic reactions. Leaky gut can be caused by factors such as a poor diet, chronic stress, bacterial imbalance, and certain medications (including ibuprofen).
  • Dysbiosis: An imbalance in the gut microbiome can lead to increased inflammation and immune system dysfunction, potentially exacerbating allergic reactions. Factors such as antibiotic use, diet, and stress can contribute to dysbiosis.

Conditions that Worsen Allergy Symptoms

  • Poor Gut Health: The gut plays a crucial role in immune function, and imbalances in the gut microbiome can lead to increased inflammation and worsen allergy symptoms. Eating a diet rich in fiber and fermented foods can help support a healthy gut microbiome.
  • High Stress Levels: Stress can weaken the immune system and increase inflammation, making allergy symptoms more severe. Practicing stress-reducing techniques such as moderate exercise, physiologic breathing, and getting plenty of sleep (maybe along with the typically recommended yoga and meditation) can help alleviate allergy symptoms.
  • Poor Diet: A diet high in inflammatory and processed or high-sugar foods can exacerbate allergic reactions, while a diet rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory foods can help reduce symptoms. Eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of organic fruits and vegetables, and clean proteins can help support your overall health and reduce allergy symptoms.
  • Environmental Toxins: Exposure to toxins in the environment can increase inflammation and worsen allergy symptoms. Avoiding exposure to obvious environmental toxins, such as cigarette smoke and air pollution, but also not-so-obvious ones like personal care products, cleaning products, and candles or reed diffusers can help reduce allergy symptoms. When you know you’ve been exposed to a higher level of allergens or toxins, one thing I often recommend is to do nasal rinses twice a day with a xylitol + saline mixture (as opposed to saline alone…Xlear and NeilMed now both make these combinations). Xylitol is anti-inflammatory and can inhibit bacterial growth – win-win! 
Spring Allergies


Spring allergies can be a nuisance, but understanding their causes can help you manage and reduce their impact. By addressing both the external factors that contribute to allergies and the internal conditions in the body that can make allergic reactions more severe, you can take steps to minimize your symptoms and enjoy the beauty of the season. Working with a healthcare provider, such as a Functional Medicine practitioner, can help you develop a personalized approach to managing your allergies and improving your overall health.

Nourish House Calls provides Functional Medicine services to patients in Illinois, Florida, Oregon, New Hampshire, and Vermont. In-person house calls are available in Hinsdale, Clarendon Hills, Westmont, Downers Grove, Oak Brook, Oakbrook Terrace, La Grange, Western Springs, Burr Ridge, and surrounding areas. Telemedicine is available both inside and outside of Illinois, including Chicago, Miami, Sarasota, Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville, and Portland.

If you would like to learn more about how Nourish House Calls can help resolve underlying causes that worsen spring allergies, click here to schedule a free, 15-minute discovery call.

Stay in the Know

Join our newsletter to get the latest updates on groundbreaking treatments and longevity biohacks. Be the first to know about innovative ways to optimize your health and extend your healthspan. Subscribe and unlock a world of elite health knowledge.