Pollen Isn’t Causing Your Allergies… It’s Your Brain

Dr. Robert Melillo

I walked outside yesterday to find my car covered with a yellow film of pollen. It reminded me of how I used to have terrible allergies and how encountering this level of pollen on my car would have made for a horrible day. Growing up, I never actually had allergies. It wasn’t until after I got married and had my kids that I developed terrible symptoms that would come and go. Now, I no longer deal with allergies– so the pollen from my car yesterday didn’t bother me at all. How exactly did this happen? Why do some people have terrible allergies and others don’t? And how do some people tend to “get rid” of their allergies or start to develop them later on in life? As a specialist on the brain, I understand the factors that can cause allergies, make them worse, or make them practically disappear. Allergies are fluid; they aren’t necessarily fixed symptoms that we either have or do not. And that is because the brain is a major source of allergies. The brain regulates everything regarding the immune system. And very few doctors or immune experts understand this fact. 

I remember I was giving a lecture in Chicago several years ago to a group of various medical specialists, and in the middle of my discussion on the how the brain hemispheres control immune response, one MD shouted out “How do I not know any of this? How did they not teach us this in medical school?”. He was right to be frustrated. This seems like a pretty vital concept when treating and diagnosing allergy conditions. Years of research show that the brain is the controller of all things– including the immune system. And, as with all phenomena regarding the body, the two hemispheres play different roles in how they regulate or “balance” the immune response.

The left hemisphere activates the immune system and regulates the system’s reactions. It does this by mobilizing the white blood cells, particularly the T-cells (also known as lymphocytes and natural killer cells), to kill off antigens. The left hemisphere also activates the antibodies (also known as the B cells) that help find and mark antigens so that the T-cells can kill them and learn them in case they return. There are five different types of antibodies that trigger different responses within the immune system. For example, IgE antibodies produce full-blown allergic reactions and IgG antibodies produce hypersensitivities and more inflammatory reactions– such as a food sensitivity to gluten.

The right hemisphere of the brain controls the more inhibitory behaviors of the immune system. It shuts off the immune response once it has completed its job, reducing the sensitivity of the antibodies so that the body doesn’t register the good ones as bad and overreact. Food sensitivities– like a gluten sensitivity– are a perfect example. Gluten is not bad for us; it is just not an antigen. Yet, for someone that has a gluten sensitivity, their immune system is overreacting. It has created antibodies against gluten and then reacts when it is eaten. In theory, this shouldn’t happen– yet, it does. Why? One of the major reasons is a possible brain imbalance between the two hemispheres. If the left hemisphere is too active relative to the right, the immune system may be overactive. And this can lead to allergies and hypersensitivities. When the right hemisphere is underactive, it can’t stop the immune attack or dampen the sensitivity of the antibodies. So, you may become hypersensitive to many environmental allergens that you are exposed to all the time or seasonally. Other examples are conditions and autoimmune diseases like hypothyroidism, eczema, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis that occur when the immune system fails to recognize our bodily fluids and tissues as our own– resulting in the body developing antibodies against itself. It all starts with a brain imbalance. Autoimmunities are more extreme versions of an immune system and brain imbalance; allergies are a little less severe.

There is, however, good news. If your allergies are being caused or made worse by an imbalance in your brain, you can help it by simply creating more balance. If you have an underactive right hemisphere you may be more likely to have allergies, ADHD, OCD, tics, autism, anxiety, and more. They are all a result of decreased activity in the right hemisphere and overactivity of the left. In my experience, people with these conditions are much more likely to suffer from allergies and hypersensitivities. And for me, personally, stimulating my own right brain and taking supplements helped me eliminate the very allergies I mentioned before.

There are active paths you can take to help create balance in your brain. In general, stimulating the right hemisphere and taking high doses of Vitamin D3, which naturally helps balance the immune system, are two of the best ways to naturally deal with allergies. At my medical practice in New York, I diagnose and treat a wide variety of conditions that are related to brain imbalances in both children and adults. Many of them regarding food and environmental sensitivities, allergies, and autoimmune issues. After treatment and consultations, when we have successfully balanced their brain, over ninety-percent of all the other issues and symptoms are reduced or eliminated. We have even seen these differences in before and after blood tests. Even those struggling with mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, bipolar, excessive fear, poor attention, memory, or anger management– it may not be coincidental. Imbalances in the brain are usually the root cause. When you are able to identify these issues, you are then able to effectively treat them without the need for extensive medication.

You can also read more here to help you determine if you have a brain imbalance. And in my books, I describe in more detail ways to identify if you have a brain imbalance and strategies to stimulate specific networks within the brain to create balance.