Allergy Season is here, but that’s no reason why you should have to suffer from itchy eyes, runny nose, and sneezing. Here are twelve ways in which you can prevent and treat your allergies. Since the manifestation of allergies depends not only on the state of your immune system but also the total allergenic load on your body, there are two main goals to fight allergies: Improve your own immune system (which you can start doing right now) and decrease the total load (which you can do during allergy season).
Strategy One: Improve your immune system
Sleep and de-stress. Sleep deprivation and constant stress decrease you immune function. Make sure you sleep enough to be well rested in the morning (usually 7-9 hours a night). Decrease stress with exercise, meditation, pets, yoga, massage, hobbies, and having fun!
Keep hydrated with pure spring or filtered water. A minimum of 8-10 glasses a day is needed, or use half of your body weight in ounces as a goal. Then for each glass of soda, coffee, tea, or juice, which are all diuretic, add another glass.
Regular exercise will help boost your natural immunity. If you begin to exercise in the moderate range (walking, biking, low-impact sports) 4-6 times a week for a month, you will be well on your way to a stronger immune system.
Essential Fats: People who suffer from allergies are deficient in essential fatty acids. Omega 3 and 9 oils help decrease inflammation, so increase your intake of these through cold water fish, flax oil, and fish oil supplements. Decrease omega 6 oils which are pro-inflammatory by decreasing animal proteins and fried foods. It can take 2 or more month before you see the full effect of essential fatty acids, so begin taking them as soon as possible.
Strategy Two: Decrease your allergenic load
Decrease your exposure to pollens. On high pollen count days, limit outdoor exercise, gardening, or recreation. Try to do these activities in the morning or after rainfall. Use air conditioning rather than fans and don’t hang clothes outdoors to dry when the pollen count is high. Change clothing and shoes, and shower once you go back indoors.
Decrease your exposure to other pollutants and chemicals. Use natural cleaners, soaps, and detergents with citrus, essential oils, and vinegars rather than harsh chemicals. Grow and buy organic foods. Don’t use pesticides or lawn additives in your yard. Use non-toxic building materials and paints in your home. Buy clothing and bedding from natural fibers that don’t need dry-cleaning. Use a HEPA filter in your home and workplace.
Food allergies can contribute to the total allergenic load, and people are often unaware that they have one. Decrease dairy and wheat products and citrus fruits since these all may contribute to mucous production, and are also common food allergies. Other common foods that people are allergic to are: eggs, soy, corn, sugar, and gluten grains like oats, rye, and wheat. Try eliminating one or more of these from your diet for 2-3 weeks, then reintroduce them one at a time every 3-4 days to find the allergen. When your body isn’t expending all its energy on fighting off your lunch, it can fight off the allergens in your environment much more effectively.
Detoxification often helps improve allergy symptoms. Check with your doctor before beginning detox program. A week-long break from your usual routine with some herbs and supplements to increase liver and kidney detoxification can help your body process pollutants.
If you do develop allergy symptoms, try some of these ways to combat them:
Use a Neti pot (nasal irrigation device available at drug and health stores) or saline rinse of your nasal passages instead of nasal sprays. Clearing the nasal passages helps keep them hydrated and rinses away pollens you breathe in.
Homeopathic remedies work on an energetic level to help the body heal itself. Two remedies to try are Allium (burning discharge from the nose) or Euphrasia (burning, watery eyes) whichever fits your symptoms, in a 12 C or 30 C potency 2-3 times a day, or try a combination remedy for grass, weeds, or other allergens.
Herbs used for allergies include echinacea, butterbur, nettles, eyebright, golden rod, larch, or a combination of these.
Supplements such as quercetin, buffered vitamin C, magnesium, selenium, zinc, and bioflavonoids can help reduce symptoms as well as boosting overall immunity.
If you would like further guidence in this or any other health and wellness related issue, please schedule a consultation appointment with Dr Thor.