Surviving Allergy Season
Is it just me, or is allergy season coming up with a vengeance? While most of us are looking forward to warmer weather and the first signs of spring, for some this means nasal congestion, sneezing and itchy eyes.
Allergy season is creeping up and for many of us it’s a rough time of year: some people experience a significant reduction in their quality of life because of allergies.
During allergy season, many feel that they only have 2 choices: either suffer, or take over-the-counter medications that often cause unwanted side effects.
Fortunately, there are natural alternatives to help with those rotten allergy symptoms while reducing the occurrence of future episodes.
What is an allergy?
An allergy is an over-reaction of the immune system that causes the release of histamine from mast cells. Allergies create inflammation in the body and can also aggravate existing chronic conditions.
What most people don’t know is that the presence of underlying food allergies can actually worsen season allergies (a.k.a. hay fever).
These delayed reactions from food can cause a cumulative stress on the immune system which makes the body that much more sensitive and reactive. These delayed and cumulative reactions from food can be measured through blood testing of IgG antibodies. 75% of the antibodies we produce are IgG. Antibodies are produced by the immune system as a defense mechanism.
The good news is that allergy season doesn’t have to be miserable! Here are some tips that I provide every year for my patients in order to put those hay fever symptoms to rest.
Natural Alternatives for Allergies
- As mentioned above, determine underlying food allergies and avoid those foods. Common food allergies are: dairy, wheat/gluten, egg, soy and corn.
- Supplement with the bioflavonoid Quercetin, which has been shown to be effective in individuals suffering from allergies. Quercetin inhibits the release of histamines and other inflammatory compounds from mast cells, thus reducing the allergic/inflammatory response. Look for Bioactive Quercetin (EMIQ) which is a highly bioavailable form of Quercetin.
- Take Vitamin C, key in any allergy treatment program, since it has so many beneficial functions. Vitamin C not only acts as an antioxidant helping to reduce allergic reactions, it also has mast-cell-stabilizing properties that reduce histamine release.
- Support the intestines by re-establishing the “good bacteria” (acidophilus and bifidobacteria) to ensure proper digestion of foods and optimal immune function.
- Omega-3 essential fatty acids will help decrease inflammatory and allergic reactions in the body.
- Plant Sterols found in Immuno-Care help to modulate immune function and reduce inflammation. They also reduce allergies by dampening down basophil, eosinophil and mast cells, the immune cells that release histamine, causing the typical “allergic reaction”.
- I also love the HEEL remedies for allergies: Lufeel and/or Euphorbium work great for those dreaded allergy symptoms!
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Amelia, M. et al. Planta Medica. 1985
Johnston, C.S. J Am Coll Nutr. 1992
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Dry, J. Allergy Apply Immunol. 1991