Updated: Jun 5
Essentials to eliminating and reducing allergy symptoms without using a daily allergy pill.
Allergies are not normal
Why do some people have allergies and others don't? I find myself frequently reminding patients that allergies are not normal. In fact, they're a sign of a hyper-reactive immune system, one that is making inappropriate responses to everyday surroundings. Think about it - we're meant to live surrounded by nature - flowers, trees, animals, mold. It doesn't make a lot of sense that these normal parts of our environment should make us miserable and unable to participate in daily life. We wouldn't have survived as a species if this were the case.
I used to have allergies. I went to the University of Oregon in Eugene. Just north of town there are numerous grass seed fields, and all that pollen follows the wind into the Willamette Valley and to Eugene. I used to have to take Claritin AND Bendaryl every day, in addition to using Flonase nasal spray. Even with all this, and fighting the need to nap all day from the Benadryl, I was still stuffed and miserable until July 4th, when the grass would wrap up it's pollen making. After a few weeks of the Flonase, my nose started to bleed all the time. There was no way I could continue to live like this every Spring. A number of factors play into normal immune system function, here are a few:
Nutrients: Vitamin C, zinc and selenium are important nutrients to a healthy functioning immune system. If you're deficient in one or several of these or other nutrients due to your diet, this could be contributing to your allergy symptoms.
Dosages: 1000-5000 mg of vitamin C daily is generally safe, 15-30 mg of zinc (picolinate form is tolerated best, take with food) and a handful of brazil nuts is a great way to get your daily serving of selenium.
Food Intolerances: Some estimate as much as 80% of your immune system lives as the microbes in your gut. Eating the wrong foods that are more difficult for your body to digest can disrupt this balance of microbes and their function. Removing food intolerances is the #1 thing I see improve allergies in most patients.
Liver function: Your liver is responsible for detoxification of circulating leukotrienes and histamines which create the symptoms of itchy, watery eyes, runny and stuffy nose. A well functioning liver that isn't being bogged down with environmental and dietary toxins will be able to clear these inflammatory chemicals much faster.
Simply addressing these 3 aspects of immune system health has helped improve the vast majority of my patients with allergies, many of which do not experience their allergies again the next year. And no, they don't have to take a pill every day before and during the allergy season!
For symptomatic support several homeopathic medicines can be helpful including ambrosia, sabadilla, urtica, euphrasia and nat. mur. Often, I will mix a few of these remedies for patients, depending on their individual symptoms, to take during the the first few weeks of treatment to reduce symptoms. In some patients, this was all they needed! Say goodbye to allergies and hello to Spring and Summer in the Pacific NW! I'm looking forward to all the flowers blooming.
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