Updated: Apr 10
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? We find ourselves 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, some 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.
Why is your immune system reacting to your environment? 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 irritating foods from the system is the #1 thing we 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 our patients with allergies, many of which do not experience their allergies again or are much less severe the next year.
There are steps you can take at home to help reduce the pollen load and ease symptoms while working on the immune system function including staying indoors, keeping your windows closed and using your air conditioning if needed. Be sure to change all the filters for your home and purchase ones rated to remove pollens. You can also purchase a separate room air filter, we always recommend HEPA filters for this.
Using a Neti Pot or other nasal saline rinse 2x daily (once before bed) can help clear out pollen, mucous and congestion from the nasal passages and sinuses. Lastly, changing your routing to bathing nightly (including washing your hair) before bed will help remove residual pollens from your body and hair which will collect in your bed. Alternatively, you could also change your pillowcase nightly to help with this.
For symptomatic support, natural capsules with supportive nutrients and herbs can be very helpful such as D-Hist. Homeopathic medicines can also be helpful including ambrosia, sabadilla, urtica, euphrasia and nat. mur. Often, we 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! We are all looking forward to all the flowers blooming and the sun shining!
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