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When Spring Allergy Season Approaches — Nip It in the Bud

You don’t have to be a slave to allergies

When Spring is in the air, so too are all those pollens that can make your life miserable. And as the pollen counts rise so do those annoying symptoms that many of us experience; itchy eyes, painful sinuses, sore throat, headache, sneezing, etc.

You don’t have to be a slave to these issues or the nasal sprays and medications that make you drowsy or worse. Here are some simple strategies that'll have you looking forward to Spring instead of dreading it.

Scanning electron image of pollen
Many of these strategies are designed to lessen your allergic “load". Think of it as a glass of water - when we are filling it up everything is fine, but it only takes one drop too many to have it overflow. Our bodies are like this with allergies. Many of us don’t realize we are having issues until we overfill our “glass". Then the symptoms finaly become very apparent and we become miserable.

Allergy Strategies
  • Vacuum Regularly. Be sure to use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter, and wear a mask if you are prone to dust and household allergens. Be sure to vacuum your bed and wash your bedding often.

  • Use an Air Filter. There are many quality air filters on the market, and if you have one in an area of the house where you spend a lot of time (bedroom, kitchen) you will empty your glass while you are in those rooms and keep your glass from overflowing as easily.

  • Make sure you are drinking enough water. Generally that is at least 1/3 to 1/2 your body weight in ounces. For example if you weigh 180 pounds, your minimum water intake is 60 ounces, but 90 would be best.

  • Get moving. Exercise, even walking coupled with high water intake will help flush allergens and their byproducts from your system.

  • Nettles. It sounds odd — nettles are associated with burning pain, rash and itching — but the nettle leaf is an age-old remedy for allergies. Nettles reduce inflammation, act as a diuretic, and provide essential nutrients to support your body when you’re feeling low. It’s no coincidence that they appear in Spring, when allergies are at their peak. Native Americans traditionally use them for a variety of ailments that appear in Spring; allergies, malnutrition, detoxification, and so on. So how do you take nettles without the pain? There are many teas and supplements available that can give you the relief you seek — minus the sting.

  • Quercetin, the compound that adds a yellow hue to onions, is a powerful antihistamine as well as an antioxidant. It increases the effectiveness of vitamin C, making it a very valuable ally in the fight to reduce the symptoms of seasonal allergies.

  • Omega-3’s. When we have an allergic reaction to something, our body goes into overdrive; excess inflammation and mucus are the outward signs of this hyperactivity. Omega-3 oils like those found in fish oil are extremely helpful; they are considered anti- inflammatory because they inhibit the same pathway that many anti-inflammatory drugs target, without the nasty side effects.

  • Put out the fire. An anti-inflammatory diet is essential in keeping your glass from flowing over.

  • Remove other allergens. Consider checking to see if you have any food sensitivities or allergies. If so, these will contribute to your overall “load” making your glass already nearly full before the environmental allergens kick in. An allergy elimination diet is the best way to uncover these, ask you doctor for information.

These are just of few of the strategies we have for keeping you happy during allergy season. For best results, see your naturopathic doctor - we will work with you to find the most effective strategies for you. Do it soon - it's better to prevent these symptoms early so you can look forward to a wonderful Spring.