Natural Solutions for Spring Allergies
Sneezing, runny nose, itchy or watery eyes, headache, sinus pain and pressure, and increased asthma symptoms – the symptoms of Spring and Fall allergies are the same, but the causes are different. If you thought you were safe from these symptoms because you didn’t have them in the Fall think again. There are many culprits that can cause allergies in the Spring and Summer months – and for most allergy sufferers, the main solution is to avoid allergy triggers. But what if you can’t avoid them all the time? What can you do?
Allergies are often tied to weakness in the adrenal, immune, and/or digestive systems. Here are a few ways to help you and your family enjoy the sunny season – and sniff through it less.
“Seasonal allergy symptoms can easily be mistaken for colds, food intolerances or other ailments,” said Dr. Michael Foggs, MD, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).
He recommends for anyone with persistent symptoms lasting for more than two weeks you should see your allergist for proper testing, diagnosis and treatment. Finding and treating the source of your suffering can also clear up other unwanted symptoms.
The Most Common Allergy Triggers
Changing seasons can often include a change in allergies. Just when you thought you had them under control, the natural cycle of our environment creeps up to create a whole new set of sensitivities and reactions. There are airborne allergens in the Spring and Summer for a few reasons:
- Summer pollen rears its ugly head and it has a full summer season starting with trees, moving onto grass and in late summer the ragweed begins. Advice is to plan outdoor activities after it rains or early morning to reduce exposure.
- Warm, wet weather is the perfect environment for mold spores. These spores tend to peak in late summer according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Ways to avoid mold inside are to ensure you have a dehumidifier on inside to reduce moisture and ensure no water leaks go unattended.
- Where there is dust, there are dust mites. When you start your fans and air conditioners you are again kicking up the culprits into the air.
Natural Ways to Relieve Spring Allergies
Enjoying early summer weather might seem impossible if you suffer from spring allergies, but there are many natural ways to help you combat your symptoms so you can experience the fun of the outdoors!
Often allergies are seen as symptoms of weaknesses in the adrenal, immune, and digestive systems. There are a number of nutritional supplements, vitamins, and minerals that are known to support and strengthen each of these systems, and also to have very positive effects in helping to combat seasonal allergies.
While onions make our eyes tear up, they also contain the bioflavonoid quercetin – a natural antihistamine – that can treat allergy related itchy, watery eyes! It’s also an anti-allergenic and anti-viral that can reduce other symptoms including asthma, hay fever, and even cold sores. Onions aren’t the only source of quercetin; apples, berries, cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, and black tea are good sources too. Bioflavonoids work best when taken with vitamin C.
When you take care of the good bacteria in the gut, your digestive system and your immunity benefit, combating allergies by keeping inflammation at bay. Probiotics are naturally occurring in fermented foods like yogurt, kimchi and sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha, pickles, and miso soup.
- Vitamin C
This supplement has multiple benefits! It prevents the formation of histamine (instead of interfering with histamine once it’s already produced in the body, like over-the-counter antihistamines do). It has a great reputation for preventing infection and illness, keeping your immune system strong. And it can amplify the action of bioflavonoids – in fact, you can purchase them separately or in combination.
You might know that zinc lozenges are a great for scratchy throats that come with colds but did you know that sufficient zinc might help reduce allergies too? Zinc is important in how histamine is stored in the body. A deficiency means that more histamine can be released throughout the body, increasing your sensitivity to allergens overall.
2 – Nasal Irrigation
Flushing the nose with saline solution twice a day goes a long way to ensuring that congestion causing allergens like pollen, spores, dust and dander are expelled before they can settle in and cause the symptoms that make it hard to enjoy the change of seasons.
Since your eyes, nose, and throat are connected, Nasal irrigation or using a Neti Pot are a great way to naturally remove allergens that can cause all kinds of congestion and discomfort from itchy ears and eyes, to sneezing and stuffiness, and even sore or itchy throats. If you choose to make your own saline solution, make sure the water you use is distilled or purified so no micro-organisms are present.
3 – Hepa Filter
Using an air purifier with a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter can significantly reduce airborne allergens like dust, dust mites, pollen, mold spores, and pet dander. HEPA filters trap these allergens and lock them away. If you’re particularly sensitive to allergens, it could also be helpful to use a vacuum cleaner that also has a HEPA filter so that you can allergen-proof your home even more.
Sensitivity to airborne allergens and sensitivity to certain foods may also be related. At the very least, when the body is already coping with one form of sensitivity, it makes it harder to fight off multiple ones – making allergy symptoms worse.
Natural treatments often take longer to take effect than typical antihistamine medications. So, beginning natural treatments 1-2 months before the season begins can help prepare your body ahead of when allergens are at their most severe. Not sure you can wait that long for relief? Try pairing nasal irrigation or HEPA filter air purifiers with your nutritional supplement of choice for speedier results. Just remember: more is not always better. Come in and consult with one of our Naturopathic Doctors to get a handle on your allergies before they hit. Get started on a preventative plan this year and breath easier all year long! 647-725-2525 / firstname.lastname@example.org