Allergy Season – You know it is bad when….
Every year we look forward to spring, the longer days, warmer temperatures, flowers and outdoor activities. What many of us don’t look forward to are seasonal allergies, sinus headaches, itchy eyes and skin. This year we knew allergy season was going to be a bad one when our Sadie girldog had to go visit Dr. Blair, DVM for uncontrollable scratching. After several sleepless nights for her and us it was time to call in the big guns for help.
What I found interesting is whatever is contributing to her environmental allergy seems to be giving me the special treatment too. I know I don’t have flees…. And after visiting Dr. Blair with Sadie, I broke down and purchased my first box of Benadryl™ for myself, to curb the itching skin, sinus pressure, and so forth. Now I’m not an over the counter or behind the counter visitor – it is funny it took my vet to remind me about the need for allergy medication sometimes.
I’m glad to report the dog and I are both scratching far less now, and this week reminded me of how many clients suffer from allergies and what they can do to minimize their over the counter drug use. Some due to high blood pressure have to be especially cautious of any medications they take. Antihistamines are notorious for elevating blood pressure, causing dry eye and mouth, throat irritation, drowsiness, brain fog, irritability…. Just to name a few of the side effects.
Over the years we have found several nutritional supplements to be useful, elimination of dairy foods and eggs that increase mucus production, netty pots for nasal irrigation, homeopathic eye drops and herbs to improve lung function. And during especially bad times we break out peppermint oil along with essential oils to put in the diffuser for relief.
Don’t overlook Mold.
Mold, black mold in particular is most active when the weather turns warmer and is damp. Mold sickness and related illnesses from mold exposure are real. Mold has been linked to lung damage, brain damage, cancer and even death.
If mold spores are inhaled or ingested you can become seriously ill. As mold continues to grow inside your body it produces poisons called “Mycotoxins”, these poisons leach into your body day after day.
Different species of mold produce different toxins and people will suffer a wide range of symptoms.
The most commonly reported symptoms of short term mold exposure:
Redness and skin irritation
Here are a few other suggestions:
Bee Pollen: Bee pollen has been used for centuries in China for seasonal allergies. It dries up the nasal cavity and slows or stops that annoying post nasal drip that leads to nagging coughing, sore throat and drippy nose. Clinically I have found the pollen does not have to come from local sources to work. The two brands used most by our office are Nature’s Way® and Glory Bee®. Make sure it is straight bee pollen not one with ginseng added.
Chinese Herbs: For years now I have managed the bulk of my allergy symptoms with Chinese herb tea’s blended by a local provider for me. Now, I won’t lie to you and say the stuff tastes great – it doesn’t- but it works and I only have to do between 4 – 8 oz daily to keep my lungs happy and my head clear.
Bioflavonoid Complex from Vitamin Research Products is natures “singular,” the combined benefits of this nutrient product benefit blood pressure, circulation, heart health and the combination of bioflavonoids work as a mast cell inhibitor.
OPC or grape seed extract: All of the antioxidants including Vitamin C and E play a major role in the reduction of inflammation. As we have seen allergies are a form of inflammation and they respond well to antioxidants. OPC stands for “Oligomeric Proanthocyanidin” a very powerful antioxidant found in grape seed and a truck load of other foods. As with all natural health options synergistic combinations require lower doses and provide more bang for your dollar.
Mullen from HerbPharma™ is my daily go to this herb has been used sense middle ages in Europe for colds, lung ailments, allergies, and ear congestion. It is one of the few herbals I use that doesn’t taste like it came out of some dirty sweat sock….always a good point when taking twice daily. hahahaha
What Therapy Options Work?
Acupuncture: Extensive research supports the use of acupuncture for a host of conditions, especially those involving inflammation. Over the last ten years research has proven acupuncture is effective in the reduction of sensitivities resulting from allergies.
Chiropractic care is also very useful in reducing the inflammation response within the body; these practitioners as a whole have not only adjustments but nutraceuticals available to help clients this time of year.
Buy a good air filter for your bedroom, living room, or office areas. This investment helps keep the cost of supplements, medications, and doctor’s visits down. It is especially important in the bedroom where you are lying down and congestion increases. Make sure it is a HEPA filtration system and spend the money for the ultra-quiet ones. I know Costco has some nice ones on sale generally this time of year, and as a rule are better priced than through other retailers.
To pleasant spring days without Kleenex!
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