It’s that time again – time for many people to stock up on tissues and allergy medication, stay inside and unfortunately feel tired and miserable. It may be hard to breathe, you might be constantly sneezing, have skin reactions, along with other allergy symptoms:
- Watery eyes
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Itching of the nose, eyes or roof of the mouth
You are not alone! More than 50 million people are affected with allergies in the US, of which 26 million suffer with seasonal allergies. This number may be as high as 40 million, if milder symptoms are included – according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Allergies have an annual cost of over $18 billion in doctor visits, medication and lost wages.
An allergy occurs when your immune system reacts to an allergen – a foreign body. This overreaction is typically to a harmless substance – pollen, ragweed, animal dander, etc., but your body believes it should not be there. This substance may be something you ingested, inhaled or touched.
What Helps with Allergies?
If you find yourself taking prescription or over-the-counter medication without the desired relief or experiencing difficult side effects – drowsy, dizzy, stomach distress or nasal irritation, natural allergy relief is available.
- Chiropractic: The nervous system is the master system that orchestrates the immune system, respiratory system and every system, which can overreact to an allergen. If your nervous system is not functioning normally … neither will you! Any interruption between the brain and spinal cord – spinal misalignment of the neck (subluxation) can compromise the immune and respiratory systems. This irritation of the upper cervical joint can result in allergy symptoms. Chiropractic detects and corrects disturbances of the nervous system. Through various techniques and treatments – including manipulation of the joints and soft tissue – spinal alignment is restored, communication between the brain and spine is optimized, the immune system improves, adrenal gland function is strengthened, and balance and regulation of hormones (cortisol: anti-inflammatory hormone) is restored.
- Acupuncture: Patients who have received acupuncture for seasonal allergies report improvements in symptoms along with a reduction of medication compared to those getting standard treatment (Annals of Internal Medicine). Practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine believe in treating the whole person and balancing the immune system to reduce allergy symptoms. Discover the relationship between acupuncture and allergies when seeking natural allergy relief.
- Stress Reduction Techniques: The mind and body are connected – therefore yoga, meditation and deep breathing may be beneficial.
- Diet: There are certain allergy-fighting foods that have helped many sufferers. These include:
- Green Tea (natural antihistamine)
- Non-Spicy Food: When pollen is high, you may want to skip the spicy food, which may encourage histamine production.
- Probiotics: Helps to regulate the immune system, found in yogurt, miso and supplements.
- Quercetin: Foods that contain this natural plant – such as peppers and berries, may reduce histamine reaction.
- Vitamin C: Foods rich in Vitamin C – such as kiwi and oranges, help to reduce histamine production.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Helps to reduce inflammation and hay fever (allergic rhinitis) symptoms. Enjoy two servings of tuna, salmon and mackerel a week.
- Nasal Irrigation: If you want to know what helps with allergies, you may want to try nasal irrigation – upon your doctor’s approval. Mix a quart of water with salt (pickling, caning or sea salt) and one teaspoon of baking soda, Store at room temperature in a covered jar or bottle. Either a neti pod or similar device can be utilized. Irrigate each nostril with a half-cup of the mixture several times a day for acute symptoms and then once a day for maintenance. To help reduce inflammation, a few drops of eucalyptus can be used.
- Lifestyle Changes: Wrap your mattress in plastic and vacuum regularly. Avoid window fans, which can pull pollen inside.
If you are suffering with seasonal allergies, you may want to integrate natural allergy relief options. While there are times that medical intervention is necessitated – even life-saving, many sufferers have found relief by improving their lifestyle and adding chiropractic, acupuncture and eating a diet to reduce histamine production and inflammation, while boosting the immune system.