I don’t know about you – but this time of year for seasonal allergies are INTENSE! Tree pollen is so thick right now where I live that it is unbearable at times. Most people think there is NOTHING you can do about seasonal allergies – they are out of your control.
HOWEVER, there are ways to make them more bearable and decrease their effects on your body. Of course we cannot stop the trees and plants from doing their thing, nor should we want to, but we can get some control over reactions.
Where do these responses come from?
We go outside, we breathe the item in (tree pollen for example), and our body reacts to that. Some people do not, but some people DO. This is where everything DEPENDS on your bio individual reaction.
When we breathe these in if we react we develop things like runny nose, stuffy nose, itchy eyes, ears, nose, throat. We often get things like mucus and post nasal drop, it may then develop into inflammatory swelling anywhere in the nasal or bronchial passages, and that can lead to closures which lead to eventual infection as nothing can exit that cavity to be cleaned out.
You may end up with a cold, or a sinus infection, or a respiratory infection just from the exposure to the allergen and the inability to keep the passageways open and clear it out.
What do you have control over?
You can decrease your body inflammation and response to the allergens. This is where YOUR CONTROL comes in. Will you still feel the allergy? Sure, but will you get WICKED SICK? This is where the control comes in.
Step 1: Eat Whole Foods
Nutrient gaps, lack of nutritious foods, and highly inflammable foods lead to break down in the gut and the body leaving us susceptible do increased effects and immune responses. They leave us vulnerable to these allergies to develop infection. Eating whole foods decreases this response. You are removing inflammatory food agents (processed foods and chemicals on foods) and putting in whole foods that are organically grown. This will fill nutrient gaps and help your body function better. You will help the gut heal (which is where the MAJORITY of the immune system is).
Gut health is of utmost importance in ANY immune problem that you have. Without proper gut health (and nutrients) you will always struggle with immunity. We work on changing that through proper foods, reducing foods that are highly inflammatory and chemical in nature, and getting in necessary nutrients through a variety of foods to give our body what it needs to heal and function properly and build good immunity (a nice thick layer in our gut that creates immune cells we need).
If you aren’t sure where to start with that process check out this post here.
Still need more help? That is what I am here for – grab a free consult here.
Step 2: Use supplements targeted at immune support.
This can be tricky knowing what you need, but working with a practitioner should help. And you may need more than a dosage recommended on a product depending on your imbalance. However, here are a few things that can help:
* Garlic based products – one of my favorites is NOW Allibiotic CF. These can be taken year round to help your gut be balanced, and to help prevent allergens from causing more trouble when the levels rise.
* Echinacea products – these are supportive of healthy immunity. However, these should be taken only in extreme times when the allergens are really bothersome and then discontinued the rest of the time. Note: If you are an autoimmune follower – these should be used sparingly.
* Elderberry products – these can be used in a higher dosage during extreme times of need, and then decreased or discontinued during lesser allergy times. We save these for feelings of cold, or allergy symptoms, with a lower dose of them that is combined in our other products. A great kids version (that adults can use also) is HerbPharm’s alcohol free Black Elderberry liquid. Autoimmune followers, these are safe natural immune boosters.
There are many other supportive products out there meant to balance gut health, while fighting against the allergens to keep balance and prevent infections, but working with a practitioner is best once you start to leave the realm of the three above. Be aware that these listed in the amazon links are meant primarily for adults, however, the elderberry is for kids, and HerbPharm makes similar products for the others for kids. Getting help from a practitioner can guide you to the correct choice.
Step 3: Air quality control
If we have learned ANYTHING from COVID-19 it is that indoor air quality is WHERE IT IS AT. When the allergens outside the windows are too high, you need to keep them closed. You want to avoid the allergens entering the interior as well. In other times when they are low, you would want to OPEN the windows to keep air flow going inside the home. Getting a great HEPA filter for your cooling system, or ducts is important. Making sure you have proper humidity in your home is also important, too dry or too moist air causes issues in our airways and can lead to aggravated inflammation. Using a home monitoring system (you can even buy one that sits on your counter to tell you this right from Amazon for cheap) can help you see fluctuations at different times of the year.
Keeping your main floors at 40-50% will prevent mold in the home, but also keep the air moist for breathing. When you drop below that 40% it gets very dry and that isn’t good for your airways either. Using a dehumidifier in your basement (if it is wet or damp) is one way to help keep the moisture down in the home as well.
Now that you have some ways to deal with seasonal allergies – why not start with a delish real food dinner tonight? Start with one meal at a time, and change out those products. Need more help?