Keep Seasonal Allergies At Bay
As spring gives way to summer, seasonal allergies are in full swing. If you've ever suffered from allergies, you know how miserable they can make you feel. A runny nose, sneezing, coughing, headaches, and watery, itchy eyes are the most common symptoms of seasonal allergies. It can get so bad that you don't even want to step foot outside. But staying inside until allergy season passes (which means September in New England), isn't an option for most of us. That's why it's important to learn ways you can minimize the impact seasonal allergies have on your health and your family's health. Here are four areas where you can make inroads into fighting seasonal allergies.
Minimize your exposure to pollen by avoiding outdoor activities when pollen counts are the highest, namely in the morning (5 am - 10 am). Check out local pollen forecasts on the news and websites like www.pollen.com or www.weather.com.
Getting moderate exercise on a regular basis is an excellent way to strengthen your immune system and lessen the effect allergies can have on your health. So if you love to work out, just be smart about it by exercising outdoors when pollen counts are lowest - afternoons and especially after it rains - and taking it indoors when pollen counts are highest - warm, dry & windy days.
If you suffer from severe seasonal allergies, wearing a mask may be necessary on days when the pollen count is highest.
Leave the pollen at the door: Take off shoes and change your clothes when you get home. Also wash your face and hands to remove any pollen you picked up while outside. Before going to bed, it's a good idea to shower and wash your hair.
Wash your sheets once a week in hot water. Don't line dry your wash on days when the pollen count is high.
Keep windows closed during peak allergy season
Consider using an air purifier with a HEPA filter(high-efficiency particulate air filter) in your home.
Vacuum once a week to remove pollen and dust from your home.
Avoid irritating fumes - like cigarette smoke - which can worsen your allergy symptoms.
Consider using a humidifier to reduce the amount of airborne pollen particles.
Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of fluids helps keep the mucus membranes in your nose and airways moist and healthy.
Eat foods that contain natural anti-inflammatory and antihistamine substances like:
Quercetin: found in apples, grapes, and onions
Vitamin C (Vitamin E and Beta Carotene - form of Vitamin A - also have anti-inflammatory properties, but in lesser amounts)1
Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Especially those high in antioxidants like berries, spinach, red grapes.
Avoid foods that can increase your allergic response or negatively impact your immune system: dairy products, chocolate, bananas, citrus fruits, peanuts, sugar, wheat.
Take a high quality probiotic daily: Research has shown the positive clinical benefits that probiotics have on the treatment and prevention of allergic rhinitis (runny nose).2
Eating spicy foods - if you can tolerate them - with cayenne pepper or fenugreek can help clear nasal passages.
Sinuplex: This nutritional supplement provides excellent nutritional support for healthy sinus, nasal, lung function during allergy season and flu season. It contains a unique blend of excellent anti-inflammatory and antihistamine substances vitamin C, quercetin, nettle root, bromelain, and N-acetylcysteine. As always, it's important to check with your healthcare practitioner first before taking any nutritional supplements. He or she will be able to tell you if a supplement is right for you and will check for any potential interactions with medications you take.
Rinsing of nasal passages: Using a Neti Pot or a saline nasal spray is an excellent way to clear nasal passages of dust and pollen and decrease the chance of getting a sinus infection.
Homeopathy: Boiron's Sabadil Tablets provide gentle, natural, non-drowsy relief for common allergy symptoms in adults and children (specially formulated Children's Sabadil Pellets). Ask your healthcare practitioner, if this approach might be right for you and your family.
Limit stress and be sure to get the rest your immune system needs to combat allergies.
You've waited long enough for summer to get here, so don't let seasonal allergies keep you from enjoying the warm weather. Good nutritional support with a supplement like Sinuplex in addition to a probiotic can go along way toward minimizing your allergies. Always seek the advice of your healthcare practitioner before starting or making any changes to an existing treatment plan, dietary regimen or before taking nutritional supplements. For more information on keeping those allergies at bay, contact us today.
2 Gui Yang, Zhi-Qiang Liu, Ping-Chang Yang. Treatment of Allergic Rhinitis with Probiotics: An Alternative Approach. North American Journal of Medical Sciences. 2013; 8:465-468.
The contents of this blog are intended for educational purposes only. The information presented here is not a substitute for proper medical attention, diagnosis, or treatment by a qualified healthcare professional. Always seek the advice of your healthcare provider before making any changes to an existing treatment plan, exercise program or dietary regimen and before using nutritional supplements.
~ Dr. Sarah Williams ~ Concord & Nantucket, Massachusetts ~