Relief From Allergies

Happy spring!  You know what spring in Cleveland means, right?  Allergies!

Sneezing, stuffy nose and itchy, watery eyes.  Coughing and wheezing for our asthmatic friends.  Antihistamines, decongestants and nasal sprays in a desperate search for relief.

Other than over-the-counter and sometimes prescription meds, what can be done to relieve allergy symptoms?  Turns out there’s actually a lot that you can do.

  1. Ditch the toxins

Toxic cleaning supplies actually contribute more than you may realize to chronic nasal congestion and respiratory symptoms.  Once the weather breaks, many people open up their houses and start scrubbing the winter’s accumulation of grime from floors, windows and bathrooms.  When the congestion and sneezing start, many of us blame the open windows and blooming trees, when it may actually be the fumes from the cleaning supplies.

Do not use bleach, ammonia or other fume-forming cleaning supplies to clean your home.  With our current energy efficiency standards our homes are essentially as airtight as we can make them, especially our newer homes.  Any fumes you release in your home are trapped in there.

Check the back of your cleaning product bottles.  If it says “Use in a well-ventilated area,” do NOT use it in your home.

For more information about the nontoxic cleaning products my family trusts, check this link.

  1. Check your plate

Are you eating foods that are worsening your congestion and allergy symptoms?  Food intolerances can inflame the GI tract and cause the immune system to react to things that it shouldn’t.  These reactions can range from chronic nasal congestion and asthma symptoms to autoimmune diseases or worse.

There are a couple of ways to see if you’ve developed a food intolerance.  Typical food-allergy blood tests do NOT pick up on intolerances because they only check for one antibody reaction (they are very good at detecting immediate, life-threatening food allergies like peanut allergy though).

The low-cost way to check for food intolerance is to do a 2- to 3-week elimination diet.  The one I use can be found here.  You basically eliminate the most common food allergens from your diet for 2 to 3 weeks, then reintroduce them one at a time to see if you develop a reaction.

The low-hassle way to check for food intolerance is to have a blood test.  I order the ALCAT test from Cell Science Laboratories.  It is fairly expensive and is not covered by insurance.  However, it tests 237 different foods.  If you just want to know what not to eat, that’s the way to go.

  1. Supplements

There are a number of supplements that my patients have found helpful for allergy symptoms.  One is alfalfa, which is a very nutritious salad green that can be eaten as a salad or taken as a supplement.  Another is NutriFeron, a patented product developed by the Japanese scientist who discovered the immune signaling molecule interferon.  NutriFeron improves the health of the immune system by improving communication among the different components of the immune response.

If you’re suffering with allergies this spring, don’t suffer in silence!  Check what you’re using to spring-clean your home and pitch out the stuff that might be irritating your respiratory tract.  Check your food intake and figure out whether you’re eating foods that might be contributing to the problem.  Add supplements that can balance and improve the health of your immune system while relieving your allergy symptoms.

QUESTION: How are YOUR allergies this spring?  Are you going to change anything based on this post?

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