Allergy season is particularly complicated during a pandemic. Symptoms can leave you feeling sick, assuming you have something more serious than you do. Understanding the root cause of exacerbation of seasonal allergies can help you tremendously. As a Naturopathic Doctor, the medicine I practice is preventative, effective and also fast-acting. The basis of my medicine involves bringing the body back to balance by identifying the root cause.
Let’s dig deeper into the root cause of exacerbation of allergies. There is no denying that pollen and dust are obvious culprits to our itchy eyes & throat, sneezing, etc. What we need to recognize is: Our level of chronic inflammation and if we have oxidative stress. There are numerous ways to assess both of these states which is where Naturopathic Medicine shines. Patients get answers and ultimately learn to understand their bodies. Based on an individual’s needs, optimizing one’s health by decreasing inflammation and reducing oxidative stress is key.
A health plan consists of advice in three ways: Nutrition, Lifestyle Habits & Supplements. This approach is holistic and you will get the maximum benefit when prescribed properly. Natural healing is possible when it comes to seasonal allergies!
The most inflammatory food you can avoid for overall health, especially during allergy season, is dairy. Dairy can create excess mucus production which negatively affects our respiratory system. Spring is the season of our liver, according to Chinese Medicine. Foods that can help support detox include: dandelion, arugula, kale, and sprouts. Herbs via food, teas, tincture, capsules or essential oils (peppermint, honeysuckle and magnolia), can help to open the nasal passages.
Taking simple precautions can have maximum benefits for you and your family. Removing shoes before entering your home/office, showering immediately after being outdoors, washing your sheets in hot water with a hypoallergenic and fragrance-free detergent, replacing old pillows, and having an air filter in the bedroom, can all help to avoid tracking pollen and dust. Exercise is fantastic to decrease inflammation and overall lymphatic support; however, consider working out indoors when the pollen count is high.
Ideally, you want to have a less reactive immune system and decrease your histamine response. This includes anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant support in addition to anti-histamines as well as mucolytics, which thin mucus and support drainage. My favorite anti-histamines are stinging nettles, bromelain and quercetin. Quercetin is also found in onions and apples. NAC (N-acetyl-cysteine), is an anti-oxidant and mucolytic which greatly supports your lung health as the pre-cursor to glutathione, the most powerful anti-oxidant in our body.
If you have chronic inflammation, you want to understand the root cause of its origin. Once that is determined, find a practitioner to guide you through your specific health needs. Lastly, most of our immune system lies in our gut, so it’s important to make sure your digestive system is functioning properly. Assessing your microbiome is extremely useful as a healing tool for overall health and seasonal allergy support. If you are interested in natural allergy relief with Naturopathic Medicine, reach out to Dr. Dawn for a FREE 10 min consult.