By Dr. Sheheen Mithani, ND
As Spring rolls around, we often notice an onslaught of friends and family (and even ourselves) suffering from itchy eyes, a runny nose, sneezing and coughing. At first, you may wonder if it’s a returning cold, but the regularity of timing (every year at the same time), along with symptoms that persist longer than a week, can indicate that the cause is an environmental allergy. Trees, grasses and ragweed are common triggers in the Spring; at other times, pollens, dust and mold. Read on for tips on what you can do to alleviate symptoms and permanently remove triggers.
1) Stay hydrated. Water helps to keep the mucous membranes in our bodies moist, which helps to keep allergens out of our systems. Clinically, I find that patients feel better when they drink enough water for their weight. So, the more you weigh, the more you need to drink. Use this simple calculation to find out how much you should be drinking:
1/2 your weight in pounds / 8
In this example, a 180 pound person would need just over 11 glasses of water to be adequately hydrated.
2) Sleep. Sleep restores, resets and allows your body to deal with inflammation caused by environmental triggers. Patients often note that their allergy symptoms seem worse after a late night or non-restful sleep. Sleep in total darkness and eliminate all electronics from your bedroom. Listening to theta wave music (you can find it on YouTube) can calm your nervous system and get your brain ready for a night of restorative sleep.
3) Reduce stress. Daily stress is part of life; while we can’t always control the stress, we can modulate our response to it. Chronic stress not only depletes the immune system, but also stops our natural anti-inflammatories from working, which is a double whammy when it comes to fighting off triggering allergens. Try Ashwaghanda or Rhodiola to balance stress. Combined with supplements that stabilize histamine release, allergy symptoms can often be well managed.
4) Reduce Histamine. The release of histamine from mast cells in our body is what causes the classic allergy symptoms. Both Vitamin C and Quercetin can stabilize this response, preventing histamine from leaking into our tissues and causing symptoms. Vitamin C is best taken in divided doses throughout the day; an intravenous boost of 10-15grams can be useful if your symptoms are very troublesome.
5) SLIT Therapy. After testing to find out your allergy triggers, a series of homeopathic remedies is created specifically for you. Taken sublingually (no injections!) over a period of weeks, they work by allowing your body to develop an improved tolerance to allergens. Safe and effective for adults and children, SLIT therapy has been used for years to permanently eliminate symptoms of hayfever and other environmental allergies.
6) Bowen Therapy. Perhaps one of the most effective treatment therapies I use, Bowen treatments balance the nervous and immune systems, improve lymphatic drainage and drastically improve more than just your common hayfever symptoms. Patients suffering from chronic headaches, migraines, sinusitis and fuzzy thinking show marked improvement in as little as 3-4 treatments.
Don’t let another season go by suffering from your symptoms. Book your appointment now!