Allergies are a common problem, so let’s look at their causes and the steps you can take to minimize the onslaught of frustrating and unpleasant symptoms. We’re all familiar with common allergy symptoms such as sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, sinus drainage, and irritation. Other reactions that many do not associate with allergies include skin rashes and hives, swelling in the lips and mouth, shortness of breath, nausea, and vomiting.
What causes an allergic reaction? We commonly associate allergies with external irritants like pollen, grass, pets, and food. While these can certainly trigger allergies, the allergic response is an internal reaction by your immune system. If your immune system sees any of these triggers as a foreign threat, it mounts a response by activating the release of histamine—a specialized type of cell known as a mast cell. Histamines cause an inflammatory response to eliminate the offending agent from our bodies.
What can I do to help my allergy symptoms?
- Avoid foods that typically cause histamine release. Primary culprits include fermented foods; processed/packaged meats; alcohol; aged cheese; legumes such as chickpeas, kidney beans and peanuts; and citrus fruits.
- Rinsing with saline can be helpful for sinus problems. I also recommend taking Ion Biome daily (1-2 tbsp) and using it as a nasal spray.
- Use ½ tsp of local raw unfiltered honey a few months before allergy season begins to prime your immune system.
Figs may have some beneficial effects on the skin, especially in people with allergic dermatitis — or dry, itchy skin as a result of allergies. – PubMed
- Consider a good quality HEPA air filter. (I’ve been very pleased with the Air Doctor we have in our home and office.)
- Make an appointment to get checked with NIS (Neurological Integration System). NIS can usually identify underlying immune or physiological problems associated with allergic reactions.
- Try making tea from stinging nettles as it acts as a natural antihistamine.
- Take a quercetin supplement to stabilize histamine release.
- Take 2000mg of vitamin C from natural sources, such as rose hips rich in bioflavonoids.
- Bromelain is an enzyme found in pineapple and papaya and can reduce inflammation.
- Use peppermint oil in an air diffuser to soothe irritating symptoms.
You don’t need to implement all of these strategies, but try a few and find out what works best for you—you deserve the relief!