Stop Spring Allergies Before They Stop You
The weatherman said that Phoenix might get up to 80 degrees this weekend. Not bad for the first half of February! It seems as if we are quickly leaving winter behind and moving quickly towards warmer days. However, as the season is changing so to is the amount of pollens in the air, and for many people that means allergies. Weve had a good deal of rain so far this year and the mountains surrounding Phoenix are already turning a vivid shade of green, and than means that we may be in for a long allergy season.
If you are like so many other people in Phoenix, and suffer from seasonal allergies, now is the time to start planning for allergy season. Taking some simple actions before the onset of allergy season can help you prevent having allergies once the season is upon us. Its important to know that allergies have a strong inflammatory component, and so reducing the level of inflammation in your body is the goal.
First, think about your diet. Almost all the advice youll hear about healthy eating suggests that eating a vegetable-based diet it best for staying healthy. This is true with treating and preventing allergy as well. Avoiding large and frequent intakes of animal based proteins, which can promote an inflammatory effect in the body, is a smart move for anyone looking to reduce their allergic potential. A daily intake of foods containing the polyphenol quercetin such as apples, peppers and cruciferous vegetables is a great idea as this substance has been found to have a pronounced anti-allergy effect.
Second, and this should go without saying the in desert, stay well hydrated. This sounds simple, but the number of people I see in the office who are dehydrated never ceases to amaze me. Shoot for your body weight in ounces of water daily. Water, not coffee, not juice, but water. If you find the taste boring, add a slice of lemon or cucumber.
A few common supplements can also help to set your body up to be less susceptible to allergies. Good old vitamin C is a sure bet. Vitamin C can be taken in many forms, from capsules to powders, and is easy to work into your daily plan. Most people will do well to take 1-2 grams (1000-2000mg) a couple of times per day. Avoid taking too much vitamin C at once, as large oral doses can cause the runs. Omega-3 fatty acids, aka the essential fatty acids, are an important part of an anti-allergy strategy as well. The super healthy fats have an anti-inflammatory effect whose benefits extend well beyond just allergies. While flax seeds, chia seeds, salmon, and other foods containing naturally occurring omega-3s are an important part of any diet, a high quality fish oil can really help to boost levels. Lastly, vitamin D3, the active form of vitamin D can help to prevent allergies. Now, I can hear you already “I live in Phoenix, I dont need vitamin D, my body makes it when Im exposed to the sun.” Unfortunately, more often than not, even living in Phoenix doesnt get you enough of this very important vitamin. I routinely test peoples vitamin D3 levels as part of their annual lab work, and 9 times out of 10 if people arent taking a D3 supplement then they are deficient. If you dont now your vitamin D3 levels, you should. Come see me.
There are also certain natural allergy supplements that work as natural anti-histamines. These contain natural substances like bromelain, stinging nettle, NAC, and vitamin C. Taken before the onset of allergy season supplements like this can help prepare the body and prevent allergy. These supplements can also be used once allergy season sets in, and often provide substantial relief.
Lastly, if you have been suffering with allergies for year and are looking for more effective natural allergy treatments then you would do well to consider sublingual immunotherapy, or SLIT, SLIT is a natural allergy treatment that is used to re-train a persons immune system to not be allergic any more. The principle behind SLIT allergy treatment is the same as with allergy shots: give a small amount of the allergic substance frequently and over time the body will create a tolerance. There is one big difference between SLIT and allergy shots NO SHOTS. SLIT is administered orally and can be done at home. At Longevity Medical we create patient-specific allergy SLIT protocols for our patients. This treatment is not only natural and safe, but is relatively inexpensive, and effective. Look here for more information on SLIT.
Article Contributed by Dr. Jonathan Psenka