Posted on 12-31-2014
For those of you who need a vacation from pollen, this is for you! I know we are all tired of the yellow/green haze that is sticking to EVERYTHING! We've all seen the commercials for allergy medication; and if you pay close attention to some of the side effects, you'll notice they are very similar to why you started taking the medication in the first place! To combat this, I've tried to come up with some easy, inexpensive ideas that can help ease you into this lovely time of year!
Starting with the obvious first; keep your windows closed! We are all dying of cabin fever at this time of year. We would love nothing more than to let spring run free through our homes, but if you are suffering from allergies, this might not be such a good idea. Pollen sticks on everything as you know, so opening windows opens your home and all of it's hidden corners to an unnecessary accumulation of pollen. Wait a couple of weeks until the pollen count normalizes again and then open your windows. You can also try an air purifier. This will help take particles, like pollen, out of the air.
Foods that are high in probiotics help support your immune system. The most common probiotics are lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, Bifidobacterium lactis, and acidophilus. These are most commonly found in plain yogurt. While we're on the subject of plain yogurt, what better to add to plain yogurt than something sweet, try locally grown honey! There isn't strong evidence as to why this works, but many doctors can agree that it only makes sense that bees eat the pollen that is in your region of the country and produce honey from that pollen. Consuming small bits of the pollen you'll be exposed to in the spring is a little like getting a mini allergy shot, without any of the pain!
Acupuncture can be very effective in treating seasonal allergies. It works best if you start treatment about a month before peak pollen season. Acupuncture can help slow down an over active immune system that can lead to bad allergy symptoms. In a study posted on Time.com on March 7, 2013 study participants who received acupuncture treatments for allergy relief were less likely to take antihistamines. They followed up with the participants two months after the trial and the participants were still feeling the positive effects of the acupuncture treatments. They were still not using as much antihistamines as they had in the past. Like with any research study, more research will still be necessary, but at least it's a start!
There are also many different supplements out there that can help relieve the symptoms of seasonal allergies. In the office, we work with Standard Process products. I'm not trying to do a sales pitch here, but they do have some great products for allergies. The ones I recommend the most are Allerplex and Antronex. Both are great for allergies, nasal congestion, and asthma. Antronex is an ingredient in Allerplex. Antronex contains a substance called Yakriton which helps to filter the blood that goes through the liver. This filtering process helps to eliminate toxins in the blood which causes allergic reactions.
These are just a few of the things that might be able to help you through this tough time of year. If you have any questions about these or any other products, don't hesitate to ask me or any other doctor. These may not work for everyone, so you might have to try a couple different things to find something that works well for you. Hopefully one of these tips will get you through allergy season just in time to prepare for the humidity of summer!
Great article Doc!