by Dr. Craig A. Maxwell
If you’re an allergy sufferer, you may already have a love/hate relationship with spring.
Now the Polar Vortex, which caused a seemingly never-ending winter, comes the corresponding “Pollen Vortex,” bringing with it the worst allergy season in 10 years.
Ordinarily, trees, shrubs, and flowers respond to the gradual warming of the season by blooming slowly. This means if you’re allergic to tree pollen, you’ll experience a week or two of watery eyes and sneezing that will gradually subside. If certain flowers get to you, the wheezing and post-nasal drip will hit you hardest a bit later in the season and eventually abate.
Now, however, due to the exceptionally cold and long winter caused by the Polar Vortex, everything is blooming at once. Trees, weeds, grasses, and flowers are all budding with gusto while ultra-high winds whip and scatter the pollen in every which direction.
As if this onslaught wasn’t bad enough, you may also be exposed to brand new allergens. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, rapid climate change has allowed allergy-producing plant species to spread out and grow in areas where they’ve never before been seen.
If you’re prone to allergies, your immune system already overreacts to its environment. Anything new that comes your way could produce an even stronger allergic response than what you’re currently used to.
Why Antihistamines Aren’t Enough
Prescription and over-the-counter antihistamines work over the short-term to artificially suppress the reaction your immune system has to the allergens round you.
Unfortunately, these treatments do nothing to address the underlying cause of your allergies.
Over time, your body can get used to whatever antihistamine you’re taking. Your immune system is convinced it must protect you from the onslaught of allergens in your environment so it always finds a way around whatever drugs you’re taking to suppress it.
Sometimes this can lead to “rebound congestion” or “rebound allergies.” Just stopping the drug for a day or two can send your immune system into a tailspin, causing it to release excessive amounts of histamine to overcompensate for the inability to do so for so long.
Get Lasting Allergy Relief Naturally
The only way to treat your allergies is by stabilizing your immune system through diet and natural supplements.
- Treat Allergies with Food
An anti-inflammatory diet is a must for allergy sufferers. Raw, local honey contains bits of pollen that help you build up a natural tolerance to the allergens in your environment. Probiotic-rich foods such as kimchi, miso, and kefir strengthen your gut and immune system while keeping inflammation at bay. Garlic, onions, and hot peppers reduce mucous and help keep your airways clear.
- Avoid Foods That Trigger Allergic Reaction
It’s important to note that certain foods may also trigger allergy symptoms similar to hay fever. While there’s no reason to give them up, take note of how you feel when eating them.
These foods include:
Ragweed Allergy Trigger Foods – Banana, cucumbers, melons, sunflower seeds
Grass Allergy Trigger Foods – Melons, celery, oranges, tomatoes, apples
Birch Allergy Trigger Foods – Celery, peaches, almonds, carrots, cherries, kiwis, hazel nuts, plums
And, it goes without saying, avoid eating highly-processed foods. A junk food diets triggers the inflammatory response and can make both conventional and natural remedies useless.
- Treat Allergies with Supplements
In my 30 years of practice I have discovered that most incidents of hay fever are caused by a condition called leaky gut syndrome. When you have leaky gut syndrome, the lining of your gut is more porous than it should be. This allows bits of undigested food, bacteria, and yeast to enter into your bloodstream, resulting in chronic inflammation and an overactive immune response.
Probiotics treat allergies by healing your damaged gut, reducing inflammation, and calming your overactive immune system. Probiotics have been shown to ease allergies and eczema as well as irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and even fibromyalgia.
One of the more frustrating aspects of treating allergies naturally is the need to purchase multiple supplements to get a similar effect of over-the-counter antihistamines.
Even though they are far better for you, healing your body instead of just covering up symptoms, it can be expensive and time-consuming to take a bunch of pills at once.
This is why I created Diamond Nutritional’s Sinus Formula. It contains 5 of the most powerful and effective nutrients designed for long-term allergy relief.
These nutrients include:
- Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant that helps counteract the effects of an over-production of antihistamine in your body. In addition, it offers significant relief from both sinus and bronchial inflammation.
- Quercetin Dihydrate
Quercetin prevents your immune cells from releasing histamines, making it one of the most effective natural allergy treatments available.
- Stinging Nettles Leaf
According to a study published in the Journal of Phytotherapy Research, stinging nettles inhibit several key inflammatory event that trigger the symptoms of seasonal allergies. These include histamine receptors, mast cell tryptase, prostaglandin, and certain pro-inflammatory enzymes.
Bromelain is a natural digestive enzyme derived from pineapple. Multiple studies have revealed its effectiveness in treating a variety of inflammatory disorders, including allergies. Bromelain helps thin mucus and relieve nasal inflammation while acting as a natural digestive aid.
- N-Acetyl Cysteine
N-Acetyl Cysteine is a precursor to one of the body’s most potent anti-oxidants, glutathione. NAC breaks the disulphide bonds in mucus of the intestines and especially the lungs, making mucus less viscous.
Your best bet is to begin an allergy regimen at least a couple weeks before your allergies get out of hand. Fortify yourself with a diet rich in anti-allergy and anti-inflammatory foods, probiotics, and my sinus formula to keep it from turning into a serious upper respiratory infection.