Yay to warmer weather! Nay to spring allergies!
With the warmer weather comes blooming flowers, more time spent outdoors, and for some, thin watery nasal discharge, sneezing, and itchy mouth, throat, and eyes. During allergy season, many feel they have only two choices: suffer, or take over-the-counter medications that often cause side-effects. Fortunately, there are natural options to decrease the symptoms of allergies while reducing occurrence of future episodes.
An allergy is an over-reaction of the immune system that causes the release of histamine from mast cells. Allergies cause inflammation in the system and aggravate existing chronic conditions. With a combination of smart dietary choices, a couple of key supplements (these will vary for each individual), and perhaps some acupuncture, you don’t have to suffer!!!
In the meantime:
- Enhance your barriers with the outside world (i.e. skin, mucus membranes, digestive organs)
Keep hydrated (drink 1 L of water daily.) Moist mucus membranes are the first line of defense.
Maintain proper digestion. 70% of your immune tissue is located in the gut.
Supplement with essential fatty acids (especially omega 3.) These are termed essential because they must be obtained from diet, such as fish and walnuts. Keeps skin hydrated and decreases the risk of hay fever.
- Decrease exposure to food sensitivities. A combination of allergens overloads the system and worsens symptoms. Eat a whole foods diet.
- Keep a clean environment, free of dust and mold. If you are suffering from seasonal allergies, keep the windows closed and use an air filtration system.
- Decrease stress levels, which weaken the immune system and intensifies symptoms. If you are feeling stressed, supplement with a B complex.