With all the beautiful blooms and trees brightening our world, many people unfortunately suffer the dark side of this beauty - dreaded seasonal allergies.
Sure, the cherry blossoms are beautiful, as are the flowers blooming, the trees budding, and the sunshine warming your back. Too bad they bring itchy eyes, congestion, headaches, sinus pain, and fatigue. If you or a loved one suffers from these and other seasonal allergy symptoms, keep reading to learn about self-care options for allergy symptom reduction.
First, a short bit about why the high pollen levels characteristic of springtime cause such misery. Your immune system wrongly perceives pollen as a threat to your health, and as your body’s defense mechanisms kick in, an immune chemical called histamine is released. Histamine drives an inflammatory response which dilates blood cells to enable white cells to quickly reach and neutralize invaders. This defense, essentially attacking the pollen, often manifests in some of the common allergy symptoms we all dread.
Allergy Symptom Reduction Techniques
So what are some allergy symptom reduction techniques you can employ to lessen symptoms while avoiding a ‘medication-only’ approach? Here are a few hacks to consider doing at home to reduce your allergy symptoms, naturally.
1. Choose Foods Wisely
Follow the guidelines below to maximize the positive impact of your food choices.
- Add 2-3 servings of leafy greens per day
- Add spices and herbs, such as turmeric, ginger, cloves, garlic, parsley, cinamon, and rosemary, to meals
- Increase the amount of whole foods in your diet - vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, clean animal proteins. Minimize processed foods to help create a balanced internal environment.
2. Focus on Gut Health
Create a balanced immune system by focusing on gut health. Our digestive and respiratory systems are interconnected as part of the body’s line of defense. Having a healthy digestive system is the foundation to a strong immune system. Making sure your body is properly breaking down food, absorbing nutrients, and essentially directing traffic in your body can help to reduce your allergy symptoms.
One way to foster a healthy gut is to eat probiotic rich foods: kefir, kimchi, and tempeh are good examples. Supplementing your diet with a probiotic capsule can also be beneficial. Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria blends, Saccharomyces boulardii, and soil-based probiotics are strains to consider for lowering the histamine response as well as contributing to the solid foundation of a balanced immune system.
3. Evaluate Environmental Factors
Look for environmental factors that may be present in your world and contributing to your body's overall inflammatory load. Some common sources that may be overlooked are mold, heavy metals,, dust mites, and pet dander. When present, these potential immune-activating substances can exacerbate your seasonal allergy symptoms.
Consider adding an air purification system to help reduce your total allergen burden. A professional may be needed to both assess and eliminate mold or heavy metals contaminating your home.
4. Consider Histamine Overload Supplements
There are supplements to help with histamine overload and help reduce the allergic response while you’re in the process of building a stronger immune system. Vitamin C with bioflavonoids, vitamin D, zinc and nettle tea may reduce your allergy symptoms, while simultaneously supporting your immune system.
The more your body is in balance the better equipped you are to avoid the dysfunctional immunologic responses that underlie seasonal allergies. Increasing anti-inflammatory foods, strengthening the digestive system, addressing problem areas in your environment, and adding a few supplements to boost overall immunity are some tools to help arm you for these next few months.