A patient came to me last week frustrated about his allergies. It seems every time he goes outside his eyes water, his nose stuffs, and he begins to look and feel miserable. Even an enjoyable trip to the park with his young granddaughter was becoming a chore because of his allergies.
So I gave him some advice on how to lower his response to allergens. Interestingly, about 40% of the population suffers from one allergy or another and given that fact this advice might be useful to you too.
An allergy response is really a hiccup in your immune system. A mildly irritating, foreign substance like pollen makes its way into your body through your nose. And instead of responding with a mild reaction and cleaning out the substance, your body’s immune system goes into overdrive. The result is the symptoms that are usually associated with allergies.
Allergens can also enter your system through skin contact, through food, and sometimes through injections. But the one thing all allergens have in common is your body’s overreaction to them. Some allergies can be deadly, but most allergies are just a nuisance. It’s the latter kind I want to discuss today because those are the ones people tend to resign themselves to living with.
The truth is, you can take steps to reduce your response to allergens.
Cope With Allergies Naturally
One way to cope with allergies without turning to drugs is to avoid allergens. This means recognizing the things that trigger an allergic reaction in you and then taking precautions to reduce your exposure to those things.
This approach is effective, but it isn’t always practical. In the instance of the patient that I mentioned earlier, this approach would have meant giving up that time with his granddaughter in the park.
If you can’t stop your exposure to allergens, these three strategies may help to reduce the allergic reaction that you experience.
First, I recommend that you try using a neti pot. A neti pot looks a little like a genie’s lamp, and you use it to flush out your sinuses. If you are allergic to pollen, dust, pet dander or mold, you might find a neti pot very helpful. It will remove many of the problem particles from your sinuses, which will help reduce your body’s allergic reaction.
Next, I recommend you boost your antioxidant intake. Several antioxidants including N-acetylcysteine, vitamin C and quercetin have all been associated with a reduction in common allergy symptoms.
Finally, I recommend that you begin taking an omega-3 essential fatty acid supplement if you are not already. Omega-3 fatty acidshelp lower the inflammation levels in your body and also helps to regulate your immune system. Both affects can be helpful in the face of allergies.
Next time you have an allergy attack, try these three strategies to find fast and lasting relief.
Mark Rosenberg, M.D.