It’s that time of year again when the pollen is floating around causing many to endure those annoying springtime allergy symptoms…coughing, sneezing, runny noses, and itchy & watery eyes. You can take medicines to block histamine or dry up your runny nose…which may cause drowsiness, liver stress, and/or they can lose their effectiveness over time…but as a naturopathic doctor, I have a different approach.
If you have seasonal allergies, your immune system is overreacting. The role of your immune system is to be on alert for foreign invaders, like bacteria & viruses, and when exposed, the cells of your immune system replicate to fight them off.
This process results in excess mucus, coughing, and sneezing. The body is doing this in an attempt to rid the body of pollen. However, pollen is not a deadly invader. Yet in people with springtime allergies, the immune system thinks it is. So the question to ask is not just, “How do I stop these symptoms,” but to dig deeper and ask, “Why is my immune system overreacting in the first place?”
The following inhibit the immune system from responding appropriately: sugary foods, lack of immune boosting nutrients (gained from eating fruits and vegetables), lack of sleep, lack of or too much exercise, poor emotional health, processed foods, alcohol, and dehydration. Furthermore, a diet high in dairy and/or wheat can increase phlegm production making symptoms worse.
Steps to Reducing Allergies
#1: So the first step in balancing the immune system is to address the above.
#2: Ensure your diet is full of nutrients specific to enhancing your immune system. Eat spinach, kale, green/red peppers, carrots, cabbage, apples, oranges, cranberries, almonds, seeds, ginger, and wild salmon.
#3: Start on a supplement program which includes key vitamins and herbs designed to optimize your immune system and thus eliminate your symptoms. My patients experience great relief from following my simple protocol. Send me an email if you want to learn more. (listed below)
#4: Basic avoidance tips: wash clothes & hair after being outside & before bed, avoid being outside when pollen count is highest (morning), wash bedding weekly in hot water, vacuum twice a week (wear a mask), avoid being around smoke, avoid cleaning products with harsh chemical scents, and do salt water nasal irrigation daily.
#5: Identify if you have food allergies. Food allergies cause a chronic irritation to the immune system, making it much more likely to over-react to harmless substances such as springtime pollen. Contact me to inquiry about this test.
Jody Stanislaw, ND received her doctorate degree from Bastyr University. She practices virtually, working with patients all over the country vai phone/Skype. As a Type 1 herself, she specializes in helping others with diabetes. She also treats a wide range of conditions such as digestive disorders, food & seasonal allergies, anxiety/depression, high blood pressure or cholesterol, and more via natural methods. Her most popular program is her E.A.S.Y. Lifestyle Transformation program…ideal for anyone who is serious about feeling great. To contact Dr. Stanislaw, visit www.DrJodyND.com or send an email to DrJody@DrJodyND.com