Spring is such an exciting time of year because you've spent months bundled up indoors and now the trees are waking up and the mysterious bulbs you've planted are starting to sprout. The cruel and unusual punishment is that Mr. Green Goop has started taking up residence in your nose along with Miss Runny Eyes and Foggy Head. What tha' heck! Just when you think you've survived the flu season, allergy season decides to kick you when you're already down. Surely after a few hundred million years our bodies have evolved to cope with naturally occurring allergens, right? But what is an allergy exactly and why do we need to be "taking something" to counteract the effects? It seems like every other commercial is an allergy drug which will help your nasal passages remain clear for a full 12 hours with one pill but what could that be doing to your body long term and what are your alternatives?
Let's break it down...
What is an allergy?
An allergy is basically an inflammatory immune response, usually with histamines, to a substance in the environment that isn't normally harmful: pollen, dog and cat hair, or even a food. Some allergies a quite severe while others are fairly mild and easily ignored.
When do you treat and with what?
Obviously a really severe allergy will require someone to carry around an Epi-Pen because this can be a life threatening reaction. Some people have such severe allergies, like Hay Fever, that in order to function and live their daily lives, a daily anti-histamine and even a steroid is required. These individuals will go so far as getting allergy shots or taking something year round. Finally, those who seasonally suffer with fatigue, brain fog, a stuffy or runny nose, and maybe itchy eyes may take a daily over the counter anti-histamine because that's all they know to do.
If you're having to take something every day throughout the year for years, do you think that the cause is being addressed? There are a few medical terms we may use in treatment: suppression, palliation, or cure. Most of your allergy medications are suppressing the allergic response but they are also putting roadblocks in pathways the body uses to protect us and heal. Palliation makes us feel better in the moment, much like your over the counter medications, but the affects will usually wear off in 12 hours. But what about cure? This is trickier term to talk about but when it comes to your allergies, what could you be doing instead of relying on your pharmaceutical grade allergy medications?
A Different Perspective
We can tackle allergies by decreasing inflammation and balance out the immune system by doing the following things:
Identify and remove food sensitivities. The removal of food sensitivities not only calms down our immune system, thereby calming down the allergic response to our environment, but it also serves to minimize inflammation.
Eat Raw Local Honey.
Improving your Gut Flora. Did you know that Lactobacillus acidophilus L-92 balances out your immune system to specifically help the body with allergies? Aller-Aid L-92 contains this species but also contains other ingredients to enhance the immune balancing/modulating affects.
Exercise / Movement. Your lymphatic system does not have any valves or pumps to get it to move. It requires muscle contractions to do this which is why movement is so important for your immune system. Walking does a good job of this just as much as those die hard spartan athletes.
Decreasing Dairy. Dairy tends to be mucous producing and to minimize that production, you can eliminate it.
Histamine Stabilizers. Histamine stabilizers are not histamine suppressors. They help to calm down an overactive allergic response but also allow those protective actions to continue to do their job, just not in a chaotic and destructive way.