Tips to Use Before Allergy Season Starts

Allergy Scratch Testing: Scratch testing is available through Dr. Sonya Nobbe, ND, for ragweed, weeds, grasses, trees, cats, and dust mite. The cost is $35.

Reduction or elimination of seasonal allergies is possible when the root cause of the allergy is addressed. Where mainstream medical philosophy perceives this root cause to be in the allergic response itself or in the pollen exposure, other medical philosophies acknowledge that the immune system is acting appropriately given signals it receives from somewhere deeper in the body. This is why over-the-counter anti-histamines tend to be most effective at managing your allergy symptoms, but incapable of initiating true healing and elimination of allergic symptoms. Eliminating allergic symptoms means addressing underlying imbalanced body systems.

Treating the root cause of allergic symptoms is greatly supported by diet and lifestyle choices that reduce total body inflammation. Below are some key ways to reduce inflammation and experience some relief from your allergy symptoms this season.

Quercetin is a flavonoid in food that functions as a natural anti-histamine, to be used in conjunction with or sometimes instead of pharmaceutical anti-histamines. Foods high in quercetin include apples, buckwheat, onion, and citrus fruits. Quercetin is also available in supplement form, and may be used effectively before exposure to the allergen.

Drink nettle (Urtica dioica) tea or use a high quality extract. Urtica dioica has a long history of use for allergic symptoms, and current research suggests it may alleviate symptoms by modulating how genes signal for the production of inflammatory chemicals.

Eat 6 to 8 servings of vegetables and berries daily. These contain high amounts of antioxidants and flavonoids, which are chemicals that combat the consequences of inflammation. You may also wish to add a high quality antioxidant supplement that includes vitamin C, to your daily regime.

Replace some of the red meat in your diet with wild-caught fish, or take a high-quality fish oil supplement (such as SuperEFA, NutraSea, or Nordic Naturals). Red meats are high in a fat called arachadonic acid, which your body uses to make inflammation. Over 8 to 12 weeks, the omega-3 “anti-inflammatory” fats in fish will start to replace the inflammatory fats.

Determine which foods you are specifically allergic to, and reduce or eliminate them from your diet. Food allergies do not necessarily cause digestive symptoms. Special allergy tests (see www.usbiotek.com), or a diet experiment called an “elimination diet” can help you identify these problematic foods.

Increase your daily intake of (filtered) water. The allergy response requires a lot of water and can lead to dehydration if a person is not consuming enough. Dehydration itself can cause histamine release, which is responsible for many allergic symptoms. Other symptoms of dehydration include dry eyes, fatigue, and dull headaches.

Replace foods made with sugar or flour, with whole grains. For example, replace cold breakfast cereal with steel-cut oatmeal or quinoa, sweetened with almond milk, berries, or apples. This will support your body’s efforts to reduce inflammation and heal.