Now that March has arrived, I would urge all of you who experience spring and summer allergies to start a preparatory program. I have outlined some of the factors below as an overview. Also, this is a common time of year to work on optimizing health and weight, as well as time to discuss spring cleanses (more in the next newsletter later this month!).
SPRING ALLERGY PREVENTION
Naturopathic medicine offers many solutions to reduce your seasonal allergies over the spring or summer months. Best results are achieved by starting early to prepare your immune system at least one month ahead of time. Some starting suggestions include:
- A liver-focused cleanse before the start of your allergy season. This often makes a great impact on your allergy susceptibility. If you have severe allergies all summer, then a second cleanse mid-summer is also recommended. Most people schedule a 10-20 day cleanse in late March or early April.
- Testing for food sensitivities. Chronic, long-term food sensitivities cause significant stress on the immune system and prime your body to react to seasonal allergens. If you reduce overall immune system stress by removing food intolerances from your diet, seasonal allergy symptoms will be minimized. If you haven’t already had a food intolerance test, please ask about one.
- Purchase a neti pot or a saline nasal spray, which are methods for clearing out the sinuses. Using this daily (1-2x) during allergy season will flush the allergenic pollens out of your nasal passages which will also help to minimize your symptoms.
- Watch your stress levels: high stress hormones (cortisol especially) can worsen allergies or make you more susceptible to them. Find methods to lower your stress such as: yoga, exercise, breathing exercises, guided imagery or meditation. If you need further support to lower stress hormones, certain supplements can help to lower cortisol while you work on the external factors.
- Mold alert: In the past few summers, there were high counts of mold spores circulating. Symptoms most commonly observed are around the eyes – swelling, itching, watering, rashes. In general, people who are sensitive to external molds often have an internal yeast imbalance which makes the immune system more sensitive to external moulds. If this applies to you, please ask about a ‘yeast-cleanse’ to prevent mold allergies this summer.
- If you are still getting allergies, even after these recommendations, there are also some natural alternatives to antihistamines that can be used that have no side-effects. Examples include: vitamin C, quercitin, various herbal combinations, homeopathic nasal sprays and specific homeopathic remedies.
Please call or email to book an appointment before your allergies start to have the greatest effect on your symptoms this spring!