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Allergy Relief Made Simple

It is that time of year again; the itchy eyes, runny nose, constant sneezing can really get in the way of you enjoying the beautiful weather. You’re not alone, millions of Canadians suffer from seasonal allergies year after year due to allergens such as mould spores, pollen, grass and many more. Allergy relief medication is booming as antihistamines, decongestants and nasal shots promise immediate relief from these irritating symptoms. It’s easy to simply reach for these quick fixes to relieve the symptoms, but is that really the only method of allergy relief?

What is an allergy?

Before we delve in, let’s understand what an allergy is and how it is developed. An allergy is your body’s natural reaction to particles that it considers foreign; these could be airborne particles or even compounds in food.  The immune system releases antibodies to that specific allergen that causes an inflammatory response. This response results in the release of many important chemical mediators, such as leukotrienes, prostaglandins, and histamine. Histamine can cause airways to constrict and blood vessels to become more permeable, potentially leading to fluid leakage or hives, and leukotrienes causes increased production of mucus which can cause phlegm or runny nose.  The next time the body is exposed to this specific allergen, mast cells release a hue of chemical mediators which trigger the symptoms we experience such as itchiness, skin flare ups, breathing issues and many others.

Does Everyone Have Allergies?

Ever wonder why some people are affected by seasonal allergies while others aren’t? As allergies are an immune response, they are often a sign that your immune system is in overdrive. Contrary to common knowledge, around eighty percent of the immune system is actually located in the gut, meaning your digestive health can have a lot to do with how your body manages allergens. A condition known as ‘leaky gut syndrome’ is a prime example. Leaky gut occurs when metabolic wastes that are meant to be kept in the digestive tract for elimination escape into the bloodstream due to gaps between cells within the tract. Thus ultimately wreaks havoc on the body as toxins now “leak out” into the bloodstream and therefore cause inflammation, infection, and even an increased sensitivity to allergens. Eliminating allergenic foods such as grains GMOs and processed foods and nourishing the gut with healthier foods will restore a proper balance of bacteria and healing the gut, therefore, creating a stronger immune system.

Are There Natural Ways to Get Allergy Relief?

The good news is there are natural ways to beat seasonal allergies. Before you reach for your allergy medication this spring, be sure to try some of these natural allergy relief strategies. Following these simple steps will not only help with your allergies but will also boost your overall health and well being.

See Your Wellness Chiropractor. You may be wondering how chiropractic care can help with allergy relief.  An allergic response is caused by the immune system’s inability to fight off the adverse effects of the allergen. The immune system is controlled by the nervous system. The goal of chiropractic care is to correct misalignments in your spine, called subluxations, so that your nervous system and in turn your immune system can function optimally.

Boost Your Immune System Naturally. A healthy diet is key to a healthy immune system. Eat more fresh, whole foods and do your best to avoid dairy, sugar and processed foods. Consider avoiding foods that have been aged and fermented (cheese, sausage, alcohol) as they contain histamines. And don’t forget to drink up! Research shows that staying well hydrated can help relieve allergy symptoms.

Consider Supplements. Vitamin C is an excellent, not to mention inexpensive, natural antihistamine. I recommend Effer C by Douglas Labs. Vitamin D deficiency has been shown to increase symptoms of asthma, so try to get as much safe sun exposure as you can or opt for a high quality supplement. Increasing your intake of animal-based omega-3 fats also helps as it acts as a natural anti-inflammatory and therefore lessening symptoms.  Quercetin has also been shown to reduce the immune response to allergens. A good quality probiotic like Multi-Probiotic 4000 by Douglas Labs can also help boost your immune system. Always be sure to check with your healthcare provider before starting any new supplements to ensure that they will not interfere with any medications you may be taking.

Try a Simple Saline Rinse. This can help flush pollen, and other allergens from your sinuses and nasal passages before they have a chance to wreak havoc on your body. You can purchase a kit at your local health store. You may also use a neti pot to flush your nasal cavity, ridding you of pollen and other irritants allowing you to breathe better.