Monday, March 9, 2015

3 Ways to Reduce Allergy Symptoms

Spring is finally here and with it comes allergy season! Have you been sneezing up a storm or hacking and coughing from the pressure? Time to get relief the natural way without the dry itch or drowsiness.

Allergies are caused by the over-response of your body's immune system to common things in your environment. If your body is reacting to multiple things at one time it can increase your immune response by ten fold, this means if you have more than one allergy you are seriously suffering from some allergy effects. So what can you do to reduce your symptoms?

Step #1: Determine what you're allergic to

Step #2 Find out where you're getting exposed to it.

Step #3 Reduce your exposure or reduce your allergy response.

#1 Determining what you're allergic to may be as simple as keeping a food diary or just looking at the seasonal calendar. Skin scratch tests can be unreliable and even give false positives whereas most blood testing will only tell you your allergy markers are elevated. If you truly need help with determining what you're allergic to, an lymphocyte reactive assay (LRA test) is the most effective because it will test your white blood cells (your immune responders) against different antigens to see if they react and how serious of a reaction your body has. We do perform this testing in my office, however insurance coverage varies depending on your plan so you may have to pay out of pocket for this test. The good news is that once you know what you're allergic to you can avoid it to facilitate healing and even getting rid of your allergy for good.

#2 can be quite tough especially if you have allergies from food additives and the change of season at the same time. The best thing to do is to start by reducing common food allergens (gluten from wheat and cow's milk) to reduce the amount of inflammation and mucus your body is producing. If you're not sure what you're allergic too it's time to start a food diary or tracking allergies with the calendar. Many allergens today are found with food chemicals and preservatives which are very hard to avoid today.

#3 If you know what you're allergic to then simply reduce your exposure or avoid the allergen in food as much as possible, however if there's no possible way to avoid it then you need to find another solution. Many over the counter medications cause drowsiness, painful dry itch in the sinus cavity, and possibly even cause serious side effects to you (including weakening your immune system and putting yourself at risk for further sickness). A natural option that can be very effective is a product I carry in my office called Aller-aid. This product works by stopping your body from having an allergy response in the first place which will reduce all the inflammatory chemicals rather than waiting for you to have an allergy response like with most over the counters.

If you need more help, call 689-6200 to schedule a consultation to discuss natural ways of beating your allergies!