Don’t Surrender to Spring Allergies

Don’t Surrender to Spring Allergies

Many options exist to fight allergies and allergic reactions, says Dr. Paul Stallone.

by Dr. Paul Stallone

This time of year will produce people walking around with red eyes, sneezing attacks and pressure headaches. In Arizona, with the citrus trees blooming, allergies can be downright awful. Allergies will affect everyone differently, with many people not experiencing any symptoms at all. For those that unfortunately do suffer from them, many options are available.

Mild symptoms call for mild treatment, and certain herbs and nutrients can aid in their management. Strength and frequency should be indicated to a naturopathic physician for a few important reasons. Some people with certain conditions or that are taking medications might react differently than others. Some might only think they have allergies, but another condition is the culprit.

Once a supplemental program has been recommended, therapy should start before symptoms occur. Being prepared before the allergy season hits is a proactive way to manage nascent symptoms. Supplements like quercetin, skullcap, EGCG (green tea) and nettle leaf have antihistamine properties that make them very effective in treating allergy symptoms. Supplements like vitamin C, vitamin D, probiotics, elderberry and spirulina help support the immune system.

An overactive immune system is the source of allergy symptoms, because it is overreacting to an antigen it deems dangerous. Some supplements like bromelain can even target specific symptoms, such as inflammation in the sinuses. There are numerous combinations that can be tailored for a specific individual, and consulting with a naturopathic physician will save time and money.

If supplements aren’t providing enough relief or symptoms are severe, a more preemptive approach may be necessary. Immunotherapy starts of course, with the immune system. Because an overactive or imbalanced immune system will produce an aggressive attack when a harmless antigen is detected, immunotherapy involves retraining it so that certain antigens are no longer considered a threat.

The process is a slow one that takes many months, but this is a permanent allergy solution. Immunotherapy works by introducing miniscule amounts of pollutants to the body slowly; over time, the amount is increased to get the immune system used to pollutants. Immunotherapy can be done a few ways, one of the better-known programs is allergy shots administered in a doctor’s office. This approach can be time-consuming, expensive, sometimes painful and can involve the possibility of a serious allergic reaction.

Another approach is sublingual drops that are dispensed at a doctor’s office, but are taken daily at home. Most drops are natural and can be taken by anyone, including children. Drops can be customized for the patient to ensure the best response. This is one of the better options for natural allergy treatment, and is becoming recommended over the shots by an increasing number of medical professionals.

For many people, allergies are unavoidable. Buying over-the-counter medications to combat allergy symptoms is a temporary fix that includes side effects like drowsiness, and may not be suitable for children. It can also become a vicious cycle that never improves the actual cause. Immunotherapy is highly suggested for anyone wanting to rid themselves of allergy symptoms. As with any treatment the individual should consult with a physician for guidance on an appropriate path. Even in the middle of allergy season, there’s still time for relief.

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