More than 50 million Americans suffer from one type of allergy or the other. If you’re one of those who have tried it all and finally given up on treating your allergies, you are more than likely to find this article extremely interesting. I have seen so many people depend on “cures”, “ailments” and “treatments” that worked perfectly for their mother’s best friend’s sister’s daughter, but did nothing for the individual in question. And then there’s always the question of those dreadful side effects. If you’re looking for allergy tips, I think you have finally come to the right place. But, before I get into the tips, let me try and define the concept of allergies for you.
What are Allergies?
Allergies are a hypersensitive immune response to certain substances that your body comes in contact with. Any substance that causes an allergic reaction is known as “allergen”. These allergens can be found everywhere – in your food, in your drinks and in the surrounding environment. Most allergens are quite harmless and most of the people are not affected by them. However, if you’re allergic to a particular substance, your immune system reacts to the allergen in the way it would when a foreign substance tries to destroy it. There is nothing uncommon about allergies. Authorities estimate that almost 30% – 40% of the North American population suffers from one allergy or the other at some point of time in their lives.
How to deal with allergies
Here are a few tips and tricks that I have found to be particularly beneficial for people suffering from allergies.
Being an acupuncturist, I am certainly going to put this at the very top. Yes, I completely believe in the science. Yes, acupuncture is my profession. But, this has nothing to do with me. Acupuncture is a proven way of dealing with allergies and devising long term solutions. A study that was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine Journal has shown that seasonal sniffers who took acupuncture treatments 12 times over the course of 8 weeks showed a much better response to their allergic symptoms and used medication less frequently than those who only relied on medicines and drugs. I certainly don’t mean to state that acupuncture is the best form of treatment for your allergies, but I definitely intend to imply that it offers an effective and long lasting option.
- Pay attention to the fruits you eat
Just because I am an acupuncturist by profession, doesn’t mean that the only advice I have to offer is about acupuncture. I don’t believe in offering grandma tips and folklore solutions, but I certainly believe that there are a number of things that can prevent and reduce your allergies. One of them is your diet. In fact, almost a third of the people with seasonal allergies suffer from these allergies due to the food you eat. The problem is that your immune system sees the proteins in certain food items in a similar way as it would see proteins in pollen. For example, those suffering from birch tree pollen allergies are generally allergic to things like plums, pears, kiwis, apples, cherries, almonds, parsley, carrots or hazelnuts.
- Jogging just might be worth it
Going for a run the first thing in the morning or after a tiring day at work might seem to be a major pain, but it can have long lasting effects on your internal health, your skin as well as your allergies. A workout that has a moderate intensity can significantly reduce your allergic symptoms. Moreover, exercising also helps to decrease the release of biological mediators and irritating histamines in your body.
- Clean out the air you breathe
People suffering from pollen allergies should pay particular attention to this point. Keeping your doors and windows shut at night helps you to save yourself from pollen, because the pollen levels are believed to be the highest in the mornings. Thus, leaving a window open might just make you feel miserable throughout the day.
- Plants can be your best friends if you have allergies
There are a number of plant based treatments that can help you with all sorts of allergies. For example, butterbur is an excellent herb which contains compounds that block out the leukotrienes, chemicals that are released during an allergic reaction. A study conducted in Switzerland had actually shown that using butterbur extracts can help to relieve you from allergic symptoms as effectively as antihistamine cetirzine, that too without any side effects. Quercetin, an antioxidant that is present in tomatoes, grapes as well as certain nutrient rich algae tea can also help you protect yourself from allergies and painful allergic symptoms.
Remember, it doesn’t always have to be complicated when dealing with allergies. Sometimes the simplest things offer the best cures. And as always, prevention is always the best cure.