Integrative medicine, with its holistic approach to treatment, especially shines when it comes to treating allergies. The recommendations below are accessible, simple, and effective in addressing both the causes and the symptoms of seasonal allergies. We’ll look at not only what you can do in the peak of allergy season, but what you can do year-round and in the months before the season really kicks in to help you get through the season in better shape.
Preparing for the Season – Things You Can Do Before It Gets Really Bad (to Reduce How Bad It Gets)
- Dietary Changes – Reduce dairy products (in particular) and moving towards a more anti-inflammatory diet will help your body prepare for allergy season. We recommend the Mediterranean Diet as the best, balanced choice for health and wellness.
- Start a Spring Supplement Regimen – Three simple supplements available at most health food stores, Butterbur, Nettle and Zinc, can be taken twice a day, morning and evening. Their benefits include: preventing allergic reactions, or at least reducing their severity, reducing inflammation, modulating the immune system, and easing respiratory issues. Adding quercitin a few weeks before allergy season can help prevent histamine release and is especially useful for people with asthma. In addition, using a good local honey (must be local) will build your body’s tolerance for the local allergens.
- Stop Taking Immunoactivating Supplements – It’s best to stop supplements that activate your immune system, such as elderberry, echinacea and green tea extract (to name a few), because the coming allergy season will activate your immune system aplenty! However, do continue to take your Zinc – despite its immune boosting qualities, it’s beneficial for allergy season.
- Renew Prescriptions – If you take allergy and/or asthma-related medications, get those prescriptions renewed before allergy season comes full force so that you are prepared with what you’ll need. Some medication like cromolyn sodium, work best if you start taking them 2-4 weeks before allergy season starts.
- Spring Cleaning – Take some time to freshen up your living space. Clear out the dust, bring in fresh air.
- Support for Your Lungs and Reduce Stress – Renew your commitment to your movement! Daily practices such as stretching, tai chi, or yoga will open up your lungs and airways.
When the Allergy Season Has Arrived – Things to do During the Acute Stage of Allergy Reactions
- Care with Your Diet – Adopt a more restrictive diet to eliminate foods that exacerbate allergic reactions. Reduce your intake of animal protein (as it can increase inflammation and incorporate more antioxidants by enjoying colorful fruits, berries, greens.
- Supplements – Continue taking Butterbur and Nettle. With Nettle, have it at hand to take during the day as needed – you can take it as frequently as every two hours if you are symptomatic. Add daily Magnesium if your allergy reaction has an asthma or pulmonary component.
- Over the Counter Medicines – Consider these for relief of your allergy symptoms: antihistamine eye drops (if you wear contacts or have eye issues, check with your doctor first); a nasal steroid; a sedating antihistamine taken nightly (choose a brand that does not say “daytime” or “non-sedating”).
- Nasal Rinsing – Rinsing/irrigating the nasal passages with a slightly saline solution does wonders for getting allergens and mucus out. This slide show from the WebMD website breaks it down into simple steps. And what we would add to the great info in the slideshow is this: you may add a single drop (no more) of Johnson’s baby shampoo to the rinsing solution to help break up biofilm.
- Acupuncture – Acupuncture can treat symptoms during the allergy season and help your body develop a more “appropriate” immune response over the long term.
- Change Clothes – After being outside, especially if you have been working or gardening, change your clothes once you come back inside.
- Wear a Mask/Frequent Handwashing – Wearing a mask when outdoors during heavy exposure (like doing yard work) will block allergens from entering your system; lots of hand washing removes allergens and reduces their spread.
General Year-Round Lifestyle Support – Steps You Can Take for Improved Allergy Health and Wellness
- Diet – Stay with your Mediterranean Diet all year, as best you can. If you are overweight, loosing the excess will benefit all of your body’s systems, including those most impacted by allergy season.
- Track Your Reactions – Learn from your body and its reaction to the food and food groups you consume. Correlate food intake with any symptoms you experience. Pay attention to your body’s response and eliminate (or reduce your consumption of) foods that trigger allergic reactions.
- Improve Your Indoor Air – Consider purchasing an air filter to improve the quality of the indoor air you breathe. Cleaning up dust regularly, reducing clutter (so it has fewer places to accumulate), laundering bedding frequently, removing shoes at the door, and sealing up cracks, fireplace and laundry vents are additional ways you can reduce dust and improve the air quality in your home.
- Stop Smoking – If you are a smoker, your smoking habit is contributing dramatically to the severity of your allergies, and to others in your household.
We’ll conclude our post with a couple of links that we found especially informative on the topic of allergy health and wellness:
At Satori Integrative Medicine Clinic, we take a broad view of health and wellness at our clinic – this is one of foundational principles of our integrative medicine approach. We support our patients with an entire spectrum of treatments, supplements and healing practices. Our integrative medicine clinic and ketamine treatment center offers ketamine infusions, integrative medicine, and acupuncture.
We specialize in treatment of: major depression, the depressed phase of bipolar disorder (bipolar depression), postpartum depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), pain syndromes such as fibromyalgia and complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), also known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), and addiction. If you or someone you know suffers from any of these conditions and this approach to health and wellness resonates with you, please contact us for more information.