Warm weather is on the way, spring is in the air, and that means so is pollen. We know the feeling, when you step out into the fresh spring weather, ready to enjoy longer days of sun and… achoo! Allergies can really put a damper on spring!
But while springtime is the peak time when trees begin to bloom, respiratory allergies can happen any time of year. Summer allergies might be a reaction to grass, while weeds can cause trouble in the fall. Chronic symptoms year-round may indicate a reaction to mold or dust mites.
These symptoms, often called “hay fever,” or allergic rhinitis, might include sneezing, runny nose, itchy/red eyes, congestion, or sinus pressure. Some people may also experience fatigue, brain fog, and itchy skin.
Often symptoms can tell you enough, but if you’re unsure exactly what is giving you trouble, an allergy test from a doctor can help. Most healthcare providers can run a blood test for allergy-related “IgE” antibodies to environmental allergens. Skin tests can provide additional insights into allergy reactions. Ask your provider if one of these tests is right for you.
Allergies are caused by a dysregulated immune system, which becomes overly vigilant and defensive towards harmless things, like pollen. The symptoms of allergies are caused by histamine, an inflammatory compound released in this process from immune cells called “mast cells.” Excessive defenses may also take hold in the psyche, which science now shows is closely tied to the immune system. (It’s called psycho-neuro-immunology.) Research has found that allergic rhinitis and asthma are associated with a 66% increased risk of psychiatric disorders including anxiety and depression.1 Strong defenses can keep us safe in dangerous moments, but also consider whether these allergy reactions are ways in which you are overly protecting yourself from harmless experiences.
Here’s some strategies to keep your allergies in check:
- Follow an anti-inflammatory meal plan. If the digestive tract is healthy, the immune system will be healthy! This is because over 60% of your immune system resides in the digestive tract! Reducing intestinal inflammation by avoiding processed foods, refined carbohydrates, grain-fed meat, and dairy, while placing colorful vegetables at the center of the plate can stabilize your immune system from the inside out. Call us to schedule a consultation with one of our nutritionists for help with your personalized plan.
- Exercise regularly to regulate your immune system. Research shows exercise can reduce allergies – especially aerobic exercise, which strengthens the lungs!2
- If you feel there may be an emotional component to your allergy symptoms, consider a consult with our Health Coach, Stephanie Mandel, for an emotional and energetic work-up that can help identify and release stored emotional tensions.
These are Dr. Morrison’s favorite histamine-regulating anti-allergy supplements:
- isoQuercetin is a natural histamine blocker, formulated for maximum absorption.
- Buffered Vitamin C is another antioxidant that can quell histamine. For extra support, try our IV vitamin C. Research shows high-dose intravenous vitamin C can reduce allergy symptoms by as much as 80%!3 Contact us to schedule an appointment.
- NAC (N-acetyl cysteine) breaks down excess mucus and replenishes the master antioxidant glutathione for dual allergy protection.
- Try all three in our Allergy Defenders kit, which adds a powerful traditional Chinese medicine remedy for asthma and lung symptoms.
- Nettle Leaf is powerful anti-allergy herb that works like a natural anti-histamine and aides in reducing respiratory inflammation.
- Try a teaspoonful of raw local honey daily, which can help retrain your immune system to tolerate local pollens.
- Tzeng NS, Chang HA, Chung CH, et al. Increased Risk of Psychiatric Disorders in Allergic Diseases: A Nationwide, Population-Based, Cohort Study. Front Psychiatry. 2018;9. Accessed March 14, 2023. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00133
- Tongtako W, Klaewsongkram J, Mickleborough TD, Suksom D. Effects of aerobic exercise and vitamin C supplementation on rhinitis symptoms in allergic rhinitis patients. Asian Pac J Allergy Immunol. 2018;36(4):222-231. doi:10.12932/AP-040417-0066
- Vollbracht C, Raithel M, Krick B, Kraft K, Hagel AF. Intravenous vitamin C in the treatment of allergies: an interim subgroup analysis of a long-term observational study. J Int Med Res. 2018;46(9):3640-3655. doi:10.1177/0300060518777044