Itchy nose and throat, sneezing, watery eyes and coughing are miserable symptoms of the common cold. Unfortunately, some people have allergic sensitivities that can force such symptoms on them when the seasons change or even throughout the year. Medical testing can be tough and mainstream over the counter and prescription meds are plentiful, but often don’t work. Know how to combat the triggers that cause allergies with these Cureology allergy busting tips and how to manage symptoms with integrative allergy natural remedy options.
Allergy Reducing Environmental Alteration
By and large, the most effective natural prevention and treatment of allergies is through lifestyle modifications to reduce the allergen load on your body. The trick is to find out what is causing your allergies and then eliminate or reduce exposure to it. But this is easier said than done. Keeping a formal daily log in your electronic device or on your notepad will help. Note where you were and what obvious things you were exposed to during each day. If you start having symptoms that day, you can always backtrack and drill deeper regarding all the allergens you may have been exposed to. Otherwise the conventional medical way of finding out is to putdown a lot of allergens on your skin and then watching what causes the most irritation. In addition to possibly being uncomfortable, this method is not highly accurate. At the very least, an environmental log can help guide which allergens to test. Lets go through some possible candidates for producing your allergies and ways to combat each using allergy natural remedies.
Dust mites are going to manifest no matter what. Like their name describes, they live in pillows and mattresses feeding on flakes of skin. Despicable! You can create a hostile environment for mites by purchasing zippered hypoallergenic cases and covers for your pillows and mattress. Then, wash bedding in hot water weekly, as hot water kills dust mites.
Before reading on and finding more Cureology tips, here’s a quick video review of some of these points:
If you exercise outside, do it either in the early morning or late evening to avoid high pollen counts. If you exercise indoors this is not as big of a factor but an additional factor that may help is a HEPA filter. Purchasing one of these highly sensitive filters can help quite a bit.
Make sure your car is closed and clean to fight allergies. Using the air-conditioner in recycle mode and having all windows closed will help prevent pollen from coming inside the car. Having said that, the air ducts in a car can get full of various allergens, so if you have an older car this may not help and may even make it worse. Again, keep a log. Furthermore, you should vacuum your car’s interior regularly in order to remove any allergens from the seats and floor.
If you see signs of insects or vermin in your home, get an exterminator to come in and take care of the problem. Cockroach, rodents and other pests can all make your allergy symptoms much worse. Exterminators have the ability to easily and effectively eradicate pests, helping resolve allergy symptoms. Be careful of the toxins they use to eradicate the pests, which is an issue for both you and any pets. It may take a while to clear from the air, or ask for the most natural pesticides possible.
Speaking of pets, clearly you can be allergic to the dander on your cat or your pets can harbor and track allergens into your home. Pay attention to their routines as well, and of course you will need to determine if you are allergic to your pet. This can be a difficult situation, but sometimes can be worked out with different routines and type of interaction with your pet. For example, simply washing your hands after handling your pet may help.
When allergy season is in full swing, try to avoid the use of a lot of hair styling aids, like sprays, gels and mousse. If you are outside for any length of time, you will return home with all sort of unwanted allergens stuck in your hair. Using various hair-styling products may simply attract pollen and other allergens to your hair.
Avoid opening windows during high pollen hours. While it is good to get fresh air inside your home, you want to avoid opening windows when the pollen is the highest outside. From around 10 in the morning until 3 in the afternoon, pollen is at its peak. If you want to air out your house, wait until this block of time has passed.
Use a laundry detergent that has a light fragrance. Drying your clothes by hanging them outside can add a wonderful scent. But it also significantly increases the possible number of allergens your laundry will collect. This is ideal only for those who are not sensitive to dyes or fragrances.
If you suffer from allergies you should vacuum as often as you can. Free-floating allergens are reduced in this manner. Also, be sure that your vacuum doesn’t just blow the allergens into the air. Old vacuums often put the allergens back in the air. Newer vacuums have HEPA filters that will trap over 99 percent of all small particles and allergens and keep them out of the air.
A good natural way to reduce allergy symptoms is by dusting every week using something that will pick up the dust and not make it airborne. Some ignore this just until they can see the build-up, but doing it weekly can help reduce your symptoms since it reduces the allergens in your home.
Those with seasonal allergies should always wash their hair, get fresh clothes and shower upon coming home from an outdoor event. If you don’t, the allergens that you’ve brought home with you might make you miserable.
Try closing your windows at home during the day since pollen thrives at this time. If you want cool air, turn on your air conditioner to stay cool. If you do this, make sure your air conditioning filters are new and see if there are some available that trap small particles better.
Avoiding certain foods are an option for those that suffer from allergies. Sometimes it may seem that you are allergic to something airborne, when in fact it is a food that causes the runny nose and allergic symptoms. Keep track of what you eat in your daily log as well.
The focus of this article is not on over the counter or prescription medications but here are some words of advice. A lot of people use allergy medication but not enough or not the right way. Most medications require days of constant use for them to work. Don’t just take a pill when you start to sneeze. Make it a point to consult with your doctor about the correct usage. If oral treatments do not help, additional forms are available that might be effective. Alternatives include nasal sprays, nasal steroids, or eye drops which may be over the counter or prescription strength. Of course there are allergy natural remedies as well and these are covered below.
Bear in mind that most, if not all, of these medications do not get at the root cause of your allergy. It will only help mask the symptoms so that you are not so miserable. Having said that you have a choice. If you find a medication that is effective you can stay on it for a long time and risk the side effects that most medications have OR you can still preform due diligence and try to find out what to avoid. Medications can only reduce symptoms or reduce your immune system’s sensitivity to allergens. In the long run, for most people, this is not the way to go. Get at the root cause and fix it if at all possible.
Allergy Natural Remedies
Natural remedies for allergies may or may not have fewer side effects but remember that they are not likely getting at the root cause either. Whether synthetic or natural, the only two ways to get rid of allergic reactions is by cutting down on your immune system and histamine mediated allergic reaction or more globally ratcheting down your immune system so that your reactions are blunted to all threats. Again, not the way to go. Having said that, here are some tips.
Allergies can lead to post-nasal drip and post-nasal drip can lead to a sore throat. Gargling with salt water is an alternative to medicating your sore throat. Mix warm water with table salt. Gargle it without swallowing. This will help relieve the soreness in your throat.
Increasing your Vitamin C intake can help relieve your allergy symptoms. Vitamin C boosts your immunity and is also a scientifically proven natural antihistamine. Taking 1000mg to 2000mg of Vitamin C each day in divided doses may protect against allergies and more is not better. The reason for divided doses is that your body metabolizes and excretes many vitamins very quickly, so you may get a better effect from 3 or 4 smaller doses (e.g. 250mg to 500mg) throughout the day rather than all at once. As always, with medications or natural remedies, this will not work for everyone. However, one study showed that taking 2000mg per day reduced histamine levels by 38% in just one week. ( Johnston CS, Martin LJ, Cai X (April 1992). “Antihistamine effect of supplemental ascorbic acid and neutrophil chemotaxis”. J Am Coll Nutr 11 (2): 172–6.)
For additional protection from unwanted allergy symptoms, consume foods or take supplements that contain Omega-3 fatty acids. Eating fresh salt water fish three times a week is probably adequate, but if you don’t like fish or just don’t eat it that much, take a supplement or try flaxseed, walnuts or soybeans. Omega-3 has a strong anti-inflammatory effect in general.
Flavonoids, including quercetin and bromelain, are natural antihistamines and may be worth a try.
Grape seed extract is a general anti-inflammatory substance, which inhibits the release of prostaglandins. These are biochemicals that create an inflammatory state during allergic reactions.
Green tea, chamomile (see warning below) and ginger round out the list of substances and herbs which have natural antihistamine properties. You can consume these as teas for a pleasant experience throughout the day.
Finally a word of warning. Sometimes you can hurt yourself while trying to help. Some commonly used herbals such as echinacea, feverfew, and chamomile may actually make matters worse. They are members of the ragwood family, which are known allergens. So, if you have tried these and they seem to make matters worse, it could be the remedy itself. Ideally, if you are trying natural remedies you should work with an experienced professional. As recommended multiple times, keep a log.
For more on allergies and natural remedies please visit our Allergies Cureology Information Center.