Do you suffer from allergies?

9 05 2010

Traditional medicine and natural medicine view allergies in very different ways. The traditional medical view is that the allergy is a result of the patient being sick or of their body malfunctioning. Natural medicine, on the other hand, views allergies as a result of the patient’s chemical/allergen exposure and dietary habits. In this way, it is the patient’s environment that is sick, not the patient.”

About 25 percent of the population suffers from allergies, especially during the spring and fall when tree, grass and flower pollens, mold and other particles are all carried in the air. It’s important to note that all allergies, whether they occur only in the spring or year-round, are a reflection of an impaired immune system.

While an immune reaction to a foreign invader, such as a fever to kill a virus, is a sign of a healthy immune system, when you have a strong reaction to a whiff of grass or flower pollen your immune system is overreacting. Symptoms range from itchy eyes and throat, sneezing, runny nose, sinus congestion, asthma, post-nasal drip, headaches, foggy thinking, fatigue and even diarrhea. Many of these symptoms make up what is known as allergic rhinitis, or hay fever.

You may be tempted to take an over-the-counter antihistamine, decongestant or other drug to get rid of allergy symptoms, but there are other more healthy options that will address not only the symptoms but also the underlying cause.

-Strengthen the Immune System

-Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids

-Vitamin D

-Consider Food and Chemical Sensitivities

-Air Purifiers

The usual treatment for seasonal allergic rhinitis is antihistamines. These reduce the runny nose and sneezing but are less effective for nasal congestion and may cause sedation and drowsiness.

The availability of steroid nasal sprays without prescription has increased their use by patients with allergic rhinitis. Similarly, antihistamines can be obtained over the counter for treatment of hay fever, and all may interact with alcohol and decrease driving ability.

Butterbur was comparable to the effectiveness of the antihistamines as judged separately and blindly by patients and their doctors. With regard to safety, butterbur was well tolerated and did not have the sedative effects associated with antihistamines. Fatigue and drowsiness accounted for two thirds of the side effects reported in the antihistamine group.

Dr. Joseph Mercola

Herbs are nearly always less toxic and less expensive than drugs. However, they are clearly only a band-aid and not to be used as a long-term solution.

This appears to be one of the first published reports suggesting this herb is useful for allergies. It had been primarily used to treat migraines. I typically advise my patients to use a herbal combination product of quercitin and stinging nettles which works quite nicely. I have no experience with the butterbur product, but it might be useful.

I normally find that most people’s allergies dramatically improve when they follow the eating plan.”

More info about natural allergy treatments here, here, and here.




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