20 Sep 2013

QUESTION – WHAT TO DO ABOUT HAYFEVER?

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WHAT IS HAYFEVER?

Hayfever is an immune reaction to airborne allergens.

When Antigens (something the body does not like) enter the body it releases histamine to try to defend the body against these invading foreign substances.

Due to over-zealous hygiene, dietary deficiencies, antibiotics, genetics, air pollution, etc. this part of our immune system in some can be very dominant and result in reactions to otherwise non-dangerous substances.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

  • Sneezing
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Itchy, Runny nose
  • Itchy throat
  • Nasal congestion
  • Allergic shiners – indication of inherited allergy
  • Fatigue
  • Study – Partners who live together have increased risk of developing same allergy, indicating an environmental cause.

 WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON ALLERGENS?

  • Grass /Pollen
  • House Dust
  • Dust Mites
  • Animal Hair
  • Fungus Spores
  • Feathers
  • Powders
  • Pesticides
  • Air pollution

WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT MY HAYFEVER?

1. CREATE A BARRIER BETWEEN YOU AND THE ANTIGEN

 Seasonal allergies

  • Stay indoors with windows closed during the morning hours, when pollen levels are highest
  • Keep car windows up while driving
  • Have screen doors fitted to help keep out pollens
  • Learn which trees, plants, crops, etc. which cause symptoms and avoid them
  • Wash clothing before bringing into the house to remove pollens, etc
  • Don’t leave clothing in the bedroom after being outside – it will probably contain pollens, etc
  • Wash your hair before bed to remove pollens
  • Line the nostrils with vaseline or sesame oil to limit allergen entry

Year round allergies

  • Reduce exposure to mold spores by keeping house dry through ventilation
  • Clean surfaces such as bathroom floors, have air conditioners cleaned, and throw out mouldy books, pillows, etc
  • Reduce exposure to house dust by vacuuming frequently, and cleaning floors with damp mop. Air filtering vacuum cleaners should be used to clean the house
  • Reduce exposure to animal hair, feathers, powders, pesticides
  • Remove carpeting and feather bedding
  • To kill dust mites – spray carpets and bedding with weak tea with tea tree oil

 2. ENCOURAGE BALANCE IN YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM

  • Reduce dairy and sugar.
  • Eat chillis, garlic, onions, wasabi and horseradish to facilitate the elimination of excessive mucous
  • Include lots of vitamin C foods in your diet.  Vitamin C is nature’s antihistamine
  • Include lots of Vitamin A foods and Zinc foods in your diet to improve integrity of mucous membranes
  • Improve your gut microflora with probiotics.  The balanceof flora in the digestive tract is vital for balance immunity
  • Reduce stress. Chronic stress results in increased cortisol levels, which causes  inhibition of innate immunity

3.  USE HOME REMEDIES

  • A teaspoon of local honey before and during the season.  1 teaspoon every 2-3 hours to stop sneezing
  • Honeycomb – chew ½ teaspoon twice daily
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and honey in water daily
  • Inhale vapours of Tea tree oil, eucalyptus, chamomile or lavender
  • Dissolve one heaped teaspoon of salt in one litre of water and rinse the nose

4.   TAKE SUPPLEMENTS

To reduce histamine and stabilize mast cells

Start taking Vitamins A and C 3 – 4 months before the season

  • Vitamin C with bioflavonoids – 2 – 3 gm per day.
  • Quercetin
  • Coenzyme Q10
  • Vitamin A 20,000iu day
  • Probiotics – Lactobacillus casei Shirota strain; Lactobacillus rhamnosis LGG strain, Planatarumm strain.
  • Zinc – anti histamine and heals mucous membranes
  • Pycnogenol

5.   TAKE HERBS

  • Albizzia, Perilla, Feverfew, Nettle Tea, Licorice, Gingko, Eyebright, Elder, Grapeseed, Fenugreek Seeds, Butterbur, Goldenrod, Horseradish, Yarrow.
  • As a naturopath I can formulate a tincture for you.

6.  DRINK TEAS

  • Nettle, Elderflower, Golden rod Fenugreek and Yarrow tea – start before the season. 3 cups per day.

 MY FAVOURITE PRODUCTS FOR HAYFEVER RELIEF

  • Heel Luffa
  • Herbal tincture – ask me to formulate one for you
  • Metagenics Allergeze
  • Metagenics probex
  • Fess nasal spray
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