Seasonal AllergiesNils Lind
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Nature is unfolding in the most beautiful way during these spring months. Trees and bushes are blooming, showing all their magnificence and lushness in a race with the flowers and meadows. As a proper May child, this time of year is my favorite. I simply cannot get enough of this yearly returning color pallet, that nature provides us after the long winter. However, for quite a lot of people the spring months is a season which is filled with a lot of discomfort in the shape of seasonal pollen allergy, also known as allergic rhinitis, with attacks from the pollen coming from trees, bushes, and grass. It usually starts in February and last all the way to September. The body of pollen allergy sufferers reacts to things that are quite normal. Seasonal allergic responses to pollen is situated in the mucous membranes in the upper airways and in the eyes.
The list of symptoms is long, and almost seems like a strong cold with red itchy eyes, itching nose and mouth, a running nose, sneezing, hissy breathing, dry cough, headaches, and extreme fatigue.
If you belong to the abovementioned group, then you have to take care of yourself. The situation can develop into asthma, and people with cardiovascular problems can also feel overloaded during this period. There have been countless studies revolving around the increased chance of heart attack in connection of pollen allergy during these seasons, especially in May and June, where grass pollen usually is at its highest. The American heart association warns the people who are affected by heart problems, that they should take extra care of themselves during this time.
The Reaction of the Immune System
The seasonal allergy is in essence the immune system that is over activated. The immune system sees pollen, dust, etc. in the same way that it sees bacteria and viruses that it needs to get rid of.
So when you breathe in these pollen, which are so small that they are hovering in the air, then the reaction begins in the mast cells located in the mucous membranes in the nose and eyes, that releases histamine when the pollen is bound to the IgE on the surface of the mast cells. The histamine then promotes an inflammatory response, which is what causes the symptoms.
It is estimated that roughly 20% of people with pollen allergy, will later develop asthma.
It is normal for most of us to have some inflammation in the body, but when we are talking about a strong pollen allergy, then it is necessary that you take really good care of yourself and reduce inflammation as much as possible in general, but also in consideration of your heart and circulatory system, as well as in the prevention of asthma.
Eat healthy and nutritious foods. Sugar, white bread, and pasta can all contribute to breaking down your immune system.
It is important when building a strong immune system, that you stick to high quality food. Eat fresh and ecological whenever possible. The ecological food is free of pesticide remains, and other chemicals that have a negative effect on our health. It is my experience that we are happier and more stable in our daily lives when we eat ecological.
Avoid preprocessed and prefabricated foods, as well as all refined foods with poor fats.
The best thing you can do is to make sure that your daily food consumption mainly consists of ecological fruits and greens, fish, ecological meat, and good fats. Perhaps a good olive oil and omega 3/omega 6 oil and drink clean quality water. 70% of the human body is water, so drink a couple of liters a day. It contains the dissolved nutrients and transports waste out of the body. Eva Lydeking writes in her book “New Nutrition”, that water loosens, activates, and caresses the cells. Remember that we are almost entirely made of water. Eat plenty of seeds and nuts. You should preferably let onions be a part of your daily diet. Onion contains the bioflavonoid Quercetin, which is great against pollen allergy.
You may want to drink nettle tea as it is good against hay fever.
We live in country with the most beautiful and healthy olive oil. I recommend buying a really high quality one and taking two table spoons daily, either pure or through your diet.
Olive oil is good against all forms of inflammation. It is also rich in antioxidants and many scientists are of the opinion that it reduces the genes that promotes inflammation.
Use olive oil for salads, sauces, and all kinds of vegetables, the only limit is your imagination.
Cross reactions with food
If you suffer from pollen allergy, then you may experience cross reactions with certain types of food. This means that you can have allergic reactions when you eat certain things, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and spices.
When you have a cross reaction, with a certain food, then it will usually result in itching, and slight swollenness of the libs. The itching may be felt all the way down into neck or out into the ears. If you suddenly feel a severe swelling of the throat and neck, then you have to contact a doctor immediately or go the nearest emergency room.
If you suffer from, for instance, grass pollen allergy, then you might experience cross reactions with peanuts, oranges, tomatoes, and peas.
You will most likely be able to find a list of what foods often have cross reactions with certain trees, bushes, and plants. In Denmark you can find the list on the site allergi.astma-allergi.dk
The lists are not meant to be a list of foods you should avoid, but more a guidance for what foods you may experience symptoms from eating.
Suggestions for Different
- Make sure you take a multivitamin / mineral product of high quality. The mineral part should preferably contain both molybdenum and zinc. Zinc is a vital trace mineral.
- Supplement with the essential omega 3 and omega 6 oils in combination. Large-flowered evening primrose has been shown to suppress the inflammatory reaction in the mucous membranes.
- Take an extra supplement of vitamin-B. The supplement should be one where all the B-vitamins are present. Vitamin-B6 works as an antihistamine and can be taken in a slightly higher concentration. Vitamin-B5 (pantothenic acid) strengthens the adrenal glands and counteracts allergies, the concentration may be increased if needed. If the two mentioned B-vitamins are missing in your body, then the allergic symptoms will be strengthened.
- Vitamin-C is a natural antihistamine, which should be taken in large doses during the pollen season, preferably 1000mg 2-3 times daily. Take the doses throughout the day. The C-vitamins work best if they are accompanied by bioflavonoids.
- You may want to take some extra A-vitamins, to strengthen the mucous membranes. If you are pregnant, then be careful not to overdose the A-vitamins.
- Beta-carotene can possibly replace the A-vitamins.
- A supplement with extra calcium and magnesium is also great against allergies. Magnesium stabilizes the mast cells, so they do not release histamine.
- Vitamin-D protects the mucous membranes and strengthens the immune system.
- Garlic capsules can also be a great help.
- E-vitamins can, just like C-vitamins, lower the blood’s content of histamines, together with other substances, that can promote allergies.
- Pycnogenol, which is an extract from the bark of the French pine tree Pinus Maritimus, can help against many of the seasonal pollen allergies. One of my sons takes the supplement every year in the pollen season and it makes him completely symptom free. Pycnogenol contains a group of active bioflavonoids, that can hinder the immune system in releasing histamine, the substance that causes the allergic symptoms. Furthermore, Pycnogenol can also help prevent blood clots.
- MSM (methylsulfanylmethane) counteracts and reduces allergic reactions. The effect of MSM is strengthened if taken together with vitamin-C.
- Many people with pollen allergy have disorder in the intestinal flora. If you are lacking important bacteria, then it can worsen an allergy. Therefore, you may want to take a supplement of lactic acid bacteria.
- A supplement of Q10 can perhaps also be a great help.
If you are allergic to pollen, then you should not go out and cut the grass. Freshly cut grass can trigger hay fever. Stay indoors as much as possible or stay near the ocean, where there is less pollen in the air. Keep windows and doors shut. It is important to keep the windows shut during the night, as there is an especially large release of pollen early in the morning. If you have been outside, then change your clothes and shower when you come back in.
You will often get a real benefit from getting treatments at a reflexologist or acupuncturist. A visit to the chiropractor might also be a good idea.
Avoid all mucous membrane irritating substances. Some people cannot tolerate smoke from the grill, stoves, or cigarette smoke. Others react on strong scents from things like perfume. Many people that cannot tolerate syntactic perfumes, can instead enjoy the fragrance of essential oils.
Earthing, also known as grounding, is when you walk barefoot in nature. It is perhaps not the best idea if you have really severe pollen allergy, but if you can withstand a bit of pollen, then you should do it. Earthing has an amazing effect on the nervous system. I am personally very happy about it and practice it whenever I am on vacation. I would take barefoot walks at the water’s edge every day and again later in the garden where there was sand. It is a wonderful feeling, and I felt it clearly in my circulatory system.
Why am I mentioning this in the context of pollen allergy? It is because people who suffer from pollen allergy often feel physically miserable, slightly irritated, and impatient with their surroundings, which can contribute to unnecessary stress. Earthing can help reduce that stress.
Louise Hay writes this about hay fever:
Fear of the formal.
Believes themselves persecuted.
Feelings of guilt.
A new beneficial thought pattern
I am one with all life. I am always safe.