As leaves reemerge, flowers bloom, and the warm sunshine returns…so do spring allergies.
Dr. Jacqui Fleury, ND of True Potential Health Clinic appeared on Global TV’s Healthy Living segment this morning with tips on how you can manage these allergies.
What are some of the biggest triggers of spring allergies?
The biggest spring allergy trigger is pollen.
Trees, grasses, and weeds release these tiny grains into the air to fertilize other plants. When they get into the nose of someone who’s allergic, they send the body’s defenses haywire and cause a histamine reaction.
The second biggest trigger here for us is mold that forms from snow cover all winter.
What are some of the main symptoms of seasonal allergies?
These symptoms are a result of histamine being triggered by the mast cells of the immune system and causes:
- Seasonal allergies cause,
- itchy skin,
- a runny nose,
- itchy or watery, bloodshot eyes.
Over the counter antihistamines are a common way to relieve these allergy symptoms, but are there other natural things we can do for allergies?
There are two approaches to allergies – the reactive approach which is to take supplements to help manage or stabilize the histamine effects:
- Vitamin C and Quercitin- this is a bioflavinoid found in onions, and can help decrease the histamine response. These can also be taken as supplements, and have also been shown to have immune boosting effects.
- Probiotics – remember that 70% of your immune system is in your gut and if you are reacting to mold, taking a probiotic is especially important
The proactive approach addresses why your immune system might be so reactive to the environment. If the environment was the problem then everyone would have spring allergies, but this isn’t the case.
The proactive approach is to balance the immune system now so that by the time next allergy season rolls around your system is less reactive to the environment.
What would be 3 top supplements we might want to start doing now that would prepare us for the fall allergies and for the next spring?
- Fish oil – Omega 3 for anti-inflammatory support
- Vit C and Quercitin daily
What foods might we want to focus on?
- Eat colourful berries this summer
- Lots of onions and garlic
- Broccoli – and remember that the fiber and antioxidants in broccoli can also offset the effects of alcohol for the weekend cabin goers
Don’t forget about water! Water hydrates the mucous membranes and keeps the tissues from drying out and getting inflamed.