Nat­u­ral ways to beat sea­sonal al­ler­gies

The Covington News - - HEALTH -

(Metro Cre­ative Con­nec­tion) The ar­rival of warmer weather changes the land­scape com­pletely. An­i­mals come out of hid­ing and hi­ber­na­tion while trees and flow­ers bloom anew. The spring sea­son can be an ex­cit­ing time for nat­u­ral­ists and lovers of the great out­doors be­cause they can im­merse them­selves in the sights, sounds and smells of na­ture. But for many peo­ple, spring also marks the start of al­lergy sea­son and spend­ing time out­doors can be­come down­right un­com­fort­able for them.

The Amer­i­can Col­lege of Al­lergy, Asthma & Im­munol­ogy says nasal al­ler­gies af­fect ap­prox­i­mately 50 mil­lion peo­ple in the United States. Al­ler­gic dis­eases, in­clud­ing asthma, are the fifth most preva­lent chronic dis­eases among peo­ple of all ages and the third most com­mon in chil­dren.

No two al­lergy suf­fer­ers are alike, so med­i­ca­tions that may work for one per­son may be only mildly ef­fec­tive for an­other. Many med­i­ca­tions can cause side ef­fects, which may be just as frus­trat­ing as the ini­tial al­lergy symptoms. Treat­ments may tar­get sneez­ing and itch­ing but fail to clear up con­ges­tion. Drowsi­ness, dry mouth and nasal ir­ri­ta­tion may be side ef­fects of com­mon al­lergy drugs. Peo­ple who want to avoid al­lergy med­i­ca­tion can look to nat­u­ral reme­dies to al­le­vi­ate their symptoms. Whether used alone or in con­cert with tra­di­tional medicine, th­ese reme­dies may make spend­ing time out­doors more pleas­ant.

Try pro­bi­otics. Pro­bi­otics, those friendly bac­te­ria that re­side in the di­ges­tive sys­tem, can do more than just treat an up­set stom­ach. Naturopathic doc­tors say that pro­bi­otics also can in­flu­ence the im­mune sys­tem and may help strengthen its re­sponse to com­mon al­ler­gens. Since pro­bi­otics are good for re­plen­ish­ing healthy bac­te­ria in the body any­way, many peo­ple may want to keep tak­ing them once their al­lergy symptoms have come and gone.

Use neti pots or saline sprays. A small amount of salt­wa­ter can rinse away al­ler­gens, such as pollen, that get lodged in the nose. Th­ese rinses also can help clear up con­ges­tion and flush out any other ir­ri­tants.

Load up on omega-3s. A Ger­man study pub­lished in the jour­nal Al­lergy found that par­tic­i­pants who ate foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids were less likely to suf­fer al­lergy symptoms than those who didn't reg­u­larly eat th­ese foods. Omega-3s can help fight in­flam­ma­tion. Drink­ing more flu­ids and us­ing spices in cooking can help flush out al­ler­gens as well.

Don’t for­get vi­ta­min C. Vi­ta­min C is an im­mune-sys­tem booster and may help pre­vent the for­ma­tion of his­tamine in the body, a sub­stance re­spon­si­ble for many al­lergy symptoms.

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