Does It Seems like Your Allergies Never End? Why It Feels like That and What You Can Do about It
Every morning I used to wake up needing to blow my nose. In fact, sometimes I would go through a whole Kleenex box. Achoo!! Can you relate?
Approximately 50 million Americans suffer from seasonal allergies, also referred to as hay fever and allergic rhinitis. Oftentimes, allergy symptoms are confused with cold symptoms. So, how to know which one is responsible? Well, different people react to different allergens. Trees, grass, pollen, as well as ragweed, are the most common culprits of outdoor seasonal allergies. This time of year, was always the worse for me because I used to be very sensitive to ragweed.
The most common symptoms include sneezing, itching, watery eyes, runny nose, and nasal congestion. These symptoms are similar to cold symptoms. However, muscle aches and pains, even nausea typically accompany colds.
Allergy season varies across the country, with pollen starting in early spring and lasting through summer and sometimes fall. This is a tough time for a lot of people who struggle with seasonal allergies.
To identify exactly what affects you, a skin test is usually recommended.
Common allergens by month, according to typical weather patterns in the United States
January- Pollen is typically low, however, cranking up the heat indoors can kick up house dust.
February- Depending on where you live, trees can cause allergy flare ups this time of the year. Common offenders include catalpa, elm, hickory, olive, pecan, sycamore, and walnut.
March- This marks the beginning of spring; tree pollen remains high on the list. Be sure to check pollen count regularly!
April- The flowers are blooming and so are allergies.
May- Tree pollen should be winding down, however, grass pollen is emerging in certain parts of the country.
June- Grass pollen will be in full bloom. Factors such as temperature, rainfall amount, and even the time of day will impact grass pollen levels.
July and August- If you're allergic to molds and spores, you're out of luck as July marks the start of fungus spores and seeds as August sees their peak.
September through November- Ragweed is the most common cause of fall allergies during these months.
December- Pollen count is tame, however, if you suffer from allergies during this month it may be from the microscopic mold spores that can harbor in Christmas tree branches. My family could not have a Christmas tree when I was young because I was very sensitive and had trouble breathing.
Allergies and the immune system
The immune system acts as a defender against microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi which can cause harm. It works hard to destroy infectious microorganisms that enter and invade the body. The immune system is made up of a complex network of cells that attack and destroy unwanted pathogens. These cells consist of lymphocytes, which are a type of white blood cell that defends against invading microorganisms such as allergy causing pollen and dust.
The lymphatic system is made up of a network of lymphatic vessels that carry lymphocytes to and from different areas in the body. Various lymphocyte ‘factories’ are located throughout the body. For example, the adenoids, thymus, tonsils, and spleen are just a few places in the body which produce these specialized white blood cells.
Allergens can enter the body in numerous ways. They can be inhaled, ingested, or enter through the skin. Common allergic reactions, such as hay fever, trigger the antibody production called immunoglobulin E (IgE). IgE antibodies react against specific pollens and other allergens. That is why someone may be allergic to one type of pollen but not another.
When a person is exposed to an allergen, the body overreacts and starts producing a large quantity of IgE antibodies specific to the allergen. The excess IgE antibodies release chemicals causing symptoms in the nose, lungs, throat, or on the skin. The excess mucus production is meant to help trap the allergy causing invaders, such as pollen, for easy removal.
I never had an allergic reaction until I had a bike accident and injured my head and neck. Once I got my head on straight with upper cervical chiropractic care all my allergies went away.
Sinus pressure points to help
There are two places on the face you can apply pressure to for relief:
#1 Using the index fingers of each hand, apply pressure to the outside corner of each nostril. This will help open up nostril passages.
#2 Using the index fingers and thumbs of each hand, apply pressure to the inside edge of each eyebrow. This will help relieve pressure above the eyes.
You should spend about three minutes holding each point, for a total of 6 minutes.
This video provides a more in-depth demonstration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zaoGDKqoLhA&t=45s
Breathe deeply as you apply pressure and enjoy using the essential oils I will list below.
Nasal irrigation provides natural relief from cold and allergy symptoms.
It works by rinsing out the nasal cavity with a saline solution. This helps to wash out mucus and trapped allergens.
You can purchase a prefilled container, a bulb syringe, or neti pot.
For a bulb syringe or neti pot, you will need to buy a saline solution powder or make your own. Start with 1-2 cups of warm sterile water, and add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of non-iodized salt, and a pinch of baking soda. To get into position, lean forward over the sink, at about a 45-degree angle without pointing your head back. Tilt your head so that one nostril is pointed down toward the sink. Place the spout or tip of your chosen container just inside your nose. With your mouth open, release the liquid while breathing through your mouth. The solution will run through your nasal passages and drain out of your other nostril. Gently blow your nose to clear out the remaining solution before repeating in the other nostril.
Herbal supplements can be taken as a capsule or tea.
Here is a list of some great ones to try:
-Green tea is a natural antihistamine. Sip two cups a day for about 2 weeks before the development of allergy symptoms to avoid congestion.
-Butterbur extract has been useful for treating coughs, asthma, hay fever, and headaches.
-Licorice root helps boost natural steroid production in the body to help loosen mucus.
-Stinging nettles can be taken in capsule form or as a tea. And great news, this natural antihistamine doesn't make you drowsy!
-Quercetin is an anti-inflammatory which helps boost immune function.
One of my favorite products is called Natural D-Hist. There is a children and adult version. It is a targeted blend of flavonoids, antioxidants, proteolytic enzymes, and botanicals. This formula includes quercetin, bromelain, stinging nettles leaf, and N-acetyl cysteine. If you would like more information about my Allergy Relief Kit you can email me.
Essential oils to combat inflammation
As I mentioned, the human body responds in a certain way to an allergen because the immune system is in overdrive. The imbalance of the immune system and inflammation result in exaggerated symptoms related to allergens.
Essential oils can help! Essential oils have the ability to fight inflammation and boost the immune system. Try the following:
Inhaling diffused peppermint oil can immediately unclog the sinuses. Peppermint oil also acts as an expectorant to discharge phlegm and reduce inflammation. Diffuse five drops of peppermint essential oil or take 1–2 drops of pure peppermint essential oil internally once a day.
Basil oil helps to reduce the inflammatory response of allergens, detoxify the body of bacteria and viruses, all while fighting pain and fatigue. Take one drop of basil oil internally by adding it to a meal.
This powerful oil opens up the lungs and sinuses reducing symptoms of allergies. It also works as an expectorant. Diffuse five drops of eucalyptus at your home or office.
It is recommended to avoid the following foods during allergy season:
- Conventional dairy
- Artificial sweeteners
- Processed foods
- Sunflower seeds
- Bottled citrus juice
These foods can worsen allergy symptoms and trigger allergic responses in your system. Remember, the goal of reducing allergy triggering foods is to lighten the overall burden on your immune system.
Some foods to enjoy during allergy season that can benefit your health, include:
- Raw local honey
- Hot and spicy foods
- Bone broth
- Probiotic-rich foods
- Apple cider vinegar
- Fresh organic vegetables
- Grass-fed meats
- Free-range poultry
- Wild-caught fish
These foods can help relieve your symptoms while strengthening your immune system!
Try these recipes to relieve allergy symptoms
NETTLE PEPPERMINT TEA
-1 teaspoon of dried peppermint OR 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh peppermint
-1 teaspoon of dried nettle leaf OR 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh nettle leaf
-Honey and lemon to taste (optional)
-8 ounces of fresh water
Simply steep leaves for 10-15 minutes
Add honey to taste
Drink 2 times daily as needed for allergy relief
HONEY GINGER TEA
2 1-inch chunks of fresh ginger
2 slices fresh Lemon
1 tbsp. raw local Honey
1 tbsp. organic raw apple cider vinegar
1 qt. filtered Water
Simmer ginger and water for 10 minutes
Add remaining ingredients to steep for 10 minutes
Drink warm or cold
What if you were able to find the underlying cause of your allergies and eliminate the cause so that your body could truly heal? If you're interested in seeing if we can help you, don’t let time pass you by; just email me today at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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I hope my column speaks to you and you can wake up each morning with a purpose. What I do every day is a calling, and I give God the glory for allowing His gifts to work through me. I do believe in miracles, because I get to see them every day! For more information you can go to www.nomoremedsmovement.com and sign up for my closed Facebook group #NoMoreMeds-Community for more healthy tips.
Dr. Corinne Weaver
Dr. Corinne Weaver is a compassionate upper cervical chiropractor, educator, motivational speaker, mother of three, and internationally bestselling author. In 2004, she founded the Upper Cervical Wellness Center in Indian Trail, North Carolina. Over the last 13 years, she has helped thousands of clients restore their brain to-body function. When she was 10 years old, she lost her own health as the result of a bike accident that led to having asthma and allergy issues that she thought she would always have to endure. Then, after her first upper cervical adjustment at age 21, her health began to improve thanks to upper cervical care and natural herbal remedies. This enabled her to create a drug-free wellness lifestyle for herself and her family, and she also enthusiastically discovered her calling to help children heal naturally.
Dr. Weaver was recently named one of Charlotte Magazine's "Top Doctors" in 2016 and is now a number-one internationally bestselling author to two books: Learning How to Breathe and No More Meds.
Upper Cervical Wellness Center is known for finding the root cause of health concerns through lifestyle changes, diagnostic testing, nutraceutical supplementation, and correction of subluxation (as opposed to just medicating the symptoms). The practice offers cutting-edge technological care at its state-of-the-art facility, including laser-aligned upper cervical X-rays, bioimpedance analysis (measures body composition), digital thermography (locates thermal abnormalities characterized by skin inflammation), and complete nutritional blood analysis, which is focused on disease prevention.