It seems El Niño is getting the blame this year for all the people suffering with allergic symptoms. I'm not sure if anyone really knows if this is the case but certainly my clients have had their fair share of headache, earache, head congestion, fatigue and other allergy related symptoms without a lot of relief. Some have even suffered with flu-like symptoms.
Over the last decade "allergy" has become a fashionable diagnosis, like mononucleosis was to the '70s & '80s and tonsillitis with the ensuing tonsillectomy was to the '40s and '50s. It isn't any wonder we have so much difficulty with allergies these days with the plethora of chemically-processed foods and other irritants our overburdened livers have to neutralize.
But how does one gain control of their allergic symptoms without living in a bubble? Believe it or not it can be done! When clients first present themselves to my office, determined to conquer their allergy symptoms by means other than over-the-counter medications, the task feels a little daunting. Accurate diagnosis is obviously vital for the treatment of every illness but this is especially true in the case of allergies. With so many causes of allergy from airborne particles to foods, chemicals, animals, grasses a list too long to mention, how does one accurately peg what's bothering them? Of course one can go to the allergist and be tested or, with a little patience and time, you can more accurately and completely map it for yourself.
First things first! Clean up your diet and your air space. Remove from your diet highly processed dead foods, all dairy as it is difficult for the body to digest, if not impossible and reduce the amount of meat you eat. Be suspicious of the foods you use every day such as wheat, corn and processed sugars. Contrary to popular belief, it is not the foods we eat occasionally or rarely that cause us difficulty but the ones we are using every day. Get rid of air fresheners, aerosols, fabric softeners, perfumes and other chemicals that invade your personal air space.
What does this have to do with ragweed and pollen allergies? a great deal. Think of what's going on in your body this way. If you see your body as a large chemical factory, which indeed it is, everything taken into the factory in a day's time, whether it enters into our body through the air, our intestinal tract or through the skin will have to be processed. Most of the processing goes on in the liver. If these highly chemicalized foods, etc., cannot be broken down into simpler compounds and released through the kidneys or bowel, the body will have to do something with them so it stores them. When the organs of detoxification, namely the kidneys and liver, become overloaded with stored toxins, we begin to suffer allergiclike symptoms. Everything from a runny nose to post nasal drip, right on down the line.
In simple terms, lighten the load. It may be that your allergy to ragweed, grasses or molds that are so prevalent this time of year are what they call fixed or permanent, but if the rest of the "load" is lightened, you may be nicely surprised just how few antihistamines or allergy medications you will need.
A natural approach to allergy relief does take time and some responsibility on your part, including a daily journal to find out what your biggest bug-a-boos are. It's worth it. Take it from someone whose medicine cabinet wouldn't have been without Benadryl®, Sudafed® and several other potions, literally yearround. It does work; the fix is more permanent and I haven't faced down an over-the-counter allergy medicine now in several years even during ragweed season!
Next week, in part two, I'll take a look at some herbal and other remedies for temporary relief of allergy symptoms.
Till next time, Rebecca.