Twice a year, just like clockwork, allergy season comes around—spring and fall—the dreaded allergies strike. I remember a time when I first moved to New York, I wondered what all the fuss was about. Never one to suffer the runny nose, scratchy eyes, pounding headache and that “jumping out of your skin feeling” that all allergy sufferers know only too well. Happy in my allergy-free smugness, I thought I was immune. That didn’t last long! Now, twice a year it starts. I kid myself it’s just a cold coming on, but no, it’s allergies. Over the years I have tried to ignore it, but it can be a pretty miserable time. I always feel like a bit of a fraud because I know I’m not sick, but darn, I feel pretty lousy.
The challenge around the fall is to decide if it really is allergies. Fall aliments can have very similar symptoms, so it can be difficult deciding if you have a cold, allergies or sinus infection. The one thing you can probably be sure about is if you develop a sudden fever, feel achy all over and can barely lift your head off the pillow, odds are you have the flu.
There are some typical symptoms that can help you sort out the likely cause:
• Sniffling and sneezing
• Itchy eyes, ears or throat
• Clear mucus
• Cloudy mucous
• A slight fever
• Bad breath
• Pressure in your face, or tooth pain
• Symptoms that persist for more than 10 days
• Sniffling and sneezing
• Sore throat
• Symptoms for less than 10 days
Now, you have hopefully decided why you feel so crappy, what can you do about it, especially if the option is not to take to your bed and pull the covers over your head?
Some general tips for these seasonal ailments include:
1. Boost your immune system.
By keeping your immune system in good shape, even if you can’t avoid getting sick, you will be able to deal with the symptoms and recover faster than if you have a weak or compromised immune system. Natural immune boosters include:
• A good probiotic with a therapeutic dose of CFU’s – try Vidazorb® chewable probiotics. They taste great, do not require refrigeration and each chew delivers 10 billion CFU’s.
• Reishi mushrooms are another great immune booster, Mushroom Wisdom is a good brand to try.
• Eat a diet rich in immune boosting fruits and vegetables including dark leafy green, watercress, berries and acai.
• Sleep, give the body a chance to restore itself. If you are having trouble sleeping try a natural sleep aid like RelaxZen, Homeostasis Labs Sleep Remedy or Rescue Sleep. These will help you relax and drift into a natural sleep without waking up groggy the next day.
2. Clean up your indoor air
Indoor air can be up to ten times more polluted than outdoor air and this can be a trigger for allergies and asthma. If you cover smells with conventional air fresheners it can have the effect of masking the pollutants and may even act as an irritant. Certain houseplants can help freshen the air, removing up to 90% of the toxins from the room. NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America have a list of common plants they tested to determine the best natural filters. The list includes Mums, gerbera daises and the peace lily.
Some specific remedies to relieve symptoms include:
• Amrita Headache Reliever – an aromatherapy roll on that smells great and works fast
• Homeostasis Headache Relief – a homeopathic remedy that I swear by. Works faster than any OTC headache reliever I have ever used
• Homeostasis Allergy Relief – really keeps all the nasty symptoms under control (they also have Cough and Cold Relief formulas for adults and children)
• Zinc Lozenges help to lessen cold symptoms, as does Zicam
• Neti-pot or nasal wash like Nasopure to flush out the nasal passages and reduce allergens
• Water – keep well hydrated
• Chicken soup—it may just be a comfort food, but if it makes you feel better why not!
Avoid foods and beverages that can exacerbate symptoms:
• Dairy – increases mucous and inflammation
• Wheat – get tested for wheat allergies. If you are allergic, eating wheat will only make you feel worse
• Alcohol – wait until you feel better
• Cut back on coffee, switch to green tea for the duration. If you can’t survive without the caffeine try GreenCoffex a natural green coffee extract.
If your symptoms are persisting, see your physician, you may need prescription medication. Just remember any antibiotic regimen needs to be followed with probiotics to repopulate the good flora. Check out www.vidazorb.com for more information on antibiotics and probiotics.
A little prevention is worth a lot of cure, so stay healthy and allergy-free this Fall.