Do you suffer from itchy, watery eyes, sneezing, or sinus congestion during certain times of the year, or maybe even year round? Seasonal Allergies affect more than 40 million Americans and cost over 1 billion dollars in treatment cost annually. This adds up to a lot of people searching for relief. If you know what triggers the symptoms you get, you can form a plan of action in your battle with allergies.
An allergic reaction is when your body’s immune system reacts to what it believes to be a harmful substance. The body releases histamines to subdue what it sees as an invader. This harmful substance is usually something common such as pollen, grass, weeds etc. Different people will suffer from seasonal allergies at different times, depending on what their bodies interpret as foreign. Some may suffer from spring allergies when it seems everything is in bloom, others may only suffer when certain plant pollens are in the air, such as the red cedar bloom in Texas. Other unfortunate souls suffer seasonal allergies all year through, going from one allergic reaction to the next.
As each allergic sufferer has different substances that trigger reactions, each may suffer in a different way. The body’s immune system can produce watery eyes, stuffy nose and sinus headaches to name a few of the many symptoms. It is the immune system’s way to rid the body of the substance it sees as hostile.
Over the counter allergy medications and prescription drugs that you can get from your doctor are options that many people use. There are also natural alternatives for seasonal allergy symptoms that may be used to provide relief without unwanted side effects, including some that help make your immune system stronger in order to fight the underlying causes.
It is always advised to discuss natural alternatives with your doctor. The first step you will want to evaluate is your diet. The way to a healthy immune system is initially through proper nutrition. Ensure you have a varied diet full of nutrient rich fruits, vegetables and whole grains that help all of your body systems to function at optimum levels and allow you to better combat seasonal allergies.
Certain vitamins and minerals can aid in allergy relief. Vitamin C has been shown in studies to help alleviate seasonal allergy reactions. It is a natural antihistamine. Vitamin E is an antioxidant. This means it can fight free radicals causing allergies. It can also help the immune system. Magnesium can be helpful in allergy relief. Studies have shown many people seeking season allergy relief are deficient in magnesium. Once the level is raised the sufferer notices less symptoms.
Of course it is ideal to get these through your diet. Citrus fruit and broccoli are good sources of Vitamin C. Vitamin E can be found in whole grains and food such as spinach. Magnesium is located in green leafy vegetables as well as nuts. If you do not have these in your diet consider supplements.
Natural interferon immune builders help the body fight symptoms of allergies, and also work to fight the underlying causes of allergies. Echinacea is an herb that stimulates the body’s natural resistance to foreign invaders, giving the immune system what it needs to stay strong. It is taken for short periods, such as a week at a time, to supercharge the immune system. Other herbs that can be found in combination with echinacea are black elderberry and larch tree; both help the body maintain a healthy immune response.
Probiotics are healthy bacteria that work in our intestines to strengthen our immune system. Probiotics are especially helpful after a course of antibiotics or if your immune system is run down. The use of probiotics has increased significantly in the past five to ten years, and is one of the fastest growing supplements. Seasonal allergies affect many people. Taking a few simple natural steps may help those who suffer find measurable relief during allergy season, and all year long since we are constantly exposed to free radicals, illnesses, disease, and pollution of different kinds including toxins and chemicals.
Pharmaceutical grade vitamins, herbs and other natural supplements may provide better results than lesser quality brands because the ingredients have to meet higher standards and the absorption rate is better because pharmaceutical grade products have delivery sytems that help the body utilize the nutrients.