Allergy season is upon us. While food allergies are a big part of my practice, so too are environmental. Environmental allergies, those of which are caused by pollen, dust mites, mold spores, grass, trees shrubs, etc., can cause symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing, red, watery eyes, wheezing, swelling and skin rashes. We can also include medication allergies manifesting as such too. Food allergies can manifest similarly but more often present with gas, bloating, weight gain, fatigue, joint pain, depression, and insomnia.
While medications are used to treat both types of allergies, they are often wrought with side effects like fatigue and stomach upset. Allergy shots have proven effective for some, but most patients do well with natural treatments for allergies and simple approaches. Firstly, lab testing should be done to determine what patients are allergic to, both food and environmental. This is routinely done at the Salerno Center. Secondly, all food items which test positive should be avoided for at least six weeks, more for highly allergic foods. They are then brought back slowly one item at a time, one week at a time. L-glutamine found in Salerno GI Factor, as well as strong probiotics, will help dramatically! Digestive enzymes are also often required.
Environmental allergies require a good HEPA filter, particularly in your bedroom, as avoiding trees and pollens are obviously difficult. Saline nasal sprays or sprays with xylitol are affective for rhinitis. One of my favorite compounds is a product called Seasonal Factor, which we often use at the Salerno Center. Quercetin, an antioxidant found in onion skin, broccoli, and green tea, is an excellent antihistamine. It is the main ingredient in Seasonal Factor. Nettle, also found there, is a potent antihistamine as well. N-acetyl cysteine is another antioxidant that acts to thin mucous secretions and makes it easier to discharge them. The combination of these three products plus Bromelain, which reduces inflammation, and vitamin C, make Seasonal Factor among the best natural treatments for environmental allergies. I’ll often add our strong Probiotic Factor as well as butterbur as a powerful regimen against allergies with little to no side effects.
Of course, it is equally as important for all forms of allergies to avoid sugary foods, keep the diet low carb, and eat foods that are high in natural antihistamines such as onions, cauliflower, broccoli, and citrus fruits—assuming you are not allergic to them!