“Aaachoo”, as my 18-month-old now likes to mimic! It is that time of year when the flowers are in bloom and tree pollens are floating in the air. For many, springtime brings a fresh breath of air. For others, that air feels anything but refreshing!
Sneezing, itchy eyes, and a runny nose are what those with allergies may associate with spring. Even people who don’t get seasonal allergies every year might find that after a wet winter, followed by an abundance of trees and grasses in bloom, they may begin to suffer.
Here’s a basic lesson in how allergies produce symptoms in our bodies. There is an allergen (for example, pollen from a tree or grass) that comes in contact with the tissue of the respiratory tract and eyes. This exposure causes the immune system to overreact to something from the outside world that it should be able to tolerate. This over-active immune response leads to the release of the chemical, histamine, which causes a runny nose, itchy eyes, and sneezing.
Allergies vs COVID?
For those of you who have intermittent allergies or are noticing that your child is experiencing such symptoms for the first time, it can be hard to determine whether symptoms are seasonal allergies or the start of a cold. This year it may be even more essential to try to determine the difference between COVID related symptoms and allergy symptoms.
Acute onset, fever, digestive involvement and rapid worsening of symptoms are more likely to be caused by infectious disease (whether COVID or something else). In contrast, allergy symptoms generally present more gradually, worsen in the outdoors, last longer, and are accompanied by other symptoms that are not commonly associated with viral infections, such as itchy and watery eyes.
Oh, It’s Allergies
Maybe you have the same routine that you do each year that keeps you protected and feeling well. Or maybe you are looking for more natural ways to keep your symptoms at bay. Wherever you find yourself, we have put together a quick go-to guide to help you to understand what is available to treat seasonal allergies—and when you may need a bit more help from us!
Our integrative and multi-pronged approach can be very effective in helping you or your child find seasonal allergy relief!
The Natural Supplement Line Up
1. D-Hist & D-Hist Junior
This contains Quercetin, Stinging Nettle, Bromelain and N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC).
- Quercetin: used to stabilize the mast cell which releases histamine when destabilized
- Stinging Nettle: works to slow down mast cell destabilization, slowing the amount of histamine released at one time
- Bromelain: an enzyme that breaks down allergenic proteins floating in the bloodstream
- NAC: an amino acid precursor to glutathione which decreases mucous thickness
2. Omega 3 Fatty Acids & Gama-Linoleic Acid
- Omega 3 fatty acids work to decrease overall inflammation
- Borage oil contains a fatty acid, GLA (Gama -Linoleic acid), that decreases inflammation, especially in the skin
3. Clear Life Allergy Nasal Spray
- A homeopathic nasal spray that reduces inflammation of the sinus passages and thins mucous
4. Vitamin D
- Essential for an optimally functioning immune system
Seasonal Allergy Support
We have created two seasonal allergy bundles to make finding natural relief easy for you and your children this season.
You can choose & view your options through our Fullscript online store below. Adults and children over 12 can generally follow product label instruction. Please set up an appointment to consult with us about your younger children since dosing will vary.
If you suffer from chronic allergies, you may also have a go-to list of not-so-natural remedies to combat your symptoms. Some people may need to use some pharmaceuticals if natural supplements are not working quickly or completely enough to eliminate their symptoms.
We can assist you to find a way to use these medications appropriately and sparingly, while helping to address the underlying cause of your allergy symptoms.
The Pharmaceutical Line Up
1. Long-acting, Non-Sedating Antihistamines
These medications, such as Claritin, Zyrtec or Allegra, work to block the site on the cell where histamines could attach to cause allergy symptoms. These newer drugs generally have fewer side effects and do not cause the same drowsiness as older antihistamines (such as Benadryl).
2. Short-acting, Complete Antihistamines
Short-acting antihistamines, such as Benadryl, can be more effective than the long-acting antihistamines listed above, but they do cause more side effects such as drowsiness and behavioral issues. These are generally used only when the long-acting antihistamine is not providing enough relief. These may also be used following an acute exposure, such as after a bee-sting or ingestion of food allergen.
3. Nasal spray
Pharmaceutical nasal sprays help to decrease inflammation topically in the nasal mucosa, the most common site of symptoms.
- Azelastine is a topical nasal antihistamine
- Flonase (Fluticasone) is a mild nasal steroid
How can we help?
We are available in the office to answers your questions and help you figure out how to:
- Determine if you are experiencing cold and flu symptoms or allergy symptoms
- Transition you off your daily antihistamine and steroids to something more natural, when possible
- Tailor a holistic protocol that fits your individual needs
- Support and optimize your immune system so you are more resilient when exposed to allergens
- Discuss the possibility of allergy or other testing if you are struggling to find relief
Please reach out if we can serve you and your family in any way as we navigate this season together.