Allergies Making You Miserable?
If you suffer from seasonal allergies like me, you’ll appreciate this post. Over the last decade, I’ve been to three allergy and asthma specialists. All tested me extensively for allergies, and results concluded that I’m pretty much allergic to everything on the planet.
How to Survive the Allergy Season
Update: 3/15/15 – I’ve started drinking nettle tea (loose leaf) after reading about its numerous health benefits and anti-allergy properties. Stay tuned for updates over the next few months – I’ll be your guinea pig. Let’s see if this tea does the trick with seasonal allergies.
There are no easy fixes for allergies; they’re not curable but there are ways you can build your immune system to build more tolerance. It is also helpful to start off with a skin prick test to determine what you’re allergic to. For instance, I never knew until last year that I was allergic to tree nuts. Now, I do a pretty good job with avoiding nuts and other foods that tend worsen my symptoms (e.g. cow’s milk, soy milk, processed foods, etc.). It’s not been easy but my allergies are much more manageable than they used to be.
To build your immune system, drink lots of water and get extra rest if you need it. This is so important, so listen to your body. Don’t hesitate to take time off work, if at all possible. The pollen seasons seem to get more intense every year (scientific evidence backs this up), so don’t wait until you’re absolutely exhausted to take action. Try to reduce the amount of processed foods you eat and find ways to reduce stress. Also explore foods that will help build up your system (e.g. fresh garlic, onions, cilantro, lemons, leafy veggies, etc.). Processed foods will not give your body quality nutrients to stay strong. Try to keep these to a minimum.
I can tell you that I’ve been struggling with staying in shape lately; I just love to go for walks and jog outdoors when I can. However, last night when I tried to go for an easy jog in my neighborhood, the pollen got the best of me. So, I’ve gotta give my body a break and turn to indoor workouts for now. No excuses and I’m starting tomorrow morning before work! There are so many DVD workouts available, which makes it easy to squeeze in a quick indoor workout before or after work. Give DVDs a try, or check out fitness books, blogs for indoor workout inspiration.
Allergy medications do help control symptoms but will likely give you side effects. I’ve been in zombie-mode for the last week, which stinks but at least I’m able to function. Nasal rinsing is a great way to help alleviate some of the pollen and face masks are a last resort if you need to protect yourself on the days when pollen counts are ridiculously high. There are also herbal treatments that any health food store or apothecary consultant can recommend (e.g. Elderberry, Oregano Oil, etc.). Allergists also offer immunotherapy, which is a treatment plan consisting of regular allergy shots to help your body build a natural resistance to the things you’re allergic to. What’s worked best for me is a combination of antihistamines, nasal spray and self-care. Eating a clean diet, and drinking a lot of water also helps me feel better during allergy season.
I still suffer horribly but it would be so much worse if I hadn’t made a lot of lifestyle changes over the years. I remember years ago I would miss many days of work at a time because my symptoms were so out of control! Swollen eyes, constant sneezing, it was complete mayhem and foolishness. If your allergies are making you absolutely miserable, some of these suggestions may help but I’d definitely get medical advice so you can get on the path to relief. 🙂