Summer is finally here! Warm weather, luscious green plants and bright blue skies are a much-awaited change after the winter we have had. In true Alberta fashion, the transition from winter to summer happened overnight. Unless of course you suffer from seasonal allergies and this change was prolonged and brought along pain and suffering. The sneezing, wheezing, runny nose, itchy, watery red eyes and headaches are all common with seasonal allergies.
Allergies are your immune system responding to something it considers foreign in your body. Seasonal allergies to pollen (hay fever), spores and molds can affect the respiratory system and cause the typical symptoms listed above. However, if the allergen is something you’re constantly exposed to then, the allergies can last all year long.
From a Naturopathic Medicine perspective, allergies are associated with a weak immune system, poor digestive system and weak adrenals. Our digestive system has a large part of our immune system located within it and hence the relationship of allergies with the digestive system.
From a treatment perspective the goals are to improve the digestive system and ensure proper functioning, strengthen the immune system and replenish the adrenals. It is ideal that treatment for seasonal allergies starts 1-2 months prior to help strengthen the immune system and decrease the severity of the symptoms. There is no single magic cure because each persons seasonal allergies are due to a combination of the above 3 factors so the treatment has to be individualized for it to be effective.
Good health can drastically decrease allergy symptoms and the most important foundation for good health is proper and healthy nutrition. A well balanced diet should be consumed especially removing all known food allergens. Hydration is key and one should drink half their body weight in ounces each day in water (e.g. A 160 lb. person should drink 80 oz. or 10 cups a day). It is also important to limit the intake of refined sugars, processed foods and refined foods. A very gentle detox can help decrease symptoms as it aids the body in removal of toxic substances from the entire body.
Exercise natural boosts the immune system so regular exercise can go a ways to help decrease your symptoms. Stress can play a role in allergies in some people so it is important to have healthy stress relief methods. Exercise is great for this as well.
Overall, the natural approach to allergies consists of a whole body approach and uses a combination of lifestyle, dietary and botanical approaches.
Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine in Okotoks and Calgary.
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102 Elma Street
Okotoks AB T1S 1J9
Phone: 403 938 1138