Now that it is allergy season once again here are some helpful tips to keep your respiratory and sinuses clear.
When looking to control allergy symptoms, there are many steps to limit your exposure to pollen. We have included some tips to help alleviate your allergy symptoms by minimizing exposure to pollen inside and outside of your home, a hand reflexology tip to encourage sinus drainage, interesting information on how allergies can be controlled through food and also nutritional supplements to help build up the immunity system.
When your immune system overreacts to a foreign stimulant, it is called an allergic reaction. An immune response to a foreign invader, such as a fever to kill a virus, is an indication of a healthy immune system. When you have a strong reaction to flower pollen, your immune system may overreact. Close to one-fourth of the population have allergies to things like pollen, mold and other stimulants, especially during spring and fall.
Symptoms vary from itchy eyes and throat, sneezing, runny nose, sinus congestion, asthma, post-nasal drip, headaches, and diarrhea. Some of these symptoms are known as allergic rhinitis (hay fever). In the case of allergies, many take antihistamines, which is a decongestant or some other drug to get rid of allergy symptoms, but you may want to take a healthier route by going to the root of the problem, not just relieving the symptoms.
Interesting allergy risk factors –
- Children who are fed solid foods too early or receive antibiotic therapy within the first two years of life are more likely to develop respiratory and food allergies.
- Exposure to cigarette smoke and other environmental pollutants is another strong indicator of increased allergy risk.
- Low intake of antioxidants (found in various foods, particularly certain fruits and vegetables) may also increase allergy risk.
- Low gastric acid secretion and intestinal overgrowth of yeast may contribute to allergy onset as well.
Tips to help keep your sinuses healthy
• Wear a mask while doing yard work or gardening
• Drink plenty of hydrating fluids such as water
• If your pets have been out all day, they may carry pollens, change air conditioner filters
• Wash your hair at the end of the day to not transfer pollen to your pillow
• Wear sunglasses to help reduce pollen coming into contact with your eyes; vacation where there is less pollen such as the beach
• Exercise at the beginning or at the end of the day when the pollen count is lower.
Hand Reflexology Tip
To get the sinuses to flowing and to relieve discomforts, there are reflexes on both hands that encourage sinus drainage. These reflexes are located at the base of each finger and thumb. With your thumb and first finger, hold each side of the finger at the base and gently squeeze for 5 seconds. If there is tenderness, instead of holding for 5, hold for 8, or until the tenderness subsides. Repeat this step for every finger and thumb.
In addition to these steps, you may want to look at your diet as a means for controlling your allergy symptoms. A study of 35 patients conducted in the Journal of Asthma found a positive correlation between allergy relief and vegetarian or vegan diets. In a clinical observation, 92% of patients who followed a vegan diet for one year reported a reduction in respiratory symptoms.
Food triggers that can aggravate allergy symptoms that have been closely linked to respiratory allergies include:
• Dairy products
• Food additives including artificial dyes and colorants
• Food preservatives – sulfites and benzoates
Antioxidants and Nutritional Supplements
When an allergy sufferer is experiencing a daily battle against the environment their sinuses, eyes, mucous membranes, and specific portions of the respiratory tract are all inflamed. Calming down the inflammation can ease allergy symptoms. Some people have found Fish Oil, and Cod Liver Oil (both are omega three fatty acids) may reduce inflammation and allergic response. In this case, cod liver oil may be beneficial since it also contains vitamin A. Vitamin A improves the immune system and repairs mucous membranes.
Fish oil also has a positive calming effect on inflammatory ailments as well as the enzyme, Bromelain that derives from the juices and stems of pineapple.
Increase intake of antioxidants is essential to prevent free radicals, which are often elevated in allergy and asthma suffers. Consuming a diet rich in fatty acid foods such as cold water fish, also include flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, garlic, onion, ginger, rosemary, curcumin (turmeric) and the herb Bowellia. Other free radical quenching antioxidants are Vitamin E, Selenium, and Crotenoids. Another consideration is Vitamin C, which is the most important dietary antioxidants for the protections of the lungs. People who suffer from allergic rhinitis usually have low levels of vitamin C.
Eating a diet rich in antioxidants like green vegetables, fruits, berries and drinking beverages such as tea, red wine, and fruit juices are rich sources of beneficial antioxidants known as Flavonoids that can protect against damage to blood vessels, thus decreasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
As always talk to your doctor about the different ways to relieve allergy symptoms naturally.
About the writer – Helen Chin Lui is a Certified Reflexologist, Certified Energy Medicine and Chakra Balancing Practitioner, Reiki Master and Teacher. Helen is the owner of the Healing Place in Medfield, Massachusetts, USA. She specializes in helping adults to find long-term relief from chronic pain, chronic digestive problems and balances hormones naturally. If you are interest how Reflexology and Reiki can help you to alleviate chronic pain, digestive pain, and balance hormones naturally, please schedule a FREE consultation online or call 508 359-6463.
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