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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Alternative Remedies for Seasonal Allergies

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Ah, spring...finally, the cold, dreary, and short days of winter are behind us and now we can start heading outdoors to enjoy the sunshine and blooming flowers, but your allergies are holding you back.  You may only spend a few minutes outdoors each day during the spring to avoid the allergens, but you still suffer from the usual symptoms of sinusitis and rhinitis.

Your body is confused - it thinks the pollen that makes our grasses and plants so beautiful is a fungus and tries to ward off the foreign invaders by releasing histamine.  This histamine response increases inflammation and here comes the headaches, itchy eyes, runny/stuffy nose, etc.

You buy over-the-counter or, if severe enough, prescription medications, but your symptoms improve only slightly and now you're experiencing some of the side effects commonly caused by these drugs (drowsiness, headaches, etc.).  All of these medications only treat your symptoms; they don't treat the actual cause of your conditions and, oftentimes, your conditions may worsen because your body adapts to the medication and increases its immune response (see study using nasal spray with worsening of conditions here).

There has been a large amount of research done lately to find natural alternative treatments for allergies due to the lack of improvement or worsen of conditions in several patients.  This article, published in the Alternative Medicine Review by Steve Helms, ND and Alan Miller, ND, provides an overview on the pros/cons of conventional treatments as well alternative treatments such as nutrients, botanicals, and therapeutic methods.

Whitney and I have never had to buy OTC or prescription medications for our allergies and I firmly believe it's due to the supplements we use to serve as anti-inflammatories and proactively treat the causes of allergic conditions.  Below we share a few of the products we use.  If you have any questions about anything listed here you can email us at whitneycarlsonfitness@gmail.com.

Please note that if you are interested in ordering any of these products, you can contact us at whitneycarlsonfitness@gmail.com for more details.  By contacting us directly, we can offer you special DISCOUNTS and PROMOTIONS that are available to our readers.  We can also answer any questions that you may have regarding these products and other supplements. If you purchase using the links provided it will ask "were you referred by a friend", please enter whitneycarlsonfitness@gmail.com.


Isotonix® Bromelain Plus

Bromelain is a derivative of pineapple fruit and has been extremely effective at thinning mucus and reducing inflammation in individuals with rhinitis and sinusitis.  One study reported 85% of patients with complete resolution of nasal inflammation using just bromelain (source listed below - see #1).  Bromelain has also been shown to thin nasal secretions to assist with the buildup of mucus which is the most frustrating symptom of sinusitis.

Isotonix Bromelain Plus also includes white willow bark and protease which will help improve immune function which is why I believe this is one of the best products on the market to help you fight your allergies and much better than OTC antihistamines that blunt immune function.


Isotonix® Vitamin C

When your body's vitamin C levels drop, histamine levels will increase dramatically.  This increase in histamine levels are what causes headaches, runny nose, and sneezing during allergy season.  Vitamin C can quickly combat increased histamine levels because it prevents the production of histamine by white blood cells.  So, when spring rolls around, start taking about 1,500-2,000 mg of vitamin C per day.  In this study, 74% of patients using a vitamin C treatment saw symptoms decrease.

Because this product is isotonic rather than pill form, it is absorbed quickly (no binders or fillers) putting it good use right away. Quit suffering from those irritating headaches and start taking some extra vitamin C!


A British study comparing the effectiveness of Zyrtec to butterbur found almost no significant difference between the two products in clinical trial groups over a two week period.  Almost all patients in both groups saw improvement in their conditions, but the butterbur group did not report the adverse side effects (drowsiness and fatigue) the Zyrtec group reported.


Isotonix® Daily Essentials Kit

This kit includes four products (Multivitamin, Activated B-Complex, Calcium Plus, and OPC-3) to help keep your immune system optimized while providing all the essential nutrients your body needs on a daily basis (as revealed by its namesake).  Seasonal allergies can be proactively controlled by having your immune system in check and by using a great antioxidant formula like OPC-3 (see my post on OPC-3 here - it is by far the most effective supplement I've ever used!).


Nasal irrigation is a very effective way to clear the sinuses and get immediate relief for your symptoms.  If your symptoms are pretty severe, you may want to consider using this system (check out the reviews - nearly 5 stars across 450+ reviews!).  The Alternative Medicine Review article suggests using irrigation 1-3 times daily for up to 6 weeks.

This system is fairly expensive ($80), so you may want to consider purchasing the Nasopure Nasal Wash System for $15.

Other Natural Options:

As you know, we like to take a holistic approach when it comes to health and nutrition, so you may want to consider doing the following to completely take control of your allergies:
  1. Purchase an air purifier and keep your HVAC air filters in your home changed every 30 days if you have severe allergies and pets and at least every 60 days if you don't have any pets and don't suffer from severe allergies.
  2. Try to avoid pet dander as much as possible.  We all love our furry friends, but try to keep their dander under control - consider having certain areas of your home "off-limits" to pets so you have places in your home with cleaner air.  You may want to have your carpets cleaned more regularly - definitely after the temperatures start rising and your pets start shedding.
  3. Eat clean(er) - avoid dairy, corn, and gluten - studies show these items exacerbate the conditions caused by seasonal allergies.  Eating clean will ensure that your body's immune function is working properly.
  4. If you have severe allergies, cut back on high histamine foods - red wine (all fermented beverages), ketchup, red meats, cheeses, and citrus fruits are among the highest histamine foods.
  5. Consume more local and raw honey - it's not yet proven, but it could work!
Do you suffer from allergies?  Have you tried any alternative treatments?  If so, we'd love to hear about them...post in the comment section to add to this discussion.

-Scott

Please note that if you are interested in ordering any of these products, you can contact us at whitneycarlsonfitness@gmail.com for more details.  By contacting us directly, we can offer you special DISCOUNTS and PROMOTIONS that are available to our readers.  We can also answer any questions that you may have regarding these products and other supplements. If you purchase using the links provided it will ask "were you referred by a friend", please enter whitneycarlsonfitness@gmail.com.

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product(s) is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

** As always, check with your doctor or healthcare professional prior to taking on a supplement regimen or testing products to treat medical conditions.  We are not health care professionals - this is for informational purposes only and does not override professional medical advice.

Sources:
1 - Taub SJ. The use of bromelains in sinusitis: a double-blind clinical evaluation. Eye Ear Nose Throat Mon 1967;46:361-362 (cited above)
2 - http://www.altmedrev.com/publications/11/3/196.pdf (linked above)
3 - Murray MT. A comprehensive review of vitamin C. Am J Nat Med 1996;3:8-21 (linked above)
4 - PubMed searches (linked above)

2 comments:

  1. I LOVE the Daily Essentials Kit and I am a strong believe this stuff works! In addition to it helping during allergy season, it will drastically reduce the amount of time you have a cold. IF you even catch one. Great stuff!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mandy! Email me at whitneycarlsonfitness@gmail.com please! :-)

      Delete

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