For many, thoughts of spring bring images of sunshine, bulbs emerging through the soil, trees beginning to blossom and lawns returning to that lively green. For some though, springtime also means spring allergies- itchy eyes, runny noses, sneezing, and coughing. In Functional Medicine, it is believed if you are suffering from severe allergies to anything, whether it be food, pollen or animals, it could indicate that something deeper is out of balance with your body. Therefore, once you address the root cause of imbalance, often times, in the gut, allergies and other chronic inflammation reduces greatly or disappears.
What Are Allergies?
Allergies occur when our immune system is triggered by a “foreign substance”, or allergen. Some examples are food, pollen or pet dander. Consequently, our bodies respond by creating an antibody to that particular substance flagging it as harmful even though it isn’t necessarily. The next time you are exposed to that allergen, your body releases histamines that can cause inflammation with your skin, sinuses, airways and digestive system. Symptoms can range from minor irritations to severe responses like anaphylaxis.
What are the Symptoms of Spring Allergies?
How do you know if you have allergies? Let’s focus on environmental allergies and springtime allergies, more specifically. Do you experience sneezing, itchy eyes, or congestion frequently during spring? This is a strong indication that you are experiencing an allergy to something in the air. Statistics from the CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, indicate that over 8% of adults and 8% of children experience seasonal allergies.
List of Symptoms
What are Common Spring Allergens?
Pollen and mold tend to be the biggest culprits in the spring. Spring is considered to be the tree pollen season, meanwhile, summer brings grass pollen and fall brings ragweed allergies. Tree pollen cells are light and dry and, therefore, can be carried easily through the spring winds. According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, there are eleven trees that commonly trigger allergies:
Though mold is present year-round, because of spring’s damp and rainy climate, mold allergies can get exacerbated during this season. Mold spores work in a similar fashion to pollen. Mold such as yeast and mildew, release seeds called spores that are carried by the wind. Because these spores can be very abundant, they cause the worst allergies between spring and fall. Common molds are:
How Can I Treat and Prevent Seasonal Allergies?
Seasonal allergies can be miserable, I know first hand! The good news is they do not have to be a forever thing. There are steps you can take to reduce symptoms immediately! Over time, you can heal the underlying imbalances so that you experience minimal or no allergies symptoms through the seasons.
Conventional medicine treats allergies with shots and medications which can be taxing on your system and, ultimately, they fail to get to the root of the problem. Some natural remedies for allergies are found in, you guessed it, nature! Bee pollen can be very effective in reducing allergy symptoms immediately. Bee pollen can be sprinkled on gluten-free toast with almond butter or used as a topper for chia pudding. Make sure the bee pollen is local so it will help with the allergies from local pollen.
Another great product which helps eliminate the uncomfortable symptoms of seasonal allergies is the Orthomolecular’s D-Hist. Click here to order this product today. Just create an account on our online pharmacy, search under the “Allergy” category and have D-Hist delivered to your door!
Finally, to prevent or even eliminate allergies, in some cases, it is important to get to the root cause of your inflammation. Many times, there is an underlying imbalance, often times in the gut, that once treated, allergies and other inflammatory symptoms reduce tremendously or vanish completely. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Eric Djenge today, to start getting to the root cause of your allergies!