Spring is here! Yards and gardens are showing signs of life. Warm air has made its way to Columbus. We open our windows, take deep breaths of that sweet, fresh air and smile. Then all of a sudden many of us are plagued with the ever so familiar sneezing, runny noses and red eyes.
I remember ten consecutive spring seasons when my oldest son from age 3 to 12 fought allergies with a hacking cough from sinus drainage. Sleep deprivation, asthma, and ear infections haunted us every spring. So what's different now? No he didn't magically outgrow his allergies. We simply changed our diet, took supplements, got some osteopathic treatments and eliminated a few environmental toxins. With Dr. Carine as our guide, we decided to empower our family to live a healthier lifestyle.
Dr. Carine recommends a few simple practices that can help you enjoy this spring season with fewer allergic reactions. Nothing here is too complicated or costly. These basic changes can help you jump into spring with a smile!
Simple Dietary Changes Can Ease Your Symptoms
Hundreds of studies from over a twenty year time span indicate that the Omega-6 fatty acids and oleic acid found in these foods can lead to allergic reactions.
A diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce allergic reactions. Instead of saying good bye to red meats, eating grass fed beef, bison and other omega 3 meats won't contribute to the typical inflammatory response that grain fed meats can cause. Eating foods rich in vitamin E can also help diminish allergic symptoms.
Food Ideas That May Reduce Allergies: (note the dark, leafy vegetables!!!)
- Whole grains, dark leafy vegetables, and egg yolks are high in vitamin E.
- Cold-pressed flax oil or Evening Primrose oil also contain high levels of vitamin E. Drizzle 1 tbsp. on your salad every day.
- Oily fish such as cod, herring, mackerel, salmon, menhaden and sardines provide the Omega-3 fatty acid called eicosapentaenoic acid or EPA.
- Spirulina (an alga often used in “green drinks”) also contains eicosapentaenoic acid.
- Pineapple contains the anti-inflammatory enzyme bromelain.
- Papaya contains the anti-inflammatory enzyme papain.
- Turmeric (a rich spice often used in Indian and Far Eastern dishes) contains the anti-inflammatory bioflavonoid quercetin.
- Foods high in vitamin C like strawberries, citrus, berries, kiwi, papaya, broccoli and green, dark, leafy vegetables.
Take Your Supplements to Ensure You Are Getting Enough Micronutrients
A healthy organic diet low in Omega-6 fatty acids and high in vitamin E, Omega-3 fatty acids, and natural anti-inflammatory foods can help to reduce your allergy symptoms. However, supplementing your diet with concentrated doses of anti-allergic nutrients such as the following can increase the chances of a better spring season for you. The supplements below are links to our products or you can take your favorites:
Vitamin C (up to 10 grams/day) - natural anti-histamine
Zinc (3 milligrams of zinc each day. Between ages of 4 and 8, children need 5 milligrams of zinc each day and between 9 and 13, children require 8 milligrams. Young women and men between ages 14 and 18 respectively need 9 milligrams and 11 milligrams of zinc each day)
Fish Oil (Omega 3's including DHA and EPA) Take 1,000 to 1,500 milligrams total of EPA/DHA combined daily. Fish oil has anti-inflammatory properties and supports the proper pathway for a healthy response to allergen exposure.
Black elderberry syrup - one teaspoon daily has vitamins A, B, C and amino acids which all support a healthy immune response to allergens.
Vitamin D3 - 600 IU per day for children and adults over 12 months of age.
A supplement with concentrated amounts of leafy greens is an immune booster - - especially for those picky eaters you may have! Take as directed.
Ingesting a probiotic will allow better absorption of your nutrients, help your gut create B vitamins and will help reduce the signs and symptoms of allergies. Take as directed
Curcumin or turmeric has been used for thousands of years as a spice called turmeric. Now physicians, osteopaths, naturopaths and nutritionists all tout its extraordinary anti-inflammatory effects. This is one of the best things you can take for your allergies. Take as directed.
What Can You Do At Home
- Remove dust collectors such as carpets, drapes, and upholstered furniture.
- Purchase HEPA air filters for your rooms, or a whole-house filtration system.
- Avoid perfumes and fragranced products, especially those with synthetic ingredients.
- Have your home tested for mold and remediate if necessary.
- If you are renovating or choosing a new home, avoid forced-air heating systems; use steam heat instead.
Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT)
Osteopathic techniques to enhance drainage of the lymph nodes also help the immune system with its housecleaning tasks. We offer this therapy in our office.
Long-Term Health Solutions
While none of these solutions provide the immediate relief that medications promise, you can experience long-term health benefits that will outweigh the temporary fix from pharmaceuticals alone.
Thanks to Dr. Carine's recommendations, my 15 year old son and other three younger children can fully enjoy the spring season. I no longer buy tissues, deal with steroid use or pull them out of school for miserable allergic responses. Installation of hardwood floors was our environmental change. Supplementing with fish oil, probiotics, natural vitamin C, D3 liquid and chewable zinc has led to amazing results. Osteopathic treatment and earlier bedtimes also contributed to overcoming allergies. Happy Spring!