"Tis the season for seasonal allergies. With Spring fast upon us, hay fever -- a.k.a. allergic rhinitis -- is once again causing problems for millions of people. According to Theron Randolph, MD, the father of environmental medicine, hay fever is one of the most common chronic diseases in America, affecting as many as one in ten.
Many people identify one season -- spring, summer or fall -- as the one where their symptoms are by far the most pronounced; but some people -- and they have our sympathies -- suffer allergic reactions to pollen in all three seasons. If it's hard for you to even think of the topic of hay fever without your eyes involuntarily starting to water and your nose starting to twitch, take heart. There are a number of natural solutions -- including prevention -- which offer realistic promise.
In addition to supplementation with vitamins, minerals and herbs, other modalities from homeopathy to Chinese medicine, chiropractic and even psychic healing, claim to be able to improve seasonal allergies. Among the more esoteric angles is Nambudripad Allergy Elimination Technique or NAET. This technique, used by 400 bodyworkers in the US, primarily chiropractors, uses muscle testing to home in on and then eliminate primarily food allergies, though it claims success with seasonal allergies as well. (You can learn more about this on the Web at http://www.naet.com.)
Why we suffer
No one is quite sure what predisposes us to allergies, but experts propose several theories. One is that our total lifetime load of toxic exposure (via environmental pollutants, chemicals, carcinogens, etc.) reduces our immunity and helps us to experience symptoms for the first time, or aggravates the symptoms we already have. Another is that weakened immunity via our diet does the same thing. Practitioners point out that people who suffer from hay fever often notice, over their lifespan, a host of other allergies as well: to various foods, dust mites, pet dander, chemicals, etc. Histamines, the naturally-occurring chemicals that cause allergies, are present in many foods as well as in the pollens of trees, grasses and weeds.
Once you pinpoint the season(s) where you have the greatest difficulty with allergies, some practitioners advocate taking supplements before that season starts, as a precautionary measure. For example, if ragweed or cottonwood season in your geographical area starts at a particular time of year, you might start your supplement regimen two or three weeks before that, to give your body a head start in coping with the allergens once they hit full bloom. An air purifier, can also be very useful in keeping airborne contaminants like pollen and dander to a minimum. Some people even suggest changing out of clothes you've worn outside once you get home, in order not to bring more pollen in with you during peak problem times.
Hay fever symptoms include: stuffy and/or runny nose (clear mucus), headache, sneezing, wheezing, watery eyes, etc. Sometimes there's...
This is a preview. Get the full text through your school or public library.