Do you have allergies or does someone you know suffer from these sometime debilitating, sometimes inconvenient problems? Runny nose, watery and itchy eyes, scratchy throat are all what those who suffer from allergies live with on a day to day basis.
The All Natural Way to Beat Allergies
It seems like more and more today people are complaining of allergies. Years ago when I was a kid it was rare if kids had allergies. A few did but for the most part the majority of them just didn’t. Today all that has changed.
In fact, according to the Allergy UK, in the UK rates of asthma, rhinitis, and eczema have tripled in the past two decades. That’s a lot more people living day to day as if they’re suffering with a miserable cold.
What’s more is in the United States it’s estimated that one in five people have allergies or asthma. The annual cost of allergies on the United States health care system is a whopping $7.9 billion according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI.)
Why the Increase in Allergies?
Many people speculate about why allergies and asthma (particularly in children) have increased exponentially over the past several years. While it is a very individual situation to each case of allergies there are certain trends seen over the past years that seem to be the main culprits of increased allergies and asthma.
The experts agree that allergies are part nature and part nurture. In other words your genetic makeup will contribute to whether you have allergies or asthma but so will your environment.
If you have a parent (or two) who suffers with asthma or allergies than you’re more likely to have those same types of allergies. But with the right strategies in place to deal with variable environmental factors, you don’t have to succumb to a life of sneezing, runny noses, and itchy eyes.
There are some common causes of allergies. Take a look at them here:
5 Common Causes of Allergies
- Pet dander
- Dust mites
- Air pollution
Now you may be thinking that with the exception of air pollution, these other common allergy causes have been around for hundreds of years so why thedramatic increase in allergies now?
One of the theories behind explaining the increase in allergies has to do with the immune system and inflammation. The body responds in a certain way to an allergen. When the body is operating with already high inflammation, any allergen sets off an increased reaction. That means that when the body’s immune system is overworked and stressed due to many reasons when an allergen is introduced it just can’t handle it and ‘overreacts.’
If the immune system and hence inflammation within the body was balanced the reaction to the allergen would be normal. However today these reactions are exaggerated and lead to the next unneeded allergic reaction.
How to Reduce Allergies
The first step in reducing allergies is to take a look at your unique allergy triggers. Are you allergic to animals? Then simply don’t have any or if you must keep them only outside or in certain areas of the home. You also should make an effort to keep the home clear and free of pet fur.
Now aside from pets and foods we really can’t avoid many of the common causes of allergies so what I suggest you do is to balance your immune system. With a balanced immune system you’ll get the appropriate response to allergens, not overly exaggerated ones.
The first step in balancing your immune system is to check your diet. You must eliminate highly processed, refined foods from your diet. Replace these toxic foods with fresh, raw foods grown seasonally in your local community. These foods will provide your body with what it needs when it needs it.
Highly processed and refined foods increase inflammation in the body amongst other unhealthy things. You simply want to cut these out of your diet now.
It’s also important to determine if you have a food allergy. This can cause serious problems. Some of the most common food allergies are to gluten and dairy. Consider removing these from your diet if you suspect a food allergy.
Natural Treatments for Allergies
When it comes to allergies a visit to the doctor will undoubtedly end with a prescription in your hand. However, I urge you to first eliminate certain things from your diet and secondly, make it a point to eat certain things in the fight against allergies.
One of the ways to balance the immune system to elicit proper responses is by giving it the nutrients it needs to function. You can do this is by helping to decrease the already in place inflammation in the body.
Increase your intake of vital omega-3 and keep it in the proper balance with omega-6. It’s also important to be sure to your getting enough vitamins C and D. Vitamin D deficiency has recently been implicated in a number of health problems associated with high levels of inflammation.
The best sources for omega-3 is either cold water fishes or plant based sources including flax. Vitamin D is best obtained through safe sun exposure on a daily basis. Learn more about vitamin D here.
If you have allergies don’t rush out to buy the newest allergy medicine just yet. Take a look at your diet, eliminate the possible inflammation culprits, and eat plenty of the right foods to fight that inflammation first.