By Dr. Nathan Jeffery, ND, BSc.
Spring is here! The days are getting longer and flowers are appearing. This is a time of transformation and awakening from winter to spring. Unfortunately, for many it can be difficult for our bodies to adapt to the changes and many people will experience seasonal allergies.
Pollen, molds, dust and other environmental products cause important immune cells in our body called “mast cells” to become irritated. When irritated the mast cells easily release histamine. At low levels histamine is an important alarm signal to our immune system that a foreign substance is in the body and needs to be removed. At high levels it can lead to the classic runny nose, congestion and skin rashes. At the extreme, it can lead to breathing problems and anaphylaxis which requires immediate medical attention.
There are many over-the-counter medications that work by preventing histamine release from mast cells. The problem with these is that they can lead to drowsiness and even dependence. Natural approaches to seasonal allergies involve stabilizing the mast cells and decreasing inflammation in the body.
- Vitamin C is not made in the human body so must be consumed in the diet. It has many numerous health benefits as an antioxidant. It is thought to stabilize the mast cells as well. Vitamin C is abundant in lemons as well as many other fruits and vegetables.
- Remedies or teas containing stinging nettle may also balance the immune system in the nasal passages. This is interesting since it can cause the familiar stinging rash when contacted in the wilderness.
- Quercetin, originally named after the Oak tree from its scientific name Quercus, is another natural anti-inflammatory and mast cell stabilizer. It is found naturally in many fresh vegetables.
- Reducing white sugar in your diet is also very important for reducing inflammation
Symptoms of a runny nose, sinus pain, mental fog, congestion, and headaches can be effectively managed using natural remedies. Food and environmental sensitivities such as pollen, molds and Candida can be driving inflammation in your body and they must be removed for long-lasting symptom relief. Electrodermal food sensitivity testing is our most popular method of assessing over 200 food and environmental sensitivities or intolerances. A personalized homeopathic remedy is included in this visit to further enhance your results. Dietary changes make up the foundation of this treatment and are an excellent example that food is medicine!