(Ed. I have a love/hate relationship with spring. The glorious weather, the ample outdoor actives, the gorgeous flora — all loves. The raging allergies that I’m struck with every spring? Well, not so much. Suffice to say, Dr. Naumes’ post couldn’t have come at a better time. Who’s with me? — Joslyn)
This time of year, Dallas women often ask me if I can help them with their allergies. They are tired of taking Zyrtec, Claritin, or Benadryl on a regular basis and unhappy with the side effects that sometimes accompany such medications. For women that have experienced some of those side effects – such as headaches, fatigue, and even a possible (though so far unproven) connection to infertility – there is often a strong desire to understand why the allergies exist in the first place and what options are available beyond simply masking the symptoms.
‘Allergies’ is a term commonly applied to symptoms such as runny nose, conjunctivitis, asthma, hives, or eczema that often occur in association with a season or exposure to certain foods or substances like pollens, pet dander, or dust. In fact, a wide variety of symptoms and systems may be involved in allergic or ‘sensitivity’ reactions that occur when a person’s immune system no longer tolerates seemingly harmless substances. Although some allergies are fixed, correcting imbalances can minimize the severity of symptoms. Indeed, other sensitivities may be reversed entirely with the proper attention.
A few important things to consider:
- Identify specific allergenic foods – This is an important step in resolving allergic symptoms. It can take some time and effort, but is well worth it. (Ed. WebMD provides some good guidance for embarking on an elimination diet to help reveal food allergies.)
- Smartly and safely detoxify regularly – Nutritional cleanses are my preferred method.
- Evaluate digestion – Take a look at digestive function and then heal what needs healing. Inadequate digestion and intestinal microflora imbalances – think gas, bloating, constipation or stomach aches – can set the stage for chronic allergies.
- Modify your diet – I strongly recommend eating a plant based, nutrient dense diet. Imbalances in key nutrients can aggravate histamine reactions such as runny nose and flushing.
- Get smart on health history – Inherited tendencies for allergic immune reactions are underlying factors for many individuals with allergies. Finding out what these are and correcting imbalances can improve quality of life.
- Think ahead – Take control of you and your partners genetics and environment. Consider pre-conception care to learn how to decrease your future child’s risk of allergies.
In short, using an individualized approach consisting of nutrition, exercise, laboratory testing, botanical remedies, and supplementation to replete or correct imbalances, the body can have an opportunity to function at a more optimal – and less allergy prone – level.
Dr. Kate Naumes, ND runs a Holistic Wellness practice just off the Katy trail. She believes that healthy women are the hub of a healthy world. To that end, she helps women in their childbearing years look and feel better then they knew was possible. Learn more at naumesnd.com.