Natural Alternatives for Seasonal Allergies
‘Tis the season! Flowers are blooming and birds are singing. But you’re sneezing, blowing your nose or rubbing your eyes all the time. Seasonal allergies (allergic rhinitis), for some people, is merely a minor inconvenience. But for most others, it causes severe impact on their daily lives. If you are one of those allergy sufferers, please ask yourself these questions:
Am I happy with my current allergy meds?
The most common medications for allergy belong to the category of anti-H1 antihistamines, such as Benadryl, Claritin, Allegra, and Zyrtec. Patients often complain of side effects such as drowsiness, fatigue, headache, or dry mucous membrane. Even for those who don’t experience any significant side effects, the possibility of more serious side effects such as liver damage still exists.
Is Claritin or Zyrtec going to cure my allergies?
The answer is most definitely “NO”. Antihistamines work to stop the symptoms that are caused by histamine. However they don’t care why histamine is being released or how to correct the immune system so that pollens won’t trigger the release of histamine.
Is it really necessary to treat allergies other than just symptomatic control?
Yes, it is necessary to treat allergies at the root of the problem. Seasonal allergies usually are not life threatening and conventional doctors are quite content with successful control of the symptoms. However, seasonal allergies mean a lot to a naturopath, for it may be the first sign of the decline of immune system. A patient may also notice a drop in energy, more susceptible to colds and flus, tendency to get sinusitis or bronchitis, or some other minor issues. For most people seasonal allergies remain and do not progress to any other more serious conditions. But for some unfortunate ones, as immune system further declines, other seemingly unrelated conditions, such as autoimmune diseases, may develop.
So is it possible to cure my allergies?
Tricky question. Once the body reaches a balanced state of health, an allergy patient will be able to experience little or no allergy symptoms without any forms of medications or supplements. It is entirely possible that this balanced state of health can be achieved with naturopathic medicine and over a period of time. However, if the balance is broken, allergy symptoms will certainly return.
What are my choices of natural alternatives for allergy treatment?
The naturopathic treatment listed below all work to eliminate allergy symptoms by addressing the underlying immune imbalance. There is no such thing as a protocol that is “one size fits all”. Each patient is unique and all forms of treatment must be formulated to fit that individual patient’s case. After a number of sessions of treatment, you should be able to maintain the improvement achieved with minimal maintenance treatment.
Often provides quick relief of symptoms without the common side effects of antihistamines, while addressing the underlying immune or endocrine imbalances at the same time. Contrary to the common sense that needles inevitably produces pain, acupuncture is rather painless and very relaxing.
- Chinese herbal medicine
Works best alone or in conjunction with acupuncture. Herbs are usually prescribed as formulas that contain several different herbs. They come in different forms, ready-made pills, custom made granules, or raw herbs that require cooking. Most patients prefer custom made granules because they are individualized and can be easily modified as treatment progresses. The granules readily dissolve in water and don’t require any cooking.
Most inexpensive and best tasting form of all natural medicines. It is one of the most powerful natural medicines too. It often works miracles when the right remedy is chosen. The choice of the right remedy relies on detailed description of symptoms (not just allergy symptoms) on the patient’s part, and the skills of the prescribing doctor. It is not advisable to go to a health food store and pick up a vial of homeopathic remedy that’s labeled with “Allergies”.
- Nutritional supplements
Necessary when a patient is deficient in certain nutrients, especially vitamins and minerals. In such cases the nutrient deficiency is the underlying cause of allergies, and once it’s corrected, allergies will abate. Certain nutritional supplements may also be used as safe alternatives to antihistamine drugs to achieve symptomatic control.
Schedule an appointment with Dr. Song at 480-388-0099 if you’re interested in getting rid of your allergies through a holistic approach.