By Dr. Jenna Dye, Naturopathic Physician

The most amazing time of year is here in Arizona! Spring! The weather is amazing, the trees and flowers are blooming, and the pollen is circulating through the air. For many of us, this change of weather brings on the sneezes, sniffles, coughing, itchy, and wheezing. These symptoms make it difficult to enjoy this beautiful time of year. You don’t have to be miserable! There are some simple, natural ways to reduce your exposure, support your immune system, and conquer spring.

Boost Your Immune System
If you suffer from allergies, you may be more prone to illnesses such as sinus infections and other respiratory conditions. Make sure your immune system is in tip top shape before the allergy season begins. Daily vitamin C can boost immunity and can act as mild antihistamine. Local raw honey can be used daily to help prime the system for the upcoming allergy season. A simple nasal irrigation with saline, such as a neti-pot, can help decrease and prevent that stubborn stuffy nose. It is important to correct any nutritional deficiencies such as vitamin D, iron, and B12. These can all be checked via blood work.

Anti-inflammatory Lifestyle
Allergy symptoms originate from underlying inflammation and cause an overreaction in the body. Any additional factors that cause inflammation may worsen symptoms. This can include foods, chemicals, and stress. By reducing your toxic load, your body can better handle the allergens.
Choose foods that are nutrient dense such as green leafy vegetables and antioxidant rich fruits. Avoid dairy products, as they can add to inflammation, produce more mucus, and aggravate current allergy symptoms. Reduce processed and high sugar foods and stay hydrated. If you have food sensitivities, avoiding these during an allergy flare up can be helpful.

Work on stress management. Stress negatively effects the immune system, which results in increased inflammation and a decreased ability for the body to handle allergen exposure. Exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and cultivate healthy relationships in your life.

Reduce your In-Home Allergens
We are exposed to many allergens in our home. I recommend purchasing a good quality HEPA air purifier and running it 24/7 during allergy season (I run mine year-round). Allergen exposure is especially high when we are sleeping, so placing it in the bedroom is beneficial. Just make sure to change and clean the filters regularly.

If you have carpet in your home, vacuum at least twice per week to help decrease your exposure. If allergies are severe and/or you have pets, you may want to consider an alternative flooring. Do not forget to clean your windowsills, blinds, and ceiling fans. They love to collect dust and we often forget about them. You can also eliminate dust mites by placing your pillows, blankets, and kids’ stuffed animals in the dyer on high heat for 10 minutes once per week.

See your Naturopathic Physician
A naturopathic physician can offer a more individualized approach for you and your specific allergy symptoms. This is achieved by treating any underlying illnesses, supporting your foundational health, and decreasing inflammation. This support along with modifying your diet, reducing your exposure, and boosting your immune system can allow you to start enjoying this gorgeous time of year!

Dr. Jenna Dye is a licensed naturopathic physician. Her role is to support the body’s foundation to restore and maintain optimal health. Together with her patients, this is achieved by identifying and removing barriers that may be impacting health while creating a healing environment. For more information visit