By Dr. Jenna Dye,
It is that time of year again. The Arizona weather is amazing. The trees and flowers are blooming, and the pollen is circulating in the air. For some 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 allergen exposure and conquer spring.
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 having it in the bedroom is beneficial. Just make sure to change 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 you have pets, you may want to consider an alternative flooring. Don’t 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, comforters and blankets in the dryer on high heat for 10 minutes just once per week.
Allergy symptoms originate from underlying inflammation and overreaction in the body. Any additional factors that cause inflammation in the body 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 drink ample water. 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.
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 rinse with saline, such as a neti-pot, can help decrease and prevent that stubborn stuffy nose.
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 drjennadye.com.