Give Allergies and Hayfever the Boot!!
Tuesday, September 8th 2009
Many New Zealanders, as well as a lot of people new to the country, regularly complain about their near constant symptoms of Hayfever, allergic eyes and runny nose. It use to be that this happened in spring only, when the pollens and grasses came out, however these days, some people experience these symptoms all year round. Click here to view our most popular hayfever supplement.
Hay fever, or allergic rhinitis, is an exaggerated immune-system response to otherwise harmless substances, most commonly pollen from trees, grasses and weeds.
When an allergic person inhales theses substances, or any other allergen, their immune system treats it as an invader and goes into overdrive to produce immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies. These antibodies attach to mast cells, which are found throughout most of the body's tissues, including the mucous membranes of the nose.
When an allergic person inhales an allergen, the mast cells produce a variety of chemicals, including histamine, to ward off the invader. These chemicals cause the runny nose, watery, red swollen eyes, congestion and sneezing fits that make hay fever sufferers so miserable.
Hay fever is seasonal; however some unfortunate people suffer from this condition all year round. In these cases (called perennial rhinitis) it is usually due to inhaling an irritating substance that is relatively constant in the environment e.g. mould, house dust, dust mites, animals dander (the tiny flakes of dead skin shed from animals coats), or it may be due to an underlying food allergy.
The tendency to develop some form of allergy is often hereditary or atopic, but the specific allergy is not. Those who suffer from hay fever may also suffer from eczema or dermatitis and a number of hay fever sufferers develop asthma.
Various prescription and over-the-counter drugs are commonly used to treat hay fever. Drugs such as anti-inflammatory steroidal nasal sprays, decongestants and antihistamines may provide temporary relief - but at a price. Nasal sprays can cause local irritation of the delicate mucous membranes and decongestants commonly cause sleeplessness and irritability.
Antihistamines can cause nausea, headaches and dizziness. Some people experience such extreme drowsiness while using antihistamines that manufacturers urge users to avoid driving while taking them. Antibiotics are commonly prescribed for hay fever and sinusitis. However these pose a problem, as resistance to antibiotics is building.
Do not despair; there are drug-free ways to help relieve your symptoms!
Of course, the most successful means of preventing the symptoms of hay fever & allergies is identification and then avoidance of the offending allergen. In some instances, this is easily established; however it often requires some good detective work in order to identify the culprit.
Having a varied diet is important, as the likelihood of building up an intolerance to the food is less. Focus your diet on plenty of fresh and steamed vegetables and ensure you have a good portion of protein at main meals - about your own palm size. Drink plenty of water as this helps to keep the mucous thinner and also helps you body to "flush" away allergens and toxins that may be contributing to your symptoms.
While you have the problem, avoid mucous forming foods such as dairy products, wheat and white flour products. Sugar should be avoided as it reduces immune function and increases susceptibility to infection. Chemical and preservative laden junk foods may also be contributing factors, so keeping these to a minimum is recommended. So back to a basic kind of diet - like grandma would have made.
There are many natural products available which are specifically for helping relieve the symptoms of Hayfever and allergic symptoms. Allergy Support from Go Healthy is the strongest formula we have found. Not only does it have herbs that target your sinuses specifically, it contains the amino acid histadine which helps to dampen down allergic reactions. Other herbal products are HAS from Natures Way and also Allergy Check from Good Health. Weleda have come to the rescue with their non steroidal nasal spray called Gencydo, specifically for helping with the symptoms of hay fever, allergic rhinitis and sinusitis.
It is best to start using these products 1-4 weeks before the Hayfever season starts, to get a good build up of these in your body. This can help to prevent developing the symptoms all together.
Remember there are logical reasons why we develop problems such as Hayfever and there are solutions to get to the bottom of these.
The following products are all useful for Hayfever and Allergies:
Body Cleanse Total Detox Pack
Gencydo Nasal Spray
Hi Strength Fish Oil
Inner Health Plus
Liver Detox & Support
Sinus & Hayfever Relief
Self Test Food Allergy Test Kit
Related health information can be found here:
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If you need help or advice, you are welcome to email our naturopathic team with your health question.
Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered. The information is not intended to be comprehensive or to provide medical advice to you. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.
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8 Sep 2009
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