It's spring, the flowers are in bloom, and the world looks beautiful—unless you're suffering from allergies. Here's a little Q&A that may help you cope.
What causes allergy symptoms?
When an allergen (such as dust or pollen) enters the respiratory tract, the body releases antibodies that attach to the allergen and cause the mast cell to produce histamine. Histamine (in the body) produces nasal congestion and drainage, watery red eyes, scratchy throat, and just leaves you with a general lack of energy.
What vitamins and minerals can help the allergy sufferer?
While it’s important to remember that every person is unique and may react differently to specific allergens or respond differently to specific treatments, there are some supplements that can prove helpful:
* Zinc—Inhibits the release of histamine from the mast cell
* Vitamin C (ascorbate)—maintains cell integrity and reduces histamine
* B5 (pantothenic acid)—reduces excess mucous production
* B12 (cobalamin)—improves allergic asthma
* B3 (niacin)—slows histamine release
* Quercetin--an anti inflammatory agent
What other treatments do you recommend and offer for allergy sufferers?
I've had very good results using a compound of Vitamin C, quercetin, bioflavonoids, and bromelain that can be taken in a capsule form. Systemic enzyme therapy using powerful natural anti-inflammatory enzymes can often be very helpful in reducing symptoms. Also, acupuncture works wonders for many patients in reducing sinus congestion.
Are airborne allergens the only kinds that cause respiratory problems?
Many people don’t realize that food sensitivities can cause the same respiratory problems as allergies to pollens. Most have heard of people having violent reactions to a shellfish or peanut allergy, but they don’t think about how other foods may affect their bodies in more subtle ways. For instance, sensitivity to dairy products may cause an overproduction of mucous that leads to congested sinuses. A food sensitivity blood test can often pinpoint what foods a person should avoid to prevent respiratory or gastrointestinal problems.
Using these simple procedures to get natural allergy relief can mean reducing the large amounts of over-the-counter drugs many sufferers turn to for help.
Dr. Tina Marcantel is a naturopathic doctor practicing in Gilbert, Arizona. For more information about her practice and to read many more articles by Dr. Marcantel, please visit her website at http://www.drmarcantel.com.