Do You Want to Just Suppress Your Allergy Symptoms or Actually Fix What’s Causing Them?
Spring has arrived. Maybe you’ve been hit hard with seasonal allergies this year and are suffering with clogged sinuses and the other symptoms that often go along with that misery: sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, stuffy nose, sore throat, fatigue or weakness.
Have you noticed that the numerous ads for allergy medicines, both OTC and prescription, tout their ability to alleviate your SYMPTOMS but don’t say they’ll address the inflammatory response that’s CAUSING the allergies themselves?
Symptom relief is Western Medicine’s standard approach to allergies, as represented by this statement on WebMD: “In general, there is no cure for allergies, but there are several types of medications available — both over-the-counter and prescription — to help ease and treat annoying symptoms like congestion and runny nose. These allergy drugs include antihistamines, decongestants, combination drugs, corticosteroids, and others.” (WebMD, 2017)
Read on if you’re interested in addressing what’s actually causing those symptoms – and much of what else is ailing you.
CHRONIC INFLAMMATION & ALLERGIES
The symptoms of seasonal allergies are actually indications of chronic inflammation in the body that are producing an autoimmune response. Taking drugs may suppress these symptoms but does nothing to reduce the chronic inflammation – and actually makes it worse. Chronic inflammation in the body is a precursor of chronic disorders and diseases.
Chronic inflammation –> autoimmune conditions & diseases
“Autoimmunity is the system of immune responses of an organism against its own healthy cells and tissues. Any disease that results from such an aberrant immune response is termed an autoimmune disease.” (Wikipedia, 2017)
Autoimmune conditions and disorders include:
Skin conditions (such as acne, eczema and rosacea)
Digestive problems (such as irritable bowel disease, gut strictures and Crohn’s disease)
The combination of diseases called Metabolic Syndrome (elevated blood pressure, elevated fasting plasma glucose, high serum triglycerides and low high-density cholesterol (HDL) levels)
Repeating sinus and yeast infections
Gum disease and tooth decay
… and many more
Inflammation accumulates in the body until it can’t deal with it any more and the inflammatory symptoms turn into a full blown disease.
The immune systems of people with seasonal (and other) allergies have developed low level, chronic inflammation. When they are exposed to a harmless substance like pollen, their immune systems respond as if a severe threat to the body has been encountered and needs to be destroyed at all cost. In this overblown immune response, the body tries to sneeze the pollen out, mucus and local inflammation in the sinuses and nose build up to try to isolate the rest of the body from the ‘perceived-as-dangerous’ substance. And you’re miserable!
So if you want to fix your allergies, you have to reduce the chronic inflammation in your body and let your immune system calm down. ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DIET
A good way to reduce inflammation in your body is to eat an anti-inflammatory diet. You’ll find many such diets online. This one is from Dr Gary Kaplan, a pioneer in the field of Integrative Medicine:
Consume at least 25 grams of fiber every day
Eat a minimum of nine servings of fruits and vegetables every day
Eat four servings of both alliums and crucifers every week
Limit saturated fat to 10 percent of your daily calories
Consume foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids
Eat fish at least three times a week
Use oils that contain healthy fats
Eat healthy snacks twice a day
Avoid processed foods and refined sugars
Cut out trans fats
Sweeten meals with phytonutrient-rich fruits, and flavor foods with spices
ee 11 Food Rules For The Ultimate Anti-Inflammatory Diet for the details and a good information on the connection between allergies and chronic inflammation. (Kaplan, 2015)
ALLERGY MEDICINES’ SIDE EFFECTS, WARNINGS & INTERACTIONS
Other reasons to reconsider taking medications for seasonal allergies are the negative side effects you may get from taking these drugs, the warnings about who shouldn’t take them, and the drug interaction warnings. XYZAL ALLERGY 24 HR (levocetirizine)
Xyzal (levocetirizine) is an antihistamine that reduces the effects of histamines in the body. Histamines can produce symptoms of sneezing, itching, watery eyes, and runny nose.
MOST COMMON SIDE EFFECTS
sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
stuffy or runny nose
SOME OTHER OBSERVED SIDE EFFECTS
decrease in urine volume
difficult or labored breathing
difficulty with swallowing
blurred or loss of vision