Despite being a beautiful time of year (check out this picture of my crabapple tree!), this time of year many people suffer with seasonal allergies. A few common-sense approaches can help.
- REDUCE YOUR EXPOSURE: If you can minimize exposure to the substances you are allergic to, then you can minimize symptoms, including your histamine levels. Allergy sufferers should consider these household strategies:
- IN THE BEDROOM:
- Keep windows closed
- Keep bedroom especially clean & door closed
- Do not allow pets in room
- Use a HEPA air filter in the bedroom
- Frequent damp dusting throughout the house & vacuuming with a vacuum that uses a HEPA filter
- Keep windows closed during high pollen times
- Use the highest filtration HVAC filter
- Bathe (including washing hair) before bed
- Remove shoes when entering home
- Plan outdoor/exercise time around high pollen predictions. Check pollen.com.
- Change clothes and wash face immediately after outdoor exercise or activity
- Nasal irrigation with a neti pot (or other method) helps to wash away dust and pollen that have accumulated in your sinuses throughout the day, reducing symptoms of allergic rhinitis, the stuffed up nose that comes with many allergies.
- IN THE BEDROOM:
- MINIMIZE OTHER SOURCES OF INFLAMMATION
- Eliminate known food allergies or sensitivities
- Eliminate sugar & dairy during the allergy season, as these are the two most common inflammatory foods.
- SUPPLEMENT PROTOCOLS to moderate the immune system and reduce inflammation can be helpful as well. Some common supplements I use with my patients include:
- Probiotics – Some unhealthy microbes in your gut can produce histamine. Support healthy diversity in your gut microbiome.
- Vitamin C
- Stinging nettles
- Fish oil
Over the counter medications may help but are notorious for not working as well as advertised and leave many people feeling groggy.
For the latest information on how seasonal allergies affect mental health, keep an eye out for my upcoming post on the Postpartum Wellness Center/Boulder’s blog.
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