By Tiffany Lester, MD, for Parsley Health
It’s officially spring! While many of us look forward to shedding some layers and watching the flowers bloom, folks with allergies dread this season filled with nasal congestion, and Kleenex. You are not alone.
Allergies affect about 50 million people in the United States. And they continue to increase every year with most people having more than just one type of allergy. The most common allergens include trees, grass/weed pollen, mold, dust mites, and cat/dog dander.
While some of these can be controlled by keeping a dust-free, pest-free home, often people with allergies will keep all the windows closed to avoid environmental triggers. This can actually worsen indoor air quality and increase sneezing and congestion. Especially if you are cleaning your home with toxic cleaners. Choosing brands like Meliora or Pure Laundry that are made with natural ingredients or DIY is actually the best way to ensure that your home stays toxin-free.
I see patients who load up on over-the-counter drugs to dull the effects of their allergies. These mask the problem and often cause terrible side effects. That’s why I’ve created a four-step solution for my patients to help cure allergies naturally.
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Other Ways To Stay Sniffle-free This Spring
1. Take a natural antihistamine. Over-the-counter antihistamines are the first thing many people reach for when allergy season hits. While effective, they can have side effects like headaches, drowsiness, dry mouth, and fatigue, especially with chronic use. I like to recommend a natural antihistamine when patients are really suffering that includes ingredients from natural sources. My favorite is D-Hist which contains stinging nettles and bromelain (the active enzyme in pineapples) for allergy relief.
2. Stop eating dairy. While it may be tempting to enjoy that ice cream as the temperature warms up, it could be worsening your nasal congestion. Dairy can increase the mucous production of your nasal passages, making symptoms worse. I had the absolute worst allergies growing up. Doctors told me it was due to genetics. During medical school, I started to learn about nutrition and cut out dairy. My allergies evaporated into thin air and I had the startling realization of how powerful the food we eat can be on our health.
3. Take your shoes off at the door. You could spend all day cleaning your home but unknowingly tracking in pesticides and environmental allergens on your shoes. We can’t control the outside allergen exposure completely. But you can greatly decrease your exposure by taking your shoes off as soon as you walk in the door. Slip into a comfortable pair of socks or slippers that you only use inside your home.
4. Get tested. Eighty percent of our immune system is in our gut. If you have a leaky gut, you are more prone to develop new allergies or worsen existing ones. At Parsley Health, we do state-of-the-art testing to determine the actual health of your gut and how it is affecting your immune system. I have seen allergies disappear once we heal a patient’s gut.
This piece was originally published on Parsley Health. Parsley Health is a groundbreaking medical practice of highly trained doctors and health coaches in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Parsley Health takes a smarter, whole approach to helping you live a healthy life. You deserve a better doctor. Sign up here to speak to a health expert to figure out how Parsley Health can help you achieve your goals today.