Updated: Apr 4, 2019
Allergies can affect people of all ages. Conventional treatment has been immunotherapy (allergy shots), steroids, and endless medications, all of which have side effects. There are a host of natural treatments options that include diet and supplements are effective, safe, best of all have no side effects.
Before beginning any treatment, the allergen needs to be identified. There are two types of allergic reactions, more immediate, carried via IgE pathway and delayed reaction, IgG pathways. Conventional allergy tests, blood or pin prick, only test for the IgE mediated responses, a simple blood draw can check for the IgG mediated immunity, which are often harder to isolate. These are used for food and environmental allergens. There are also different levels of reactivity, from very mild to severe.
The first line of treatment is avoidance of the allergen. Initially, all reactive foods must be avoided. This will decrease the burden on the immune system. Eventually, after two months, the low reactive food(s) may be reintroduced, one at a time, and monitored for a reaction. If there is no reaction, then that food can be eaten again. All high and severe reactive food should be avoided.
Dairy and wheat should be avoided. These are very common allergens and can create havoc with your immune and digestive system.
Eating an anti-inflammatory diet will also help mitigate the allergic response. This consists of eating anti inflammatory foods, such as broccoli, kale, fruit and vegetables. Avoiding all processed foods, alcohol, fried foods, excess sugar and salt. Using spices on food is encouraged, as most are anti-inflammatory.
Bromelain is used the reduce inflammation and allergic response. It is an enzyme derived from the pineapple stem and juice. It has been used for centuries to treat inflammatory conditions and reduce healing time.
Quercetin is a flavonoid found in the pigments of plants. It has been reported to have an anti-histamine effect by influencing enzymes in the histamine cascade. It has a bronchodialating effects, which will “open the lungs” in patients that have upper respiratory symptoms.
Curcumin, the active component in turmeric, is a strong anti-inflammatory, matching the effectiveness of some common non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications without any of the side effects. When taken prior and during an allergic event, allergic activity will be reduced.
Butterbur is believed to help with allergic rhinitis or the runny nose, itchy eyes, and sneezing that are characteristic of allergies. The active ingredient in butterbur is petasin. It is thought to lessen the histamine and leukotriene response. Research supporting this is still in the preliminary stages.
Ginger is a powerful anti-inflammatory, being compared to most typical non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Ginger also inhibits gene expression that contributes to inflammation.
Vitamin C is a natural anti-histamine, which will relieve allergy symptoms and asthma. This is accomplished by destroying the histamine molecule. Some studies show that taking bioflavonoids with Vitamin C can enhances the effect.
There are other self-treatment that you can perform at home. They include saline nose sprays and a neti-pot treatment. In theory, saline nose sprays will eliminate the allergen from the nose before the allergic reaction begins. Neti-pots work on the same principal, by introducing water on one side of the nose and having it come out the other. This effectively eliminates all offending allergens.
Dr. Scott Schreiber has been practicing in Newark, Delaware for over 11 years. He is a chiropractic physician, double board certified in rehabilitation and clinical nutrition, a certified nutrition specialist and a licensed dietitian/nutritionist. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or https://www.facebook.com/Dr.ScottSchreiber.