Natural Approach to Allergies for You & Your Family – Plus Info on What Testing to Ask For

Are you suffering from allergies right now.  Then this article is for you.  So many of us have allergies yet we go undiagnosed and suffer from all kinds of ailments and have no idea that they are being caused by allergies.

For instance, did you know that allergies can trigger, mimic and contribute to the following problems?

Chronic ear infections

Diabetes

Eczema and psoriasis

Fibromyalgia

Sinusitis

IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Headaches

Pain on the body

Heartburn

Allergies can make many existing problems worse, start or trigger several disorders and create symptoms that mimic many common symptoms present in a long list of disorders.

If you suspect you may have allergies because you suffer from any of the above issues you may want to consider specific testing that can be done in a private lab.

There are simple tests you can request to determine if you have food sensitivities, allergies and or intolerances.

IgE allergy testing looks at foods that cause an immediate allergy, these are usually the reactions that most doctors recognize.  They are reactions to foods or inhalants that involve the immune systems IgE antibodies.

IgG sensitivities test looks at many foods to determine delayed sensitivities.  Symptoms usually don’t appear for several hours.  These symptoms can be present for months or years until the reactive food has been removed from the diet for several months or longer.

Testing for Gluten intolerance and Celiac disease is also VERY important because a lot of issues like IBS, crohns, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma and many other ailments can be caused because of a gluten allergy.  Learning to check for food allergies and in tolerances has been very important for us, since my firsborn had many allergies as a young child that went undiagnosed.  After careful observation I started to see that certain foods would trigger his asthma.  So for the past 11 years we have been on a journey with him to get him healthier.  I did case studies on my  son and wrote down everything for weeks and weeks at a time.  I would compare his symptoms and research ways to help him.  He was on over 6 meds a day before his 2 birthday and the pediatrician we had, believed in prescribing an antibiotic for every little thing, completely destroying his immune system and digestive function.  I am so thankful that I know what I know now, even though we had very rough months in and out of ER’s and many sleepless nights.  But you would never get this info from me had I not been allowed to live through those perils, so for that I am blessed.

You can also test for intolerances which are generally chemical reactions to foods that do not involve the immune system.  Most allergists completely overlook intolerances because they are not considered to be classic allergies.  However food intolerances can wreak havoc by causing migraines, headaches, diarrhea and many other things.

Whether you suffer from allergies or food sensitivities I have found that taking herbs that have high anti fungal properties can help along with a good probiotic like the one from Garden of Life.

Once you know what allergies and or food sensitivities you have it’s easier to devise a plan to first detox and then remove foods that may trigger an allergic reaction.  After diagnosing, cleansing and removing triggers, you can focus on supplementation and herbal remedies to aid the body’s immune response.

For natural approaches to allergies, consider the following:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids: According to Mother Earth News, a German study published in the journal Allergy found people who have diets rich in of omega-3 fatty acids suffer from fewer allergy symptoms. A second study in Sweden found that children who regularly ate fish prior to age one had much lower allergies by age four. My favorite sources of omega-3 fatty acids are grass fed meat and eggs, and krill oil. (Fish has become too contaminated to rely on as a staple.)
  • Probiotics: In a 2008 study, researchers discovered that people who took probiotics throughout allergy season had lower levels of an antibody that triggered allergy symptoms. They also had higher levels of a different antibody (IgG), thought to play a protective role against allergic reactions. Other researchers found evidence that giving probiotics to newborns and mothers-to-be may help prevent childhood allergies.
  • Vitamin D: Insufficient vitamin D levels have been linked to more severe asthma and allergies in children. Vitamin D has also been found to reduce allergic responses to mold.
  • Hot peppers: Hot chili peppers, horseradish, and hot mustards work as natural decongestants. In fact, a nasal spray containing capsaicin (derived from hot peppers) significantly reduced nasal allergy symptoms in a 2009 study.
  • Locally produced honey: Many believe that consuming locally produced honey, which contains pollen spores picked up by the bees from your local plants, can act as a natural “allergy vaccine.” By introducing a small amount of allergen into your system (from eating the honey), your immune system is activated and over time can build up your natural immunity against it. Just be careful to consume honey moderately as it’s high in fructose.

Below are several other foods and herbs you might want to try:

  • Quercetin: Quercetin is an antioxidant that belongs to a class of water-soluble plant substances called flavonoids. Although research is sketchy, many believe quercetin-rich foods (such as apples, berries, red grapes, red onions, capers and black tea) prevent histamine release—so they are “natural antihistamines.” Quercetin is also available in supplement form—a typical dose for hay fever is between 200 and 400 mg per day.
  • Butterbur (Petasites hybridus): Another natural antihistamine, this herb has been used since ancient times to treat a variety of conditions, including migraines. In a German study, 40 percent of patients taking butterbur root extract were able to reduce their intake of traditional asthma medications. A British study found butterbur as effective as the drug Zyrtec.A word of caution is needed, however. Butterbur is a member of the ragweed family, so if you are allergic to ragweed, marigold, daisy, or chrysanthemum, you should not use butterbur. Also, the RAW herb should not be used because it contains substances called pyrrolizidine alkaloids that can be toxic to the liver and kidneys and may cause cancer. Commercial butterbur products have had a lot of these alkaloids removed.
  • Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica):  Another natural antihistamine, stinging nettle has a long history of use for seasonal allergies, without the drowsiness and dry mouth associated with many pharmacological antihistamines. Nettle inhibits your body’s ability to produce histamines. The recommended dose is about 300 mg freeze-dried nettle extract daily.
  • Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis): Goldenseal may be helpful for seasonal allergies. Laboratory studies suggest that berberine, the active ingredient in goldenseal, has antibacterial and immune-enhancing properties.
  • Eucalyptus oil: This pure essential oil can be healing to mucus membranes. You can apply a drop on a cotton ball and sniff it several times a day, add a few drops to water (or to a nebulizer, if you own one) for a steam treatment, or use a few drops in your bathwater.

Sources:

LCO Herbal Medicine Class

Mercola.com

University of Maryland article

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5 thoughts on “Natural Approach to Allergies for You & Your Family – Plus Info on What Testing to Ask For

  1. Pingback: Raw Vs. Cooked: Why Allergy Testing May Miss The Culprit. « Alternative Health Answers

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