Many people are allergic to a variety of things, from pollen to their pets. Whereas it’s next to impossible to get rid of all allergins, there are ways to control the symptoms. Experts don't discuss many of these techniques, but we’re going to share some of these tips with you today. Not only is it vital to get healthy physically by improving a diet, but it’s also important to keep in mind that other factors affect our health, such as dealing with allergies. In the Body Reboot book, we discuss how to get back on track with your health and part of that is watching what you’re allergic and what may be causing body inflammation, which contributes significantly to allergies as well.
It’s impossible to get rid of allergies entirely, but Healthline does mention a few ways to keep the symptoms at bay:
There’s no way to prevent allergies. But there are ways to prevent the symptoms from occurring. The best way to prevent allergy symptoms is to avoid the allergens that trigger them.
Avoidance is the most effective way to prevent food allergy symptoms. An elimination diet can help you determine the cause of your allergies so you know how to avoid them. To help you avoid food allergens, thoroughly read food labels and ask questions while dining out.
Preventing seasonal, contact, and other allergies comes down to knowing where the allergens are located and how to avoid them. If you’re allergic to dust, for example, you can help reduce symptoms by installing proper air filters in your home, getting your air ducts professionally cleaned, and dusting your home regularly.
Proper allergy testing can help you pinpoint your exact triggers, which makes them easier to avoid. These other tips can also help you avoid dangerous allergic reactions.
Mayo Clinic recommends allergy-proofing your home, which means eliminating most dust! Sounds like a good idea, right?! Below are examples of what you could do to prevent allergic reactions to a variety of substances in your bedroom:
Bed and bedding. Encase pillows, mattresses and box springs in dust-mite-proof covers. Wash sheets, pillowcases and blankets at least once a week in water heated to at least 130 F (54 C). Remove, wash or cover comforters. Replace wool or feather bedding with synthetic materials.
Flooring. Remove carpeting and use hardwood or linoleum flooring and washable area rugs. If that isn't an option, use low-pile instead of high-pile carpeting and vacuum weekly with a vacuum cleaner that has a small-particle or high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. Shampoo the carpet frequently.
Curtains and blinds. Use washable curtains made of plain cotton or synthetic fabric. Replace horizontal blinds with washable roller-type shades.
Windows. Close windows and rely on air conditioning during pollen season. Clean mold and condensation from window frames and sills. Use double-paned windows if you live in a cold climate.
Furnishings. Choose easy-to-clean chairs, dressers and nightstands made of leather, wood, metal or plastic. Avoid upholstered furniture.
Clutter. Remove items that collect dust, such as knickknacks, tabletop ornaments, books and magazines. Store children's toys, games and stuffed animals in plastic bins.
Similarly, Everyday Health discusses ways to keep your home clean, and thus hopefully prevent dust and other allergens that can cause your allergies to act up.
One of the best ways to control indoor allergens is by getting rid of dust. That's because dust mites — the most common trigger of asthma and allergy symptoms inside the home — thrive in dust. But be aware that dusting can actually make things worse by kicking up allergen particles into the air. Use a damp or treated cloth that attracts dust rather than scattering it, and consider wearing a dust mask when cleaning. Also, try to minimize clutter in your home, since it tends to collect dust.
Vacuuming — especially in areas that accumulate more dust, such as carpeting and furniture — can help control allergens in your home. But as with dusting, vacuuming can also send dust particles into the air and cause problems for anyone with a dust mite allergy. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter, which can trap small particles and prevent them from spreading into the air. Try to vacuum at least once or twice a week.
Many harsh chemicals found in common household cleaners can aggravate or trigger symptoms in people who have allergies and asthma. If you are sensitive to allergens, switch to green, environmentally friendly cleaning products, which have natural and plant-based ingredients. Fortunately, there are many options today for people who are looking for green cleaners. You can also make your own natural products using ingredients such as vinegar, baking soda, and lemon.
The protein found in the saliva, urine, and dander (dead skin flakes) of our furry friends is a common allergen for many people. These allergen particles can become airborne and trigger symptoms in those who are sensitive. You can reduce animal dander by vacuuming frequently and washing your pet at least once a week. Other measures you can take include keeping your pet out of your bedroom and off the furniture and designating certain areas of the house as pet-free zones.
Chris Kresser offers a variety of tips on how to eliminate allergies, because who needs them anyway?!
Take probiotics or eat fermented foods
Fermented foods and probiotics can help bring the microbiota and your immune system back into balance. If you are sensitive to histamine, try histamine-degrading strains such as Bifidobacteria infantis and Lactobacillus plantarum.
Eat plenty of fermentable fiber
Complex fibers like plantains, cassava, or sweet potatoes are fermented by gut bacteria, resulting in the formation of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) like butyrate, acetate, and propionate that regulate the immune system. Butyrate has been shown to reduce intestinal permeability to dietary antigens in a mouse model of food allergy and induce regulatory T cells, which suppress immune responses. In mice, propionate has been shown to reduce allergic airway disease.
Get tested for sensitivities and avoid inflammatory foods
Continuing to eat foods you are sensitive to can cause low-grade inflammation and impair gut healing. Look into getting a Cyrex panel to identify sensitivities. For more information, check out my podcast episode on allergy testing. Consider keeping some activated charcoal on hand for those times that you accidentally eat something you are sensitive to. Many people find that it can provide quick and safe relief for food allergies.
Try a low-histamine diet
A low-histamine diet can often reduce the severity of allergy symptoms. Foods high in histamine include fermented foods, aged cheese, citrus fruits, fish, shellfish, avocados, spinach, cocoa, and leftover meat, to name a few. Consider taking quercetin (a natural antihistamine) or diamine oxidase (the enzyme responsible for breakdown of histamine) in supplement form, and use antihistamine herbs like thyme and holy basil in cooking. Check out my article on histamine intolerance for more information.
Even Livestrong mentions that having a high carb diet can result in sinus problems.
Carbohydrates are not known to cause sinus problems in everyone. In fact, many people eat carbohydrates regularly with no obvious side effects. However, some people have a specific sensitivity to carbs. Similar to a food allergy, this sensitivity causes an abnormal physiologic reaction to occur when carbohydrates are consumed. For some people, this reaction involves sinus congestion or infection. If you believe a carbohydrate sensitivity could be the cause of your sinus problems, consult with your physician for a proper treatment plan and healthy sinus diet.
Amy Meyers MD discusses how inflammation is directly related to allergies, and that starts in your gut. Since a low carb diet dramatically reduces inflammation, it makes sense why it may help combat allergies in your body:
Seasonal allergy symptoms, such as a runny nose, itchy eyes, and congestion, are caused by your immune system responding to something in the environment, such as pollen in the air. The reason your responses to these environmental allergens is heightened is often because your immune system is on high alert due to chronic inflammation. Your overactive, overstimulated immune system becomes hypersensitive to seasonal allergens, and the response manifests in symptoms such as congestion, coughing, itchy eyes, and sneezing.
And, as you probably know by now, your gut plays a huge role in your immune system health. In fact, nearly 80% of your immune system is located in your gut. It’s the place in your body that interacts with the outside world more than any other, taking in nutrients from food and keeping out bacteria, pathogens, and undigested food.
Now that you have a good idea on what helps counteract allergies, doesn’t that make you want to improve your health in other ways? At the time of writing this post, we're giving away free copies of the Body Reboot book because it’s our goal to help people get healthy! Help us cover the cost of shipping, and we’d be happy to send you a FREE book. Head to this page TODAY to see if there are any remaining copies.
Sources: Livestrong, Amy Meyers MD, Chris Kresser, Healthline, Mayo Clinic, Everyday Health
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