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Sadly, allergies have reached epidemic proportions in today’s world. Itchy eyes, excessive sneezing, mucus build-up, rashes and congestion are just a few of the symptoms that many of us suffer.

Meanwhile, there seems to be a never-ending selection of pills, sprays, lotions and drops available to us.

Do these medications have the answer?

In my view, the single greatest influencer on keeping your allergies at bay is you. Focusing on your wellbeing and keeping your immunity strong naturally can have a direct impact on your overall allergy health.

So how do you do this and keep your allergic response in check?

Five natural steps to control your allergies without medication

Let’s break down the steps to easing your allergies.

1. Watch What You Eat

One of the biggest causes of allergic reaction is the typical Western diet, heavy in sugar, refined carbohydrates and processed foods.

Junk food

Obviously foods you know you are allergic to are strictly off the menu. But for me, one of the simplest ways to help ease your allergies is to overhaul your eating regime.

My advice is to switch to a Paleo-based eating plan based on fresh meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and eggs. This combination of moderate carbohydrates, fat and protein appear to create an ideal hormonal response that helps keep our bodies in balance.

Take Allergy Test

How to Change Your Diet

Consider cutting out the following:

  • All sugar, a cause of inflammation in the body
  • Grains which are converted by the body into simple sugars
  • Processed foods which may contain chemicals, additives and preservatives that can provoke an allergic response
  • Limiting the amount of dairy which is known to cause mucous production.

Eating plenty of vegetables and low-glycaemic fruit such as apples, apricots and firm pears, will also boost your intake of important antioxidants and anti-inflammatory components. All beneficial in helping to keep allergies at bay.

Let’s be clear, suffering from allergies can be miserable. However, by incorporating these simple natural strategies, not only will you be able to help your body cope but also boost your overall wellbeing.

Let’s be clear, suffering from allergies can be miserable. However, by incorporating these simple natural strategies, not only will you be able to help your body cope but also boost your overall wellbeing.

2. Keep Stress Levels Under Control

Stress can have a knock-on effect on your immune system meaning it’s easier for your allergies to take hold.

While there’s no evidence to suggest that chronic stress actually causes allergies, for those who are susceptible, stress can certainly worsen symptoms.

A 2013 US study found that those who reported allergy symptoms had higher scores of perceived stress than those who had no allergy symptoms. It concluded that people with ‘persistent emotional stress’ do indeed have allergy flares more often. In addition, researchers have also found that lowering your stress can actually help reduce symptoms.

What You Can do to Lower Stress

So the point here is to always build in some downtime during your day.

It could be going out for a walk, doing some yoga or meditation or listening to some soothing music. Simply taking time out to relax will help counteract the negative impact stress could have on your allergic response.

3. Boost Your Immunity with Vitamins

Sometimes your body’s defences can become overloaded and need a little help when it comes to managing allergies.

Sometimes your body’s defences can become overloaded and need a little help when it comes to managing allergies.

Here are the supplements you should consider

First, always check with your doctor before taking any supplements. Now, let’s look at some options:

Vitamin C: One of the biggest immune boosters of all. Vitamin C is also considered a natural anti-histamine. (2,000mg per day)

Vitamin D: Produced by the body through sunshine on the skin, Vitamin D plays an essential role in the immune system and could have a strong part to play in combatting allergies. (Take 5,000mg at bedtime – gel capsules are best).

Omega-3: Essential fatty acids help stabilise inflammation – vital when helping to manage allergies and support the major immune cells. (Take at least 2,000 mg of Omega 3-FA)

Probiotics: As much as 70-80% of a person’s immune cells are located in the gut, and probiotics contain specific kinds of live, ‘friendly’ bacteria that help keep that part of your body healthy. The best probiotics I like are those from David Perlmutter MD, available at Life Pharmacy.

Vitamin B6: Vital for supporting biochemical reactions in the immune system. A deficiency in this important vitamin can be associated with anything from anaemia to skin problems. (Best to get a B-complex).

4. Stop Smoking

The harmful substances found in cigarette smoke constrict blood vessels which can adversely affect allergic conditions such as asthma, hay fever and eczema.

Smoking

When toxic irritants contained in cigarette smoke are inhaled into the blood, the natural response of the body is to try and remove them. It develops a hypersensitivity to these chemicals.

This in turn can trigger an allergic response causing symptoms such as itchy red eyes, a cough, congestion, wheeziness and a runny nose. In more serious cases, smoking can trigger respiratory-related issues such as asthma, severe coughing and laboured breathing.

How to stop smoking

This is a huge topic just by itself, but let’s look at a few key points.

Make a date to stop and stick to it. Pick a day that is not too far in the future so you can’t change your mind, but still gives you a little time to prepare.

Tell your friends and family. It will give you the incentive not to cave in and provide welcome support.

Avoid nicotine replacement therapy. Steer clear of patches, gums, sprays and e-cigarettes – they keep your addiction alive.

Avoid your usual triggers. Identify the times you are most likely to smoke – and alter those habits.

5. Reduce Your Alcohol Intake

Beer, wine and distilled spirits all contain levels of histamine, the chemical responsible for causing allergic reactions.

Beer, wine and distilled spirits all contain levels of histamine, the chemical responsible for causing allergic reactions.

In the case of alcohol, the histamine is created by the yeast and bacteria during the fermentation process.

Red wine and beer also contain another group of culprits called sulphites. These can cause a whole host of reactions from nasal swelling through to itchy skin. In fact, a 2008 study found that alcohol consumption was linked to a higher risk of allergy symptoms.

How to Control Your Alcohol Intake

Just like smoking, this is a huge subject. But let’s look at some key points.

Smaller is better. You can still enjoy a drink but make it a smaller one.

Pace yourself. Alternate alcoholic drinks with a glass of water or a soft drink.

Pick low-alcohol drinks. A great way of more than halving the number of units of alcohol you drink in an evening.

No alcohol days. Set aside certain days when you don’t drink.

Euromed provides medical, dental, psychological and cosmetic services in top-of-the-range surroundings and by world-leading experts. Our truly holistic approach means your body and mind are in the very best hands, and all under one roof. To book an appointment, call +971 4 394 5422 or book your consultation by filling the form.

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About the author:

Dr Graham Simpson graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand Medical School in Johannesburg, South Africa, and is board certified in Internal Medicine and Emergency Medicine. Dr. Simpson is a founding member of the American Holistic Medical Association (AHMA) and is also a licensed homeopath. He has taught as an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Nevada. He is certified in Age Management Medicine by the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine and by the Cenegenics Education Research Foundation, and he remains a consultant for the Cenegenics Medical Institute. Dr. Simpson writes extensively in his mission to educate the public so that we can all live better and healthier. 

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