Don’t Let Allergies Keep You From Enjoying Summer!

Doesn’t seem like allergy season should be over by now? Not here in the Pacific Northwest!

Here in the Pacific Northwest we have one of the longest allergy seasons in the world! Just about the time that allergy sufferers are starting to feel a little relief at the end of tree pollen season, that’s when hay fever season starts. And pollen counts can often stay high well into the fall.

Luckily here at Heart of Wellness we have some excellent solutions to help you through our long Pacific Northwest allergy season. Our solutions are both time-tested (for example acupuncture, herbs and nutritional therapy) and also cutting-edge (including high-quality supplements developed using the latest scientific research). If you want some help please call our office at (360) 570-0401 to schedule a free 15 minute consultation with one of our naturopathic physicians, acupuncturists or our nutritionist.

Along with the natural beauty of spring and summer comes the pollen, mold, and spore counts that can make life miserable if you suffer from seasonal allergies. In the Northwest the allergy season can be exceptionally long, stretching from February through September. As the long allergy season progresses, plants and trees of all kinds begin blooming and pollinating. It is these airborne particles that can cause runny nose, itchy watery eyes, sneezing, headaches, swelling in the sinuses, and swollen glands. In fact, seasonal allergies can often feel like having a long lasting cold. One of the causes of seasonal allergies is the way the immune system responds to airborne pathogens. The body can tag these particles, making the body think they are harmful. This encourages the body to mount an immune response.Your body will begin to release histamine, the chemical responsible for many allergy symptoms, along with other chemicals. Some cells that produce histamine may become unstable and over-reactive, releasing large amounts of histamine into the body. That is why many over-the-counter allergy medicines contain histamine blockers. Unfortunately, anti-histamine drugs have several unpleasant side effects such as daytime drowsiness and dry mouth.

Here are several ways to decrease seasonal allergy symptoms naturally:

1. Limit exposure. Sometimes it is a good idea to give the body a rest from the constant barrage of airborne allergens. This can help an over-reactive system to calm down and re-set itself. To do this, make sure to limit your outdoor exposure on windy days or days where the pollen and spore count is high. Delegate lawn duties and make sure not to dry your clothes outside. If you do have to be outside, take a quick shower to wash off particles from your skin and hair when you return home. A high-quality air filter can significantly reduce the allergens in your environment.

2. Support the Body. There are several things you can do to support the body through allergy season. To help inhibit histamine naturally, try sipping herbal tea made from stinging nettles or adding quercetin rich foods, such as onions, olive oil, apples, citrus, and blueberries. If you have issues introducing these kinds of foods into your diet, our nutritionist can support you with alternatives. We also have you quercetin supplements that contain a special highly-biovailable form of quercetin. Ask your practitioner about what it right for you.

3. Get Enough Sleep. Seasonal allergies can take their toll on our body, making us feel worn down and fatigued. Anytime our body is struggling in this way it is especially important to get enough high-quality sleep to help the body recover. Make sure you are going to bed early enough to feel rested in the morning when you wake up.

4. Make Use of Alternative Therapies. Using therapies such as acupuncture, herbal medicine, homeopathy, and hydrotherapy are great ways to help stimulate the body to health by balancing the system. Consult with your practitioner about which options are best for you.

Luckily here at Heart of Wellness we have some excellent solutions to help you through our long Pacific Northwest allergy season. Our solutions are both time-tested (for example acupuncture, herbs and nutritional therapy) and also cutting-edge (including high-quality supplements developed using the latest scientific research). If you want some help please call our office at (360) 570-0401 to schedule a free 15 minute consultation with one of our naturopathic physicians, acupuncturists or our nutritionist.

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