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Have you ever found yourself buried under a pile of tissues? Allergies can take us from feeling great to feeling so lousy that we don’t want to get out of bed in the morning. Symptoms range from a nagging runny nose to a full-blown anaphylaxis reaction. If you begin to experience difficulty breathing, excessive itching or fainting, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately. If your symptoms are more on the runny nose side, check out some of these tips below to combat allergies.
Getting tested for food and environmental allergens can give you insight into what’s causing your body to react. Removing the right foods or changing your environment can be the key to symptom relief. For example, if you’re allergic to feathers, replacing your down comforter is your best option. If you’re allergic to dust mites, cleaning frequently can help alleviate the symptoms. And if you have certain food allergies, prevent allergic reactions by avoiding those foods entirely.
Underlying inflammation in the digestive tract can lead to increased allergic responses. If the cells of the GI tract are inflamed, they begin to pull apart and become more permeable. When particles of food are able to pass through this barrier into the bloodstream, this kicks off a heightened immune response – a.k.a. an allergic reaction. One of the easiest ways to decrease inflammation is to change your diet, eliminating foods that are common triggers. Gluten, dairy, and sugar tend to be the first to go as they cause the biggest impact. You can also get allergy tests to see what other foods cause reactions, then eliminate those as you heal your digestive tract.
Eating local honey gives your body exposure to different environmental allergens in small amounts. This allows your immune system to create the antibodies it needs to fight off these invaders when they come in larger quantities, which helps decrease your allergic response. A great spot to find local honey is at the farmers market.
Collagen is a protein that can be broken down into amino acids and used throughout the body. Many people tout collagen for its ability to improve hair, skin, and nails. The body takes extra amino acids and uses them wherever they are necessary. In regards to the digestive tract, collagen can help fill in the gaps and decrease inflammation and permeability.
Butterbur is a European shrub that can help reduce allergic symptoms. Look for butterbur root or leaf extracts to combat hay fever or seasonal allergies. You can also try mycoferon, a supplement that can help boost the immune system. Consult with your doctor before taking any supplements.
If you experience more serious allergy-related symptoms, it’s best to seek medical care. However, cleaning up your diet and keeping your immune system strong can all help combat allergies naturally. Try these tips next time your allergies flare and see how you feel!
Sarah Greenfield studied nutrition at Pennsylvania State University, got her RD through UCLA and worked as a dietitian with a focus on ICU, trauma, digestive disease and wound care.
She created a nationwide school nutrition program and a nutrition-focused marathon training program for NutriBullet. Having completed several marathons, she got an advanced certification in sports nutrition to further her knowledge on coaching athletes to better health.
She started her own company, Fearless Fig, as a way to connect with people on a deeper level. She works with clients one-on-one, integrating advanced testing to restore digestive health, fuel endurance athletes, and make healthy eating achievable. She has been featured on Men's Health, Self, NBC with Lester Holt, KTLA with Lori Corbin and Dr. Hyman's Blog for her recipes and meal prep tips.