Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Conquering allergies, naturally

Last spring, I started sneezing. And I couldn't stop. My eyes were constantly puffy. I sneezed all day long at work. I sneezed at home. I sneezed while driving my car (very scary if it happens often and over and over). The one place I didn't sneeze was outside.

To some spring is the start of allergy season, but this had never been the case for me before. In addition, all of my "sneeze attacks" seemed to happen indoors - so I was not convinced I was reacting to pollen/grass/trees.

I was determined to get to the bottom of this, as I was not interested in medicating myself with [insert name of over-the-counter anti-histamine here] to suppress the symptoms of the real problem. So I made an appointment to see a naturopathic doctor. She suggested I do a simple blood test for some common (mostly indoor) allergens. Success! The results showed I was reacting highly to house dust, dust mites, mold and cockroaches (lovely!).

The recommendation was to use some sublingual drops, which would address the root cause of my allergic reactions and a quercetin supplement to relieve my symptoms (quercetin has a natural anti-histamine effect, without the side effects of the drug-store variety). I also made good use of my neti pot to help wash out some irritants (bonus is it also helps relieve the intense dryness in my nasal passages this time of year).

It's taken some getting used to what works for me: how often and when to take the supplements, with or without an extra dose of Vitamin C, which helps the quercetin work better, and how often to use my neti pot. But I think I've found the right combination and I've essentially eliminated my body's allergic response without the need for drugs.

Score 1 Raeanne, 0 Big Pharma!

Of course I've also done the obvious things like made sure that my linens are cleaned regularly, my house and office are dusted regularly, and my car's cabin air filter is changed regularly. I've also been using a humidifier in the house during the colder months.

Does anyone else have any good natural allergy remedies to share?

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