Those Pesky Allergies!

Holistic Medicine - Allergies Explained - Salvatore Di Liello - Naturale SolutionsThere are many forms of allergies.  They can come from food, environment, pets, chemicals, medications, home products like body lotions, cleaning solutions, scented laundry detergents and  fabric softeners. And lately, we have seen an increased number of allergy cases.

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America defines “allergy” as an overreaction of the immune system to substances that usually cause no reaction in most individuals.

Here are some facts about allergies from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology:

“Asthma and allergic diseases, such as allergic rhinitis (hay fever), food allergy, and atopic dermatitis (eczema), are common for all age groups in the United States. Asthma affects more than 17 million adults and more than 7 million children.”

“Allergies are the 6th leading cause of chronic illness in the U.S. with an annual cost in excess of $18 billion. More than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year.”

“Allergic rhinitis, often called hay fever, is a common condition that causes symptoms such as sneezing, stuffy nose, runny nose, watery eyes and itching of the nose, eyes or the roof of the mouth.”

“Allergic rhinitis can be seasonal or perennial.”

“Symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis occur in spring, summer and/or early fall. They are usually caused by allergic sensitivity to pollen from trees, grasses or weeds, or to airborne mold spores.”

“The prevalence of food and skin allergies increased in children under 18 years from 1997-2011.”

In addition, here are some interesting statistics taken from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology:

“Number of people in the U.S. who have either allergy or asthma symptoms: one in five”.

“Odds that a child with one allergic parent will develop allergies: 33%”.

“Odds that a child with two allergic parents will develop allergies: 70%”.

“On average, in 2008 children missed 4 days of school and adults missed 5 days of work because of asthma”.

“One estimate of the annual cost of allergies to the health care system and businesses in the U.S.: $7.9 billion”.

“Percentage of people hospitalized for asthma who are children: About 44%”.

“Percentage of people in the U.S. that have asthma: 8%”.

Fortunately, there are several natural ways to deal with allergies.  Here are some well-known natural antihistamines: Vitamin C, Stinging Nettles (Urtica dioica), Quercetin, Bromelain, N-acetyl Cysteine to mention a few.

In addition, these homeopathic remedies work well for the various symptoms associated with allergies:

*Allium cepa – watery eye irritation, nose burns, throat irritation, hoarseness, acrid nasal discharges.

*Euphrasia – tears burn watery eyes, nose runs or is stuffed up.

*Kali bich – sinuses, throat clog with thick, ropy, stubborn mucus.

*Pulsatilla – stuffy yellow mucus, sniffles, cough, sinus pressure.

Proper nutrition can make a dramatic difference; staying away from foods that trigger inflammation such as refined sugars, flours, dairy products, alcohol and processed food can help tremendously. Air purifiers are another great tool to reduce airborne allergens.  Taking off your shoes before coming inside to avoid allergens from entering your home and vacuuming inside your car where pollen, dust and other matters usually accumulate are also helpful ways to control allergens.

Of course, always consult your physician before starting any supplements and/or remedies or if symptoms do not improve.

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As a naturopathic doctor my focus is the preventive care and wellness of the individual.
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