I used to struggle with allergies - and when I say struggle - I mean chronic sinus infections, cracked skin around my eyes, cracks in the corners of my mouth because I couldn't breathe through my nose, losing my voice at the change of the seasons and all around feeling like I got hit by a Mack truck for about 6 weeks every spring. That was in addition to the watery eyes, runny nose, congestion and itching. It was miserable.
By the time I was 18, I was taking prescription allergy medicine & prescription nasal spray and still found myself on antibiotics at least 3 times a year from sinus infections that stemmed from allergy symptoms and experiencing very little if any relief from what I descried above.
But I have good news! There is hope! I haven't need a prescription allergy medication in 16 years and in that same amount of time I've only had 2 sinus infections.
So what helped me overcome such severe allergy symptoms?
I'm going to share two sets of tips with you. The first is related to dealing with the underlying inflammation, immune and histamine response happening in the body. This takes a little time and requires the most effort, but I'd argue it's necessary to get maximum relief for the second set of tips. These are holistic, natural remedies that can help you experience relief while you work on the internal/underlying issues contributing to your allergies.
So let's get started.
First things first, just because something's common doesn't mean it's "normal". Most of us can get to a place where we have little to no symptoms with the changing of the seasons. This requires a strong gut lining free of perforations or separation AND a healthy gut microbiome.
While I can't teach you how to build that in one blog post, I can tell you this. When I started my healing journey at 30 years old. One of the first major benefits that came from my nutritional shifts was that my allergies was able to take me off all of my allergy medication in the first few months of my journey! This isn't even something I was aiming for and it was a huge motivation for me to continue going on my journey when I experienced so much relief and healing.
My gut didn't heal in 6 weeks, but in 6 weeks my inflammation levels came down so much and my gut started to improve to a degree that my threshold to tolerate the seasonal shifts, pollen and allergens dramatically increased so my symptoms dramatically decreased.
What was I doing:
100% avoiding dairy
100% avoiding gluten including reading labels because gluten hides in things like lunch meat as filler
No processed soy. I could eat organic tempeh, but other than that no soy, so again, reading labels.
Leading with plants on my plate at every meal. I plated my protein on a bed of greens, ate fruit and veggies with every meal. This was important to making sure I was getting anti-inflammatories, antioxidants and enough fiber. I can go into all the science behind the fiber, the digestion process and the byproducts it creates that help heal the gut lining, but you can also look that up. Just trust me...it works. If you want to know how...read Fiber Fueled.
No white sugar and keeping added sugars to 10-15g or less a day.
So basically, I was eating lots of whole foods in their natural state. This process of guidelines reduced my intake of packaged processed foods and increased my intake of nutrient dense foods. It gave my body the building blocks for healing that were missing in the "healthy" diet I thought I was eating that was made up of a lot of packaged, convenience "health" foods.
At this time, I would still eat at fast food restaurants. But I was getting salads with no dressing. Baked potatoes at Wendy's. Sandwich bowls at Jersey Mike's or Subway. I was avoiding foods that triggered mass inflammation in my body. Salmon, grilled chicken, and veggies at Chili's and other restaurants my kids loved. It wasn't always easy, but as I started to feel better, sleep better and look better...I was motivated to continue.
Like I said, this takes time. You won't feel the benefits on day 1, but you should start to feel a noticeable improvement by day 14 if you're really sticking to these guidelines. If you're interested in working on gut healing and need support, fill out this form and I'll reach out.
Now, how can you experience some relief while you wait for the nutritional shifts to work?
These are some of my go to products that are really effective at managing spring allergies. And side note...many prescriptions can be huge gut bombs. These are gut friendly!
Triease - this is an essential oil based supplement from doTERRA that has worked so well for myself, my family and many of my private clients. It's a combination of lavender - natural anti-histamine, lemon - helps with detoxing, peppermint - helps open airways and increase circulation.
Allergy Calm from Boiron - These homeopathic tablets dissolve under the tongue and help with relief from allergy and hay fever symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes and throat. I didn't know about these back in the day, but my son gets a lot of relief from them currently since he's not willing to do the nutritional/gut healing components right now as much as I'd like him to. He's 17 and I can't force him.
TexaClear Homeopathic Cedar Fever Relief - allergy relief drops for our region of the country. Most effective when used year round. These drops are non-drowsy, no side effects, and help with symptoms related to trees, weeds and grasses in our region. They also provide drainage support (for more on drainage support and lymphatic support see my video below.) You can find similar drops for any region in the country. I found these first at our local Whole Foods and the representative there for the supplement section swore by how effective they are. My son and Nic both use them and find they get a lot of relief. How does it work? It exposes your body to microbuses of over 100 extracts from the trees, weeds and grasses in the area, which slowly increases your body's tolerance to the allergens. It trains your immune system to no longer react to the presence of the allergens in your environment.
Day to day, your body, can benefit from these remedies along with some simple massage and lymphatic drainage techniques that help get things moving and flush things out to give you short term relief that adds up over time.
Check out this simply daily face massage for spring allergies. Your lymphatic system doesn't have a pump like your circulatory system, so giving it some help to get things moving in the right direction so your body can remove the build up can provide a lot of relief in the moment and help reduce symptoms over time. I love to do this while in the hot shower and soaking in an hot epsom salt bath.