Naturopathic Doctor, Angela Lambert, ND, shared her top ten ways for dealing with allergies and colds.
1. Get plenty of sleep (8 hours)- Your body functions optimally without enough sleep.
2. Eat anti-inflammatory whole foods everyday- like fresh organic vegetables and fruits, garlic and green tea.
3. Exercise regularly. Research shows that those who exercise regularly get sick half as often as those who don't.
4. Wash your hands several times per day to prevent exposure.
5. Keep the back of your neck warm at all times. From a Chinese medical perspective, becoming chilled in this area often precedes a cold or flu.
6. Keep Immune-boosting herbs on hand for prevention and early treatment. Their effectiveness is nothing short of amazing.
7. Stay hydrated. Keeping you mucous membranes moist is the key to helping them fight off infections
8. Practice stress management techniques like deep breathing, yoga and qi gong. This will help to keep stress from suppressing your immune system.
9. Avoid sugar. Large amounts of sugar can suppress your immune system for hours increasing your risk of infection.
10. Nip it in the bud. If you get chilled, warm the back of your neck with a hairdryer and drink ginger tea. If you feel a sore throat coming on, drink peppermint tea and avoid spicy foods, alcohol and coffee. Schedule an acupuncture appointment to give your immune system a boost.
Symptoms may include:
Itchy watery eyes
Sinus headache and congestion
Your symptoms are not the problem. They are the indicators that there is a problem.
Why do some people get symptoms and others don't? Think of your body and health like a cup. Many things can "fill" your cup such as:
Genetics - some people may have a genetic predisposition (parents had allergies)
Immune system - may already be taxed or overworking or stressed
Stress - will make your body have to work harder to maintain a sense of balance - too often undervalued as significant in maintaining health - adrenal glands can be overworked - running from the tiger vs. living a calm life. We can only run form the tiger for so long before our body says STOP!
Inflammation - a natural process of the breakdown of cells in the body that can go overboard - influenced by lifestyle, diet, environment, stress.
Pollen - tips the balance of the cup of some people over (particularly if the previous issues mentioned are already filling the cup up)
When working on any health issues it's important to look at both short term and long-term solutions and issues.
Short Term Solutions:
***1. Decrease Inflammation
(follow an Anti-inflammatory diet, essential fatty acids, B vitamins)
2. Balance the Immune System
(Probiotics, Botanicals, Homeopathy and Vitamins)
3. Stabilize Mast Cells - the cells that are overreacting
(Herbs, Homeopathy, and Vitamins)
4.Improve Integrity of the Capillaries
(Herbs, Homeopathy, and Vitamins)
5. For Best Results
Start one month before allergy season
Some good supplements to help:
Vitamin C (prevents the secretion of histamine from the WBC)
Essential Fatty Acids: Cod Liver Oil (anti-inflammatory & strengthens cell membranes
Quercetin, (stabilizes mast cells membranes, inhibits release of histamine)
Probiotics - strengthen the immune system integrity
Horseradish - yes, eat sushi with wasabi
Low energy & anxiety:
Things a Naturopath can work on with you:
Help choose individual acute solutions for allergy relief
Help to interpret your symptoms, so that you know WHY you have them and what they are trying to tell you.
Help stop the progression of dis-ease and put you on a path of improved health and vitality.