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Reducing the Effect of Inflammation on Allergy Symptoms

by Laura Kovalcik, DO

Reducing the Effect of Inflammation on Allergy Symptoms, Image:

As cold and snowy as the weather has been, spring will soon be upon us. Along with spring comes the budding trees and bushes, flowers and grass start to grow and they all release their pollens. Seasonal allergies, those that occur in the spring and fall, are very common and seem to be increasing. Many people experience sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes and nasal congestion. These symptoms are caused in large part by an inflammatory molecule called histamine.

Histamine is made and stored in cells called mast cells and basophils, a type of white blood cell, found in large numbers in the nose, mouth and internal body surfaces. When allergens are breathed in or eaten and react with the mast cells they release their histamine causing symptoms.

An important aspect of decreasing allergy symptoms and discomfort is to decrease overall body inflammation. Some of the causes of inflammation are stress, chemical sensitivities and food sensitivities. To lower the body’s stress response it is important to get adequate sleep. Exercise has been found to be extremely helpful in reducing stress; also deep breathing and stretching routines. Some people de-stress by meditation, prayer or journaling. To decrease chemical sensitivities keep your personal spaces as chemical free as possible. Use more natural cleaning products such as baking soda and vinegar. Use unscented laundry products and personal care products. Scented products can cause respiratory symptoms in you and those around you. Food sensitivities are a source of many allergy symptoms. Testing for food sensitivities and then avoiding these foods will help reduce the worsening of allergy symptoms.

To decrease inflammation several products can be very useful. XLear is a nasal spray containing xylitol which leaves a sticky residue along the nasal tissue trapping pollen and other allergens preventing them from reaching the mast cells. Vitamin C and Quercetin can stabilize mast cells thereby limiting their ability to release histamine. Fish oil and Curcumin are oral anti-inflammatory products that can decrease systemic inflammation.

Also, if you currently take an antihistamine medication, know that there are natural alternatives available such as D-Hist and others. With all of these products start taking them at the first sign of symptoms to maximize their effectiveness.

Laura Kovalcik, DO, is Board-Certified in Internal Medicine and Director of The Downing Clinic, 5715 Bella Rose Blvd., Suite 100, Clarkston, MI, just across from entrance to the DTE Energy Theatre. For more information, call 248-625-6677, visit TheDowningClinic.com or Facebook.com/TheDowningClinic.

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