May is Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, and as the weather starts to get nicer, many rejoice in the longer days and sunshine. For some, this time of year can be tough when seasonal allergies start to ramp up. In the most recent NHI survey, 20 million adults were diagnosed with hay fever and allergies are the 6th leading cause of chronic illness in the United States.1,2
Allergies can prevent a lot of people from getting outside and participating in physical activity and spending time with friends. The most common outdoor allergens for people include tree, grass, and weed pollen.2 People may not just experience sneezing and coughs, but can also experience fatigue, rashes, headache, nausea, or even fever. This is because the body identifies things like pollen and grass as invaders and creates antibodies such as histamine to protect the body.4 Most people cope with allergies by taking anti-histamines which work by preventing the histamines from attaching to cells and causing these symptoms.
The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology recommends the following to help deal with seasonal allergies:3
- Understand what pollen you’re most allergic to and understand when the levels are the highest to avoid them. You can check pollen counts to avoid those times and still enjoy activities outdoors.
- Make sure to bathe, wash your hair, and put on clean clothes after you’ve been outside so you don’t bring pollen or allergens inside with you.
- Keep windows and doors shut when at home to keep pollen outside.
- If you want to be outside, try wearing a filter mask.
- Chat with your doctor about allergy medication and start using it about 2 weeks before allergy season hits.
Want to deal with allergies in a more natural way? Here are some supplements you can try to help alleviate some of your symptoms:
Astragalus Used to help support a healthy immune system and can increase the body’s production of white blood cells to defend again disease or allergies. Can also help support vascular function.5
Quercetin Can help promote a proper histamine response to increase upper respiratory health. It is also a powerful antioxidant which can help prevent the immune cells from releasing histamines in response to an allergen and lessen the corresponding inflammatory response.6
Bromelain Helps support a proper inflammatory response and increase upper respiratory health. 6
Vitamin C Vitamin C can help the body modulate its response to what it considers foreign invaders like allergies and viruses to manage the histamine response. 7