Allergic rhinitis is the set of symptoms that occurs when you breathe in substances you are allergic to. These substances are called allergens and are small proteins. Seasonal allergy (sometimes called hay fever) occurs during times of the year when allergens are in the air, like spring, summer and fall. The most common allergens are tree, grass or weed pollens. Perennial or persistent allergic rhinitis is caused by allergens that may be present year-round. These may include chemicals, dust, dust mites, cockroaches, animal dander or mold spores. Causes An allergic reaction occurs when your body's immune system overreacts to an allergen. People at highest risk are those who already exhibit some signs of other immune system irregularities, such as food allergies, eczema or asthma. When you breathe in an allergen, mast cells in your nasal passages release a chemical called histamine. Histamine causes your nose to feel itchy and also causes swelling and mucus production in the nasal passages, runny nose, nasal congestion, sinus pressure, postnasal drip and cough, headache and dark circles under your eyes. Diagnosis The two most common tests for airborne allergies are: • Skin prick test o A tiny bit of an allergen is placed under the skin with a needle. The doctor watches to see if the skin in that area becomes red, raised and itchy. This can be done for multiple allergens at the same time. • RAST testing o A small sample of blood is taken and tested for different allergens. More testing methods are available Help reduce symptoms Four studies in the medical literature have shown us ways to stabilize these mast cells and reduce the symptoms of allergies. 1. The first study was conducted in Korea on the Nopal fruit (Opuntia ficus indica). It showed significant benefit of Nopal fruit against allergies. 2. The second study was from Japan. This was an animal study that showed Vitamin B-12reduced the allergic response in those with allergy to the same levels as those without allergy. One group of physicians in Dallas, Texas used this information to treat humans by giving them 3 milligrams of Vitamin B-12 sublingually. They report in Men’s Health that allergy symptoms decreased by 50% the first year and by 50% more the second year of sublingual B-12 use. 3. The third study in Helsinki, Finland used probiotics to stabilize mast cells and reduce allergy symptoms. 4. One of my best, time-tested approaches for allergy came from an older article out of Brussels, Belgium. It shows the absolute necessity of essential fatty acids (EFA) for allergy. A more recent article from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil also commented that EFA and probiotics together are even more effective. Conclusion So, what is your opinion: In recent years, have people become more allergic or less? Likely, you will notice more people suffering with allergies. As our world becomes more toxic, we become more sensitive. And as we become more deficient – especially in bioflavonoids, Vitamin B-12, probiotics and essential fatty acids – we are more prone to allergy. So, insulate yourself by taking your nutrients every day and isolate yourself from allergens by following the recommendations below.
Take Control of Your Health
• Load up on Nopal bioflavonoids with Nopalea™ • Get 3 milligrams of Sublingual B-12 daily • Use FloraVita™ as a good source of probiotics • Help fill your essential fatty acid reserves with OmegaPrime® • Keep the windows of your house and car closed to keep pollen out • Use an air conditioner to reduce indoor humidity and to prevent mold and mildew growth o Clean your air conditioner filters regularly • Consider running an air purifier in your home, especially in your bedroom • Use vacuum cleaners and air conditioners with HEPA filters to trap allergens • Cover pillows and mattresses with vinyl covers to reduce your exposure to dust mites o Wash bedding weekly in very hot water • Use fewer dust-collecting items, such as curtains, bed skirts, carpeting and stuffed animals, especially in your bedroom • Keep your pets out of bedrooms and other rooms with carpets