ok, ok....I know I'm here to talk about allergies, but I'm getting there! Let me show you some cute shoes first!
Ok, now that I got that out of my system, as we with food-allergies and eczema anticipate each season with its own pros and cons, the Autumn wind blows a bunch of ragweed pollen into our noses as we inhale that oh-so-crispy air, daydreaming of the beautiful, colored leaves and forgetting about..."ACHOOOOOOOO!!!!!" And so it begins. You get out your bottle of Allegra, Zyrtec or Benadryl and hope that this time you don't get too tired, since you have so many things to do today!!
Not to mention the fact that if you suffer from eczema from foods, it is likely you suffer from ragweed allergy, mold allergy and pollen allergy as well. If you don't, be very thankful for that stroke of luck and move on to my next blog.
I have been getting immunization shots for years now, which has seemed to help me during the Spring/Summer months, yet, when this season rolls around, I end up with two and a half months of misery, in the form of itchy hives all over my body and usually on my face, unless I take my morning Allegra and my evening Zyrtec or Atarax as prescribed. The only problem with this is these medications make me so sleepy/fatigued I don't get anything done!
So my question is, how do I strengthen my immune system so that I don't have to rely on all three medications around the clock?
I am not a doctor and I have no credentials in health. All I can vouch for is my experience, and everyone's physical chemistry is different so if you plan on taking any of these vitamins or supplements, please check with your allergist and primary care doctor beforehand. Here is the list of the supplements I do take every day, which have helped greatly with my allergies thus far:
1. Solgar Formula VM-75 Multiple Vitamins - An excellent multivitamin with no soy or nuts. I take one daily with food (these are like horsepills...if you take without food, you will be nauseous.
2. Solgar Ester-C 1000 MG - Ester-C is the 'pure' form of vitamin C and is much easier on the stomach than regular vitamin C. I recently read online that if you take 2,000 MG Ester-C daily, you will dampen your histamine production by 40% after seven consecutive days! I take one in the morning with breakfast and one in the evening with dinner.
3. Barleans Flaxseed Oil (with highest lignans) - Definitely check with your allergist before using this product as it is made from a seed. The 'lignans' are a fiber and are very beneficial for health, so be sure to get the one WITH lignans. This refrigerated product can be found at Whole Foods or select health food stores. I learned about it several years ago when researching The Budwig diet for my grandmother's cancer. It is highly recommended over fish oils for Omega-3s especially since there is controversy over fish oils having mercury/toxins from radiation. It is said to benefit everything from cancer, to diabetes, inflammation, heart disease, allergies and depression. I notice a big difference when I do not take it. Since its pretty gross to take on its own and heat kills its beneficial properties, add it to your yogurts, smoothies or salads. You'll hardly even taste it!
I will update this list if I come across anything useful and effective but for now, this is what has been helping me, besides my daily Allegra and my weekly immunotherapy shots.
Another thing to remember this season, is to take your showers or baths at night. This keeps you from dragging all the ragweed and mold spores from outside into your bed. Your hair acts like a mop and especially when the wind outside is blowing through all the trees, your hair and clothing are a ragweed magnet! You will thank me in the morning. If you plan to be outdoors for long periods of time, be sure to change out of your clothes and shower as soon as you get home. This has helped me avoid some really itchy nights.
Do NOT drive around with your windows open or open your bedroom windows at night although I know how tempting it is! You are just letting all the allergens into your sensitive environment! Keep the AC on and windows closed. When you get in your car, run the AC with the windows open to let out any mold spores for about a minute or two, then close the windows.
I also like to keep wet wipes (I use Alba Botanica Natural Hawaiian 3-in-1 Clean Towelettes with Deep-Pore-Purifying Pineapple Enzyme) in my bag to wipe my face once or twice during the day when it gets itchy.
Hope all of this helps to make this season an extra-comfortable one!