Achoo! Bless you! Are you coughing and sneezing? Do you have a runny nose and itchy eyes? Then you know that spring is here. Allergies arrive at the same time as the spring pollen. Luckily, you can take proactive steps right now to drastically reduce your allergy symptoms.
A Little About Pollen
First though, let's take a look at what's happening when you experience allergies. What is the essence of an allergic response? Simple. Your body is reacting to the intentional or unintentional ingestion of pollen and pollen-like substances such as pet dander, mold spores, dust-bearing dust mites. In reaction to the ingestion of pollen and pollen-like substances, the body produces histamine, which is a chemical responsible for the creation of watery mucous in an attempt to wash away the irritating pollens. Anti-histamines block this natural response of the body.
OK, so what is pollen? Pollen is "a micro-spore of seed plants." Pollens are microscopic "seeds" and like all other seeds are surrounded by a protein skin that protects them from sprouting prematurely. Your body is reacting to this protein skin, which is an irritant.
The classic "allergic response" to any over-ingestion of pollens is about the same for everyone: sneezing, watery mucous, and the urgent need to blow your nose and clear your throat of the nasty little pollen spores.
Under ideal circumstances, the body possesses enough digestive and metabolic enzymes (particularly the enzyme protease) to break down the protein skin of the pollen, thus neutralizing its antagonizing effects. Then, the histamine flows in order to escort the neutralizing, and downsized (digested) pollens out of the body. This usually happens within a matter of minutes, and can be over within a matter of minutes, with no further irritation or "allergic response" until the next over-exposure to pollens.
Why Do We Have Allergic Reactions?
People who suffer from "persistent allergic reactions"(i.e., symptoms that linger for more than the normal few minutes immediately following the over-exposure) suffer from two basic causes:
- deficiencies in digestive and metabolic enzymes, particularly protease and protease partner enzymes.
- not enough histamine production, or histamine that is not strong enough when it is produced and needed.
3 Proactive Strategies to Reduce Allergy Symptoms
1. Drink More Water
Drink half your body weight in ounces per day (with a pinch of organic sea salt per ounce if you need for taste). Drink even more during the allergy seasons. The histamine production centers of the body are controlled by our internal hydrologic (water) cycles.
2. Take More Enzymes
Consume adequate amounts of digestive enzymes (with protease) to help your body cope with all the pollen. Consuming digestive enzymes throughout the day is a really good idea, either every hour or every other hour, and before going to bed. This constant inflow of "protease" and other digestive enzymes will provide the needed assistance when pollens are ingested.
3. Add Antioxidants
Strengthen your body's defenses by adding antioxidants into your daily regimen. Wheat sprouts, blue green algae, and green tea extract are all good examples of helpful antioxidants. These antioxidants will help reduce the inflammation in your body, so you sneeze less and your eyes itch less. What a relief!
Just taking a few proactive steps now, at the beginning of spring, will help you sail through the season with much fewer symptoms.
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Photo credit: Sneeze Weed