A Natural Approach To Health
Eating For Allergies
We had a question the other day about allergies.
An allergy is an inappropriate response by your body’s immune system to something not normally harmful.
In some people, the immune system wrongly identifies something as an invader, and the white blood cells overreact, creating more damage than the invader.
So, the allergic response becomes a disease in itself.
Typical allergic responses are nasal congestion, coughing, wheezing, itching, shortness of breath, headache, fatigue, and hives and other skin rashes.
Things that provoke allergic responses are called allergens.
Almost anything can cause an allergic reaction, but the most common allergens are pollen, dust, certain metals, some cosmetics, lanolin, dust mites, animal hair, insect venom, some common drugs, some food additives, animal dander, and many chemicals.
Molds can also provoke allergic reactions, as can foods.
Some of the most common allergenic foods in adults are shrimp, lobster, crab, strawberries, chocolate, shellfish, peanuts, walnuts and other tree nuts, fish, and eggs.
In children, eggs, milk, peanuts, soy, and wheat are the main culprits.
Children typically outgrow allergies to milk, egg, soy, and wheat, but allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and shrimp persist.
Adults don’t normally lose an allergy once they have it.
There’s a difference between food allergies and food intolerances.
Only about 1.5% of adults, and less than 6% of children younger than age 3, in the U.S. have a true food allergy.
Cerebral allergies cause swelling of the lining of your brain.
Entire food families can cause these allergic reactions.
Recurrent headaches, or schizophrenic, violent, or aggressive reactions, can be an indicator of cerebral allergy.
Foods like corn, wheat, rice, milk, and chocolate, along with certain food additives, are the most common offenders.
Currently, the only way to deal with food allergies is to avoid foods triggering reactions.
Those with food allergies severe enough to cause reactions like shortness of breath, pale blue color, hives or itching, and anxiousness should wear medical alert bracelets or necklaces and carry a syringe of adrenaline (epinephrine) to use in emergencies.
For most people, allergies are no more than another frustrating fact of life.
Allergies affect your quality of life and productivity at work or home, school studies, or athletic pursuits.
They can also lead to secondary diseases like ear and sinus infections.
Hay fever is the most common type of seasonal allergy.
Its symptoms closely resemble those of the common cold, but there are some differences.
Cold symptoms generally disappear in 7-10 days, but hay fever can linger miserably for weeks, or even months.
The nasal discharge caused by a cold is generally watery at the very beginning, but then turns thick and yellow, while the allergic reaction produces a consistently thin and clear discharge from your nose, in addition to itchy eyes, mouth, and skin.
No one knows why some people are allergic to certain things.
Although people between the ages of 15 and 25 are the most allergy-prone, allergies can strike at any age.
Emotional factors like stress and anger may aggravate allergies, especially if your immune system isn’t working right.
To deal with allergies it’s beneficial to:
*Drink 6-8 cups of purified water daily as it hydrates body and brain cells and flushes toxins (whether thirsty or not!).
*Herbs have the potential to create allergic effects, so introduce them slowly and systematically at the beginning.
*Boswellia works at the cellular level to reduce inflammatory and allergic responses.
*Eucalyptus and/or thyme leaves can be used to ease congestion. Soak an ounce of either one in a cup of boiling water and inhale the steam.
*Eyebright tea has been noted to reduce hay fever symptoms like watery eyes and runny nose.
*Try licorice root to battle allergic inflammation and help restore normal breathing.
*Rotate your foods if you have food allergies. Eat a different group of foods for each of 4 days and then repeat the cycle.
*If you suffer from ragweed allergy or other weed allergies don’t eat melon, cucumbers, bananas, sunflower seeds, chamomile, or any herbal preparation containing echinacea during an episode.
*Avoid mucus-producing foods, like dairy products, sugar, wheat, and food additives.
*If you’re allergic to ragweed, don’t eat cantaloupe. It contains some of the same proteins as ragweed.
*Keep rooms free from dust, keep windows shut (use the air conditioner whenever possible), and use a dehumidifier in the basement.
*Use mold-proof paint on walls and furniture.
*Eliminate smoking, second-hand smoke, environmental pollutants.
*Avoid taking aspirin within 3 hours of eating.
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