Since I can remember I have suffered every spring and autumn with the nastiest seasonal allergies. As a child I had a line across my nose from pushing it up so much. I’ve gotten so lazy I’ve actually learned the Mary Poppin’s nose wiggle so I wouldn’t have to bother scratching it. Much of my springs were spent in a benadryl induced haze-sometimes sleepy sometimes hyper. When I got to adulthood I spent allergy season suffering for weeks and finally collapsing into a sinus infection that always moved to my lungs and ended in bronchitis. This lead to lots of antibiotic and steriod use just so I could breathe. I did this for 25+ years!!
Finally while pregnant with my first baby, my allergies TURNED OFF, one of the only perks I can remember from pregnancy (and the spring following my pregnancy my allergies returned with a vengence, so it wasn’t the pregnancy that permanently cured my allergies). Suddenly curing my allergies seemed attainable! If pregnancy could cure my allergies then there must be something I could do to replicate it! I spent the next few years researching and talking to lots of people trying to find out what I needed to do. This is now my third spring allergy free!
I can’t even explain how wonderful it’s been to not have allergies. I’m so happy to see springtime! And autumn! And everything in between. I spend a few days stuffy here and there BUT nothing like the debilitating misery I experienced before! And no more continual sinus infections/ear infections/chest congestion/bronchitis!
So here you go:
#1 I QUIT DAIRY.
And it was miserable. Dairy has been found to exacerbate allergies due to their primary protein, beta-casein, which is created during the pasteurization process and which the immune system tries to “fight.” I honestly believe that this changes person to person, but based on my improvement I think this is true for me. I remember the first time someone suggested I quit dairy. I laughed out loud. It was crazy! Quit the delicious, “healthy” drink that was sustaining almost every meal I ate? No way! It took me awhile, but I finally did it. I quit dairy (and by quit I mean milk and ice cream mostly. Many of the fermented dairy products (sour cream, yogurt) aren’t the problem). The push over the edge was the realization about how much sugar is in the dairy we drink-so it was a 2 birds with one stone type of thing. Quitting dairy meant cutting a significant amount of sugar out of my diet (weight loss) and hopefully getting rid of my allergies.
The unfortunate side effect of quitting dairy is that I quickly became intolerant to it. So now instead of struggling to avoid dairy for health reason I avoid it for sickness reasons. I’d take my intolerance to dairy over my seasonal allergies any day though. I’m much happier healthier with less ice cream than I was when I could down the stuff with no side effects.
I would suggest giving up dairy for a week. See if there is any improvement!
#2. I STARTED TAKING FISH OIL
Fish oil is super high in omega-3’s, and as we know those are super good for you. Omega-3’s reduce inflammation, and inhibit prostaglandin, a fat that produces histamine. Blocking prostaglandin production and you prevent the production of mucous, swelling, and leakiness of the blood vessels, which causes congestion. In my journey to get rid of my allergies, inflammation has become a bit of an obsession and awareness of what causes it/fixes it has seemed to be key in healing my allergies. It was another 2 birds with one stone type of move because it’s also helpful in weight loss/metabolism health.
#3 I CUT SUGAR
I have good days and bad days with this. I also obsessively blog about it, and here, and here, and a whole lot more. This was a hugely gradual process in the long run but in the short run the best way to get started is to cut it out in the things it doesn’t belong and then keep cutting from there. Sugar=inflammation=allergies. It’s a vicious cycle. I still eat the stuff, but nothing like how I used to!!
#4 I TAKE PROBIOTICS
In a study published in the journal “Clinical and Experimental Allergy,” researchers at the Institute of Food Research in Norwich, UK, found that individuals who drank the probiotic strain Lactobacillus casei once a day for five months had lower levels of an allergy-producing antibody. I’ve found a few supplements that I like that include probiotics-my only warning would be that yogurt is often packed with sugar, which fully defeats the purpose of taking them! Get your gut-health in line and your hayfever will be gone!
#5 I RIPPED OUT MY TONSILS
I am SO glad I did this. It sucked SO BAD and the pain was super miserable and terrible and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone BUT the biggest improvement I’ve seen was after removing them. I think after years of inflammation, infections and over production of mucous my tonsils were done. I have not missed them. Now that they’re gone it’s one less thing to get infected. And as a bonus my husband loves me more because he can sleep next to me now (no more snoring)!
#6 I EAT RAW LOCAL HONEY
I continued to read this but couldn’t understand how to apply it. You have to take it like medicine-every day. I sneak it into my smoothies, sweeten things with it and eat it straight off the spoon occasionally. I do think it’s helped, but not until I was consuming it regularly.
#7 I SIP ON APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
It is amazing to me how many of the important steps to good gut health are the same for getting over your allergies. I started sipping on apple cider vinegar to settle my upset tummy and found out it also loosens/reduces mucous. It is great when I have a cold too-it helps support immune function and seems to speed up my colds. When I’m completely stuffed up it opens me up like nothing else.
#8 FAVORITE REMEDIES
If you’re suffering currently, starting all of the things on this list will cure your allergies…over time. In the meantime I’ve found a few favorite remedies:
- Chlortab. The cheapest and least talked about antihistamine on the market! It’s never caused drowsiness, I can rely on it to work every time and it’s costs $1.50 a bottle. I keep this around now for when I have to be around animals I’m allergic to.
- Neti Pot. I have mixed feeling about my neti-pot BUT somedays it was just what I needed. I’m glad to say I haven’t had to break it out for quite awhile.
- Throat Coat & Breathe Easy by Traditional Medicinals. AMAZING tea. Steep that with a tsp of local honey and you will be feeling so much better. The tea is sweet and effective enough even my littles love to drink it when they have colds. It works amazing at soothing allergies too.
- Breathe Essential Oil by doTerra. Think Vicks without the petroleum. It’s so so good.
- Lots of hot showers and steam baths with Epsom Salt.
You have all of my sympathies if you’re suffering from allergies. When it comes down to it, if you improve your general health you’ll improve your allergies and not have to suffer anymore. I would challenge you to take this list to any doctor-I’m sure you’d receive their full support (pending individual diagnosis on the tonsils) and approval to begin all of these routines. Good luck. And if you’ve cured your allergies I’d love to hear about the steps you took and add them to my list! Comment below 😉