Does opening the window at night result in puffy eyes and a stuffy nose in the morning? Do you avoid dogs and cats because of their dander? Are you sensitive to certain foods? If so, you are not alone. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, more than one third of all Americans are affected by allergies.
From plants and pets to poor air quality and foods, allergy and asthma sufferers confront daily or seasonal challenges. Traditionally, prescription drugs and over-the-counter treatments have been the mainstay treatment for those with asthma and allergies. However, the holistic health community has been active in researching and developing alternative treatments for asthma and allergy relief.
Allergies are your body’s hyperactive response to something that is perceived as foreign and hazardous. Your body identifies an otherwise harmless substance as harmful — pollen, cat hair, dairy — and activates the immune system, which gets the ball rolling in what is known as an allergy attack. The holistic approach to relieving allergy symptoms utilizes acupressure points to help pinpoint the pattern of an allergic reaction and assist the practitioner in normalizing the patient’s immune system that “panics” when it comes into contact with an “invader.”
Many people don’t realize that allergies may be at the root of many ailments, including digestive issues, chronic pain, confusion, headaches, circulatory and respiratory problems. Allergies can also drive auto-immune disorders, including Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, which is associated with gluten or wheat intolerance. Current findings indicate that gluten intolerance can also cause problems with milk products, corn, rice, chocolate and more. Allergies affect as many as 60 million Americans, or one in every five adults and children.
Since airborne allergies are particularly widespread in May, try the following tips for managing these allergies at home:
- Eliminate or decrease your intake of wheat, dairy and sugar as they cause inflammation and may increase reactions.
- Use an air purifier or negative ion generator in your home or office to decrease the toxic load.
- Employ stress relief techniques such as deep breathing, exercise, meditation or Sedona Method Releasing.
Additional Allergy and Asthma Information
- According to data gathered from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is estimated that 7.1% of Colorado’s population suffers from asthma, ranking second in the nation for estimated prevalence of asthma.
- Ask the Expert George Brinkmann of the Denver Botanical Gardens says pollen is the main culprit when it comes to plant-related allergies. Lilac, viburnum and crabapple trees often bloom early in May, causing much frustration, but generally, June and July are more difficult months for allergy sufferers when many different trees, shrubs and flowers are blooming amidst frequent winds.
- The red pollution days of winter may be over but Colorado’s Air Pollution Division reports that some of the very worst air quality days are ahead this summer due to airborne particulates that can exacerbate allergies and asthma.
- Kristina Vourax of the Denver Dumb Friends League reports “1,070 pets were relinquished in 2004 by owners who told us that they could no longer keep the pet because of allergies. That number accounts for 6.54% of the total pets given up last year.”
- Knowledge of food allergies is also growing by leaps and bounds. Visit your local bookstore or natural food store and you’ll find a variety of books that focus on understanding and diagnosing food-related allergies from dairy, wheat, and gluten to corn and soy. The natural food industry continues to introduce new products that cater to those with dietary restrictions due to food sensitivities and full-blown allergies.
More from Smithson Clinic
Colorado Asthma Program – Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Prevention Services Division (CAP sites data from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on their website)
Denver Botanic Gardens – Ask the Expert George Brinkmann
Denver Dumb Friends League – Kristina Vourax/Communications Manager
Colorado Pollution Control Division – Chris Dann/Public Relations