Health & Wellness

Symptoms of Allergies (+ 4 Natural Home Remedies for Seasonal Allergies!)

If you’re suffering from symptoms of allergies, you’re not alone. According to the World Allergy Organization, seasonal allergies (also known as allergic rhinitis and hay fever) affect up to 30 percent of the global population. Additionally, approximately 300 million are afflicted by asthma. [1]

Even more concerning? Trends are showing that the prevalence of asthma is on the rise. This is also true for childhood asthma, which doubled from 1980 to 1995. And we’re also suffering for longer periods, as evidence shows that longer growing seasons are triggering these awful asthma attacks and symptoms of allergies throughout the year. [2]

 

Top Questions About Symptoms of Allergies

There are a lot of questions surrounding seasonal allergies: what they are, what causes them, and how you can eliminate your symptoms? Here are some of the most common questions I receive, along with some helpful answers you can refer to over and over again.

1. What are seasonal allergies?

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology, seasonal allergies occur when environmental stimuli cause your body’s immune system to overreact. They’re called seasonal because they’re often connected to the pollination of certain plants in the spring, summer, and/or fall. [3]

You can come into contact with certain allergens by inhaling them through your nose or mouth, ingesting certain allergenic foods or herbs, or even absorbing them through your skin.

2. What causes symptoms of allergies?

While “hay fever” is another name for seasonal allergies, those suffering from the symptoms of seasonal allergies do not develop fevers nor do they have to come into contact with hay to experience symptoms. Instead, their symptoms result from the pollination of certain trees, weeds, and grasses.

3. How do you know if you have seasonal allergies?

You may be wondering, “How do I know if it’s a cold or allergies?” Luckily, there are a few indicators. Seasonal allergies do not cause fevers (unless you’ve been experiencing them for an extended amount of time and they’ve triggered a bacterial infection). Nor do they typically cause the sudden onset of body aches. Typically, you may feel like you’re getting sick, but it never progresses into a true illness. Allergies can also cause itchy eyes and nose along with a few other specific symptoms that can last for weeks or even months (as long as the allergen is in the air).

Conversely, the common cold lasts anywhere from seven to 10 days and may cause a fever, body aches, and headaches. It also comes on suddenly, often without warning, and progresses rapidly.

4. Can you get rid of pollen allergies?

Sublingual immunotherapy is an effective way to rid your body of allergies. This method is an oral alternative to allergy shots and consists of placing concentrated drops under your tongue. When it’s used in conjunction with other key natural therapies, it’s been shown to help strengthen the immune response.

In terms of all-natural remedies, it’s difficult to get rid of allergies altogether. But there are many steps you can take to reduce your reaction to seasonal allergens. Keep reading to learn what you can do to take control of your allergy symptoms.

 

7 Common Symptoms of Allergies

So, what are the most common and recognizable signs of seasonal allergies? According to the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America, here are a few hay fever symptoms to look out for: [4]

  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Swollen eyes
  • Itchy nose
  • Sneezing
  • Stuffy nose (congestion)
  • Runny nose
  • Mucus or phlegm in the back of your throat (also known as postnasal drip)

 

4 Natural Home Remedies for Seasonal Allergies

While the conventional approach may help alleviate the symptoms of seasonal allergies, it does not address the real cause. So, at this point, you may be asking yourself: What helps relieve allergies fast? And are there any natural remedies I can try? The answer is yes! Here are a few of my favorite natural seasonal allergy treatments.

1. Eat anti-inflammatory foods.

Chronic and seasonal allergies often are linked to poor digestive health. Those who experience allergy symptoms typically have either an overgrowth of yeast and bacteria or a low amount of good intestinal bacteria. When this is the case, breathing in an allergen causes symptoms (or a negative response) in your body.

Inflammation in your nose, ears, and throat are commonly recognized in the treatment of allergies. But it may surprise you to learn that these body parts are actually mucosal tissues—just like your stomach and intestines. As a result, inflammation doesn’t only affect your nose and throat.

When looking to ease symptoms of allergies, the first thing to do is try to avoid eating highly inflammatory foods such as dairy, soy, corn, eggs, sugar, and wheat to help rid your body of inflammation. These foods are also the most common culprits of food allergies, which can be a huge cause of inflammation in the digestive tract. Check out my simple swaps list below for more information on where to start.

Seasonal allergy food swaps - Dr. Pingel

You may be wondering what to do next. Well, luckily, an anti-inflammatory diet is full of delicious, nutritious foods, including these inflammation-fighting superfoods: berries, dark leafy greens, wild-caught fish, tomatoes, nuts, olive oil, garlic, and even tart cherries. In fact, in his book “Dr. Psenka’s Seasonal Allergy Solution,” my friend Dr. Jonathan Psenka, notes that a 2012 study proclaimed that tart cherries have the “highest anti-inflammatory content of any food.”

And one more special note: Because consuming genetically modified foods (GMOs) has been linked to worsening allergies, it’s always a good rule of thumb to eat organic foods whenever possible. If nothing else, make sure to only purchase organic foods that appear on the “Dirty Dozen” list.

2. Incorporate delicious spices that fight inflammation.

There are certain spices that are not just incredibly tasty—they provide an anti-inflammatory punch as well. Ginger has been shown to help reduce gut inflammation while turmeric can fight the inflammation connected to your immune system. I add these spices to my roasted vegetables each night to not only provide a nice flavor boost but also support my family’s health.

Another great spice that can help relieve the symptoms of allergies? Cinnamon! This popular spice delivers a power-packed punch against inflammation and tastes great on many foods and in numerous drinks. In fact, researchers conducting a 2014 study determined that out of the 115 foods they tested, cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) was one of the most potent anti-inflammatory options to consume. [5]

3. Take allergy-fighting supplements.

In addition to eating an anti-inflammatory diet, if you’re suffering from allergy symptoms, you should definitely consider taking certain inflammation-fighting supplements. Amino acids such as L-glutamine and probiotics can help heal your mucosal tissue and even reduce the overgrowth of bacteria in your gut. [6, 7]

According to Dr. Psenka, bromelain is another excellent seasonal allergy fighter, as it’s been shown to help reduce both swelling and mucus in the nasal passages and sinuses.[8] Additional supplements that can help to fight the symptoms of allergies include vitamin C, certain B vitamins, vitamin E, CoQ10, quercetin, stinging nettles, N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), and magnesium.

4. Stay Hydrated.

The stats show that approximately 75 percent of Americans are chronically dehydrated and have no idea. [9] And dehydration can result in a myriad of problems, including everything from improper digestion to depression and anxiety to—you guessed it—worsening symptoms of allergies.

In fact, Dr. Psenka states that dehydration can result in an imbalance in your immune system and even increase your histamine levels. This means that if you’re dehydrated when you encounter a seasonal allergen, you’re more likely to experience an exaggerated response or symptom.

But here’s some good news. Staying hydrated can actually help fight the symptoms of allergies by keeping your mucus thin and helping your sinuses drain better. To stay hydrated, I recommend drinking half of your body weight in ounces each day. So, for example, if you’re 170 pounds, try to drink 85 ounces of water daily. You’ll be surprised by how much better you feel and how it affects your allergy symptoms.

Key Takeaways

  • Seasonal allergies are more common than many realize, with over 30 percent of the global population affected.
  • To help reduce your allergy symptoms, follow an anti-inflammatory diet, take inflammation-fighting supplements, and drink lots of water to help reduce nasal passage swelling, lower histamine, and keep mucus thin.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.