With the beautiful spring weather in full tilt, I often hear patients begin to talk about their allergy symptoms: runny nose, sneezing, itchy, watery eyes, coughing, and sometimes skin reactions. As the weather gets warmer, new plant and tree life are blowing around in the wind, and for those who have allergies, this can be a tough time of year. But, did you know that there are natural solutions to help you prevent your allergy symptoms from happening before they appear?
Allergens activate the body's immune system. Seasonal allergies are classified as a type 1 hypersensitivity, sometimes referred to as a type E because immunoglobin E (IgE) binds with its target and releases common inflammatory substances such as histamine. When this process happens it causes signs and symptoms such as runny nose, itchy skin, watery eyes, etc.
If you've been suffering with allergy symptoms and are looking for a natural solution, naturopathic medicine can help. There are numerous naturopathic approaches to help prevent or deal with allergy symptoms, for example, nutraceuticals such as vitamin C, quercetin, and probiotics work on allergic symptoms by reducing inflammation. There are also numerous botanicals or herbs that help with allergy symptoms including Petasites hybridus, Urtica dioica, or Eleutherococcus senticosus, just to name a few.
The naturopathic treatment I want to focus on, that many don't realize can help with allergies and their symptoms, is acupuncture. In a study published in 2015 by the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, 175 patients were divided into two groups. One group received acupuncture treatments for seasonal allergy symptoms, while the control group was given sham acupuncture (or 'simulated' acupuncture). The group receiving real acupuncture did significantly better than the sham group for decreasing seasonal allergy symptom severity (sneezing, itchiness of ears and mouth) at the end of treatment and improving participants' quality of life. The outcome of this study showed that in as little as four weeks of acupuncture treatment, seasonal allergy symptoms can improve, demonstrating that acupuncture is not only a safe clinical treatment option but also very effective.
If you're interested in receiving acupuncture or other naturopathic treatments for your allergies contact Durham Sport and Wellness (905-683-1616) or visit www.durhamnaturopath.com to book an appointment online.
Yours in health,
Dr. Kate Klein, ND