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Allergies become present when the immune system reacts to a foreign substance such as pollen, insect venom, pet dander or even foods that doesn't cause a reaction in most people. This is because your body creates antibodies to fight the foreign substances, causing histamine to be released from cells. When you come into contact with allergens, the immune system's reaction can inflame the skin, sinuses, airways or digestive system by producing prostaglandins and cytokines.
People may suffer different severities of allergic reactions. They can range from a minor irritation to anaphylaxis, which is a life-threatening emergency. While most allergies can not be cured, it may be possible to reduce the severity of allergies through improving the immune system response and controlling inflammation.
Allergy symptoms may vary dramatically depending on the substances involved. These symptoms may affect your airways, sinuses, skin or digestive system. The severity of the allergic reaction can range from mild to severe. Below we will discuss different kinds of allergies and their symptoms.
Allergic Rhinitis (Hay fever)
Red and swollen eyes
Itching of the nose or eyes
Runny or blocked nose
Tingling sensation of the mouth
Swelling of the lips, tongue, face or throat.
Allergies to insect sting
Pruritus / Hives all over the body
A large area of inflammation at the site of the sting
Respiratory issues such as coughing, tightness of the chest, wheezing or out of breath
Allergic reaction to drugs
Swelling of the face
Respiratory difficulties such as wheezing or shortness of breath
Some types of allergies, often related to food, insect stings and drug allergies can trigger a severe reaction called Anaphylaxis. This is a life threatening emergency as it can cause the patient to enter anaphylactic shock. Symptoms of anaphylaxis are:
Rapid but weak heart rate
Nausea / Vomiting
Loss of consciousness
Drop in blood pressure
Severe respiratory difficulties
If one experiences anaphylaxis, it is important to get medical treatment as fast as possible.
There are a wide variety of ways to diagnose allergies and there are often different methods for different allergies. These methods can range from food diaries to the skin scratch test as well as many others. Below we will detail different methods of diagnosis.
Allergens relating to Rhinitis / insect bites or stings
A doctor may perform a physical examination
Ask in depth information about signs, symptoms and potential causes
Have you keep a diary of symptoms & possible triggers
Skin Test: This is when a doctor or nurse pricks or scratches the skin of the patient and introduces proteins from suspected allergens. If one is allergic they will often show symptoms around the scratch area such as a hive appearing. This test can be conducted within about 20 minutes. Please note this test can produce false positives and false negatives.
Blood Test: A doctor may take a blood sample to test. They will be looking for the amount of allergy causing antibodies present in the blood stream. These antibodies are known as immunoglobulin E antibodies. Results can take up to a week to process. Please note this test can produce false positives as well as false negatives.
Allergens relating to food
The doctor may ask you to keep a detailed diary of food that you eat
Ask you to stop eating certain foods during the allergy evaluation.
Allergens related to drugs
Natural Treatments for most types Allergies
Allergic response is a complicated area; people's response to different remedies and levels of sensitivities can vary dramatically. There are several natural remedies for allergies and we recommend that you explore the product articles below, you will find lots of useful information and find products that suit your needs - over time as your body adjusts you can add in or remove supplements.
Sodium Ascorbate - The availability of the sodium salt of ascorbic acid for oral use represents a marked advance in the therapeutic approach to allergy. In many cases considerable relief from allergic manifests and in some cases even striking and dramatic improvement. The sodium form of ascorbate is thought to improve adrenal metabolism. This regular use of sodium ascorbate at least one gram twice daily has been found in clinical studies as far back as the 1940's to have a high degree of success in the resolution of hay fever and asthma. (See the article Sodium Ascorbate in the Treatment of Allergic Disturbances for details of asthma and hay fever treatment and also some discussion as to why the sodium form of vitamin C is by in large the preferable form).
MSM– Studies have shown that MSM may be effective for treating symptoms of allergic rhinitis. The way MSM helps to alleviate symptoms is through two different channels. The first factor is its strong anti-inflammatory properties. The second factor is that MSM is able to inhibit the production of prostaglandins and cytokines which are a inflammatory substances which can cause unpleasant symptoms.
Propolis– Bee Pollen has been linked with improvements in patients with rhinitis allergies especially hay fever and asthma. The way bee pollen can help allergies is through its ability to lower histamine levels. When one comes into contact with a allergen the body creates antibodies to fight the foreign substance. These antibodies then cause your cells to release histamine which plays its role in allergic reactions. Many people take over the counter anti-histamines to cope with allergens but long term use of anti-histamines can have negative side effects such as dry mouth, dizziness or drowsiness, vomiting or restlessness. Propolis can be used as an anti-histamine replacement, reducing the side effects of over the counter anti-histamines as well as allowing one to achieve a wide range of other health benefits.
Breath EZ – This is one of our specially formulated blends that consists of Lobelia and Liquorice. Liquorice is great for reducing allergies through its ability to improve the production of natural steroids. There are also indications that liquorice is also helpful to loosen mucus allowing the patient to breath easier and cough less although more research is needed to confirm this. The other part of the Breath EZ blend is Lobelia. This herb helps to clear a stuffy nose, sooth irritation in the lungs and is also an antispasmodic (relieve spasm of involuntary muscle). Therefore it aids the bronchial tubes to relax, stimulating breathing and loosening phlegm. Lobelia is an emetic herb meaning that it is a substance that can induce vomiting so it is advised to be careful with does and start on a lower dose and build up. Our Breath EZ blend has high levels of liquorice and lower levels of lobelia allowing for a higher dose to be taken with lower risk of nausea or vomiting.
Reishi's Mushroom – Multiple scientific studies have shown that Reishi's mushroom is able to help allergies through its ability to inhibit the release of histamine. The lower the histamine response, the less symptoms will be present. As well as lowering histamine production, it is also able to reduce inflammation and boost oxygen flow which is important for anyone suffering from allergic asthma or severe hay fever.
Colloidal Silver – In a 2012 study, Colloidal silver was tested for its ability to treat rhinitis allergies. The study suggests that nano-silver may be effective at reducing allergic inflammation. There is a lot of evidence suggesting that through its anti-inflammatory properties it can be used as an effective therapeutic strategy for reducing symptoms of rhinitis allergies.
Adrenal Max – Our bio-identical cortisol and vitamin C can be effective for preventing allergic outbreaks. A recent study showed that the amount of cortisol in the blood stream plays a major role in controlling the inflammatory reaction in the body. This indicates that healthy adrenal function plays a vital role in mediating the histamine release and inflammatory response, which are strongly associated with allergy symptoms.
Life Style Changes
Stay Hydrated: It is harder to shed mucus when dehydrated.
Wash clothes and bedding often: Pollen and other allergens can stick to clothes and bedding.
Shower before sleep: Allergens can stick to hair and skin causing allergies while in bed.
Clean pets with a damp towel after they have been outside: Pets often roll around and can be covered in pollen when they return home. Cleaning the pet with a damp towel will help to remove pollen and dust particles.
Keep the house free of clutter: The more clutter is around the house, the more places dust can settle. Especially focus on rooms you spend a lot of time in.
Keep doors and windows closed on days that are either dusty or high pollen count
If possible replace carpets with hard flooring as dust and pollen does not stick to it as well and is easier to clean.
Try to spend a little time outside as possible during high pollen count days. If you must leave the house a face mask may help to prevent too many allergens from entering ones airways.
Avoid foods that cause an allergic reaction
Avoid drugs that cause an allergic reaction