Surviving Allergy Season

1568Spring is a beautiful time of year, but the abundance of fresh grass, pollen and mold can bring about seasonal allergies. If during certain times of the year you are subject to sneezing, coughing, itchy eyes and a runny nose, you may have seasonal allergies. A saline nose rinse is one way to ease your seasonal allergy symptoms. In one study, allergy sufferers who performed a saline nasal rinse twice a day reported less nasal congestion.*

To help stop pollen from getting into your eyes, wear sunglasses during the day. When you get home, remove excess pollen by taking a shower and changing your clothes.

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Dr. Kim

*https://www.pollen.com/allergy/what-is-allergy
Photo | Sonja Pieper | Sneeze | used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

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Beware of Allergies

1519Unlike colds, allergies do not cause a fever, and symptoms last much longer than two weeks. Many allergies are caused by dust, mold and pollen and can lead to coughing, sneezing, an itchy throat, watery eyes or rashes. For a natural remedy, mix a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with a cup of water three times a day. You can also consume a teaspoon of local honey each day, which will help your body adapt to the allergens around you.*

Dust, pollen and mold are not the only allergen causes, food can bring about allergies too. The key to treating your allergies is to find their root cause. Work with your doctor by sharing your symptoms and discussing natural treatment options together.

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Dr. Kim

*http://wellnessmama.com/8370/allergy-relief-remedies
Photo | William Brawley | Day 59, Project 365 – 12.18.09 | Used under a Creative Commons attribution license

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Reach for Acai Berries

acaiAcai berries are low in sugar and provide excellent amounts of calcium, fiber, iron, vitamin A and B12. As acai berries fight against free radicals, they can prevent health problems such as arthritis, inflammation and allergies. They are also a source of dietary fiber and essential fatty acids, such as oleic acid (commonly found in olive oil).*

If you’re living in the U.S., you’re in luck. Acai berries are popular and readily available. Just be mindful of the other ingredients in acai products; many juices have added sugar, so do your best to seek our pure acai for the best results.

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Dr. Kim

*http://www.doctoroz.com/blog/lindsey-duncan-nd-cn/so-whats-so-good-about-acai-whole-lot
Photo | “Colombia: Amazon Jungle Tour – Day 2” | ©Eli Duke | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike license

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Quercetin for Allergy Relief

grapesThe inflammation that causes you to have an allergic reaction is caused by histamines. The antioxidant known as Quercetin not only lowers your inflammation, but actually stops cells from releasing histamines. Also, unlike typical allergy medications, Quercetin will not make you drowsy!*

Quercetin supplements come in both liquid and pill form. If you’re looking for a natural dose, reach for some citrus fruits, red apples, red onions, red grapes, blackberries or tea.

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Dr. Kim

*http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/quercetin
Photo | “Rote Trauben / Red Grapes” © Christian Schnettelker | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

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Dry Air Can Cause Colds and Flu

sneezeIf you’re experiencing dry skin, itchy eyes and irritated sinuses, the winter’s dry air and low humidity could be to blame. Dry air with low humidity can irritate your respiratory tract, making you more susceptible to contracting colds and the flu. Also, when humidity levels are low, the flu virus has the ability to live longer.

Consider purchasing a hygrometer, available at most hardware stores. With the help of a hygrometer you can measure and track the moisture in your home’s air and accommodate accordingly.

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Dr. Kim

*http://stepsout.com/uvic/page.asp?p=142
Photo | June 15-21, 2011 | ©osseous on Flickr | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

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Watch Out for Toxic Fragrances

perfumeRecent laboratory tests on 17 name brand fragrances (such as Bath & Body Works, Chanel, Old Spice, and Calvin Klein) proved unsettling; on average, each product had 14 chemicals that were not listed on the label. Common synthetic musks, parabens, and phthalates that were not listed on the labels of these fragrances can cause allergic reactions, reproductive problems and can disrupt hormones.*

Rather than run the risk of misting yourself with fragrances that contain unknown chemicals, consider making your own natural fragrances at home. In a clean spray bottle mix organic, sugar-free cooking vanilla with an essential oil of your choice. Experiment with oils like rose or lavender, shake and spritz!

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Dr. Kim

*http://www.drfranklipman.com/what-chemicals-should-you-look-out-for-in-your-personal-care-products/
Photo | Perfume bottle | ©Eivind Lindseth | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

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Clean Humidifiers and Air Conditioners Frequently

airClean your humidifiers and air conditioners in your home often. Dirty filters can cause bacteria and mold to grow; and breathing in that dirt can trigger allergies and asthma. Even if you aren’t prone to those issues, bacteria and mold can bring on flu-like symptoms or even lung infections in otherwise healthy people.*

Clean your air humidifiers and air conditioners according to their manual. If you have central air, consider hiring a professional to rid your ducts and hoses of mold spores. Breathe healthier today!

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Dr. Kim

*http://www.bhg.com/home-improvement/remodeling/eco-friendly/how-to-improve-your-indoor-air-quality/
Photo | pc richards – installation gone amuck of air conditioner – Nova Scotia July 4 wknd 2008 362.jpg | ©Scott | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

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Natural Allergy Solution

mushroomTypically you cannot get whole body results from an allergy pill, but you can with beta glucan. Studies show that beta glucan not only relieves allergy symptoms but sleep issues, nasal and eye symptoms clear up too. This special type of fiber has users reporting both better physical and emotional health.[1]

Mushrooms and cereal grains have the most amount of Beta Glucan. Allergy sufferers claim a 52% decrease in the severity of their allergy symptoms after using beta glucan. Try this special type of fiber for multifaceted allergy relief this spring!

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Dr. Kim

[1]http://www.foodproductdesign.com/news/2013/01/beta-glucan-reduces-allergy-symptoms.aspx
Photo | Shiitake mushroom (Lentinula edodes), washed, ready for cutting. | ©artist in doing nothing | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike license

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Change Filters Monthly

You might not think about it, but the air filters in your home are like huge dust rags that collect all the dirt and dust that travel through your home. With an efficient air filter, you should be changing it every month! Having the filter fill up can cause numerous issues such as poor operating efficiency, the efficiency goes down and your costs will increase, and if you suffer from allergies or have other health concerns a dirty filter will only make your health issues worse. Filters take all the dirt away and by not changing it at the proper time will only allow the air in your home to become dirtier. [1]

Set a reminder for yourself! As soon as you change your filters, add it to your calendar to check the status of it a month later.

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Dr. Kim

[1]http://www.furnacefiltercare.com/change-air-conditioner-filter.php
Photo | The old Hepa air filter | by Joshua Marks | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike license

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Chronic Cough and Vitamin B12 Deficiency

If you’ve been suffering from chronic coughing and the cause is unknown, you might have a vitamin B-12 deficiency!  Most chronic coughing cases are caused by drug use, smoking, asthma, cough reflex sensitivity, and allergic rhinitis.  One study showed that out of 40 participants who had a chronic cough, 25 of them had a vitamin B-12 deficiency.  The study later showed that those with a B-12 deficiency showed “lower histamine and cough thresholds” that did improve when a B-12 supplement was added. [1]

Increase your intake of vitamin B-12!  The easiest way is to take supplements or by eating healthy animal products such as grass-fed meats and free-range eggs.

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Dr. Kim

[1]http://www.naturalnews.com/027819_vitamin_B12_coughing.html

Photo | Coughing | by Lainee

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