General Health InformationWhen we think of allergies, most often we think of hay fever which can cause swelling, sneezing, itching, tearing eyes, and runny nose. Hay fever is exacerbated by the pollen of certain plants. Year-around allergies may be caused by dust mites, molds, and other pervasive allergens.
When a given allergen is present, an allergic individual suffers with allergic symptoms because of an exaggerated immune response. What happens is that substances called IgEs flood the nasal passages, eosinophils (white blood cells) arrive, and inflammatory substances (histamine, prostaglandins, and leukotrienes) are released. This response by the body is what causes the itching, swelling, sneezing, runny nose and eyes.
Individuals may also suffer from food allergies that may be exacerbated by dairy products, wheat, artificial coloring and preservatives, and so forth. Food allergies may contribute to rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, migraines, hyperactivity disorders, ulcers, yeast infections, colic, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, ear infections, upper respiratory infections, and sinusitis. Some people may also be allergic to various environmental allergens such as perfumes, plastics, and other noxious chemicals both inside and outside.
Avoiding the aggravating allergens and eliminating the trigger foods are the first and best defense against suffering from the allergic condition. Keeping the immune system in top running order is also paramount. There are also herbal and nutritional supplements that may be helpful, too.
Quercetin acts by stopping the release of allergenic substances in the body. OPCs from pine bark may also be effective. Omega-3 essential fatty acids, as fish oils, also help because they inhibit leukotriene synthesis. Flavonoids and antioxidants (including vitamins C and E, selenium, and the carotenes) help provide important defense mechanisms against aggravating free radicals. Magnesium is known to relax the bronchial muscles allowing for better breathing. Ginkgo is known to also help improve respiratory function. Licorice and garlic also act as anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic herbal remedies. They act by inhibiting leukotriene and prostaglandin synthesis.
Partnering an anti-allergenic environment with a healthy lifestyle is key to the prevention of allergy attacks. Supplementing with the appropriate nutritional and herbal supplements can also help to increase the immune system function, while reducing the inflammatory response to allergens.
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