BY LAURA WOODWARD, RN & ABBY DEPUE, EMT, CPT
Every year, from early spring to late fall in Colorado, many people are burdened with devious microscopic allergens. As we welcome the warm weather and the beautiful colors of Spring, we also find allergy season in full bloom. More than 67 million Americans are affected by allergies. Are you one of them?
Allergy season induces allergy symptoms such as sneezing, watery or itchy eyes, and a runny or stuffy nose to name a few. Allergies can be slightly annoying or can wreak havoc on your body and disrupt your life when those symptoms set in. Although many of us have a general understanding of allergies, what exactly are allergies and what causes them?
Simply put, allergies are our body’s immune response to what it depicts as a foreign substance.
These substances commonly include:
• The release of pollen from trees, flowers, and grasses as they begin to bloom and grow.
• Mold spores. As the weather warms up and becomes more humid, mold spores can grow and become airborne.
• Pet dander which can become airborne and spread throughout a home.
• Food allergies which can develop over time and can cause inflammation of your eyes, sinuses, skin, digestive system, and airway.
It is not uncommon for the immune response to be overactive for those of us who are prone to allergies, but for some people an allergic reaction can be extremely severe, and potentially fatal, causing Anaphylaxis. When we get an anaphylactic reaction (go into anaphylactic shock), our body dumps large amounts of histamine, causing a massive dilation of the blood vessels, leading to the narrowing of the airway making it difficult to breathe. If not treated in time there can be complete restriction of the airway making it impossible to breathe. This is when we have to use epinephrine, better known as the wonderful epi-pen!
Symptoms of anaphylaxis can include:
• Difficulty breathing or wheezing
• Swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
• Rapid or weak pulse
• Hives or rash
• Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
• Dizziness or fainting
(If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the above symptoms, and don’t have a prescribed epi-pen, seek medical attention immediately.)
Allergies can’t be cured but there are a few things you can do to help reduce symptoms. In general, you can control your external environment by eliminating possible triggers. This can look like getting rid of carpet in your home, buying an air purifier, and keeping pets clean and groomed. To get a clear understanding of foods you may be allergic to, obtain a Wellness Blood Panel, specific to food allergens (offered at iV Nutrition of Wash Park) along with a Wellness Consultation, which will give you a clear understanding of the foods you should avoid and a health plan of action to reverse any negative affects these foods may be having on your body. And, for the environmental allergens that are less easy to control, such as pollen and mold, we often seek out medications, such as Benadryl, for fast relief despite the negative side effects such as:
• Drowsiness and fatigue
• Dry mouth, nose, and throat
• Headache and dizziness
• Nausea and vomiting
• Blurred vision
• Urinary retention.
A better, more proactive option that can make a world of difference, would be committing to a consistent nutrient regimen that nurtures and protects your internal environment with vitamins and nutrients that boost your immune system and reduce inflammation. That’s where Vitamin B-12, B-complex, Magnesium, Vitamin C, Zinc, and Glutathione come into the picture. These nutrients support hydration and reduce the histamine response ultimately limiting collateral inflammation. They act as a calming aid to your immune response, it’s like the immune system’s valium and helps our bodies naturally thrive with little, if any, side effects.
This spring, instead of reaching for prescribed or over-the-counter medications, set your body up for success and come see us at iV nutrition of Wash Park, where we can provide you with the healthier side effect. It’s a free way to proactively manage those pesky allergy symptoms with a custom allergy drip and the proper vitamins and supplements to take home!