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Allergy Center

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Wellness Plan | Pharmacist Recommendations | Related Health Concerns | Additional Information

General Health Information

When 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.

Wellness Plan

  • Avoid aggravating allergens, pollens, dust, and molds
  • Avoid smoke, and other environmental chemicals
  • Take advantage of a high quality home air filtration system
  • Elimination diet for food allergies
  • Dairy-free, wheat-free diet, refined sugar-free diet
  • Healthy lifestyle program
  • Pharmacist’s Supplement Recommendations:
    • Herbs and Phytonutrients - quercetin, pine bark & grape seed extracts (OPC’s), licorice, ginkgo, garlic, bioflavonoids, bee pollen, stinging nettle, coleus forskohlii, cat’s claw, betaine hydrochloride
    • Hormones - 7 Keto-DHEA, DHEA
    • Antioxidants - grape seed extract, vitamins A, C, & E, selenium
    • Essential Fatty Acids - omega-3 and omega-6 (especially GLA and fish oils)

Wellness Centers Related to Allergy

Arthritis Autoimmune
Bones and Joints Digestive
Endocrine and Glandular Immune System
Pain and Headaches Respiratory

Additional Information on Allergy

  • Something in the Air: Airborne Allergens - excellent article by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease
  • How to Have Dust-Free Bedroom, NIAID Fact Sheet - publication by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease
  • Watery Eyes? Runny Nose? Time to Spring into Action Against Seasonal Allergies - information provided by the US Food and Drug Administration