Natural Health: Learn how to manage and eliminate seasonal allergies
Summer is here and, with it, full-blown allergy season. According to the American Academy of Allergy and Asthma Research 2005, 60 million people in the U.S. suffer from allergies and this includes 40 percent of all children. The cost to our society for just treating allergic rhinitis is estimated at more than $11 billion. Allergic disorders include hay fever, allergic rhinitis, eczema and dermatitis. Allergic triggers can include airborne, food and water contaminates such as tobacco smoke, pesticides, heavy metals, pet and pest dander, food allergens and infectious agents such as viruses, mold and stress. When we are exposed to an allergic trigger, certain parts of the immune system get overstimulated; this results in an overproduction of inflammatory mediators causing excessive mucous production and, thus, an allergic reaction.Once the cascade of immune deregulation is triggered, allergic symptoms often develop, and once you develop one allergic trait, such as eczema, others are likely to follow, such as food allergies, asthma and allergic rhinitis. One of the core principles of naturopathic medicine is that prevention is preferable to treatment whenever possible. Prevention is always safer, more effective and less expensive. Ways one can help prevent allergies are eating a healthy diet, eating organic whenever possible and staying away from foods one is allergic, too. There is a clear link between seasonal allergies and food allergies. In some individuals, allergic rhinitis due to pollens, ragweed and grasses are connected to food allergies. In other words, when you eliminate the individual’s food allergies, the environmental allergies go away. And if you do not eliminate the allergic foods, the environmental allergies will continue to get worse every year. Keeping our immune system healthy by taking a good multiple vitamin is also needed. Scientific studies compiled by the Organic Center in May 2010 show that vitamins A, C and D actually protect us from getting allergies. According to Allergy and Clinical Immunology June 2009, studies also are showing consistently that the majority of our children today are vitamin D deficient and these children are at an increased risk of developing asthma and other allergies. To further help prevent allergies in our children, breast feeding is also recommended for the first year of life. With this allergy epidemic upon us, the challenge is not to develop more aggressive and costly treatments but to implement more effective preventive strategies. Learn more about how you can eliminate and manage your allergies at our presentation on Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Riverwalk Natural Health Clinic & Natural Pharmacy. Please RSVP at 970-926-7606. We will talk about how to identify triggers and minimize exposures, as well as introduce principles about allergy-free diets and specific nutrients, herbal medicines and homeopathic remedies that will help you heal your body from the inside out. Dr. Deborah Wiancek is a naturopathic physician who has a family practice in Edwards. She has been practicing in the Vail Valley for the past 13 years. She can be reached at 970-926-7606 or firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.healthref.com or http://www.riverwalknaturalhealth.blogspot.com.
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