Natural Functional Medicine Strategies for Allergies

Allergies can be a source of constant misery, causing sleep loss and a significant lack of productivity in both industry and education. While pharmaceuticals may provide relief, they can also come with side effects. Fortunately, there are several lifestyle, diet, and non-pharmacological approaches that can provide superior relief with fewer side effects. In this article, we will explore natural functional medicine strategies for allergies.

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“I do my best to present the best and most accurate information here, but here’s what I am – a pharmacist and holistic sleep coach. I’m not a doctor or psychologist so use your best judgement when implementing my information.”

Perennial Allergies and Their Impact

Perennial allergies can wreak havoc on the sinuses, lungs, and skin. Common perennial allergens in your house include mold spores, dust and dust mites, animal dander (especially cats), specific chemicals like cleaning agents and certain powders. Some of these allergens are small enough to penetrate the bronchial tree and cause an asthmatic reaction. Symptoms over 2 hours per day, more than 9 months out of the year indicate a perennial allergy.

Seasonal Allergies and Their Impact

Seasonal allergies, particularly those caused by trees and weeds, can be worse because they have no flowers. Additionally, certain times of the year can bring on worse allergy symptoms, such as during peak pollen season.

Fungal Spores and Their Impact

Fungal spores are common, except for when there is snow cover. They can be found in a variety of places, including damp areas in the home, such as basements, bathrooms, and kitchens. They can also be found in soil, compost, and decaying vegetation.

Texas Allergies

In Texas, the pollen season can vary depending on the region and the climate. Here are some of the most common pollen allergies in Texas and when they tend to peak:

  1. Oak Pollen: In Texas, oak trees are a major source of pollen and can produce high levels of pollen from February to April, with the peak in March.
  2. Pecan Pollen: Pecan trees also produce high levels of pollen in Texas, typically from March to May.
  3. Grass Pollen: Grass pollen can be a significant allergen in Texas, particularly in the late spring and summer months (May to July).
  4. Ragweed Pollen: Ragweed is a common allergen in Texas, particularly in the fall months (August to November), when it releases high levels of pollen.
  5. Mountain Cedar Pollen: Mountain cedar pollen can be a significant allergen in Central Texas, particularly from December to February.

It’s worth noting that Texas is a large state with diverse geography and climate, so pollen levels and allergy seasons can vary significantly depending on the location. It’s important to pay attention to local pollen counts and consult with a healthcare provider if you experience allergy symptoms.

Who is Susceptible to Allergic Responses?

Some individuals are more susceptible to allergic responses due to genetics and environmental factors. IgE antibodies are created by high amounts of B cells, and factors such as maternal diet, immune challenges during fetal development, early childhood exposure to allergens, diet, gut microflora, and immunization can all influence the immune system. Urban living, exposure to diesel exhaust, the use of antibiotics, having fewer siblings, and vaccination programs are also factors to consider.

Avoiding Allergens Naturally with out medication

  • Keep your home clean and free of dust by vacuuming and dusting frequently.
  • Use allergen-proof covers on pillows, mattresses, and box springs to reduce exposure to dust mites.
  • Wash bedding and linens in hot water regularly to kill dust mites.
  • Use natural cleaning products instead of harsh chemicals that can trigger allergic reactions.
  • Keep pets out of the bedroom and off of furniture to reduce exposure to animal dander.
  • Take a shower and wash your hair before bed to remove any allergens that may have collected on your skin and hair during the day.
  • Wear a mask when cleaning or doing yard work to reduce exposure to allergens.
  • Keep windows and doors closed during high pollen or mold seasons, and use an air conditioner with a HEPA filter to help clean the air inside your home.
  • Avoid hanging laundry outside to dry during high pollen or mold seasons.
  • Avoid smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke, which can irritate the lungs and trigger allergic reactions.
  • Consider using a saline nasal rinse or a neti pot to help flush out allergens from your nasal passages.
  • Eat a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and omega-3 fatty acids, which can help boost your immune system and reduce inflammation. We will talk more below.
  • Reduce stress through techniques such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing, as stress can worsen allergy symptoms.
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Dr. Zeke Medina

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Adult Sleep Consultant

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Diet and Supplemental Therapies To Be More Allergy Resistant

Probiotics have been shown to be beneficial in preventing atopic dermatitis, particularly strains in the Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus families. These strains can help balance the immune response to allergens and reduce the severity of allergic reactions.

Helping the Gut lining and Microbiome

Probiotics have been shown to be beneficial in preventing atopic dermatitis, particularly strains in the Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus families. These strains can help balance the immune response to allergens and reduce the severity of allergic reactions.

Natural Ingredients with Allergy Blocking Abilities

Quercetin is a flavonoid that works as an anti-inflammatory. It inhibits the production of several enzymes and factors that cause inflammation, such as Phospholipase A, lipoxygenase, platelet aggregation, and mast cell degranulation. Quercetin can help reduce the release of histamines and other preformed allergy-causing cytokines, thereby reducing the severity of allergic reactions.

Bromelain

Bromelain is another supplement that inhibits the inflammatory precursor arachidonic acid, which ultimately leads to the production of leukotrienes and prostaglandins. These end products cause itching, vasodilation in the sinuses, increased vascular permeability, eye redness, and excessive mucus production. Bromelain also enhances the absorption of Quercetin when taken together.

Nettle Leaf

Nettle leaf and butterbur are two natural supplements that have been shown to minimize allergies. Nettle leaf contains several anti-inflammatory compounds that help reduce the severity of allergic reactions, and butterbur has been shown to reduce nasal congestion and improve airflow in people with allergic rhinitis.

N-acetyl cysteine (NAC)

N-acetyl cysteine (NAC): An amino acid that supports immune function and helps break down mucus in the respiratory tract, NAC can help improve respiratory symptoms associated with allergies.

Orthomolecular’s D-Hist Supplement

Now, if you’re looking for a supplement that combines all of these ingredients, you might want to check out Orthomolecular’s Professional Grade supplement D-Hist. This supplement contains a blend of quercetin, bromelain, butterbur, and stinging nettle, as well as other ingredients that can help to support immune function and alleviate allergy symptoms.

So there you have it – the top four supplements for fighting allergies, all of which can be found in Orthomolecular’s D-Hist supplement. If you suffer from seasonal allergies, incorporating these supplements into your diet may help you manage your symptoms and feel better. However, as always, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.

Other Natural Supplements for Allergy Prevention

Vitamin C

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, plays a crucial role in supporting a healthy immune system, making it beneficial for allergies and overall health. As an antioxidant, it helps protect cells from damage caused by free radicals, reducing inflammation associated with allergic reactions. Vitamin C also promotes the production of histamine-degrading enzymes, helping to alleviate allergy symptoms. Additionally, it supports the health of the respiratory system, reducing the severity and duration of respiratory tract infections, which can often exacerbate allergies. Furthermore, vitamin C assists in collagen production, promoting the integrity of skin barriers, and reducing the risk of skin allergies. Incorporating vitamin C-rich foods, such as citrus fruits, strawberries, and bell peppers, or taking vitamin C supplements, can help boost immunity, reduce allergic responses, and support overall well-being.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids, specifically eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), offer various health benefits, including their potential positive impact on allergies and overall well-being. These essential fats are known for their anti-inflammatory properties, helping to reduce systemic inflammation that can contribute to allergic reactions. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to modulate the immune system, promoting a balanced immune response and potentially reducing the risk of allergic diseases. Additionally, they support optimal brain function, mood regulation, and cardiovascular health. Fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines, are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids. For individuals who don’t consume fish regularly, omega-3 supplements derived from fish oil or algae can be an alternative to reap the benefits of these valuable nutrients for allergy management and overall health.

Probiotics

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that provide numerous advantages for gut health and immune function, making them beneficial for allergies and overall health. These live microorganisms help maintain a balanced gut microbiome, which is crucial for proper digestion, absorption of nutrients, and immune regulation. By promoting a diverse microbial ecosystem in the gut, probiotics enhance the integrity of the intestinal barrier, reducing the risk of allergen penetration and allergic reactions. Probiotics also modulate immune responses, promoting tolerance and reducing hypersensitivity reactions. Studies have shown that certain strains of probiotics can alleviate allergy symptoms, such as eczema and allergic rhinitis. Including probiotic-rich foods, like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi, or taking probiotic supplements can help support gut health, strengthen the immune system, and potentially reduce allergy-related issues.

Holistic Pharmacist and Sleep Coach – Dr. Zeke Medina

Working with a clinician with years of experience in treating allergies with pharmaceuticals and natural remedies can be beneficial. A clinician can help identify the root cause of your allergies, develop a customized treatment plan, and monitor your progress. If you’re interested in creating a customized sleep plan to help manage your allergies, you can schedule a call with me to discuss further.

To Healthy Sleep,

Dr. Zeke Medina

Adult Sleep Consultant

Dr. Zeke Medina is a seasoned expert in the field of pharmacy, holding a doctorate from the University of Houston College of Pharmacy. As a Certified Sleep Consultant, he has not only served as a sleep mentor for Solve Your Sleep Consultants but has also made significant contributions to the field. Dr. Medina's expertise extends beyond traditional pharmacy roles; he is a dedicated biohacker, consistently exploring innovative approaches to enhance overall well-being.

With a wealth of experience spanning over a decade, Dr. Medina has positioned himself as a trusted authority in the realms of holistic sleep coaching and biohacking. His commitment to helping others achieve optimal sleep is evident in his numerous features on reputable platforms such as Humana, Insider, Sleepopolis, and MindBodyGreen. Dr. Medina has also graced television screens, appearing on NBC DFW Texas Today and Spectrum Local News.

A sought-after guest on various podcasts, Dr. Medina shares insights on sleep hacks, behavioral sleep strategies, and positive habit formation. His mission goes beyond individual consultations; since establishing his consulting agency in 2016, Dr. Medina, alongside his wife, has assisted over 1,000 families in achieving the rest they deserve. His impact extends to Fortune 500 companies, where he has played a pivotal role in ensuring employees receive the rest and recovery essential for optimal performance.

Join the ranks of those who've benefited in the past and let Dr. Zeke Medina guide you on your journey to better sleep and overall well-being.