Dr. Laura Belus, ND
Stuffy nose & itchy watery eyes ruining your day? Do you feel like you can’t enjoy the outdoors without taking some allergy medication – and sometimes even that doesn’t do the trick? You’re not alone. Seasonal allergies are common, affecting up to 30% of Canadians each spring & summer. The good news is, many of these symptoms can be lessened (or even prevented) with natural therapies! The ideal time to start preventing symptoms would be 4-6 weeks before your allergy season begins, and continue until a month after your triggers have subsided. As a naturopathic doctor, it’s important to look at multiple angles when treating allergies, so here are few of my go-to suggestions that really help:
Not only amazing for the skin, blood vessels and the common cold, vitamin C acts as a natural ‘anti-histamine’ when used in larger doses. In fact, it works best at reducing the severity of allergic reactions (think: less time suffering). For maximum effectiveness, take vitamin C prior to the start of allergy season and take a dose 2-3x a day. I like a powdered vitamin C that mixes easily with water – the extra hydration is a bonus for allergy symptoms, too.
Many people are aware of the benefits of probiotics for gut health but not everyone knows that these friendly bugs can really help with allergies also. Unfortunately, not all probiotics are equally as effective when it comes to this area of health. Be sure to get some guidance from a qualified healthcare provider or naturopath before tackling this area yourself. However, a great place to start would be a dairy-free variety in a medium potency.
Xylitol nasal spray
A lot of the common steroid nasal sprays on the market can work wonders in the short term, but actually, worsen congestion & stuffiness when you stop using them. So why not opt for a safe, non-prescription spray that clears your sinuses ASAP!? Xylitol is a calorie-free sugar alcohol that has been shown to get rid of bad bacteria causing mucus, and infection—did you know that a type of sugar could do that?
Whether you decide to use over-the-counter medications to control allergies or want to try a more natural approach, it is important to remember that they can be prevented & treated!
What are your favourite ways to keep allergy symptoms at bay?
Dr. Laura Belus is a naturopathic doctor that focuses on detoxification and hormone balance for weight loss, stress management, and greater energy. She believes in making simple, yet powerful, changes to diet & lifestyle habits that create lasting results. She practices at the Natural Health Clinic of Halton in Oakville.