Spring is in the air. The sun has started to come out of hiding, the birds are singing and the sneezing, runny nose and sinus headaches that make your head feel like it is going to explode are back… great! Does this sound like you? I can almost hear the collective groan of hayfever suffers everywhere as we well and truly come into spring. If you are tired of taking pharmaceutical anti-histamines but are terrified of what will come if you miss your daily dose, here are some natural ways of reducing your symptoms so you can actually enjoy this beautiful time of year.
It’s All In Your Gut
With an estimated 70-80% of our immune system residing in our gut, ensuring our gut is in tiptop shape is the key to a healthy functioning immune system. Underlying food intolerances and gut microbiome imbalances can give rise to the inappropriate defence response to pollen and other substances leading to symptoms of hayfever. Identifying which foods are causing excess inflammation in the gut through an IgG food intolerance test (available through appointment with our naturopath) and avoiding foods that trigger a response is the first step to dampening down a hyperactive immune system.
Ditch the Dairy
Speaking of food intolerances, dairy is the most common gut irritant that contributes to inflammation and a hyperactive immune function. Dairy also interferes with mucous production in the body by causing inflammation of mucous producing tissues leading to an overproduction of mucous (hello runny nose!). If you haven’t already ditched dairy, now is the time! Other mucous producing foods that you may want to avoid are bananas, red meat, eggs, refined sugar, coffee and gluten.
Check Your Vitamin D
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for immune and gut health. After a long Melbourne winter with minimal vitamin D exposure, you can see how it can quickly become a recipe for disaster for hayfever sufferers! If you haven’t had your vitamin D levels checked this year, I encourage you to get them tested with your doctor ASAP. The key with vitamin D is ensuring that you are supplementing with the most appropriate dose depending on your blood levels as too much can be harmful and not enough won’t give you any relief. Once you have had your bloods done, book yourself in for a 15-minute appointment with our naturopath to have you results professionally analysed and to get access to high quality practitioner-only supplements at the right dose for you.
Up The Antioxidants
Antioxidants are a god send when it comes to reducing hayfever symptoms. They not only reduce inflammation but also have anti-histamine properties to help reduce the associated symptoms. Vitamin C and zinc are both key nutrients for regulating the immune system whilst also helping to reduce inflammation and heal the gut. Quercetin – found in foods such as onions, apples, grapes and berries has shown to stabilise mast cells to reduce the release of chemicals such as histamine that are responsible for hayfever symptoms.
For more information and access to high quality practitioner-only supplements, book yourself in for a 15-minute Quick Script appointment with our naturopath to get you started or for a more comprehensive deep dive into your immune and gut health, chat to us about our New Client Wellness Plan Package.