Here in California we have two distinct allergy seasons. One in the spring and one in the fall. Spring allergies seem to begin when the first daffodil blooms and since the shift in weather, it’s getting earlier and earlier. This year the first daffodil bloomed on February 2nd! Fall allergies are triggered by the Santa Ana winds and last a good six weeks until the weather cools down, just in time for holiday viruses. If only there was a way to nip allergies in the bud!
Well, there is….
I like to draw out a diagram for my patients to help them understand how their body reacts to allergens.
Let’s imagine your nose in the spring. You breathe in allergens like dander, pollens, dust, molds or germs like bacteria, viruses, fungi.
You have Mast Cells in your nose, sinuses, entire upper respiratory tract. These white blood cells (WBCs) can go anywhere in your body. Your skin. Your lungs. Your gut. Anywhere they are needed. They’re your first line of defense.
A normal healthy reaction to the foreign matter you just inhaled is for the Mast Cells to engulf it, like little PacMen. Then the Mast Cells travel to the Spleen and dump their load and go back to patrol their territory.
The Spleen takes the information from what the Mast Cells left and communicates to the Thymus that the body is being attacked by germs, allergens etc.
The Thymus then sends programmed WBCs back to the site (in this case the nose and sinuses) to help eradicate the invasion.
Now in a Hypersensitive or Allergic Response, here’s what happens:
Mast Cells engulf the allergens and then EXPLODE beginning a cascade of inflammatory response.
First you get a Histamine reaction. (The runny, itchy clear drainage)
Then you experience Congestion. (The clogged, pressure feeling)
Then Inflammation (Foggy headed, full sinuses, headaches)
and finally Infection.(colored drainage, sometimes fever, pain)
So you take Antihistamines and Decongestants.
And by the time you get a medical appointment, you may leave with an Antibiotic, perhaps a nasal Steroid (or in the case of asthmatics- an inhaled steroid).
There’s a way to help prevent the hypersensitive reaction.
You can stabilize the Mast Cells and keep them from exploding.
Well, there’s an over-the-counter nasal spray consisting of cromolyn sodium, called Nasalcrom. One squirt per nostril BEFORE exposure can prevent the allergic response. There used to be a great prescription inhaler called Intal but it is no longer available. For severe asthmatics, cromolyn sodium for nebulizers is available by prescription.
The problem with cromolyn sodium is that if you use it daily, your sense of smell will be affected.
So I prefer a systemic approach to stabilize the mast cells. My favorite product is rich in quercetin which is an extract of grapefruit seeds that naturally stabilizes mast cells.
There is a synthetic mast cell stabilizer that works well, but long term use has been associated with certain types of cancer. It seems to handcuff the mast cells, rather than just normalize mast cell function.
The most success I have had with allergic and asthmatic patients is:
Take Genesis Gold® as foundational support to help reprogram the hypersensitive immune system (one scoop per 50# body weight)
Load up with a natural systemic mast cell stabilizer at the beginning of the allergy season (I begin when the first daffodil blooms) and then lower the dose to the lowest maintenance to prevent symptoms. See my DMAR® NATURAL ALLERGY Treatment
Then I recommend prophylactic use of intranasal cromolyn sodium whenever you’re going to be over exposed to allergens, like visiting a house full of cats or weeding the garden. One squirt in each nostril 15 minutes before exposure.
Clear the environment of known allergens if possible. Serum IgE testing can be done for inhalants and foods to determine true allergies (the kind that can cause anaphylactic reactions).
With good immune support from Genesis Gold and prophylactic use of natural mast cell stabilizers, most are able to get off chronic allergy and asthma meds.