HAY FEVER (ALLERGIC RHINITIS)
Written by Slawomir Gromadzki, MPH
Spring allergy such as hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis, is a very common problem and have increased substantially over recent decades. Hay fever is primarily an allergic condition in which human immune system becomes oversensitive and therefore has tendencies to overreact with inflammation and airway constriction to different environmental factors such as pollen, bacteria, viruses, moulds, dust, proteins, etc. The most common trigger of seasonal allergies is airborne pollen.
Symptoms of hay fever include runny nose, sneezing, tiredness, itchy eyes, etc.
In people who do not suffer from hay fever, when pollen enters their bodies their immune system recognises that there is no reason to start immune reaction because pollen is not a pathogen and can’t cause any major problem in the body. However, since the nature of the immune system of those who suffer from seasonal allergies is somewhat changed, abnormal and oversensitive, as soon as pollen enters their organisms, their immune system strangely treats it as something that may threaten the body. As a result it initiates immune reaction, and inflammation by producing antibody called immunoglobulin E (IgE) to attack the threat, at the same time stimulating release of histamine which is responsible for the hay fever symptoms. It is not clear why immune system behaves in such a strange and abnormal way yet there are many reasons to believe that it is associated with many listed below lifestyle, nutritional, and environmental factors.
In people with oversensitive immune system pollen, dust mites, animal fur, tobacco smoke or other triggers cause inflammation in the airways. The inflammation irritates the airways, and causes them to squeeze (constrict). This causes narrowing of the airways. It is then more difficult for air to get in and out of the lungs. This leads to wheezing and breathlessness. The inflammation also causes the lining of the airways to make extra mucus (phlegm) which causes cough and further obstruction to airflow.
At the heart of hay fever lies an excessive reaction to a ‘trigger’; something in the person’s environment elicits a strong response in their airways. This trigger causes the smooth muscle surrounding the myriad of delicate airways branching throughout the lungs to constrict. The result is a series of symptoms that people with hay fever know all too well: wheezing, shortness of breath and a tightening of their chest.
One of the principal causes of hay fever is the house dust mite. Less than half a millimetre in size, these minute creatures share occupancy with humans in our soft furnishings (beds, carpets, furniture and so on), eating tiny particles of organic matter – such as our skin. While it’s been known for some time that the mites’ waste contains an allergy-causing protein, it’s only now that the researchers have discovered a way to block this protein’s action. By doing so, they hope to create an entirely new class of anti-hay fever drug, targeting the root cause of hay fever itself, rather than its symptoms.
– There could be many possible causes of hay fever or factors that can contribute to this condition, but the most common cause seems to be allergy (extrinsic or atopic). In this type of hay fever the allergen leads to production of excessive (IgE) immunoglobulins.
– Evidence suggests elevated body mass index and dietary patterns, especially intake of dietary lipids (animal and plant fats), contribute to symptoms of hay fever. Scientific research demonstrated that overweight and obesity is a risk factor for hay fever as there is a link between inflammatory state and adiposity, allergy and hay fever. Obesity has been associated with an increased prevalence of hay fever and poorer control of this disease.
– hay fever may be a consequence of vitamin D deficiency.
– Attendance at chlorinated indoor pools has been associated with the risk of hay fever in adult recreational swimmers.
– Cow’s milk (A1) may stimulate mucus production associated with respiratory conditions such as hay fever. Most dangerous are heated dairy products.
– Egg yolk and egg white proteins may act not only as ingested allergens but also as aeroallergens.
– Plasma phospholipase A2, an enzyme associated with inflammation, is higher in patients with hay fever and higher body mass index and inversely related to plasma vitamin C levels (vitamin C is low in hay fever patients). Secretory phospholipases A2 (sPLA2) have functions relevant to hay fevertic inflammation, including eicosanoid synthesis and effects on dendritic cells and T cells. Plasma sPLA2 may provide a biological link between hay fever, inflammation, increased BMI, lipid metabolism and antioxidants. Interactions among these factors may be pertinent to the pathophysiology and increasing prevalence of both hay fever and obesity.
– Formaldehyde may be an irritant as well as serve as an adjuvant for the onset of hay fever or hay fever-like symptoms. Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame (NutraSweet) can be converted to formaldehyde in human body.
LIST OF POSSIBLE CAUSES, CONTRIBUTING FACTORS & TRIGGERS
Abnormalities in functioning of the immune system, nutritional deficiencies (especially lack of antioxidants, vitamin D, C, selenium, zinc and magnesium), poor gut health and lack of probiotic bacteria, allergies, gluten sensitivity, leaky gut syndrome, dust mites, cigarette smoke, animal fur, bacterial infections (Chlamydia pneumonia), diet low in phytonutrients (many of which have anti-inflammatory effects), overweight and obesity, systemic inflammation, dairy products, diet high in sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, refined oils high pro-inflammatory in omega 6 fatty acids, artificial sweeteners, certain medications such as painkillers, stress, anxiety, depression, pessimism, stimulants, overgrowth of candida albicans, sedentary lifestyle (lack of exercise), air pollution, preservatives, hypoxia (oxygen deficiency), free radicals, etc.
SIDE EFFECTS OF CONVENTIONAL TREATMENT
Non-steroidal bronchodilators may reduce symptoms but will double the risk of a heart attack and can increase risk of osteoporosis.
Steroids, even though they can help reduce the inflammation in the lungs, lead to serious side effects, including: Cardiovascular disease, impaired growth of the body and internal organs (including brain), infections, cataracts, cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, weight gain, high blood pressure, and other conditions, and even mood swings:
“I would have been willing to tolerate some of the side effects of glucocorticoid use (weight gain, reduced immunity, muscle weakness, weakened bones), but there was one side-effect I could not tolerate. Each time I tried inhaled steroids, I would start experiencing severe mood swings within a few days. One time I even felt suicidal — the first time I had ever experienced that feeling in my life. Glucocorticoids lower both plasma and brain serotonin levels, and are linked to depression and feelings of aggression. My violent mood swings stopped as soon as I stopped using them.”
Also Allergen specific immunotherapy has long been a controversial treatment for hay fever. Although beneficial effects upon clinically relevant outcomes have been demonstrated in randomised controlled trials, there remains a risk of severe and sometimes fatal anaphylaxis. The recommendations of professional bodies have ranged from cautious acceptance to outright dismissal.
If your hay fever is related to other underlying problems such as smoking, allergy, obesity or diabetes you must find out how to recover from these conditions too: SMOKING > ALLERGY > OBESITY > DIABETES >
Fortunately, there are safe, natural strategies you can use instead that can virtually eliminate your need for dangerous drug treatments:
– Black seed oil is an effective and natural way to reduce the severity and duration of hay fever symptoms. It is believed that the anti-inflammatory properties of the Black seed oil help reduce nasal congestion and severity of hay fever symptoms. Black seed oil also has anti-histamine effect through which it helps reduce itching and other symptoms.
In an Iranian study on 66 allergic rhinitis sufferers, Black seed oil supplementation for one month significantly reduced hay fever symptoms such as nasal congestion, sneezing, and itching (>).
According to another study results, the administration of 40-80mg/kg/day of Black seed oil (half to one teaspoon of oil per dayfor an individual that weighs 70kg) reduced severity of symptoms in 152 allergy sufferers (>). Study results suggest that Black seed oil may be an effective treatment for symptoms of hay fever.
– Bee Pollen: Even though plant pollen may trigger an allergic reaction in some individuals with the oversensitive immune system and those who experience seasonal allergies such as hay fever, traditional medical uses of bee pollen include allergy prevention.
Bee pollen was able to reduce allergic response, protect the lungs and lower IgE levels in mouse models of allergy. It also prevented the activation of mast cells, which is the key mechanism behind an allergic reaction as mast cells release histamine which causes allergic symptoms [35, 36]. Flavonoids such as myricetin in Bee Pollen are known for their anti-allergic properties and are believed to be responsible for the observed effects.
Many individuals claim that taking locally collected bee pollen for at least three months (beginning in January or earlier) before hay fever season starts helped them to either completely eliminate symptoms or significantly alleviate them. Dr Leo Conway, M.D., of Denver, Colorado, administered bee pollen to his patients with allergies and hay fever. As a result, all reported relief from allergies, asthma, hay fever, sinusitis, migraines, cystitis, and other problems. Unfortunately, there have been cases of allergic reactions to bee pollen too. For this reason, if you decide to try this natural remedy start from a few grains and increase slowly until you take 1 full tablespoon 3 times a day before meals for the last few weeks before the season. All adults who are allergic to bee products and children younger than 2 should not take it. It is very important to use only good quality pure bee pollen which was locally collected as bee pollen sourced from another environment may not be effective. Ingesting local bee pollen long before allergy season starts may trick the immune system making it used to pollen and less sensitive thus preventing or reducing reactions to pollen from local plants. Bee pollen should be kept in a fridge.
– Raw garlic is effective against hay fever! Everyday eat Garlic (must be raw) or take Allicin Max caps 2-3 times a day. To eliminate bad smell of garlic take about 7-10 tablets of chlorella or Spirulina. Also, to reduce garlic breath, you can chop up a small clove into small pieces, and put in a small amount of warm water, and then swallow the whole thing quickly. Garlic and onion are very important element of the treatment because it has strong antibacterial properties and researchers proved link between bacteria Chlamydia pneumoniae, mycoplasma and hay fever.
– According to a 2014 study, “Aged Black Garlic suppresses the allergic response”. And since the mechanism behind allergy and hay fever is virtually the same, Aged Black Garlic should also give similar results in case of hay fever.
– Every day eat yellow and red onion as it is high in quercetin polyphenols which reduce hay fever better than drugs. Yellow onions and most red onions have some quercetin in it. Sweet white onion may not have enough. You can also chop raw onion and soak in alcohol to make an extract high in quercetin. Then shake and take a teaspoon with a glass of water when needed, for example before bedtime to improve breathing at night.
– Chlorella can be effective in reducing hay fever attacks too:
“16 years of severe hay fever suffering & the side effects of the prescribed drugs, have hopefully have come to an end. The only difference that I have made is by taking 20 tablets a day of Chlorella. Steroids, steroids, steroids, seemed to be the only answer to my hay fever problem. Many trips to the hospital via ambulance, many days in intensive care. You name it, I tried, No dairy, no wheat, ephedrine, Butekyo, swimming, different teas etc. etc. I then had a talk to a lady whom was married to a doctor but herself more involved with natural medicines. She had been poisoned with mercury during a dentist visit. After many years of severe problems associated with mercury poisoning, she had great success in relieving her symptoms after trying Chlorella. It was her praise for the “superfood” that had sparked word of mouth reviews. Many people had returned a favourable result from many different problems, with hay fever being one of them. I was willing to give it a try and I am so grateful. I don’t know what else I could possibly put it down to as it’s the only thing that I am doing different.”
– Star flower oil or Evening primrose oil (both high in Gamma-linolenic acid) has been known for its anti-inflammatory effect and it is used as a traditional treatment for hay fever in some cultures. To experience a beneficial effect you need at least 1000mg a day.
– Bromelain (an enzyme extracted from pineapple) – has an anti-inflammatory effect that lasts a few hours. People suffering from hay fever found that putting a powder from one 500mg capsule under the tongue (to more quickly absorb the enzyme into the bloodstream) would alleviate symptoms and make them breathe easier within 30 minutes.
– Also Turmeric, Boswellia, Nigella sativa (black cumin), Pycnogenol, Cordycepts, Maca, Pau d’arco are often mentioned as helpful in reducing symptoms of hay fever.
– Hedera helix (Vogel) (includes liquorice).
– Coltsfoot (folium farfarae).
– Vitamin D3 – Not less than 10,000 IU a day (must be taken with 400-800 mg of good quality magnesium as vitamin D leads to magnesium deficiency). There’s a very strong connection between vitamin D levels and hay fever, as vitamin D can be a very powerful immune modulator. However, I don’t suggest just taking the recommended daily allowance, which is a mere 400 units a day. You really need to make sure you’re getting therapeutic levels (10,000 IU a day). This is ideally obtained from exposing a significant amount of your skin — not just your hands and face — to appropriate amounts of sunlight. Enough, from either the sun or a safe tanning bed, to turn your skin the very lightest shade of pink. Once you reach that shade of pink, your body is not going to produce any more vitamin D. In fact, you’re only going to cause damage to your skin if you increase your exposure past that point.
– Magnesium citrate – 400-800 mg a day between meals.
– Omega 3 fish oil (must be of a good quality) – two times 10000 mg a day with meals. Plus 1-2 tablespoons of ground flax seed before breakfast. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of getting sufficient amounts of high quality omega 3 fats in your diet. You need both animal and plant-based omega 3, as most of us do not produce special enzyme necessary to rapidly convert the ALA (plant omega 3) to the DHA and EPA (animal source), which are potent anti-inflammatory agents.
– Chlorella: 15-20 tablets a day (7-10 tablets 30 minutes and same amount before breakfast and before lunch).
– Vitamin B3 and vitamin B12 have been found to be low in hay fever patients. Both vitamins are important as they lower antihistamine levels and reduce wheezing.
– Vitamin B6 – 100-200mg a day with breakfast.
– Zinc: 15-50 mg after breakfast.
– Selenium: 100-200 mcg with meal.
– Vitamin C – 2000-4000 mg a day with meals.
– Drink 2 times a day 1-2 glasses of raw vegetable juices 30 minutes before meals.
– Eat more unprocessed, uncooked, and unrefined plant foods, especially raw vegetables (carrot, green leafy, etc.)
– Avoid trans-fats (margarines, etc.) and pro-inflammatory omega 6 fatty acids (most plant oils).
– Use only raw organic coconut oil and cold pressed flax oil.
– Do not consume even smallest amount of dairy (hard cheeses are most dangerous), meat (especially pork), gluten, foods and drinks with sugar, white flour products, hot spices, stimulants, chocolate, cola, fried foods, processed foods.
– Instead of other grains have some quinoa, millet, or brown rice.
How Fruits and Vegetables Can Treat hay fever
– Avoid taking antibiotics for a longer period of time and if you use them always take high doses of a good probiotic formula.
– Use hydrotherapy (water treatment) such as alternative hot and cold showers beginning with hot shower.
– Drink more water, avoid all caffeine, and include some sea salt in your diet has worked for some people. All caffeinated beverages — even green tea — are dehydrating (chronic dehydration is linked to bronchoconstriction).
– Learn to control stress.
– Exercise every day breathing through nose (especially out in fresh air if you have hay fever) is actually crucial as it increases insulin receptor sensitivity, and as a result your body produces less insulin, which helps to reduce inflammations and symptoms of hay fever.
– Expose your body to the sun whenever it is possible.
– Try to live according to the principles found in the Health Recovery Plan >
– If you believe in existence of God don’t forget about prayer and reading good spiritual literature. All this will greatly increase the effectiveness of your improved diet and lifestyle: “Rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances.” (1Thessalonians 5:16-18, NIV); “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7, NIV).
Because from my own experience I know and remember how difficult it was, in my case, to change my eating habits and give up on junk food and stimulants using my own pathetic at that time will power, I recommend to you reading or listening to two excellent books: “Steps to Christ” and “Ministry of Healing” by Ellen White. You can find them online (free of charge) in Word, PDF and audio formats. >
If you carefully study all the information presented there and follow the steps, you will not only become victorious but will actually experience an inward transformation which will enable you to enjoy your new lifestyle (including diet and physical activity).
– “Desire of Ages“ – Most beautiful book about the life of Jesus (audio) >
REMEDIES PROVED BENEFICIAL BY SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH
– A team at King’s College London said low levels of vitamin D, which is made by the body in sunlight, was linked to a worsening of symptoms of hay fever. Its latest research shows the vitamin calms an over-active part of the immune system in hay fever.
– Hay fever has been linked to Chronic Bacteria Infections.
– Antimicrobial therapy (antibiotics) appeared to cure or significantly improve hay fever in approximately one half of treated adults, and the response pattern was consistent with chlamydial pathogenesis.
– L-arginine may have a beneficial effect on airway hyperresponsiveness and airway inflammation in hay fever.
– Vitamin B-6 significantly improves symptoms of bronchial hay fever and reduces the need for bronchodilators and cortisone.
– Pycnogenol administration is effective for better control of signs and symptoms of allergic hay fever and reduced the need for medication.
– Magnesium significantly improves severe acute hay fever in children.
– Gamma linolenic acid-containing borage oil may have therapeutic effects in the treatment of hay fever.
– Thymoquinone, the main constituent of Nigella sativa (black cumin) is superior to the drug fluticasone in an animal model of hay fever.
– Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C and zinc significantly improve persistent bronchial hay fever.
– Fish oil compares favourably to montelukast (Singular) in reducing the severity of exercise-induced bronchoconstriction. While fish oil and montelukast are both effective in attenuating airway inflammation and HIB, combining fish oil with montelukast did not confer a greater protective effect than either intervention alone. Fish oil supplementation should be considered as an alternative treatment for EIB.
– Dongchongxiacao (Cordyceps) can reduce serum markers of airway inflammation.
– Boswellia‘s immunomodulatory properties may make it ideal for the treatment of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.
– Breathing exercises have a therapeutic role in the treatment of hay fever.
– Petasites hybridus extract Petadolex is an effective and safe therapy for the treatment of hay fever.
– Selenium deficiency may be important in chronic hay fever. Observational studies have demonstrated that patients with chronic hay fever may have lower levels of selenium than their control. Nevertheless, selenium supplementation has not been recommended with drug therapy for hay fever.
– Increased consumption of genistein is associated with better lung function in patients with hay fever.
– Children with hay fever receive benefit from art therapy that includes decreased anxiety and increased quality of life.
– Lactobacillus reuteri has an immuno-regulatory action in attentuating response in a mouse model of allergic airway inflammation.
– A combination of astaxanthin, Ginkgo biloba and vitamin C is equal to or better than ibuprofen for reducing hay fever-associated respiratory inflammation.
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