Do you suffer from seasonal allergies? Here's what you need to know.

rawpixel-com-561412-unsplash.jpg

Photo by Rawpixel 

For those who suffer from seasonal allergies, you've made it to the right place. This time of year is one of the worst for your allergies. Exposure to pollen from grass and trees causes allergies to flare like no other. But do you know if it's the only cause of your allergies? You might be surprised to know that you could be allergic to much more than the pollen in the air. 

Allergies are often associated with the change of the seasons but have you considered why your nose is running. Most of the time we don’t know what we are allergic too, we get the typical symptoms of itchy eyes and nasal congestion, without trying to figure out the cause of our allergies.  

The most common allergies are dust mites, pollen, mould, animal dander, insect sting, food, latex, and drugs. If you noticed any allergy symptoms from any of the items above, you might want to see your primary physician. Changes that occur to your body when you are affected are hives (itchy red spots on the skin), itching, nasal congestion (otherwise known as rhinitis), rash, scratchy throat, and watery or itchy eyes. 

These symptoms are shown when our immune system mistakenly identifies a substance that is placed inside the body as harmful. These substances are called allergens and stimulate the immune system by releasing certain chemicals, called histamines, which will then lead to allergy symptoms.

If you ingest something your body doesn’t like and rejects it in any way, most likely you are allergic to it. Here are a few ways you can find out if you have a severe allergy or something more.

Take a Skin Test.

This is the most common medical way to see what you are or are not allergic to. You can have it done in two ways: prick or puncture or intradermal. If your skin is going to be pricked or punctured, a diluted allergen will be applied to the surface of the skin. Sorry to get so technical, but you have got to know this! 

For intradermal, a 20-to 30- gauge, a very thin needle, will be used to inject a diluted allergen below the skin surface. After waiting 15 minutes your results are in, and you can now identify your allergy triggers. 

Get a blood test.

If you have a fear of needles, maybe think of staying away from this option. This process involves taking a blood sample, adding an allergen to it, and measuring the number of immunoglobulin antibodies produced in response to the allergen. These tests are less sensitive but are more expensive than a typical skin test.

Challenge Yourself, With Food (But With Caution).

It's not what it sounds like, I promise you. This isn't one of those contests where you sign up to eat as many hot dogs as you can in a certain amount of time. This is another fun medical exam to confirm a food allergy or see if you may tolerate food that you are currently not consuming. The test begins by adding small doses of the food into your body, after a dose, you will go through a period of observation and evaluation to see how you are affected by it. The final assessment will be done after the last dose is given. Food challenges should always be done by a physician, don’t think about doing this at home kids.

If a medical approach is not for you, there are many ways you can naturally find out. There are even natural ways of curing the symptoms as well. Here are two: 

1. Try an elimination diet.

An elimination diet is a short-term eating plan that eliminates certain foods that may be causing allergies and other digestive reaction. Once you have given your body a break from these foods, you will then reintroduce the foods one at a time to determine your body's response to those foods.

Ever felt crampy or nauseous from a meal you've had? You might want to consider this option, review the ingredients you've consumed and remove them from your diet for at least two to three weeks.  By doing this, you will be able to identify what causes you discomfort. It's also a great way to try new foods to nourish and awaken the body.  

2. Consume an anti-inflammatory alkaline diet.

This diet is all about consuming leafy greens, garlic, lemon, probiotics, soaked beans and legumes, raw nuts and seeds, apple cider vinegar, and of course lots of water. Consuming garlic is not only delicious, but it also helps boost the immune system. You may think this is weird, but by adding garlic to your next juice or smoothie, you’ll receive some amazing benefits. If you are allergic to nuts, try flax seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds.

So you see, there are plenty of options for managing and relieving yourself from seasonal allergies. And before you begin, always do your research and consult with your doctor. It's time to enjoy Spring and by no means should you allow your allergies to take control of it.