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The Ultimate Seasonal Allergy (Rhinitis) Post

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  • The Ultimate Seasonal Allergy (Rhinitis) Post

    If you're like me, then you suffer from moderate to severe seasonal allergies that cause itchy, red eyes, sinus congestion, a runny nose similar to turning on a faucet, and the constant feeling that you have to sneeze. As soon as the first few warm days of spring hit, you know you are in for a rollercoaster ride of anti-histamines, tissue, and sneezing.

    If you're like me then you also are completely sick and tired of having to rely on chemical medicine to be able to go to work, enjoy the weather, or breathe through your nose. You have heard all of the "natural" treatments, tried some, and eventually always end up coming back to the pharmacy to pick up your drugs. This post is an attempt to gather information about curing allergies so that you will know longer need to rely on chemical drugs to live your life during the spring-fall months.

    It is now April 10th and the beginning of what looks to be one of the worst allergy seasons in years. I also happen to live in one of the worst states for allergy sufferers, Tennessee. As a new resident, my last summer was my first in the south- and my allergies were definitely the worst they have ever been. I've been taking some sort of anti-histamine for probably around 10-15 years now, at least during the spring-fall months, but last year I had to take it everyday. I've done them all- started with Claritin, which quit working, moved on to Zyrtec, which quit working, and now I'm on Allegra, which is still working (yay?). I have become much more aware of the terrible side effects of anti-histamines within the last year (for whatever reason), and I am determined to rid myself of any chemical anti-histamine for the rest of my life.

    Here's where I am this year:
    I stopped taking Allegra about 1-2 weeks ago. I was taking no supplements at the time, however I have been eating local honey (about 1-2 tablespoons) everyday for months now. I was doing perfectly fine until yesterday (the first day I noticed pollen on my car). Then began the sneezy feeling and the runny nose. I have decided to begin taking 1000mg of quercetin and around 900mg of Stinging Nettle Leaf a day, use a Neti Pot 2-3 times a day, and consume two tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar in water upon waking daily. Having recently adopted a 80-100% fully primal lifestyle, I have obviously changed my diet as well.

    This afternoon, I broke down at work and had to run out to buy some Allegra. I couldn't work, could barely even hold a conversation my symptoms were so bad. 30 minutes later, the Allegra kicked in and I felt about 100 times better.

    My theory is this:
    If I continue taking the Allegra throughout the first few weeks of allergy season when the pollen counts are highest (although they are usually always high in this region) as well as continue all of the natural "treatments" and supplements, I will eventually be able to quit taking Allegra and rely entirely on natural means. Having just started the primal lifestyle only a couple months ago, I feel that I am still in the early stages of my body healing itself and thus it may still need some help from chemical medicine to allow for healing. Does that make any sense at all?

    What I would love to figure out is why people have such terrible allergies to something as natural as tree pollen?
    How do we get our bodies to react normally to such natural stimuli again?
    Did our ancestors suffer from seasonal allergies? If not, was it the advent of agriculture that spawned them?
    If I am otherwise completely healthy, should I be concerned at all with taking the Allegra, Quercetin, Nettle, and ACV all at the same time? Is there anything I can do to make this process easier on my body?

    I would love to hear from others out there who have a similar experience to mine. What worked for you? What are you trying now and how is that helping? And would also love some answers from anyone educated on the subject more than I.

    According to WebMD, over 55% of the U.S. Population tests positive for allergens to one or more substances. That is insane. What went wrong and how do we change that?


  • #2
    I stopped taking allegra in the fall after going full on primal in August. Before I stopped it entirely, I noticed that I could go longer and longer without needing it. I supplement with quercetin, which seems to help quite a bit, I've been able to reduce that as well. I've noticed that dust doesn't bother me nearly as much and as spring gets under way I've not been bothered like I have been in the past.

    I would say take the allegra if it gets too bad, but focus on the supplements and eating the right way. I know my rhinitis flares all over again if I slip up and eat wheat. Test out your body's capabilities!


    • #3
      My understanding on Quercetin is that you are supposed to start taking it weeks before allergy season to build it up in your body.

      On allergies- my doctor has told me that our bodies are sort of like a cup. Just as a cup can only hold so much water, our bodies can only tolerate so many allergens. The cup will overflow if too much is put in, our bodies start displaying symptoms of allergies (hives, headaches, sinustis, etc) if too much is put in. So in my case, I'm allergic to dairy, birch pollen, and 3 types of dust mites. Let's say I can't really get rid of the dust mites, I can only minimize them through regular house cleaning. Birch pollen is unavoidable in the spring where I live. But- I have complete control over whether I consume dairy. So- when I cut out the dairy, I found that all my other allergy symptoms completely resolved. In my case, my symptoms were acid reflux (from the dairy allergy), sinus infections, post nasal drip and sinustis from the others. The removal of a single allergen took the load off my body and allowed it to normalize. It's not that I'm not still allergic to the other things, but that my body can handle those allergens if it's not overloaded. Anyway, that's how it was explained to me, and the way my body responds seems to support that.

      Not sure on your other questions and look forward to seeing other people's input.
      High Weight: 225
      Weight at start of Primal: 189
      Current Weight: 174
      Goal Weight: 130

      Primal Start Date: 11/26/2012


      • #4
        Delete- Duplicate.
        High Weight: 225
        Weight at start of Primal: 189
        Current Weight: 174
        Goal Weight: 130

        Primal Start Date: 11/26/2012


        • #5
          Thanks for your input! The cup concept is interesting. Hopefully I'll be able to figure out a way to weed out some of my allergens...


          • #6
            Anyone else have any input?


            • #7
              I tried quercetin for a little while last year, no notable benefit, but didn't start taking it until late-Summer. I have congestion and post nasal drip all year round, likely due to my mold allergy. I've tried cutting dairy, that doesn't help. I use a neti pot once daily (I don't have the time to do it more often than that) and that helps to keep things moderately clear so I can get through the winter without nose bleeds. Now that Spring has arrived, the neti pot is not as effective. I would have to use it 3-5 days to keep a clear nose! Not practical.

              Raw local honey does seem to help very briefly, so I'm going to start incorporating a small spoonful into my morning regimen everyday. Even if it only offers brief respite, I can hope that it will help tune my gut & sensitivities.

              My allergies are a lot worse this year and I don't know if it's from the pollen count or my gut. I have been dealing with chronic constipation for no identifiable reason for over 6 months now. I'm increasingly more sensitive to foods. Refined sugar and wheat in any amount give me acne, and all kinds of digestive upset (usually painful bloating and gas). I'm hoping that when I identify my gut issues, the allergies will abate at least a little. Zyrtec doesn't even stop the sneezing anymore and was my go-to previously. I'm going to try Allegra next. Nothing has ever stopped the post nasal drip.

              My allergy symptoms are congestion, post nasal drip, sneezing, itchy eyes, and weepy eyes (so far, only the right).
              Depression Lies


              • #8
                Wow this all interesting to hear, I've never thought going a natural way. My allergies are so bad that I actually have to get 2 shots every week. They just inject me with what I'm allergic to. I only get it in the spring and summer because it is fairly expensive, especially because I'm a college student. 60 dollars a week because my family's insurance doesn't cover it, so I cut it down to 2 shot bi-weekly. Good read though!


                • #9
                  I used to have terrible allergies that would start in Mid Feb and last till about Oct. It was do bad I'd have to get up in the middle of the night and take more nose spray just to sleep thru the rest of the night. I highly recommend the local honey thing, its done wonders for me but it took a few months before I really noticed a difference though. (See if your source has wildflower honey, if you can. Its supposed to have more of the tree & ragweed pollens.)


                  • #10
                    I have been primal for 3 years, still have allergies. I have very narrow nasal passage and polyps. I've tried many alternative approaches with limited success. I've wondered how could primal people have hunted if they were constantly sneezing and coughing? I do think it's a modern condition, a result of a combination of factors; the food we eat and the shape of our nasal passages (malocclusion). Presently I am on GAPS and although I'm still having allergies at least I haven't had a sinus infection which is a big improvement.

                    One thing I've gathered from the different sources I've read is that if our system is in balance we will not be bothered by the triggers in the environment and possibly even the foods we eat. Chinese medicine and GAPS essentially says this with the exception of celiac and other conditions.

                    As to eating honey it depends on what you are allergic to: if you are allergic to grasses local honey will do nothing for you as bees do not gather pollen from grasses, obviously if you are allergic to mold or dust mites honey will not help. I want to believe that there is hope; that if I get my system in balance I will feel some relief, I hate to think the the only solution is to keep limiting my exposure to triggers, I don't want to live in a bubble and just eat bland foods. In the meantime I alternate between Zyrtec and Allegra and when things get really bad I take Benedryl and go to bed.
                    Life is death. We all take turns. It's sacred to eat during our turn and be eaten when our turn is over. RichMahogany.


                    • #11
                      It's good to know that I'm not alone in wanting to rid myself of chemical anti-histamines. I haven't given in to allergy shots yet as I do not trust the companies who manufacture them, and it's a HUGE commitment.

                      Right now I am taking around 1000mg of Quercetin, around 700mg of Stinging Nettle (the nettle seems to noticeably help more than the quercetin), Neti Pot every other morning/night or so, and one 24 hour Allegra everday. So far our pollen levels are sky-high and my symptoms are tolerable enough for me to run around and play outside without much problem.

                      I am hoping that in a few weeks, once the pollen levels die down a bit and I've built up the quercetin and nettle in my system, I can stop taking the Allegra altogether.


                      • #12
                        I live in Ohio and am a year long allergy sufferer. If you take OTC allergy medicine, do not take Claritin, if just doesn't work. Also, you need to switch up between Zyrtec and Allegra every few months. The human body is very intelligent and will build an immunity on those if you don't change them up. I also have to take Flonase for mine. Local raw honey and Quercetin do not work for me at all period no matter how clean I am on diet.