Treating Allergies without Medication
Seasonal pollen, grass, and environmental allergies can spike in the desert during the fall, especially during the grass scalping and reseeding times. Children commonly suffer from seasonal allergies and it can affect their mood, concentration, and well-being. Seasonal allergies can be treated with dietary changes and nutritional supplements, which help avoid the grogginess and side effects of pharmaceutical medication. Using natural treatments also helps avoid giving children medication unnecessarily when effective alternatives are available. In general, children respond very well to natural treatments and it can reduce their symptoms quickly and easily.
Seasonal allergies are often exacerbated by dietary irritants. Foods such as dairy, wheat, gluten, sugar, and sometimes eggs can cause a reaction in the immune system which leads to enhanced allergy symptoms. Dairy products can worsen mucus production, causing increased nasal congestion, postnasal drip, and cough. Wheat and gluten can aggravate the immune system which enhances the body’s ‘attack’ response to outdoor allergens and increases inflammation in areas such as the sinuses. Sugar also weakens the immune system and can exacerbate allergy symptoms. Focusing on a whole foods diet with protein, vegetables, fruit, and whole, non-gluten grains such as rice and quinoa, and hydrating adequately daily will significantly decrease allergy symptoms. Avoiding processed foods will eliminate unnecessary burden on the body and the immune system.
Nutritional supplements can decrease allergy symptoms by limiting mucus production, inflammation, and supporting a healthy immune system. Natural anti-allergy products aimed at reducing allergies in children are typically quite safe for use. Natural allergy remedies such as Childlife Allercare, Boiron Children’s Sabadil pellets, Herbs for Kids Nettles & Eyebright, or Wish Garden Kick-it Allergies for Kids are great combination products to acutely treat allergy symptoms. The dosing of any supplement needs to be appropriate for the age and size of the child. It is always recommended children remain under the care of a qualified provider knowledgeable in alternative treatment methods to avoid harm.
In addition to dietary and supplement changes, the home environment can be altered to reduce allergy symptoms. Placing a HEPA filter next to the child’s bed can reduce airborne irritants for 8-10 hours at a time when the child is doing the most concentrated deep breathing. Vacuuming any carpets or area rugs 2x per week limits household dust, pet dander, and outdoor pollen invaders. Routinely cleaning the house air ducts, preferably yearly, can significantly improve the home’s indoor air quality. Eliminating any pets from sleeping in the child’s room or on furniture the child commonly uses can eliminate pet dander and outdoor allergy irritants brought inside by the pet. In general, maintaining a home free of dust, toxic household cleaners, smoke, and excess pet hair and dirt, will assist in decreasing allergy symptoms.
Each and every child has individual health needs. While basic alternative treatment recommendations can be quite useful for many children, some children require more specialized and individualized natural health care advice for optimal natural allergy relief. Consider seeking additional, qualified advice if allergies continue to be a health challenge for your child.
Dr. Shannon Sinsheimer is state licensed naturopathic doctor with a focus on fertility, family wellness, and pre-conception health. She can be reached at Optimal Health Center (760) 568.2598. Dr. Sinsheimer does not maintain any professional endorsement relationships with the above mentioned health products.