How to deal with allergies without medication

How to deal with allergies without medication

Let's make it clear right away: not every allergy can be overcome without medication and the help of doctors.

If an allergic reaction affects the respiratory tract or develops too violently, causing swelling, redness, itching and other effects throughout the body, call an ambulance or contact the clinic as soon as possible. Anaphylaxis, that is, a severe form of allergy, is deadly and requires immediate medical attention. To expect that you will cope with this condition without specialists is at least irresponsible.

Also, you can not refuse medications if they are prescribed for you by an allergist.

But if an allergy occurs only from time to time and is limited to unpleasant, but safe symptoms, sneezing, runny nose, reddened eyes and nose, lacrimation, skin reactions, you can try to tame it without drugs.

The key word here is try. Evidence-based medicine does not give guarantees that non-drug means will definitely help. However, he hopes.

1. Define a trigger and avoid it

Allergy is an overreaction of the immune system to one or another irritant that has entered the body. Such an irritant can be, for example, pollen from trees and plants. If so, they talk about hay fever.

Triggers, that is, substances that provoke an allergic reaction, are also house dust and mites living in it, dandruff and saliva of pets, mold, food, and components of medicines.

Try to figure out what exactly makes you sneeze and cry. In your investigation, you can focus on the seasons and how often the symptoms appear. For example, if an allergy occurs in spring, late summer or early autumn, and at other times you live calmly, most likely it is hay fever. If there are adverse reactions throughout the year, it may be due to house dust, mold, contact with animals, or something you ate.

The best way to detect a trigger is to have an allergen test.

Once you identify an irritant, try to avoid it. This alone can protect you from allergies.

2. Try to avoid cross-allergy

Cross-allergy is when a reaction to one allergen is aggravated by a reaction to another.

For example, an allergy to birch pollen can be aggravated by Florin-Dan Popescu. Cross-reactivity between aeroallergens and food allergens / World Journal of Methodology, if you eat apples. On wormwood pollen if you smell chamomile. On cat hair (in the sense of particles of cat skin and saliva) if you eat pork.

If you know your allergen, talk to your doctor about the risk of cross-allergy. You may need to avoid not only the immediate irritant, but also some seemingly innocent food or plants.

3. Eat more onions and garlic

These vegetables contain a lot of quercitin, an antioxidant, which, according to some sources, Jiri Mlcek, Tunde Jurikova, Sona Skrovankova, Jiri Sochor. Quercetin and Its Anti-Allergic Immune Response / Molecules, inhibits the release of histamines. This is the name of the special chemicals responsible for the development of an allergic reaction.

Try adding onions and garlic to your food. Perhaps they will be your salvation. But not a fact: studies of their effectiveness are still not enough.

Yes, taking quercetin supplements is not a solution. In this form, the anti-allergenic properties of the antioxidant are markedly reduced.

Dean Mitchell MD, allergist, commenting on Good Housekeeping.

I see only minimal benefit from such drugs.

4. Try butterbur

Small randomized trial by Andreas Schapowal. A randomized controlled trial of butterbur and cetirizine for treating seasonal allergic rhinitis / BMJ has shown that butterbur extract is as effective as over-the-counter antihistamines. At least against allergic rhinitis.

True, only 131 people took part in the study. This, from the point of view of evidence-based medicine, is still not enough for unambiguous conclusions about the effectiveness of butterbur.

Butterbur / NCCIH has no evidence that bush root and leaf extract can help with allergic skin reactions and asthma. But there is evidence that butterbur can be toxic to the liver and cause a number of adverse reactions: from belching, headache and diarrhea to cross-allergic reactions in people sensitive to pollen from ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds and chamomiles.

Therefore, before experimenting with the supplement, be sure to talk about it with your doctor, at least a therapist.

5. Add rosemary to food

One small study by Majid Mirsadraei, Afsaneh Tavakoli, Sakineh Ghaffari. Effects of rosemary and platanus extracts on asthmatic subjects resistant to traditional treatments / European Respiratory Journal showed that taking rosemary extract can significantly reduce the unpleasant symptoms of asthma that is difficult to treat, including allergic ones. The participants in the experiment noted that they began to cough less, almost got rid of wheezing in the chest and obsessive sputum secretion.

However, more research is needed to conclude that rosemary is anti-allergenic.

6. And turmeric

This spice is the same story as with butterbur and rosemary.

In 2016, a pilot study was conducted by Sihai Wu, Dajiang Xiao. Effect of curcumin on nasal symptoms and airflow in patients with perennial allergic rhinitis / Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology with the participation of 241 people suffering from allergic rhinitis. They found that those who took turmeric supplements for two months had significantly reduced symptoms. In particular, people said that their nasal congestion had almost disappeared.

However, there is little research on the antiallergic properties of turmeric.

7. And ginger too

Ginger extract (500 mg per day) has been shown to be as effective against allergic rhinitis as over-the-counter antihistamines. There is at least one study by Rodsarin Yamprasert, Waipoj Chanvimalueng, Nichamon Mukkasombut, and Arunporn Itharat. Ginger extract versus Loratadine in the treatment of allergic rhinitis: a randomized controlled trial / BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies, confirming this fact.

Someday science will collect a sufficient amount of data on this subject and, perhaps, ginger will replace pills. But not now.