Struggling with Hay Fever?

Here are some practical tips to make you feel more comfortable this summer

Pollinosan 1

An allergic reaction such as hay fever can best be explained as an excessive reaction to a normally harmless substance. In the case of hay fever, the immune system identifies the harmless substance, usually a type of pollen or spore from a plant, as dangerous and produces an antibody called IgE, which then triggers the production of histamine. Histamine is what causes the unpleasant symptoms such as swelling, mucus formation, and itching/burning in localised areas such as the throat, nose and eyes.

As these symptoms can easily be confused with a cold, the easiest way to tell the difference between hay fever and a common cold is through your mucus. Hay fever mucus is usually clear and colourless and the nose feels itchy. With a common cold, the nasal mucous discharge can be green and you may also have a temperature.

When is hay fever likely to be at its worst?

The hay fever season is normally between late February and November each year but as we experience milder wetter winters, we can expect prolonged flowering seasons from our native plants which will lengthen the season. In fact, the average length of any given flowering or spore season has increased significantly by half a week per year for the last two decades having a greater impact on hay fever sufferers.”

Practical Tips to Relieve Hay Fever Symptoms

Nutritional Practitioner, Alison Cullen says, “There are lifestyle adjustments we can make that will make a difference, such as dietary changes, reducing stress, auditing your own environment, as well as supporting your own immune system and sleeping well can all help.

So, if you are prone to hayfever it will benefit you to take the following precautions, Alison recommends:

Audit your environment! Turf out those cupboards; deep clean the carpets; hoover your pets… Reconsider all the intensive cleaning / bleaching / disinfecting products we are constantly urged now to slather on ourselves and our surroundings. Your environment needs to be cleaned of dust, dander, dead bodies, but not necessarily sterilised – many cleaning products actually irritate the nasal passages and skin.

Diversify your gut: the more diverse your gut flora/microbiome is, the better your whole body will work

Keep your intake of vitamin C high, as this is another natural antihistamine. Opt for lots of fruit and veg, which are high in immune-boosting vitamin C such as citrus fruits, strawberries, tomatoes, kiwi, bell peppers and dark leafy greens including spinach. Or take a low dose Vit C supplement several times a day if you feel your diet is deficient.

Avoid histamine rich foods: if you are histamine sensitive reduce eating high histamine foods such as: alcoholic drinks; sauerkraut, vinegar, soy sauce, kefir, kombucha, yoghurt, olives, cured meats, sour cream, buttermilk, aged cheeses, dried fruit, citrus fruit, avocados, walnuts, cashews, peanuts, aubergine, spinach, tomato, tuna, anchovies and sardines. Bananas, pineapple, papaya and strawberries may also trigger histamine release.

Be prepared

  • Start taking Pollinosan Hayfever tablets twice daily (£10.50, 120 tablets, www.avogel.co.uk) . This will reduce the reactions significantly. Up the dosage to 3 times daily as the symptoms start to appear if your symptoms start to worsen.
  • Ease itchy eyes – new Pollinosan Hay Fever Eye Drops (£12.99, 10mls, www.avogel.co.uk) are natural drops especially formulated to soothe red, burning, itchy eyes as a result of hay fever causing allergens. Suitable for contact lens wearers, they are preservative free and contain a soothing herbal extract of chamomile and hyaluronic acid.

Reduce stress: stress causes nerve cells to produce CRH, a stress-mediating neurohormone released by nerve cells into the bloodstream, which exacerbates mast cell-dependent inflammation, and can worsen nasal allergy by sensitising mast cells in the nasal mucosa to CRH stimulation.

Avoid dairy products which can cause mucus formation that exacerbates hay fever symptoms.

Drink plenty of nettle tea to benefit from their natural antihistamine effect. Caffeinated drinks such as coffee tend to cause inflammation, replacing them with herbal teas such as nettles, and plenty of still, plain water, will reduce the general level of inflammation in the body.

Don’t give up on exercise – regular exercise can actually help improve your hay fever symptoms. A study found that those who are most physically active tend to have milder symptoms than those who did little or no exercise, and recommended that hay fever sufferers should try to incorporate five x 30-minute sessions of exercise each week.

Visit www.avogel.co.uk for more information and to to check the pollen count in your area.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s