Paul A. Goldberg, MPH, DC, DACBN, DCBCN
The Goldberg Clinic For Chronic Disease Reversal
An assault has begun in the U.S. that causes significant hardships to millions of us. This threat comes in the form of trillions of grains of tree, grass and flower pollens that have already this year begun to place many people in a sea of misery.
Those who do not suffer from seasonal allergies can have trouble appreciating the extent of suffering those with these problems endure, ranging from mild discomforts to life threatening issues. For those with allergy/immune/autoimmune related issues, the additional burden posed by a cascade of pollens has the potential for stimulating their immune systems and exacerbating problems such as inflammatory bowel diseases, rheumatoid problems, asthma, chronic fatigue issues, etc., to the point that they can be the “straw that broke the camel’s back.”
In the Southeast U.S. where pollens are particularly high throughout the year, the assault has begun (started in January this year!) and will continue at an elevated level till mid-June when a lowering of the tree pollens normally occurs. For many the reprieve will be short as soon afterwards come grass and weed pollens. Physicians such as myself frequently note an increase in illness and even hospital admissions during the pollen season among those with immune system problems exacerbated by the pollen’s arrival.
A number of things can be done to help patients with seasonal allergies or with conditions aggravated by them. Most important and often overlooked, is to take steps to improve the general health both prior to and during the allergy season. Behaviors which support the immune system & the gastrointestinal tract (in which 75% of the immune system resides) and the endocrine system are important in this regard. Those with allergies who enter the pollen season in good health will fare far better than those who enter into the season run down or exhausted. If you have entered the season in poor health, however, there are still measures that can be taken to help you get through the season more easily.
Measures for Patients to Take
1) Sufficient sleep: Few things will more quickly run down the immune and endocrine systems and make the allergic patient more susceptible to allergic influences, than a sleep deficit. A well-rested person finds their ability to withstand pollens much greater than those who burning the candle at both ends.
2) Dietary Measures – All nutrients, including fatty acids, protein, vitamins and macro and trace minerals work together in supporting immune, gastrointestinal and endocrine function. Particularly important in allergy support is to maintain stable blood sugar levels and support the endocrine system. Avoiding refined carbohydrates is critical along with maintaining an adequate but not excessive protein intake. The right fats, focusing on the omega six to omega 3 ratio is important. A fatty acid analysis done through The Goldberg Clinic can assess if a patient is at risk in regards to their fatty acid cellular status and then take appropriate steps to correct. Also important is efficient digestion, which we look at carefully from a functional perspective.
3) Overeating puts additional stress on the liver and overburdens the GI tract making allergic responses more apt to occur and should be avoided.
4) Supplementation - this should be based on the individual. A hypoallergenic multiple vitamin mineral supplement, extra Vitamin C, appropriate digestive enzymes, and supplements to help stabilize overactive mast cells are worthy of consideration.
5) Environmental Measures – Avoid being outside during the heaviest pollen periods and shower thoroughly (including washing of the hair) after pollen exposure and prior to bedtime. The use of a room or whole house air filter suitable for removing pollen is often helpful.
6) Avoidance of Toxins – Alcohol, tobacco, junk foods and many drugs further complicate the body’s ability to deal with the stress of environmental allergens.
7) Rest, Relaxation and Stress Avoidance – Emotional stressors, particularly when prolonged can deplete our adrenal reserves, further imbalance the immune system, throw blood sugar levels into a tizzy…in short, make us more susceptible to the ravages of the pollen season.
8) Professional Care – This is the time of year when those patients with allergies are most apt to benefit from spinal adjusting, massage, dietary advice, specific supplement recommendations and general health counseling.
If over the counter or prescription anti-histamines or steroids are employed, the need for an excellent nutritional program with supplemental protective nutrients becomes much more important as these drugs place additional burdens upon the health of the body.
The suggestions discussed can go a long ways in promoting your well being and obtaining additional protection to make the allergy season much more tolerable and both entering and exiting it with a higher level of vitality.
Paul A. Goldberg
The Goldberg Clinic