Allergies Treatment with herbs, vitamins, supplements, natural treatment and remedy
April 16 2016 by
Ray Sahelian, M.D.

 

Allergies are abnormal immune system reactions to things that are typically harmless to most people. When a person has allergies to a substance, the immune system mistakenly believes that this substance is harmful. In an attempt to protect the body, the immune system produces IgE antibodies to that allergen. Those antibodies then cause certain cells in the body to release chemicals into the bloodstream, one of which is histamine. The histamine then acts on a person's eyes, nose, throat, lungs, skin, or gastrointestinal tract and causes the symptoms of the allergic reaction. Future exposure to that same allergen will trigger this antibody response again. This means that every time you come into contact with that allergen, you'll have an allergic reaction. See also rhinitis.

 

Role of diet and food, what we eat matters
A traditional Mediterranean diet rich in fruits, vegetables and nuts during childhood appears to protect against symptoms of asthma and nasal allergies.
Eat more cold water fish with high content of fish oils. Fish oils have anti-inflammatory activity and most people don't get enough fish oils in their diet. You may consider taking Fish oil supplements. Omega-3 fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), are found naturally in fish oil and are commonly thought to be anti-inflammatory nutrients, with protective effects in inflammatory diseases including asthma and allergies.
Reduce hydrogenated and trans fats such as those found in certain baked goods and margarine.

Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, especially organically grown, if possible and affordable. Have a wide variety of produce, not just the same ones over and over. Vegetables and fruits contain many flavonoids that have anti-inflammatory properties.

 

In a study that followed roughly 3,000 children from birth to age 4, Swedish researchers found that those who began eating fish before they were 12 months old had lower odds of developing asthma, nasal allergies or the allergic skin condition eczema. The results are in line with evidence that the omega-3 fats in fish support healthy immune system development. One study, for example, found that children born to women who took fish oil pills during pregnancy had a reduced allergy risk. The theory is that because omega-3 fats have anti-inflammatory properties, they affect immune system development in a way that lowers the likelihood of allergies. Growing evidence suggests that introducing fish before age 1 reduces the risk in general. Children who regularly eat fish at some point in their first year are less likely than their peers to develop allergies by age 4. Allergy, August 2006.

 

Natural supplements for allergies
Flavonoid supplements may be helpful, including qQuercetin. If you don't eat enough vegetables, you could consider taking flavonoid supplements. Flavonoids are known to have anti-inflammatory properties.
Vitamin-C in small amounts such as 50 to 300 mg seems reasonable.
Butterbur has been studied with mostly good results.

 

Giving multivitamins to kids 5 to 8 years old does not seem to alter their overall likelihood of having allergies. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, December 2009.

 

Is quercetin as a supplement useful for treating allergies?
   I have not seen enough human research but quercetin may be helpful.

 

I would like to take 5htp for fibromyalgia and tension headaches. I have read that 5htp is contradicted in people with allergies. Are they talking about food or hayfever?
   We have not come across any studies regarding this interaction.

Meat
Eating meat may be a much more common trigger for anaphylaxis - a severe and potentially deadly allergic reaction - than previously thought. A study of 60 patients who had unexplained severe allergic reactions suggests that a compound in meat known as alpha-galactose may be the culprit. Research presented at a meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology in New Orleans, 2010.
 

Common allergies
Substances that cause it include certain foods, dust, plant pollen, or medicines. People with allergies may have some constriction in their airways when they're around a cat, even if they're not specifically allergic to cats. People with a range of reactions -- to grass, mold or dust -- are more prone to airway constriction if their homes are heavy with cat dander. This is true even when blood tests show the allergy sufferers are not specifically sensitized to cats.

 

During spring allergy season pollen is often the culprit. But, other substances such as mold may be involved as well.

 

Children who live in damp, water-damaged homes may be more likely than other kids to develop nasal congestion. American Journal of Epidemiology, online July 16, 2010.

 

Treatment
First, reduce exposure to allergies at home. These may include replacing carpets with hard floors, removing heavy draperies, and covering mattresses and pillows with dust-mite barriers. If your symptoms are due to mild hay fever each spring and fall, over-the-counter drugs may do the trick. If your symptoms are more severe, temporary use of prescription antihistamines and corticosteroids may offer a better treatment. Medications called leukotriene modifiers can also be used to help prevent allergies.

 

Allergies increasing in the world
Childhood allergies are on the rise around the world, including in many developing countries where asthma, eczema and hay fever are emerging as important public health problems.

 

Mother's diet
Children of women who eat a Mediterranean diet rich in fruits and vegetables while pregnant are far less likely to develop asthma or allergies later in life. A mother's diet can help prevent allergy problems in a child.

 

The early presentation of childhood allergies and the rise in their prevalence suggest that changes in early-life exposures may increase the predisposition. Very early-life exposures may act upon the developing fetal immune system and include infection, environmental tobacco smoke, other pollutants and nutrients provided via the mother. Three nutrients have come under close scrutiny: vitamin D, omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and folate (or the synthetic form, folic acid). Some studies with omega 3 PUFA supplements in pregnancy have demonstrated effects on the neonate and a reduction in risk of early sensitisation to allergens. A few studies with omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplements in pregnancy have shown a reduction in proportion of children affected by allergic symptoms (food allergy) or in symptom severity (atopic dermatitis).

 

Childhood allergies related to diet
A Mediterranean-style diet rich in fruits, vegetables and olive oil, and low in trans fats and processed foods can help reduce childhood respiratory allergies and asthma. A study of children living on the Greek island of Crete showed that diet may explain why skin allergies are as common as anywhere else, but wheezing and sneezing are more rare. Dr. Paul Cullinan of Britain's Royal Brompton Hospital and National Heart and Lung Institute, studied 690 children aged 7 to 18. Children who ate the most fresh fruits and nuts were the least likely to suffer from breathing allergies, and those who ate the most margarine were the most likely to. Grapes, oranges, apples and fresh tomatoes, the main local products in Crete, had no effect on skin allergies but children who ate more of them were less likely to have wheezing or runny noses.
   Children who snore are more likely to have allergies than children without allergies.


The key to preventing peanut allergies in children may lie in early and regular exposure to the food.

 

Skin
Some children with skin allergies may be allergic to oat proteins commonly found in skin products.

 

Birth control pill
Mothers who have previously used oral contraceptive pills seem more likely to have children with nasal allergies. Dr. Leea Keski-Nisula, of Kuopio University, Finland, and colleagues note in the medical journal Allergy that there has been a suggestion of an association between oral contraceptive use and allergic diseases. The researchers studied 618 asthmatic children aged 5 or 6 years and compared them with 564 similar but unaffected children. Compared to children whose mothers had not used oral contraceptives, those who had taken the pill within a year of becoming pregnant had a greater likelihood of having a child with allergic rhinitis, or nasal allergy. This was particularly the case in families where the parents had allergies, and this association was stronger in boys. There was no association between mothers' use of the pill and the occurrence of asthma or eczema in their offspring. Allergy, 2006.