By Dr. Jon Ritz
How do I know?
In the past three days I’ve seen a number of patients complaining of seasonal allergies after a long hiatus over the summer months. It seems as if it was just yesterday that springtime was upon us and I was seeing many of the same symptoms. Summer came and went, and it appears that there are new pollens in the air, stuffing up noses and making eyes itch.
How do I know?
Hydrate hydrate hydrate. One of the cardinal signs of dehydration is a worsening of allergy symptoms. You know what this feels like: stuffy nose, runny nose, itchy nose headache, itchy eyes, dry eyes, and skin eruptions. The number one thing you need to do is take an account of your fluid intake:
At a minimum, you need to be drinking 1 ounce of pure, clean, vital spring water or revitalized water for every pound of body weight.
A.Simple Math. A gallon is 128 ounces. So, a 250 pound person needs a gallon per day. A 150 pound person needs over a half-gallon of pure water!
2.Eliminate the sports drinks and sodas
A.These do NOT count as water. The sugar will acidify your body and will suppress your immune system. A spoonful of sugar might make the medicine go down, but it also suppresses the immune system for 8 hours!
2.Avoid Dead Water
A.In Japan, they call Reverse Osmosis water “dead water.” This also goes for distilled water and tap water. Everything has been removed, including the minerals that belong in the water. If you have reverse osmosis water, I suggest at the very least that you find OligoMineral / TraceMineral drops from plant sources or from ocean water sources, and that you stir them in well. The stirring is an important part of the process.
B.Get a Grander water revitalizer or an Enagic water system. Grander is unique in that it treats the whole house. Grander is used throughout Europe and has the endorsement of large-scale agriculture and Mercedes factories to name a few. Enagic is unique in that it is the only ionizer used in hospitals in Japan, something no other device can claim. I can stand behind both. 2.If you choose to filter your tap water, get a slow, multistage, selective filter system. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but Brita or your refrigerator just doesn’t cut it.
Simple Concept #2: No-go “foods.”
1. Avoid Sugar. Read labels and when you see sugar, cane syrup, corn syrup, or any other sugar…step away from the package and nobody will get hurt.
2. Avoid Hydrogenated Fats / Trans Fats. There is NO safe level of this junk that should pass your lips. It more closely resembles plastic, and dramatically contributes to oxidative stress and acidosis in your body.
3. Avoid Pasturized/Homogenized Dairy. The #1 food that sensitizes the immune system and makes it go haywire…as far as respiratory allergies go, is Dairy. There are proteins in dairy that trick the immune system and put it on high alert. As an aside, dairy has the strongest dietary link to development of Type-1 diabetes and Multiple Sclerosis. Simply put, it’s a risky endeavor to drink that white stuff in the carton. Now, RAW milk is a different story altogether, and subject of a much longer talk…but I’ll say this: studies have shown that children that drink raw milk have fewer allergies.
4. Remember this always: the health of the animal largely determines whether it’s meat, eggs, or milk will be good for you. If you’re curious, you can find youtube videos of factory farms, but I warn you it’s not a pretty sight. Always seek out the healthiest animals if you want good health for yourself.
Simple Concept #3: Go-to Foods
1. Plants: whole plant foods contain the nutrients your body needs to maintain an alkaline state, to detox, for your immune system to communicate. Eat a variety, and eat plenty!
2. Omega-3 Oils: these essential oils (essential because you must get them from your diet) are proven to be directly anti-inflammatory. You can get them from fish, a high-quality fish oil, from nuts and seeds, from greens, from grass-fed meat or wild game. Hemp seeds, flax seeds, walnuts, almonds, etc etc.
3. Vitamin D: this hormone is discussed in an earlier post. Adequate Vitamin D is something very few north-Americans enjoy. Yet, proper Vitamin D will help reduce allergies, among other things. It’s a must.
Simple Concept #4: Get your advice and service from someone who’s in the HEALTH business and not the SICK CARE business if what you want is improved HEALTH.
1. Find an experienced Herbalist, Acupuncturist, Chiropractor, or better yet: find a licensed Naturopathic Physician (ND) that knows what they’re doing.
2. They can help guide you to the right herbs, the right food sensitivity testing (IgG, not IgE), the right diet for you (perhaps it’s not just milk that’s putting your immune system on edge.)
3. Homeopathy is rarely prescribed correctly, but when it is…woah-nelly is it ever effective! Find a homeopath that is experienced in classical homeopathy for proven results.
4. I’m sure there are folks out there that are doing tons of great things. Ask around. Ask questions. Ask about their credentials. Get a referral form someone you trust.
5. Naturopathic Doctors understand that in cases of allergies, there are times when “heroic” interventions with drugs are totally necessary. For example, it is always unwise for an asthmatic to be without arms reach of a rescue inhaler. These things need to be managed in an integrative fashion and NDs are trained to do this. NDs are trained and certified in western pharmaceuticals as well as natural, curative modalities.
Simple Concept #5: A few “pearls” of Naturopathic Wisdom:
1.Herbs that really help:
A. Onion: an extract from onion skins called Quercetin is a powerful natural histamine stabilizer
B. Turmeric: get the lipid-soluble form for maximal absorbtion. This herb is a powerful anti-inflammatory, among other actions.
C. Nettles: this plant works well to reduce allergies. Some people that are on silicilate-free diets avoid it, but I’m not sure if it matters or not (I just can’t speak on that). For the rest of us, Nettles really help with respiratory and skin allergies (hives).
D. Simply Saline Spray: just like a netti-pot, Iso-tonic (same % salt as your body) saline spray helps to moisten dried nasal passages and alleviate symptoms.
E. Probiotics: if you have allergies…get probiotics…and not from Activa Yogurt. I can recommend Culturelle Brand which is safe and effective at doses of over 5-10billion CFUs per day, and it’s available at CVS. Probiotics help normalize your “gut flora” which in turn balances the immune system. We have a personal zoo…and we live symbiotically, so treat them right!