It’s the time of year where many people cannot function without the constant aid of an allergy pill.
Amir Rashidian, a chiropractor with Frederick’s Mid-Atlantic Chiropractic Center, has a different idea involving using nutrition and various supplements to reduce inflammation and stop a problem before it really has a chance to start.
Rashidian has been giving presentations throughout the area after saying he saw many patients who had nervous system imbalances that triggered an allergy response. Since he doesn’t tend to prescribe drugs, he gives them nutritional advice in addition to spine work. After some time, patients would tell him they didn’t need allergy pills anymore.
The main step he recommends is a liver cleanse which he says reduces inflammation and histamine in people’s bodies. The cleanse Rashidian suggests lasts 21 days and cuts out foods that cause liver congestion. These include bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, sugar, dairy and soy. Meat, lean proteins and “good” fats are initially cut but then re-introduced.
Good fats may include fish oil, coconut oil, flax seed oil and anything high in omega-3 fatty acids.
A key is realizing that allergies are always a response to something that is not actually harmful. They are caused by cells releasing a pro-inflammatory substance.
He said antihistamine medications can work to an extent in that they block H1 receptors, which cause symptoms like itchy eyes and a runny nose. However, H2 and H3 receptors remain active, causing emotional responses from H3 and symptoms like heartburn and irritable bowel syndrome from H2. Rashidian said this could be why some patients will complain about issues like anxiety and depression in addition to their typical allergy symptoms.
A histamine cleanse or changing nutritional habits are generally more effective in blocking all three receptors, Rashidian said.
To prepare for allergy season without dedicating to a full cleanse, Rashidian tells patients to eat foods rich in Vitamin C or take supplements as long as they aren’t synthetic.
Another good allergy blocker is one to two teaspoons of raw honey every night. Rashidian said this is especially good for people who are allergic to pollen since bees are already using it to make honey, and so the body is desensitized.
“If it’s already in you, you don’t react as much,” Rashidian said.
Rashidian also recommends leafy greens, fish oils and probiotics, which are considered a good bacteria to help with digestion. Probiotics can be found in certain yogurts and breast milk, Rashidian said, attributing more moms formula feeding to an increase in children with allergies.
Other causes include increased immune system stress; chemical pollution in the air, water and food; and genetic manipulation in plants.
Rashidian says allergy season typically begins in early April and lasts as long as early November. He suggests people start the cleanse about two weeks before their symptoms usually start.