From Ronald Hoffman, MD
If you’re like many of us, this time of year can be both beautiful and vexing. Blossoms begin to adorn our trees, and our cars and patios are coated with a dusting of yellowish-green pollen. For spring allergy sufferers, that means itchy, burning red eyes; scratchy throats; sneezing; wheezing; coughing; and sinus congestion.
Prescription and over-the-counter medications can suppress symptoms temporarily, but side effects abound, and they don’t get to the root of the problem. Next week, I’ll be giving you a list of my favorite natural products for tackling allergies, but first I want to share ten tips for easing the discomforts of allergy season—or better yet, preventing them!
PASS ON THE PIZZA! When pollen comes on like gangbusters, your allergy “cup” runneth over, so to speak. Low-grade chronic allergies to dairy and gluten, often quiescent during the deep-freeze, may contribute to overload when seasonal allergens make their appearance. Many of my patients report their allergy symptoms are better when they eliminate potential food allergens, and I find the same is true for me.
HOP ON THE WAGON! Beer, wine and liquor contain histamine, produced by yeast and bacteria during the fermentation process. If you’re going to imbibe, clear distilled alcohols such as vodka and gin seem better-tolerated, but only in moderation.
SKIP THE SUGAR! Sugar promotes yeast overgrowth, which triggers allergic symptoms.
AVOID HISTAMINE TRIGGERS: In addition to wine and beer, a host of foods boost histamine, resulting in histamine intolerance.