Your Fall Seasonal Allergies Explained – And What You Can Do About Them
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Seasonal allergies are the body’s natural immune response to airborne allergens such as pollen and mold spores. When these allergens are inhaled or come into contact with the body, the immune system releases histamines, which trigger the all-too-familiar allergy symptoms.
When you think of seasonal allergies, you likely think of the respiratory discomfort that accompanies the arrival of spring. Unfortunately, however, if you are among the 1 in 3 US adults that suffers from seasonal allergies, you will likely experience these symptoms with the arrival of fall as well.
What Causes Fall Seasonal Allergies?
Fall allergies are caused by numerous environmental factors that accompany the seasonal change in weather. For example, ragweed is one of the primary triggers of fall allergies in North America. As nights get colder, ragweed plants release billions of tiny pollen grains into the air, which can be carried for miles by the wind. These pollen particles are easily inhaled, leading to a wide range of allergic reactions.
Additionally, fall weather conditions can exacerbate the impact of allergens. Warm days and cool nights create the ideal environment for mold growth. The increased humidity and rainfall can also foster mold growth as damp piles of leaves and wet earth are not dried out by the sun. Mold spores can even become airborne and spread easily with the wind, adding to the allergen load in the air.
Natural Remedies For Seasonal Allergies:
While medications such as antihistamines and decongestants are commonly used to alleviate allergy symptoms, many people prefer natural remedies to avoid potential side effects or reduce their dependence on pharmaceuticals.
Here are a few natural remedies that may help alleviate symptoms of fall allergies:
Local Raw Honey: Consuming local raw honey is thought to help build immunity to local pollen by ingesting small amounts of pollen naturally found in honey. The body can then presumably develop a tolerance to the allergens. Look for honey sold at your nearby farmer’s market, or even at the grocery store, and make sure to pick raw, unfiltered options as this ensures that pollen and nutrients have not been filtered out.
Saline Rinse: Rinsing your nasal passages with a saline solution can help flush out allergens and irritants, providing relief from congestion and inflammation. It can also help to remove excess mucus and moisturize nasal passages to ease symptoms.
Quercetin: This polyphenol, found in foods like apples, onions, and berries, may have anti-allergic properties. It can help stabilize mast cells and reduce the release of histamine as well as minimize inflammation. Consult with your doctor about supplementing with Quercetin to prevent seasonal allergies.
Nettle Leaf: Nettle leaf is a natural antihistamine that comes in many different forms such as in a tincture, as a tea or in powdered supplement form. It can also help to alleviate allergy symptoms because of its anti-inflammatory properties.
Probiotics: A healthy gut microbiome can strengthen the immune system and reduce the severity of allergy symptoms. Incorporating naturally fermented foods such as kefir, kimchi and sauerkraut or targeted supplements may be beneficial.
If you have noticed worsening symptoms of allergies recently, you are not alone. Keeping your body healthy through the changing of the seasons as well as supporting gut microbiome health can also help to minimize seasonal allergies. As always, consult with a doctor before adding any new supplements into your routine.