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BellaOnline's Allergies and Colds Editor

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No more antihistamines


Chances are you’re dealing with your allergies by taking antihistamines. I know that has been my main allergy remedy for years but now I am going cold turkey without antihistamines. Why? Every drug I’ve taken ends up causing me more side effects than benefit in terms of allergy relief.

I’m not saying antihistamines are bad for everyone but there are some nasty side effects, especially if you have to take a lot of them or long term. My latest medication caused my liver enzymes to climb and turned me into Godzilla. On top of that, I was still congested and sneezing my head off.

I did some research and found out that antihistamines cause more than the common drowsiness, difficulty concentrating, slow reaction time, and dry mouth, nose and eyes. Some lesser known side effects include:

•appetite loss or gain
•confusion
•constipation or diarrhea
•poor coordination
•depression
•impairment of thinking
•altered taste or smell
•irritability or anxiety

Here are some antihistamine-free “treatments” that may provide relief.

Vegan/Vegetarian Diet

If you suffer from allergies, adopting a vegetarian or vegan diet may offer some relief. Researchers have found that those who exclude animal products from their diet in favor of plant-based foods are less likely to need treatment for allergies or asthma.

A vegetarian is someone who does not eat meat, poultry and seafood but instead consumes a plant-based diet, including seeds, nuts, legumes, grains, fruits and vegetables. Some vegetarians will eat dairy and eggs but some do not. A vegan diet is more restrictive with the exclusion of all animal flesh and byproducts, such as eggs, dairy, honey, etc.

Mediterranean Diet

Certain foods increase inflammation and make allergies worse but a diet rich in the foods of the Mediterranean diet can boost your immunity and protect you from allergies. That’s why Crete islanders who eat fresh fruit/vegetables, fish, olive oil and nuts/seeds have fewer nasal allergies, according to researchers.

The foods of the Mediterranean diet are protective from allergies because they are high in antioxidants which improve immunity and protect cells from damage. In contrast, the mainstay foods of the typical American diet are high in unhealthy fats, sugar and refined grains that increase inflammation.

Nasal cleansing

Small ceramic pots, called Neti pots, have been around for centuries as a simple and inexpensive way to alleviate symptoms of allergies, sinusitis and colds.

Nasal irrigation with a Neti pot, bulb syringe, squeeze bottle or other device involves cleansing the nasal passages with warm saline water. The fluid flows through each nasal cavity to remove mucus and other debris.

Many allergy and chronic sinus sufferers who have found relief are strong proponents of nasal irrigation. They find it helps thin out thick mucus, makes it easier to remove and eliminates nasal congestion.


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Content copyright © 2014 by Sheree Welshimer. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Sheree Welshimer. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Sheree Welshimer for details.

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