Friday, May 4, 2012

Seasonal Allergies | The Mating Game

What the Heck is Happening in My Body?

Yesterday MSN Health posted a great article on seasonal allergies. So, rather than trying to reinvent the wheel, we thought we would simply repost it for you (with some minor additions and edits,  of course)…

The Mating Game
It all begins with a mating game. Male pollen grains drift off in search of female plant parts to fertilize. Cute, except that the powdery stuff is so pervasive that you'll undoubtedly breathe it in or rub it into your eyes. If you're allergic, your body makes antibodies called IgE. Pollen launches them into action.

IgE antibodies coat the outside of mast cells, which are part of the immune system and are abundant in the nose, throat, eyes, skin, and lungs. As pollen binds to IgE, mast cells release a trove of chemicals, the most famous of which is histamine, the marine corps of allergy warfare.

Mast cells continue to fire off, releasing more and more histamine. Problem is the tricky chemical can be tough on your body.

After five minutes
Histamine has set your mucous membranes into overdrive, by now you've said hello to sneezing, a runny nose, and watery eyes.

Your airways may begin to constrict, leaving you short of breath or with a tight feeling in your chest. Histamine may also make your throat itch.

As long as you're exposed to pollen, the miserable cycle keeps going, unless you take an over-the-counter medication or herbal supplement. It's best to start stat (or better yet, in anticipation of an attack); because mast cells are popping off like crazy.

In the next few hours
The mast cells release a second offensive wave of immune mediators, which turn your dripping, sneezing nose into a stopped-up disaster. An antihistamine will be less effective now.

If you're very allergic, your eyelids might begin to swell.

After a few days
If you're still in pollen territory, mucus has set up camp in your nose and sinuses. Gone are the days of suffering in silence with a tissue, the phlegm in your throat makes you cough and snore. Your respiratory system, normally able to sweep out germs with its tiny hair-like cilia, is now gridlocked with congestion, creating an ideal bacterial breeding ground. You're at higher risk for a sinus or ear infection. If you have seasonal asthma, you could develop a chronic cough. Of course, a visit to your doctor is well recommended. Your doctor can give you a stronger treatment that can quell your advanced allergic reaction.

After a few months
It's fall, you're home free! Unless, of course, you're allergic to ragweed...and so, the cycle goes.

Dr. Keri Peterson of Women’s Health magazine says that the more than 40 million people battling allergies this time of the year can seek relief by avoiding yard work, using air filters and keeping the windows closed.

Yeah, but…
Or, you can support your body with natural herbal products, so you feel better, function better, and get back into life. Allergies can be annoying at best, and deliberating at worst. Often limiting our choices in life about what we can and cannot do or enjoy.  There’s no need to limit your lifestyle or suffer. There are some wonderful and effective herbal products to help support your body throughout the allergy season. The hero is in the herbals.

Natural Herbal Remedies
While many people find relief with over-the-counter medications and nasal sprays, there are a growing number of people concerned about the side effects of these treatment options, and are looking for more natural sinus allergy remedies.  There are several important herbs that naturally provide sinus allergy relief. click here for more info.

Feel Better the Natural Way!
The Naturally Botanicals Team