Do you suffer from allergies or asthma? It’s a little-known fact that these two conditions are directly linked to each other. Asthma, which affects roughly one in 12 people according to the CDC, is characterized by spasms of the small airways and inflammation. Furthermore, about 90% of children under the age of 16 with asthma have allergies, while 70% of people between the ages of 16 and 30 have allergies, and 50% of adults over the age of 40 have allergies.
Unfortunately, most people who suffer from allergies and asthma simply mask their symptoms with drugs rather than seeking a treatment for the root cause. Both of these conditions involve an overreaction by the body’s immune system to what it believes is a dangerous foreign invader. When you are exposed to an allergen (e.g. ragweed, pet dander, etc.), your immune system produces an abundance of inflammatory hormones, which are what cause the symptoms of allergies and asthma.
There are several alternative treatment options available for allergies and asthma. One important option is to make dietary and lifestyle changes. Because our lives are often busy and stressful, too many people choose to pick up convenient but nutrient-deficient fast food instead of preparing and cooking fresh meals for themselves and their families. There’s nothing wrong with an occasional fast food treat, but basing the bulk of your diet around processed foods will take a toll on your health. The lack of nutrients and the increased intake of preservatives, thickeners, poor-quality fats, sugars and other empty calories can disturb the immune system, causing greater sensitivity to allergens. A better choice is to consume a diet rich in lots of both cooked and raw vegetables, high-quality meats and fish, some fresh fruits, nuts, seeds, and nutrient-dense starches such as sweet potatoes and whole grains. Live, fermented foods such as non-pasteurized sauerkraut and kimchi help to promote a healthy gut as well, which is another important part of your immune health.
Of course, herbal medicine is a time-tested alternative treatment for allergies and asthma. Some of the most popular herbs used to treat these conditions include stinging nettle, ginkgo biloba, green tea, and reishi, all of which contain heavy concentrations of antioxidants. These antioxidants are believed to fight harmful chemicals in the body known as free radicals, which if left unchecked, may irritate existing conditions like allergies and asthma. Traditional Chinese herbal medicine formulas, properly prescribed by a well-trained herbalist, can provide both quick symptom relief as well as support your immune system function.
Acupuncture is also known to improve the symptoms for allergy and asthma sufferers. This Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) involves stimulating the body’s life force (Qi) by placing small, thin needles directly under the skin. When a person’s Qi grows stagnant or experiences other problems, he or she is more susceptible to disease and illness. Therefore, correcting this problem through acupuncture will naturally deter allergies, asthma and other common problems. Some of my clients get season-long relief from a few treatments.
Give me a call today to learn how you can get back on track to better health!