5) Identifying Food Sensitivities
Just like we can have allergies to airborne substances, some people with allergies and hay fever may react to certain foods. Our diet tends to follow the seasons, so if there are foods you eat more of in the spring, you may wish to note if your symptoms get worse after you eat them and bring them to your doctor's attention.
People with lactose intolerance may notice that they feel more congested after consuming dairy products. Preliminary studies suggest that some people with allergies to grass pollens may also react to tomatoes, peanuts, wheat, apple, carrot, celery, peach, melon, eggs and pork, and that people with ragweed allergies may also react to foods in the Cucurbitaceae family, such as cucumber and melon.
An elimination-and-challenge diet is usually conducted to identify any food sensitivities. It involves the removal of suspected foods from the diet for at least a week, followed by the systematic re-introduction of these foods to isolate any foods that may be aggravating hay fever symptoms. Known food allergies and sensitivities are not tested. It should be done under the guidance of a health professional.
Nettle is a herbal remedy derived from the stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) bush. A number of studies suggest that nettle may help with allergy symptoms such as sneezing, nasal congestion, and itchiness, possibly by reducing inflammation. More about neetles.
7) Nasal Irrigation
A nasal irrigation, or nasal rinse, is often touted as a remedy for allergies or hay fever. It is an at-home remedy that involves using salt water to clear nasal passages. Research suggests that it may be helpful for people with allergies. More about nasal irrigation.
8) Acupuncture for Allergies
Acupuncture is a healing practice that originated in China over 5,000 years ago. Although studies have examined acupuncture for allergies, there haven't been large, randomized controlled trials.
In a German study published in the journal Allergy, 52 people with hay fever received acupuncture (once a week) and a Chinese herbal tea designed to address allergic symptoms (three times a day) or sham acupuncture and a regular herbal tea. After 6 weeks, people who received the acupuncture and herbal treatment noticed an 85 percent improvement on a "global assessment of change" scale compared to 40 percent in the control group. They also noticed a significant improvement in the quality of life questionnaire. There was no difference however in symptoms.
In another study, 72 children with hay fever received either acupuncture (twice a week) or sham acupuncture. After eight weeks, the real acupuncture was more effective at improving symptoms and was associated with more symptom-free days compared to sham acupuncture.
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