By Dr. Kneale
Spring is the most beautiful time of the year…but for many of us, it also sparks miserable allergies!
How many people deal with allergies? More than 50 million Americans have experienced various types of allergies each year. Allergies are the 6th leading cause of chronic illness in the U.S. Both of these statistics were determined in the year 2018. It is probably higher in both categories now.
Common Allergy Symptoms
- Nose –hay fever, stuffed up, inflamed nose creates lots of mucus
- Throat – can become scratchy and/or sore, swollen
- Eyes – conjunctivitis: watery eyes
- Skin – eczema, hives (urticaria), rashes after the allergen touches your skin, dry, red, itchy skin. Hives are white itchy bumps that feel like an insect bite. Feels and looks much worse with itching.
- Lungs – asthma attacks can be triggered by allergens: constriction of the airways of the lungs, wheezing, coughing
- Stomach and bowel – common allergens: peanuts, seafood, dairy, wheat.
Cow’s milk allergy in infants may occur and can cause eczema, asthma, colic, stomach upset, bloating, and gas.
Histamine, a friend or foe?
Allergies occur when our immune system reacts to an allergen in the environment. Common allergens are found in pollen (weeds, grass, and trees), medications, dust mites, insects, molds, foods, pets, and others.
Our immune system is mistakenly activated by any substance (pollen, dust, molds, foods, chemicals, etc.) which then releases histamine. Histamine works to get rid of the threat in several ways including sneezing, eyes tearing, skin itching, runny nose, swelling, etc. Histamine is a friend and a foe. As a friend, histamine protects our body. It signals to release stomach acid for digestion and is made in the brain to aid in communication between nerve cells. It can become a foe when our immune system overreacts (sees harmless substances as a threat) and releases histamine.
Anti-histamines: are they the answer?
Why not just take anti-histamines? One of the main reasons is the side effects. Yes, your allergy symptoms may temporarily improve, but you may have a new symptom or problem to contend with.
Dr. Horwitz writes, taking antihistamines for the equivalent of three years or more increased the risk of dementia by 54 percent (in a study of more than 3,000 men and women over the age of 65). Because the study was observational, it didn’t prove that the antihistamines caused dementia but did show a worrisome association. 
Here is a list of common side effects from anti-histamines:
- Dry mouth
- Nausea and vomiting
- Restlessness or moodiness (in some children)
- Trouble peeing or not being able to pee
- Blurred vision
What is the root cause of allergies?
- Weak adrenals glands
- Weak thyroid gland
- Low cortisol and cortisone productions
- Excessive cell permeability (allows foreign substances to pass into the body)
- Heavy metals such as copper, cadmium, lead, arsenic
- Nutrient deficiencies such as zinc, omega fatty acids, vitamin D, and others
- Improper diet
- Leaky gut
- Ongoing stress
My personal allergy life
From the age of two, I suffered from asthma that became worse the older I became. In college, I took no less than eight asthma medications daily just so I could breathe (steroids, Prednisone, Albuterol, Flonase, Theophylline, Alupent, and any experimental drug). My life was a battle of dodging lung infections, dodging windy days, and dodging numerous foods.
In 2005, I started the mineral balancing programs we offer using hair mineral analysis to dictate diet, supplements, and detoxification protocols. My hair test revealed sluggish adrenal activity, sluggish thyroid activity, copper toxicity, poor detoxification, and other heavy metals that were getting in the way of my health.
After a few years on the mineral balancing program I no longer needed any of my medications per my pulmonologist. I could eat at a restaurant and not worry that my ride home would be in an ambulance.
The program improved my mineral balance which in turn, improved how my body handled allergens, correctly without releasing histamine!! It has been over 15 years now as the health improvements are permanent rather than just a remedy.
How Mineral Balancing Eliminates Allergies
Did you know that?
- Vitamin C can cause an allergy flare-up
- Lack of sodium can be responsible for an allergy
- Too much zinc can suppress the immune response of the thymus
- Adrenal support may worsen allergies
- Too much calcium may be the cause of an allergy
- Stress can hasten an allergy by causing a mineral deficiency (the first minerals depleted by stress are calcium, copper, magnesium, and zinc).
Using a properly performed hair analysis (we use Analytical Research Labs) we can determine and correct a mineral imbalance that could be causing your allergies.
Here are some common patterns/mineral imbalances found on a hair tissue mineral analysis that are related to allergies:
- Extreme to Moderate slow oxidation (burn foods too slowly, low energy): If extremely slow it is an indication that the adrenals are notably weak. Weak adrenal means that they are not able to produce or not keeping up with the demand of anti-inflammatory hormones, cortisone, and cortisol. More prone to chronic allergies. Slow oxidation on a hair chart is seen when calcium and magnesium levels are higher than sodium and potassium levels.
- Fast oxidation: (burn foods too quickly, energy up and down): This state of body chemistry is known to exhibit excessive cell permeability which allows foreign particles to pass into the cells too quickly which then allows histamine to be released into the bloodstream. More prone to acute and/or severe allergies. Fast oxidation on a hair chart is seen when sodium and potassium levels are higher than calcium and magnesium levels.
- Sympathetic dominance: the body is stuck in a sympathetic state. An emergency state. Related to the fight-or-flight system. Adrenal glands will not respond correctly and allergies will persist. Sympathetic dominance is seen on a hair test when the potassium level is below 5 mg%.
- High Na/K ratio (sodium/potassium): associated with excessive production of adrenalin which is a pro-inflammatory hormone. Can start an inflammatory cascade response. Allergies can be moderate to severe.
- Low Na/K ratio (sodium/potassium): related to weak adrenal glands and infections. The immune system is not doing its job and has a hard time mounting an inflammatory response. Allergies can be chronic.
- Four low electrolyte pattern: The number one symptom in this pattern is allergies due to weak adrenals, low energy levels, low calcium and magnesium levels, copper toxicity, and others. Four low electrolyte pattern is seen on a hair test when the calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium levels are all below the ideal level.
- Copper toxicity: A copper imbalance, which is more common than you may think, can contribute to mineral deficiencies and imbalances that cause allergies. Excess copper can interfere with zinc metabolism and weaken the immune system. Sources of copper toxicity: copper water pipes, birth control pills, vitamin and mineral supplements, vegetarian diets higher in copper, zinc deficiency, adrenal gland weakness
- Heavy Metals: can be seen on a hair analysis. Essentially, any heavy metal can create chaos in the body by weakening the adrenals, replacing vital nutrients that would prevent allergies, destroy healthy cells, and more. Some of the heavy metals we monitor are aluminum, lead, cadmium, arsenic, etc. An example is cadmium toxicity. Cadmium can interfere with zinc metabolism and interrupt histamine in the body; is a common cause of allergies.
A proper mineral balancing program can help to free you from allergies for good. We have seen this over and over again with our clients (including myself).
To get started on a mineral balancing program, please contact one of our practitioners Find a practitioner
If you are not ready to start a mineral balancing program, see the list below for suggested remedies.
21 Natural Allergy Remedies
Is naturally found in plant foods such as cruciferous vegetables (like broccoli or cauliflower), onions/shallots, green tea, and citrus fruits. Quercetin is a bioflavonoid that stabilizes the release of histamines and helps to naturally control allergy symptoms. To help relieve allergies, it is best to take quercetin as a supplement: Quercetin Capsules
2) Stinging Nettle
Nettle leaf is another natural antihistamine that can be very effective as it naturally blocks the body’s ability to produce histamine. For allergy relief, capsules made from dried nettle leaves are the most effective. You can get it in capsules Nettle Leaf. It can also be made into a tea and add some local honey.
A randomized, double-blind clinical trial using freeze-dried Urtica dioica (300 mg twice daily of Stinging nettle) for the treatment of allergic rhinitis achieved positive results. All treated patients (n=69) reported improves ment. 58 percent noting symptom abatement and 48 percent recording equivalent or increased response with Urtica dioica compared to previous medicine.
Probiotics are live beneficial “good bacteria” that live in the GI tract. They help defend your body against viruses, allergies, and more. Due to our environment, food quality, stress, and others, most people, including children, do not have enough good bacteria in the gut.
Studies have linked good bacteria in the gut to reduced incidence of allergies. Why?
One study was done by the University of Florida, “They suspect that probiotics might work by increasing the human body’s percentage of regulatory T-cells, which in turn might increase tolerance to hay fever symptoms.”
Probiotics are not created equal. After 20 years of trying different ones with mixed results, we finally have one that works! Microbiome Labs offers a product called HU58 (take 2 a day with one meal) To order HU58 please contact one of our practitioners: Find a practitioner
Can I just eat probiotics rather than take a supplement? People who make their fermented veggies and eat foods like kimchi, kefir, and sauerkraut often may not need a probiotic. Just eating a store-bought cultured yogurt is not enough to prevent allergies.
4) Endo A-C
This product is a life-saver for allergies. Vitamin C is a natural antihistamine and can slow down the overreaction of your body to allergy triggers. Vitamin A plays an important role in maintaining our immune system which includes the mucous membranes in our eyes, lungs, and others.
Can be given to anyone, fast or slow oxidation rate (for those on the mineral balancing program). Vitamin A lowers the sodium level and vitamin C raises the sodium level. This product was intentionally created by Dr. Eck, biochemist, and founder of Analytical Research Labs, with the proper balance of vitamins A and C so it can be given to people without causing a negative shift in sodium levels. To order Endo A-C please contact one of our practitioners: Find a practitioner
For allergies: up to 15 per day may be needed for acute episodes (less for children). I usually have clients start with 3 per meal and increase up to 5 if needed.
A great way to cleanse your nose. Performing the neti-pot can reduce or eliminate inhaled allergens such as pollen from trees, grass, and weeds which can clear the nasal passages. Pollen, a common allergen, can adhere to the mucus membranes which can trigger allergy symptoms. This process is called “nasal irrigation.” Neti-Pot this ceramic neti pot has lasted for over 10 years and looks the same as the day I bought it! It also includes salt. The best times to do the neti-pot is in the morning and before bed. Please click here to see video: How to Use a Neti-Pot
Irrigation of the nasal mucosa with a hypertonic solution facilitates the removal of mucoid secretions and cleanses associated nasal tissues. Results showed significant reductions in nasal histamine concentrations for up to six hours after administration. Numerous studies support adjunctive use of nasal irrigation in sinusitis.
6) Near-infrared sauna
Studies have shown that spending time in an infrared sauna provides relief from chronic allergy symptoms. Near-infrared saunas provide a natural allergy treatment without any side effects. In my practice, sauna therapy has helped many of my clients reduce allergy symptoms. Complaints of eye itching, nasal itching, nasal stuffiness, nasal inflammation, and sneezing were all significantly improved with regular sauna use.
A 6-week study done by the Asian Pacific Journal of Allergy and Immunology found that the infrared heat improved nasal clearing and nasal flow along with improving lung function.
Where to get a sauna: Please contact one of our practitioners to send you a list of near infrared saunas we recommend: Find a practitioner
7) Single red heat lamp
If you do not have access to a near-infrared sauna, this is a great alternative for allergies Single Red Heat Lamp Therapy. Clients aim the heat lamp at their sinus area with their eyes closed for about 3-5 minutes a few times a day.
8) Apple cider vinegar (with the mother)
It is an amazing natural allergy remedy, as it can help reduce mucous production. It has been shown to help break up mucus, and support lymphatic drainage. How to take it? Mix one to two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with a glass of water three times a day to relieve allergy symptoms.
Note: do not drink apple cider vinegar straight as it can affect the enamel on your teeth. Always mix is a glass of water.
9) Try acupuncture
Can naturally reduce allergy symptoms. Many studies have proved that acupuncture is a great way to reduce allergy symptoms.
A large study was conducted in Berlin to find out if acupuncture truly helped improve allergies. They used 422 people with one group receiving acupuncture treatment and the other was replaced with random needle placement and lastly, a group was just given antihistamines. At the end of the study, the group that received acupuncture therapy reported greater relief from allergy symptoms that lasted for months. 
10) Get enough Sleep
If you are not getting enough sleep, allergies can become worse. Sleep regenerates the body. Try going to bed earlier or sleeping in if possible to get added rest. It is a bit of a double-edged sword as allergies can cause sleep issues and vice versa. Most people need about eight hours of sleep a night to rejuvenate the body.
11) Stay hydrated
We recommend 2-3 quarts of spring or carbon-filtered water daily for adults. A good rule of thumb is that one should urinate every two hours if they are well hydrated. Waiting until thirsting is an inadequate way to determine when to drink water. Staying hydrated can keep histamine in check. Studies have shown that being dehydrated can cause higher histamine levels which drive allergies.
Some tips to get more water into your body:
- Drink 32 ounces of water when you wake
- Add herbal teas if you do not like the taste of water
- Avoid caffeinated drinks as they can be dehydrating (one cup a day is ok)
- Drink enough to urinate every 2 hours (a good indication of hydration)
- Sip water often through-out the day
Don’t like the taste of water? Try Fruit Infused Water
12) Stay inside on windy days
I did not even want to write this as I was indoors most of my younger years. On a windy day when your allergies are acting up, it is best to stay indoors to avoid prolonged and pronounced allergy symptoms.
13) Facial Steam
Boil about 4 cups of distilled water and put in a heat-safe bowl. Can add a few drops of oil of oregano, eucalyptus, thyme, or rosemary; then hold your face over the pot and drape a towel over your head to help keep the steam in (keep face a safe distance from the hot water so you do not get burned). Close your eyes and breathe deeply. Oregano, Eucalyptus, thyme, and rosemary oil all have anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties and helps reduce the swelling of mucous membranes.
14) Visit a chiropractor
By releasing stress on the nervous system, chiropractic care permits the immune system to function more effectively. Misalignment of the neck can aggravate and even cause allergies in some individuals.
15) Manage stress
Stress hormones wreak havoc in our body and especially affect the immune system, making seasonal allergies even worse. Consider methods of stress management such as meditation, taking time out for self-care, avoid over committing your schedule, mild yoga, chi gong, etc…
16) Detox your body
Often, allergies are worsened by toxins within the body. The liver is a great mediator of inflammation in the body, and when it is working overtime metabolizing our stress, medications, alcohol, and processed foods, allergies can flare up. The programs we offer detoxify every part of your body, taking out the unhealthy toxins and replacing them with vital minerals and vitamins.
17) Clean your house
Regular house cleaning can get rid of many allergy triggers and help relieve your symptoms. Clean or change out the air filters in your home often. Also, clean bookshelves, vents, and other places where pollen can collect. Vacuum carpets a couple times each week. Cleaning air purifiers is an important step not to overlook. Change your pillowcase regularly – allergens can transfer from your hair to your pillow on a nightly basis.
18) Vitamin D
Can reduce developing allergies due to the effect on the immune system.
Several studies suggest that supplementation can reduce inflammation and allergic reactions. In 2012, a study published in the Journal of Pediatrics demonstrated that infants with vitamin D deficiency are at higher risk for allergies and eczema than those with sufficient levels of the vitamin. Not surprisingly, the severity of allergy in infants was shown to be linked to the level of vitamin D deficiency. Children and adolescents with lower levels of vitamin D in their blood are more susceptible to allergies than those with higher vitamin D levels.
We recommend about 20,000 IU a week for adults (less for children). It is important to obtain blood tests to make sure your vitamin D levels are in a good range. Note: Per most nutritional literature, generally recognized ideal serum vitamin D levels are between 40 and 100.
19) Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3s are a type of essential fatty acid found in a variety of foods. Research suggests that these fatty acids may reduce the production of inflammatory chemicals in the body.
This type of natural supplement has been shown in research studies to reduce some of the effects of asthma and atopic dermatitis.
Sources of omega-3 fatty acids include:
- Fish oil capsules (providing 1 to 1.2 grams of EPA and DHA per day): I recommend EPA DHA from Endo-met Laboratories as they use menhaden fish which has more omega-3 than salmon, and one of the richest sources of DPA (a fatty compound in omega-3 known for anti-inflammation, improving the brain and helping the heart). To obtain this supplement please contact a practitioner: Find a practitioner
- Algae Oil Omega: for those that are allergic to fish or on a vegan diet, this one has good amounts of DHA. Nordic Naturals Algae DHA – 500 mg Omega-3 DHA
20) Fruits and vegetables
Besides containing minerals and vitamins, fruit and vegetables include phytochemicals which are plant chemicals that can improve our immune system and protect us from inflammation which is associated with allergic responses.
When eating, try to fill one-half your plate with vegetables at least twice a day. Eat one piece of juicy fruit a day. A wonderful cookbook is Joyful Cooking
Here is a way to bridge the nutritional gap when not eating enough fruits and vegetables: Fruit and Vegetable Supplements with Clinical Research
My family has been taking these for many years. What I like about this company is they have done clinical research to prove efficacy; the fruit and vegetables travel directly from farm to capsule (or chewable).
Here is an excerpt from one of their clinical studies on the immune system:
In the British Journal of Nutrition (2011), Separate studies were conducted on healthcare professionals with direct patient contact, young law school students, an elderly population, and athletic men. The combined results of those studies show that Juice Plus+® reduces the severity of upper respiratory challenges, reduces missed workdays, and increases the number and activity of immune cells circulating in the body.
Natural decongestant. Make ginger tea and add a little raw honey to aid in recovery. The anti-inflammatory gingerols and shaogals in ginger root can help to eliminate the congestion. Drink 2-3 cups daily until you are well. Make Ginger Tea at Home
1 1/2 cups distilled water
2 tablespoons unfiltered apple cider vinegar (Braggs)
1 teaspoon of raw honey
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Warm water to your liking
Mix the warm water and apple cider vinegar in a glass
Stir in honey, cayenne pepper, and lemon juice
What to avoid
Dairy products—Milk, cheese, and other dairy products are mucus-producing
Sugar— can weaken immune system cells
Grains/white flour products—mucus producing
Potatoes and other starchy vegetables—mucus-producing
Caffeine—dehydrates the body (diuretic) and can harden and swell mucus (exactly what we don’t want)
Alcohol— dehydrates the body (diuretic) and can contribute to sinus inflammation
Here’s to never having allergy symptoms again!
DISCLAIMER: The purpose of this article is strictly educational and is not, in any way, meant to be prescriptive or to constitute professional medical advice. The information provided is designed to be used in conjunction with the guidance of a healthcare professional. The author assumes no responsibility for any presumed health effects associated with using this information. Always check with your doctor before taking natural supplements if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, have any ongoing medical concerns, or are currently taking other medications.
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 Science Daily, Allergies? Probiotic combination may curb your symptoms, a new study finds March 1, 2017, University of Florida.
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 Reese I, Werfel T. Do long-chain omega-3 fatty acids protect from atopic dermatitis?. J Dtsch Dermatol Ges. 2015;13(9):879-85.doi.10.1111/ddg.12780