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Allergies May 21, 2008

Whoa — ‘Tis the season to have the sneezes —-blow blow blow blow blow blow blow blow blow!  You get my point!  I thought that I had the normal hay-fever that everyone seems to experience in the spring time!  I didn’t realize how much the seasonal allergies really effect me!  I live in Texas and took my boys to baseball last night and my allergies seemed under control – thanks to my Allegra.  This morning when I woke up I felt congested, sneezing and ohhhhh so tired!  I can tolerate the sneezing and congestion but the fatigue is another story!  Trying to get up the motivation to do something productive takes a lot out of a person!  My allergy pill for the day finally did kick in and I was able to join the boys at their school for field day. 

I went to the allergist last month.  I figured I had some type of food allergies going on because I seemed to have really bad indigestion.  At my first visit, the doctor did the skin testing on my back for different food allergies.  I seemed to welt up on a few allergies that the doctor was surprised about.  The doctor said that normally food allergies start more as a child.  Well here I am mid-life and I’ve got food allergies.  I am very allergic to peanuts (which is actually a legume), almonds (tree nuts), tomatoes, wheat and corn.  My doctor has asked me to totally avoid nuts but also tomatoes, as well, because it can cause a lot of gastric reflux which I have been experiencing.  At first I thought avoiding tomatoes would be no big deal.  I really don’t like tomatoes in my salads (except for a Greek Salad) but then I realized it meant avoiding spaghetti sauce, ketchup, salsa – oh my!!!!  That was really hard to get my head around.  I loved ketchup on burgers, fries, eggs.  The doctor told me not to avoid wheat and corn because otherwise I would hardly be able to eat anything. 

The first few days that I avoided those foods I immediately dropped 3-4 pounds.  I started to feel not so inflamed all over!  That was really important!  I felt swollen all over – in my arms, legs, abdomen, face, etc.  It finally felt as if the inflammation started to subside. I had even took ginger capsules, which I read helps inflammation in the body.  Well, the ginger capsules had the opposite effect on me – I inflamed!  I ended up with itching hives all over my body.  Luckily, getting my allergies under control has taken away some of the inflammation.

At my second visit to the allergist we tested environmental allergens.  Oh my word!!!  They tested trees, grass, weeds, molds and ‘environmentals’.  I immediately said to the nurse, “I can feel I am allergic to a lot of those pricks that are on my back!”  She said, “Honey, your problem isn’t with food it’s with outdoor allergens!”  My back immediately started to welt all over.  Allergist seem to measure how allergic you are to something by checking the size of the welt that develops.  It measures from nothing to ++++.  Pretty much I am allergic to trees, grass and weeds, cats and feather mixes.  Strangely, I am not allergic to any molds.  Originally, I thought that I was allergic to mold, thinking my house is causing my inflammation and lethargic feeling but it basically comes down to being allergic to the outside year round!

This past weekend we went to an outdoor concert to see Loverboy and Pat Benatar (which was a great concert).  We were all enjoying the concert sitting on the blanket but after the concert when trying to get up, I felt stiff as a board.  I thought it was primarily from sitting on the ground the whole time (except for getting up to have a potty break).  The next day I felt like I had the flu and I was irritable and tired – just miserable.   The next day, I was fine.  I called my allergist office to ask them if achy muscles are a sign of allergies like sneezing and watery eyes.  The nurse told me ‘no’ and to go see my primary care doctor.  For some reason I don’t believe her.  Every time I go out for the day I always seem to ‘react’ with lethargy, achy muscles and a general unwell feeling.  I need to realize that if I go outside for a day the next day I’ll have an allergy hangover!  Folks, follow your own instincts about your bodies, no one knows them better than you!


2 Responses to “Allergies”

  1. sldrn Says:

    I have suffered with seasonal allergies for most of my life. I have tried every remedy I have come across. I find this to be very interesting:
    Pulsatile Sinus Irrigation is a gentle, pulsating stream to cleanse & moisturize the sinuses and massage the cilia of the nose and sinuses to their normal, healthy state.

    Sinusitis Hydrpulse, Hydropulse, Sinupulse, Nasal Douche, Nasal Rinse, Nasal Rinsing, Nasal Wash, Sinus Wash, Saline Wash, nasal irrigation, sinus surgery, chronic allergies, Sinupulse Sinus Irrigation Nasal, Wash Rinse, UK, Europe, Ireland, Sweden, Finland, Austria, Germany, Denmark, Netherlands, Doctor Grossan, ENT, stop snoring, sleep apnia, blocked sinus, blocked nose, sinus cleanse, sinucleanse, sinus irrigation machine, sinus system

    What do doctors say are the benefits of sinus irrigation? Among them are reducing nasal congestion, cleansing and ridding the sinus cavities of allergens, irritants, and contaminants, treating chronic sinusitis, treat acute bacterial rhinosinusitis, stopping snoring, blocked and congested sinuses….

  2. ccbowden Says:

    I happen to agree with what you are saying about the saline rinse in the nose. I started treating myself, along with my boys with 1cup of water and 1 teaspoon of salt. We syringe the solution into each nostril, inhaling slightly. This has almost completely stopped any sinus infections.

    Here is an article about allergies which I saw on the following web site:

    Allergies – I’ve Tried Everything
    “I have had allergy tests and shots, cortisone nasal sprays, antihistamine samples including Claratin, Seldane, etc and nothing helps. My nose is plugged and I am miserable for weeks at a time. What can I do ?”

    Answer: Your problem could be:

    Anxiety reinforcement
    Exposure to spicy food and ice drinks.
    Low thyroid condition.
    An infected sinus.
    Sounds like you have a situation of exhaustion. The body makes its own cortisone like products, but after sneezing and hacking for so long, the natural body products are simply exhausted and therefore nothing works.
    Another factor may be one of anxiety reinforcing your symptoms. The more you sneeze, the more anxious and nervous you get, the more you sneeze, more anxious and so on. You must break the anxiety reinforcement cycle. Bed rest, an antihistamine such as Benadryl which helps you to rest is good, or the doctor may want to prescribe a mood elevator drug to help break the cycle.
    Another cause of failure is in diet. Things that prolong an allergy are spicy foods like peppers, chili, hot sauces. Ice drinks make the allergy worse. Switch to hot tea. Avoid all spices. Is the bed room dustproofed? Remove dustmakers, filter the hot air furnace, remove the pets from the bedroom. Hot tea before getting out of bed in the morning is helpful.
    If you or your doctor suspect a food allergy, try eating everything cooked or canned – cooking the food breaks down the complex proteins and makes them less allergenic. Try limiting your diet to the foods that you think are “safe” and then add new foods once a week.
    There may be a minimal of infection that causes a lot of allergy symptoms. Many patients report excellent relief of allergy symptoms using pulsatile irrigation. Pulsatile irrigation can be performed at home, by yourself, and clears the infection and removes pollen and dust products from the nose. Just as you clean your hands after handling dirt, allergy patients should use the irrigator to wash out pollen and dust after exposure. In Los Angeles, my patients irrigate to wash out their sinuses after a visit to downtown smog.

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