Anxiety

Allergy remedies
Allergy remedies
Allergies are a common cause of illness and can occur at any stage in someone’s life. Numerous different things cause allergies from pollen to food to medication, meaning it is not always easy to know the best treatments or home remedies.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 50 million Americans experience an allergic reaction each year, and the best treatment will depend on the cause and severity of the reaction.

In this article, we take a close look at a range of treatments for allergic reactions, depending on a person’s symptoms and their severity, including anaphylaxis.

Fast facts on treating an allergic reaction:

  • Most minor allergy symptoms can be treated with antihistamines, corticosteroids, or decongestants.
  • Saline nasal rinses can be used for congestion-related allergy symptoms.
  • Corticosteroid creams can treat skin rashes related to allergies.
  • Immunotherapy is a long-term treatment option for chronic allergy symptoms.
  • Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency, and people should call 911 if they suspect someone is having an anaphylactic reaction.

What is an allergic reaction?

The immune system overreacts to these allergens and produces histamine, which is a chemical that causes allergy symptoms, such as inflammation, sneezing, and coughing.

Mild allergic reactions can usually be treated with home remedies and over-the-counter (OTC) medications.

However, chronic allergies need treatment from a medical professional. Severe allergic reactions always require emergency medical care.

Treating allergic reactions

Many mild to moderate allergic reactions can be treated at home or with OTC medications. The following treatments are commonly used to reduce the symptoms of an allergic reaction:

Antihistamines

Antihistamines can help to treat most minor allergic reactions regardless of the cause. These drugs reduce the body’s production of histamine, which reduces all symptoms, including sneezing, watering eyes, and skin reactions.

Second-generation antihistamines, including Claritin (loratadine) and Zyrtec (cetirizine), are less likely to cause drowsiness than first-generation antihistamines, such as Benadryl.

Antihistamines come in several forms, usually to help deliver the medication closer to the source of the reaction or make it easier to consume, such as:

  • oral pills
  • dissolvable tablets
  • nasal sprays
  • liquids
  • eye drops

Antihistamines in these forms are available from pharmacies, to buy online, or on prescription from a doctor.

Antihistamines can also be taken to prevent allergies. Many people with seasonal or pet allergies will begin taking antihistamines when they know they are going to be exposed to an allergen.

A person who is pregnant or has a liver disorder should consult their doctor before taking antihistamines.

Nasal decongestants

Nasal decongestant pills, liquids, and sprays can also help reduce stuffy, swollen sinuses and related symptoms, such as a sore throat or coughing.

However, decongestant medications should not be taken continuously for more than 72 hours.

Nasal decongestants are available over the counter and online.

Anti-inflammatory medication

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) may also be used to help temporarily reduce pain, swelling, and cramping caused by allergies.

Avoid the allergen

The best way to treat and prevent allergic reactions is to know what triggers the reaction and stay away from it, especially food allergens.

When this is not possible or realistic, using antihistamines or decongestants when in contact with allergens can help to treat the symptoms.

Use a saline sinus rinse

The AAAAI recommend the following saline recipe:

  • mix 3 teaspoons of salt (without iodide) with 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • add 1 teaspoon of this mixture to 8 ounces of boiled water
  • dissolve the mixture in the water then use as a saline rinse

Sinus rinsing devices can be purchased online or from a pharmacy.

Treating environmental allergies

For airborne allergens, such as pollen, dust, and mold spores, additional treatment options include:

  • throat lozenges with soothing ingredients, such as menthol, honey, or ginger
  • shower and wash all clothing after being exposed to an allergen
  • exercise for a few minutes to help reduce nasal congestion

Treating allergies on the skin

For allergic reactions that cause skin symptoms, including those associated with allergens found in animal saliva, poisonous plants, drugs, chemicals and metals, additional treatment options include:

  • Topical corticosteroid creams or tablets. Corticosteroids contain steroids that reduce inflammation and itching. Mild forms of these creams can be found online, and a doctor can prescribe stronger versions.
  • Moisturizing creams. Emollient creams with soothing ingredients, such as calamine can treat skin reactions.
  • Bite or sting medication. Medication targeted to reduce allergic reactions to insect bites or stings have a similar effect to other allergy medications.
  • Ice pack. Applying an ice pack wrapped in cloth to the area for 10- to 15-minute intervals can reduce inflammation.

Treating severe allergies

People should speak to a professional if they have or suspect that they have severe or chronic allergies.

A doctor or allergy specialist can prescribe medications that contain much stronger doses of the compounds found in OTC products.

Treatment options for chronic or severe allergies include:

  • Immunotherapy, or allergy shots. Immunotherapy can be between 90 and 98 percent effective at reducing allergic reactions to insect stings, for instance.
  • Prescription asthma medications, such as bronchodilators and inhaled corticosteroids.
  • Oral cromolyn can be taken for food allergies.
  • Drug desensitization therapy is used for specific allergens.

Natural remedies for allergic reactions

Many traditional medicine systems use herbal supplements and extracts to both treat and prevent allergic reactions, especially seasonal allergies.

Though there is little scientific evidence to support the use of most alternative or natural remedies, some people may find that some can provide relief from their symptoms.

The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians recommend the following natural treatments for allergies:

  • Dietary changes. A low-fat diet high in complex carbohydrates, such as beans, whole grains, and vegetables may reduce allergy reactions.
  • Bioflavonoids. These plant-based chemicals found in citrus fruits and blackcurrants may act as natural antihistamines. These can also be taken as supplements.
  • Supplements. Flaxseed oil, zinc, and vitamins A, C, and E are suggested to improve allergy symptoms.
  • Acupuncture. Acupuncture treatments may help some people to find relief from their symptoms.

Identifying and treating anaphylaxis

A very severe allergic reaction can lead to a condition called anaphylaxis, or anaphylactic shock.

Anaphylaxis occurs when the body’s immune response to an allergen is so severe and sudden that the body goes into a state of shock.

Anaphylaxis can impact multiple organs and if left untreated lead to coma, organ failure, and death.

The early symptoms of anaphylaxis can be fairly mild and similar to those of minor to moderate allergic reactions, but they often rapidly worsen.

Symptoms unique to anaphylaxis include:

  • unexplained anxiety
  • tingling in the palms of the hand, soles of the feet, and lips
  • swollen tongue, throat, mouth, and face
  • difficulty breathing
  • rapid but weak pulse
  • low blood pressure
  • sense of dread or doom
  • vomiting or diarrhea
  • confusion or disorientation
  • loss of consciousness
  • very pale or blue skin
  • a heart attack

Anyone who suspects anaphylaxis should call 911 and seek emergency medical care.

If the person carries an EpiPen, which is a self-injectable dose of epinephrine that is designed to treat anaphylaxis, inject this into their thigh, as soon as possible.

First aid for anaphylaxis includes:

  • try to keep the person calm
  • the person may vomit, so turn them on their side and keep their mouth clear
  • try to get the person to lay flat on their back with their feet raised about a foot above the ground
  • make sure the person’s clothing is loose or remove constricting clothing
  • do not give them anything to drink or eat, even if they ask for it
  • if they are not breathing, practice CPR with around 100 firm chest compressions every minute until emergency services arrive

If a person does not have an EpiPen, a doctor or paramedic will give an injection of the hormone epinephrine, or adrenaline. This will immediately increase the output of the heart and blood flow throughout the body.

A person should seek medical care each time anaphylaxis occurs. Even if they start to feel better or their symptoms go away, a second severe allergic reaction can occur up to 12 hours after the initial response.

Allergy symptoms

The symptoms associated with an allergic response depend on the specific allergen, how severe the allergy is, and whether a person has touched, swallowed, or inhaled the allergen.

Not everyone responds the same way to each allergen. But there are similar sets of symptoms most people experience when exposed to specific allergens.

Common symptoms associated with different type of allergens include:

Airborne allergens Animal saliva Insect stings/bites Food allergens Drug allergens Metal/ chemical allergens
Sneezing/ itchy nose Y Y
Runny/stuffy nose Y Y
Coughing Y Y
Skin rash/itchy skin Y Y Y Y Y
Wheezing/ shortness of breath Y Y
Hives/welts Y Y Y Y
Pain, redness and swelling at the exposure point Y Y Y Y
Peeling /blistering skin Y Y
Watery, itchy, red eyes Y Y
Sore throat
Vomiting, nausea, or diarrhea Y
Swelling of the throat, tongue, and mouth Y Y Y
Dizziness Y Y Y
Sun sensitivity Y
Itchy mouth/odd taste in the mouth Y Y
Pale skin Y Y
Swelling of the eyes, face, and genitals Y
Chronic joint or muscle pain Y Y

Outlook

Many people experience allergic reactions when they are exposed to specific allergens, ranging from pet dander and pollen to compounds in foods, drinks, and personal hygiene products.

The best way to treat an allergic reaction depends on the cause, though most minor cases can be treated with OTC antihistamine and anti-itch products.

A person should seek immediate medical attention for chronic or severe allergic reactions, especially those that involve swelling of the throat or changes in heart rate. Anaphylaxis should always be treated as a medical emergency.

Herbal teas have long been known to have medicinal benefits as well as being tasty to drink! Some of my favourite teas are chamomile tea, jasmine tea and ginger tea. Each of these has a distinctive taste as well as health benefits.

Chamomile tea is a favourite herbal tea that many use if they have trouble sleeping. It has natural sedative, anti inflammatory and antispasmodic properties so is also good for cramps. Due to its calming benefits, it is often used to help relieve anxiety. It is rich in essential oil and can help the digestive system function properly. Chamomile is also very good for your skin and you can wet a cloth in the tea and use it as a skin cleanser or compress.

Jasmine tea is a combination of green tea leaves and jasmine flowers. It has a lovely jasmine scent and flavour with all the wonderful antioxidant properties of the green tea. Jasmine tea has long been used for its relaxing and warming qualities and is also soothing to the digestive system. This tea also may help lower cholesterol according to recent studies and may even help with longevity.

Ginger tea has powerful medicinal properties. It is reputed to be an aphrodisiac and can help freshen your breath! It has anti fungal and antispasmodic properties and can help soothe stomach upset by neutralizing acids and aiding digestion. Ginger is also reputed to help relieve nausea, motion sickness, dizziness, flatulence and even help to ease muscle pain.

To properly make herbal tea, use 1 tea bag per person or, if you are making it from the dried herbs, use 1 teaspoon of the herb. Add boiling water to the herb mixture and let sit for 5 minutes. Don’t let it sit for too long or it will start to taste bitter. Don’t drink it too soon or the herb won’t have imparted its flavour into the water enough. Typically herbal teas are taken “black” but you could add a little milk or some sugar or honey to taste if you like.

Do you ever struggle with things like distraction, insomnia, easy weight gain or energy crashes? I sure have, at various times. From talking to lots of people about their health, I’ve realized probably all of us have these symptoms to some degree. I’ll explain how your mind can be a trigger of many of these symptoms and how you can help it work better.

I’ve proposed that most of our modern symptoms can be traced back to the stress response. This response was a good thing when we lived like cavemen and cavewomen, but in the modern world, it gets set off far too often in situations in which it is no longer helpful. If we can keep this stress response in check, we will feel happier, have better relationships and fewer health issues.

As hard as we try to manage the many events around us, our mind alone can be one of the biggest triggers of the stress response.

It’s Normal To Be Fearful

Imagine your great, great, great (1,000 more greats) grandmother roughly 20,000 years ago. She is fast asleep near a fire when she hears a branch break from the dark forest nearby. She could assume it was something harmless (like the wind) and go back to sleep, or she could feel fear and panic and alert the rest of her tribe to a possible predator.

Those who panicked easily felt more stress, but also survived better and produced easily-panicked offspring, like us.

Mark Twain said:

I . . . have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.

It is important to realize that all of our minds are fearful. This is normal. The moment we are free of distraction or habit, our minds start trying to figure out around which corner the next danger might be lurking. These imagined fears can turn on the stress response, even when they are fleeting or below the level of awareness.

Sometimes these fears are so strong that they break into the surface of our awareness in the form of annoying and intrusive thoughts:

  • “That will never work.”
  • “They are going to laugh at me.”
  • “Who are you trying to kid?”
  • “I can’t stand the way my hair looks.”
  • “Wow, the last thing I said really sounded stupid.”

When I was in college, I needed to have roommates in order to pay the rent. As annoying as some of them were, none were as annoying as the daily, self-chatter I heard from my own mind.

The Present Moment

The more focused your mind is in the present, the less it can upset you with unwelcome, possible, future scenarios. As we move through the day, our minds will become more and more detached from the present.

You may have heard that spending hours a day, for decades, on meditation can help calm this internal chatter. I’ve trained in many types of meditation over the years. Some seemed as complex as I imagine brain surgery would be and took over an hour each day to do properly. My best intentions and discipline would carry me along for some time in these practices, but inevitably, life and my other interests would get in the way, so I’d soon be off track. Maybe you have gone through this pattern with meditation also.

The good news is we now know it doesn’t take heroic efforts to get major benefits. By doing nothing more than lying down and resting for a few minutes, you can transform your mind and lower your stress response. You’ll feel more alert and energized, better focused on your goals, have fewer headaches, less digestive symptoms and sleep better.

A Simple Technique

Try this crazy, simple technique for just five minutes each morning for the next week, and see how you feel:

  1. Set a timer for five minutes.
  2. Lie on your back.
  3. Focus your eyes on a spot on the ceiling.
  4. Count each time you breathe in.
  5. If you lose count, start over.

When the timer goes off, you’re finished. That’s it.

It Really Does Work!

In my clinic, I’ve seen that this simple technique lowers anxiety scores and improves the measured levels of stress hormones, sleep and short-term memory. Some people see benefits in the first few days!

The reason this works is because it trains your mind to stay present through thinking about your breath and visually watching a fixed point. It is brief enough that you don’t get antsy and agitated, as many can during prolonged, formal meditation. By having your eyes open, it also keeps your mind from wandering as easily.

I challenge you to test it for just two weeks. Watch the nature of your mental chatter as you go along, and see if it improves. You might be surprised how much better you feel when you don’t have to deal with so many of what Mark Twain called, “the troubles that never happened.”

Constipation is a condition of the digestive system where someone experiences tough bowel movements which happen less frequent than normal. Everyone has experienced constipation at some point in their life, and they can attest that it is not a very pleasant experience. Though it is not chronic, everyone would give anything to get their bowels back on track. The amount of time between bowel movements varies widely from one person to another.

Most people have them three times in a day while others have them twice or even once! However going for more than three days is enough to cause alarm. This is because food takes longer in the digestive tract which means the colon absorbs more water from the stool. This makes the stool hard and dry and therefore difficult and even very painful to eliminate.

Causes of Constipation

1. Low Amounts of Fiber in the Diet

Fibers act as cleaners to the digestive tract. Diets that lack fibers result in an unclean digestive tract. This, consequently, results in accumulation of food particles and wastes that block the passage and thus cause constipation

2. Physical Inactivity

People who are physically inactive, for example, those who are bedridden for several weeks, are more susceptible to constipation. This is because physical activity helps us maintain a high metabolism, and thus body processes such as digestion happen more rapidly.

 

3. Irritable Bowel Syndrome

People who suffer from this condition suffer from constipation more frequently

4. Aging

As we grow older, our metabolic rate slows down. This results in a reduced rate in body functions such as digestion and thus cause constipation

5. Not Drinking Enough Water

This results in more absorption of water from the food which makes the stool hard. The result is constipation

6. Not Emptying Your Bowels when Needed

Ignoring this vital call of nature means the stool spends more time in the colon. As a result, more water is absorbed from it leaving it hard and dry.

The Remedies for Constipation

1. Add Fiber-Rich Foods to Your Diet

The main role of fiber in our body is cleaning the digestive tract. They clean up the system by scrubbing off food leftovers and waste particles and even soaking up the water, thereby treating and preventing constipation. Some of these foods include cereals, almonds, beans, barley, vegetables, and fresh fruits, among many others. You should also drink plenty of water

2. Mint or Ginger Tea

Research has proven mint and ginger to be handy home remedies to digestive problems. Methanol that is contained in peppermint has an antispasmodic effect which helps relax the digestive system’s muscles and thereby allow rapid movement of food. Ginger, on the other hand, helps the digestive tract generate more heat thereby speeding up digestion through increased metabolism as heat increases the metabolic rate.

3. Healthy Facts

Oils from avocados, nuts and olive oil help in lubrication of the digestive tract and hence ease constipation.

4. Lemon Water

Citric acid present in lemon juice helps stimulate the digestive system and also flush out harmful substances such as wastes. Taking a glass of fresh lemon juice every morning or adding lemon to your tea will not only help treat and prevent constipation but also make you drink more water every day.

5. Coffee

Coffee is a good stimulant to your body. It works by increasing metabolism through heat and thereby speeding up your trips to the toilet. Other hot drinks work just as well.

 

6. Water

Taking a cup of water after waking up is recommended. Water helps in peristalsis and therefore helps prevent constipation.

7. Massage

Massaging the abdomen also helps in relieving constipation. It achieves this by stimulating intestinal muscles that are involved during bowel movements.

8. Taking Honey

Honey is a natural laxative. Taking a cup of honey water will help loosen stools and hence prevent and even relieve constipation.

With the high populations of our time and therefore the prevalence of crowdedness, worrying concerning diseases has become common. There are such a big amount of people running around who might be carriers of debilitating diseases for others. a complex of viruses and bacteria that would ruin some days of your life, or probably kill you.

Not solely do diseases ruin your productivity, however, they conjointly poke a hole in your wallet. you’ll be spending an enormous portion of your money on medicine, simply to medicate yourself. If you are somebody with a weak immune system, drug prices are also a big part of your expenses. it’s even worse once poor immune could be a genetic attribute in your family.

As such, you wish to seek out ways in which to reduce back the chance of sickness as much as you can. an excessive amount of medication, whereas it’s useful, will certainly cause severe side effects that would cause death. you’ll ruin your body over time with the harmful chemicals and antibiotics consumed perpetually. Here are some powerful ways you can boost your immune system.

1. Add Some Sunshine

Researchers are quickly catching on that Vitamin D may be the secret to avoiding the cold and flu. Vitamin D plays an important role in strengthening your defence system to better fight any invading viruses and bacteria. Unfortunately, it is also the number one vitamin deficiency in Americans. Compounding the problem if the fact that Vitamin D is produced when the body gets adequate levels of sunshine, so naturally, even less is produced in the winter months. It has recently been hypothesized that this could be one major reason for the increase in cold and flu cases during the winter season.  Because of this, it’s important that we have alternative ways of getting this powerful immune-boosting vitamin. One great source of Vitamin D is cod liver oil. In addition to the Vitamin D it offers, it’s also a great source of Vitamin A, which is an immune system superstar, and Omega 3 fatty acids, which holds significant health benefits for the heart, brain, skin, and much more.

2. An Apple a Day

When it comes to fighting cold and flu, it is essential to decrease your sugar intake. Sugar has devastating effects on the immune system, and the fact that Americans consume an average of 2-3 pounds of sugar per person every year spells bad news come cold and flu season. Not only does sugar increase the production of hormones that suppress the immune system, refined sugar needs micronutrients to be metabolized. This requires your body to use stored vitamins and minerals, further harming your defences. On the other hand, eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables will make sure that your body is getting all of the vitamins and minerals that are essential to fighting off the cold and flu. Each and every fruit and vegetable is packed with thousands of phytochemicals. No supplement could ever match the power of eating a whole food. Regardless of what vitamin and mineral you take, it should always be as a supplement to a diet high in fruits and vegetables.

3. Keep Balanced

By now, we all know that stress is bad for us. However, relatively few of us are aware of how stress actually impacts the health of the body. When we experience stress, the natural balance of the body is affected in ways we could never imagine. In fact, stress takes an enormous toll on the immune system. For this reason, it is important to find ways to bring the body back into balance. Meditation, prayer, exercise, and yoga are all great ways of taking care of yourself and keeping stress levels low. Chiropractic adjustments also have a significant effect on the nervous system, creating balance, helping to restore the body’s natural healing potential.

We all want a lean and healthy body, and regular exercise is the only way to have it. But due to the busy lifestyle in this 21st century, we can barely manage enough time to do it. If you have been thinking about exercising regularly for some time, this article is here to motivate you with reasons why you need to hit the gym right now.

1. For an improved memory

Regular exercise not only provides more oxygen to your brain but also boosts your memory power. Recent studies have shown that increased blood flow due to vigorous exercise has a part to play in improving memory power.

2. For more energy

You may feel tired and weak after an intense training session. But with proper rest and nutrition, you will surely have more energy than ever before.

3. For better sleep

Suffering from insomnia? Don’t worry, just start exercising on a regular basis and this problem will be gone in no time. However, remember to exercise in the morning or afternoon instead of right before going to the bed.

4. For a stress-free life

Stress may be a part of your life, but you have the chance to fight it off with regular exercise. Endorphins released in the brain while exercising efficiently reduce stress, making you feel better at all times.

5. For superior immunity

Just exercise 3 to 4 times a week and soon your immune system will be strong enough to fight off flu, viruses and other diseases. Some researchers proved that those who exercise regularly are half as likely to get a cold than those who don’t do it at all.

6. For better sex

We all know regular exercise helps improve blood circulation all over the body. Thus, it helps increase sexual stimulation and reduces erectile dysfunction.

7. For superior confidence

Hitting the gym on a daily basis helps you look good and stay fit. When you feel better about yourself, you feel confident in doing whatever you do.

8. For living longer

It’s a known fact that staying fit and healthy is the key to living a long life and avoiding premature ageing. One study found that you will get the same benefits of quitting smoking if you take part in regular training sessions. Moreover, you can expect to add 10 to 20 more years in your life expectancy if you live on a proper diet and stay fit at all times.

Let’s admit that it’s hard for us to manage even one hour every day to go to the gym. No matter what, you must try your best in order to live a happy and fulfilling life.

Your diet is inflammatory

When you’re eating a diet full of processed foods, or even foods you have sensitivities to, you are making things harder for your body. Inflammatory foods create more free radicals in the body, which do damage and make it more difficult for the cells to produce energy. Ditch the sugary, processed foods and start eating more greens and berries.

Your diet is imbalanced.

If you aren’t getting enough nutrients—protein, iron, vitamins, greens—you might begin to feel a little sluggish. Anemia is the perfect example of fatigue induced by a deficit of iron in the body. You need a variety of foods in your diet. Subsisting, for instance, on protein bars is not balanced nutrition. Try smoothies or juices to fit a large amount of whole food nutrients into a small, tasty package.

 You have depression or anxiety.

Anxiety and depression can cause hormonal havoc for all those feel-good hormones like dopamine and endorphins. Many people are well aware that depression can manifest as a lack of motivation or energy to do things. Meanwhile, suffering from a lot of stress or anxiety can lead to poor quality sleep, which means you’re getting enough sleep-in terms of hours, but it’s not restful sleep. It is important to consult a professional if these are your concern.

You’re constantly stressed on some level.

This is a big one. If you are always on the go and never take time for quiet mindfulness, you are probably going to wipe yourself out to the point where not even a good night of sleep feels like enough to reduce your exhaustion. And coffee can only serve as an exhaustion band-aid for so long. Eventually, even the strongest cold brew won’t be enough to perk you up. It’s called adrenal fatigue. It is caused by chronic stress, over exercising, poor diet, too little sleep—essentially just general neglect of the body’s balance. It is believed to afflict a massive percentage of our population. Your adrenal glands are responsible for releasing around 50 different hormones, so problems with your adrenals can cause imbalance throughout the body. If you are concerned, contact a trusted professional to help you adjust your diet, lifestyle and stress levels so that you can allow your body to recuperate.

Your gut critters are displeased.

Believe it or not, an imbalance in your microbiome can cause you to be inexplicably tired. And why not? They exert control over our weight, our moods and our fitness. For instance, an overgrowth of yeast in the gut (from a sugary diet) can oftentimes result in brain fog and general fatigue.

You’re not moving enough.

If you live a sedentary lifestyle—you work at a desk, you watch a lot of television, you rarely exercise—you may begin to feel more tired. Energy creates energy, so if you aren’t feeding your body any energy through movement then your body will pay you back with tiredness and sluggishness. Do yourself a favour and take a brisk walk outside every morning.

Of course, there is always the possibility you may have some other underlying condition, so it’s best to check in with your doctor if you have any concerns. Being exhausted, or even just a little fatigued, day after day is not normal. It is a sign that something is off in your body. Take extra care, eat well, meditate, ditch caffeine. Give your body what it needs to become balanced and energised again.