CLEARWATER, Fla. — So many of us suffer from allergies all year round here in Florida.
It can be a struggle to find the right treatment that works for you. It's good to know there are ways to help your body produce antihistamines naturally, without medications.
"A histamine is something your body creates as a reaction to something in the environment," Dr. Vikki Petersen with Root Cause Medical Clinic explains.
Dr. Petersen says when that reaction happens, your eyes will water and nose will run and you may start sneezing. However, sometimes your body gets a bit confused.
"If you're walking by an innocent plant minding it's business and you start sneezing and sneezing and sneezing, that is inappropriate only because your body didn't quickly make enough antihistamine to counteract it," Dr. Petersen said.
Dr. Petersen says this all goes back to our immune system having what it needs to function correctly.
We can get some of what our bodies need in supplements.
"If you go to a health food store and look for allergy relief, a lot of times it has quercetin, vitamin C, [and] bromelain," Dr. Petersen said. She says there are foods and plants that have those same vitamins and enzymes, such as "pineapple, [which] is very rich in bromelain and then another plant from the daisy family it's called butterbur. Stinging nettle is another one," she said."
But she adds that all of those things can be found naturally in foods. She suggests remembering to "eat the rainbow," including seven to nine servings of a variety of fruits and vegetables, and get regular exercise.
Those steps will go a long way to helping our immune system and our body fight those allergies.
Before you start taking any supplements, you should check with your doctor, especially if you are already taking prescription medications.