Whether you are a seasonal sufferer of allergies, or you have experience chronic allergies and/or asthma your whole life, you know just how frustrating the symptoms can be. Allergies symptoms can be triggered by a variety of environmental factors and can range from being a troublesome annoyance to life-threatening. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, allergies and asthma plague millions of Americans, “Researchers think nasal allergies affect about 50 million people in the United States…Allergies are increasing. They affect as many as 30 percent of adults and 40 percent of children…Allergic disease, including asthma, is the fifth leading chronic disease in the U.S. in people of all ages. It is the third most common chronic disease in children under 18 years old.” The AAFA also notes that about 1 in 14 people suffer from asthma, which is approximately 24 million Americans. Difficulty breathing, coughing, and wheezing are just a few of the most common symptoms. Asthma and allergy symptoms and reactions can be diminished and, to a degree, controlled, by reducing and eliminating common environmental factors as well as a variety of other holistic approaches.
Just like most other health conditions in America, there are a variety of prescription medications available to treat allergies and asthma. And, while those medications may be necessary and life-saving in some instances, prescriptions are not the only answer. With naturopathy, there is always a focus on treating the whole body and mind holistically to prevent illness rather than react to it. One of the first places you can look to make changes is diet. Many individuals with allergies or asthma may also have food sensitivities or allergies and by reducing inflammatory foods you may be able to help reduce asthma and allergy symptoms. While there is no “asthma diet” that will cure asthma, WebMD points out that there is a correlation between certain foods and reduced allergy and asthma symptoms, “There’s evidence that people who eat diets higher in vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, flavonoids, magnesium, selenium, and omega-3 fatty acids have lower rates of asthma. Many of these substances are antioxidants, which protect cells from damage. One recent study of asthma and diet showed that teens with poor nutrition were more likely to have asthma symptoms. Those who didn’t get enough fruits and foods with vitamins C and E and omega-3 fatty acids were the most likely to have poor lung function. A 2007 study showed that children who grew up eating a Mediterranean diet — high in nuts and fruits like grapes, apples, and tomatoes — were less likely to have asthma-like symptoms.”
In addition to adjustments in diet, there are other holistic approaches that may help reduce allergy and asthma symptoms. This can include acupuncture, massage, breathing exercises and other relaxation therapy. Also, herbal remedies, vitamins and other nutritional supplements may help reduce asthma and allergy symptoms. It is important to work closely with a naturopathic doctor who can help you determine what is best for your personal health as well as help you achieve proper dosage with things like herbal remedies and supplements. Dr. Tellier works with patients to not just treat the whole body and mind, but to also educate how environmental factors impact health as well as equip patients with tools to holistically manage their asthma and allergy symptoms.