❑ Rotate your foods. Eat a different group of foods for each of four days and then repeat the cycle. You can select as many of the foods allowed on a specific day as you like but it is essential that no type of food be ingested more often than every four days.
❑ If you suffer from ragweed allergy (or other weed allergies) do not eat melon, cucumbers, bananas, sunflower seeds, chamomile, or any herbal preparation containing echinacea. These substances can add to the symptoms during an episode.
Cautions: Do not use chamomile if you are allergic to ragweed. Do not use during pregnancy or nursing. It may interact with warfarin or cyclosporine, so patients using these drugs should avoid it. Do not take echinacea for longer than three months. It should not be used by people who are allergic to ragweed.
❑ Adults may follow a fasting program. After a fast, you can try adding back the “foods to avoid” (listed below) in very small amounts, such as one teaspoonful at a time. Record your reactions after eating. If you feel bloated or have a slight headache, an upset stomach, gas, diarrhea, a rapid pulse, or heart palpitations after eating certain foods, eliminate them from your diet for sixty days and try introducing them again in small amounts. If you experience a reaction again, eliminate them from your diet permanently.
❑ Avoid the following foods until it is determined you are not allergic to them: bananas, beef products, caffeine, chocolate, citrus fruits, corn, dairy products, eggs, oats, oysters, peanuts, processed and refined foods, salmon, strawberries, tomatoes, wheat, and white rice.
❑ Avoid mucus-producing foods, such as dairy products, sugar, wheat, and food additives.
❑ Avoid any food products that contain artificial color, especially FD&C Yellow No. 5 dye. Many people are allergic to food colorings. Other food additives to avoid include vanillin, benzaldehyde, eucalyptol, monosodium glutamate, BHT-BHA, benzoates, and annatto. Read labels carefully.
❑ If you are allergic to ragweed, do not eat cantaloupe. It contains some of the same proteins as ragweed.
❑ Take the underarm temperature test to determine if you have an underactive thyroid.
❑ Be sure to take only hypoallergenic supplements, as these do not contain potentially irritating substances.
❑ Keep rooms free from dust, keep windows shut (use the air conditioner whenever possible), and use a dehumidifier in the basement.
❑ Use mold-proof paint and a disinfectant on walls and furniture.
❑ Purchase an air filter with fine enough filtering capability, such as the HEPA filter, to clean pollen, molds, and dust from your home or office. Standard air filters sold in most stores do not filter pollen. Make sure any filter purchased states on its label that it is suitable for filtering pollen and mold spores.
❑ For airborne particles that cause allergies, try using a stand-alone air purification device. Many brands are available, the electrostatic type being the lowest maintenance and the replaceable filter type being the highest. The Air Supply personal air purifier from Wein Products is a miniature unit that is worn around the neck. It sets up an invisible pure air shield against microorganisms (such as viruses, bacteria, and mold) and microparticles (including dust, pollen, and pollutants) in the air. It also eliminates vapors, smells, and harmful volatile compounds in the air.
❑ Depending on the severity of your allergies be sure to wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts when spending time outside. Change your clothes and shower as soon as you return indoors. For some, using a “high-efficiency” mask (available in drugstores and medical supply stores) may be advisable.
❑ Pollen counts in late summer are highest between 5:00 A.M. and 10:00 A.M., so schedule your gardening and other outdoor activities with this in mind.
❑ If you are a chronic allergy sufferer, avoid exercising outdoors.
❑ On windy days, when more pollen is blown through the air, try to avoid going outside if your allergies are severe. The best time for you to be outdoors is after a rainstorm, when pollen levels drop significantly.
❑ Do not smoke, and avoid secondhand smoke.
❑ Avoid taking aspirin within three hours of eating.
❑ Steroid nasal sprays can be very effective for allergies and are less expensive than many prescription medications. These sprays, however, do not relieve itchiness of the eyes. They generally need up to ten days to become effective, so it is advisable to begin taking them about a week prior to hay fever season. Be sure to check first with your doctor before using them, as recent studies suggest a possible link between steroid nasal sprays and the development of glaucoma—a concern for older adults. In 2009, the FDA warned consumers to stop using and discard three zinc-containing Zicam intranasal products because the products may cause a loss of sense of smell.
❑ Plants produce oxygen as a normal part of their growth and living process, and help to remove pollutants from indoor air. Some plants suggested for this purpose include areca palm, bamboo palm, Boston fern, dracaena, dwarf date palm, English ivy, ficus alii, lady palm, peace lily, rubber plant, and spider plant.
❑ Acupressure and acupuncture have had some success in relieving allergy symptoms.
❑ The British Medical Journal reported that taking aspirin before consuming an allergenic food makes it possible for more of the allergy-provoking food to be absorbed. In contrast, taking ABC Aerobic Bulk Cleanse from Aerobic Life Industries combined with aloe vera juice may slow the ab-sorption of foods that cause a reaction. Taking oat bran or guar gum in the morning works in the same way. Wheat bran is not recommended as a source of fiber for allergy-prone individuals because wheat is highly allergenic.
❑ Many allergy sufferers are turning to homeopathic remedies to combat allergy symptoms. They work with the body’s natural functions to shut off the allergic response instead of masking symptoms. Combination remedies are often the easiest way to use homeopathy for allergies. BioAllers has a line of homeopathic combination remedies designed for specific allergies, including Animal Hair/ Dander, Grain/Dairy, Grass Pollen, Mold /Yeast/Dust, Pollen/Hayfever, Sinus & Allergy Nasal Spray, and Tree Pollen Allergy Relief formulas.
❑ Research is being conducted on the ability of coenzyme Q10 to counter histamine for asthma and allergy sufferers.
❑ Quercetin—found in apples, berries, grapefruit, onions, cabbage, tea, and red wine—is a potent flavonoid. Recently, researchers at the Nippon Medical School in Japan found seasonal allergy sufferers taking it had a 96 percent decrease in histamine release. Quercetin is better absorbed when taken with bromelain, an enzyme normally found in pineapple. For allergies, try taking one 500-milligram quercetin capsule along with one 100-milligram bromelain capsule and 500 milligrams vitamin C with meals, twice daily.