Effectively Treat Seasonal Allergies with Naturopathic Medicine – Dr. Shannon Sinsheimer, ND


Many individuals suffer from allergies and
seasonal hay fever, most specifically in the fall and spring seasons. This is because there
is an excess production of pollen in the air, which the body sees as foreign invaders. These
foreign invaders are inhaled by the body and create an immune response very similar to
a cold or flu. The body creates excess mucus and inflammation in the nasal passages. You
will experience tearing or watery eyes and will have coughing. The symptoms you will
feel when you have an excess production of mucus or when you’re having watery eyes and
a cough is that you will feel more tired, you’ll feel more congested, more flu-like;
you’ll have trouble sleeping, and it really affects the quality of life on a daily basis
because of the increase in fatigue. The foreign invaders that affect your body’s immune
system do so because our body views them very much like a bacteria or a virus that causes
the flu, and we attack, so to speak, these foreign invaders by creating excess mucus
by coughing and creating watery eyes so that our body is expelling the pollens rather than
ingesting them. People who experience these problems often treat them with conventional
drugs, such as Benadryl, Allegra, or Claritin. These drugs often treat the symptoms, but
don’t get to the real root of the problem. Certain side effects of these medications
can be drowsiness and fatigue, as well as not completely resolving all of the symptoms.
In addition, after long-time use of these drugs, certain individuals feel as if the
drug is no longer working as well as it used to. One of the root causes of seasonal allergies
is improper elimination from the colon and poor digestion. Improper elimination from
the colon is constipation, and when you are constipated, you irritate the surrounding
tissue of the colon. Surrounding the colon are lymph nodes, and when you’re not properly
eliminating from the colon, these lymph nodes are irritated and inappropriately produced
by blood cells. When you are exposed to excessive pollens, these lymph nodes inappropriately
produce excessive white blood cells, making your body attack the pollen and produce allergy
symptoms. When a patient comes into my office with the symptoms of seasonal allergies or
hay fever, I first start with a full medical intake of the current problem that they’re
having. I also want to know a history of the symptoms throughout their life that they’ve
experienced with this issue. I will also do a physical exam, which includes looking at
their eyes, ears, nose, and throat. During the medical intake process, I also ask a thorough
history of their diet, exercise, and sleep habits. When asking about their diet, I’m
very curious about the type of foods, the quality of foods, and the frequency in which
they eat. When assessing a patient’s diet, I specifically ask about the intake of foods
that are mucus-producing, such as dairy, citrus, wheat, and gluten. I ask about the patient’s
home environment to find out if they are being exposed to common allergens, such as animal
dander, if they have carpet throughout the home so that I know if they’re being exposed
to the dirt and environmental pollutants that carpet traps. I ask about exposure to potential
molds in the home, about the outside environment, the yard environment, as to what types of
pollens are being exposed to. I ask if they have a home filtration system to see if they’re
removing allergens and pollens that come into the home. I ask about their sleep environment
to find out if they might be exposed to mites in their mattress or excessive dust in their
room. It’s very important to run labs when you have seasonal allergies that assess what
in your diet may be aggravating your symptoms, what foods may be causing excessive mucus,
what foods may be adding to the inflammation process that’s occurring. The lab tests
I run is a blood test that assesses IGG food sensitivities. Food sensitivities are not
food allergies, but are foods one may be sensitive to and contribute to excessive mucus production
and inflammation. Assessing food sensitivities allows me to determine which foods may be
worsening the allergy symptoms. And finally, to determine which allergens a patient may
be allergic to, such as specific pollens, danders, and mites, I would run an allergy
test. One of the first things I want to do when I see somebody with seasonal allergies
is to address their colon health and their diet. By addressing colon health, you increase
elimination and decrease the white blood cells’ response or the immune system’s response
to pollens. To address the colon and digestive health, I will first begin with dietary changes.
Dietary changes I would make would include eliminating foods that produce mucus, inflammation,
and slow down the digestive process. Those foods are dairy, wheat, gluten-containing
foods, citrus, red meats, soy, eggs, potatoes, and caffeinated products. Whole, organic foods,
such as those that you’ll find in the produce aisle are nutrient-dense, reduce inflammation,
and improve elimination from the colon, therefore, I recommend to my patients that they eat these
foods every day. I also prescribe several supplements. I begin with digestive enzymes
and probiotics. Digestive enzymes improve the body’s ability to digest food in the
digestive process. Taking probiotics increases the amount of good bacteria in the colon.
By increasing the amount of good bacteria in the colon, you improve elimination in the
immune system. I’ll also prescribe several nutrients that can act as either anti-inflammatory
or antihistamine agents. Vitamin C and bromelain are both anti-inflammatory nutrients that
can decrease inflammation in the sinus cavities. Quercetin and bioflavinoids are both antihistamines
that decrease the body’s histamine response. An herb that I often prescribe that is a powerful
antihistamine is called stinging nettles. Stinging nettles is so powerful that it can,
in fact, replace most antihistamine medication. The most effective way to use stinging nettles
is to begin six weeks prior to when allergy season typically begins. A common symptom
of seasonal allergies is nasal congestion. To help relieve nasal congestion, you can
use a nasal rinse that includes warm water, sea salt, and a small amount of an herb called
goldenseal. To rinse the sinuses, you use a small syringe or a neti pot filled with
the saline-herb solution. You inject the saline solution into the nose into one nostril at
a time. The saline solution will go up one nostril and come out the other nostril, and
with it, decrease the mucus congestion and cleanse out any bacterial overgrowth from
chronic mucus congestion. I have a high success rate. For the patients who follow my protocol,
they have a reduction in symptoms to no symptoms within two to four weeks and they stop their
anti-allergy meds. However, this does not mean they have a complete reduction of symptoms
at their next allergy season. If they continue to work on digestion and remove dietary irritants,
they will continue to reduce their symptoms from season to season. If you have allergies,
there’s a good chance you can eliminate them by doing what I discussed in this video.
The supplements and organic food are available at your local health food store. However,
if you’re not finding that it’s working the way you’d like it to, I encourage you
to visit a naturopathic doctor to get your own individualized treatment plan.

14 Replies to “Effectively Treat Seasonal Allergies with Naturopathic Medicine – Dr. Shannon Sinsheimer, ND

  1. Great advice. I suffer from food allergies and allergies to mold, dust and pollen. I've been coughing a lot and I was prescribed acid reflux medicine for the cough…I'm not taking that……

  2. I accidentally found out about my colon and seasonal allergies, once by choice and once not by choice. The first was when I had a case of food poisoning. After a day of being sick on both ends my colon was definitely clear and I noticed my allergy symptoms completely stopped. The next time was by choice when I used the lemonade diet cleanse and again my allergy symptoms completely stopped.

  3. i have moderate to severe allergies, and I found drinking lots of water and taking Vitamin C- Ascorbic acid and bioflavanoids works really well. Sometimes I still have to get the decongestant though!

  4. Very good Larry. Thank you. Im struggling with allergies right now. I found some nettles growing by the river so I thought I will try to juice them. I should have started weeks ago !

  5. I watched an edition of Monsters inside me. A mid aged man, suffered severely from seasonal allergies, and was medicated and treated for them with no hope in sight. He just couldn't breath during that season. He was very sick and ill from how this plagued him. He heard that by infecting himself with the fluke worm, that it could fix his problem. Apparently this worm sends out good amounts of antihistamines and your fixed. Out of desperation he traveled to Africa and walked through some dung piles barefoot to infect himself, knowing that most of the population there is infected.  Success, he got infected. When allergy season rolls around, he is now fine. Only thing is he has to frequently get checked out to make sure the worms aren't out of control. Small price to pay I guess. Now he poops in a bag and sells his poo to other people, over the internet that also need to be infected with the worm.

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