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  • What Am I Missing?

    Hello. This is my first post on this forum. I apologize for the length, but any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

    I've suffered from seasonal allergies my whole life. As a kid, I would get allergy shots which seemed to help. By the time I went away to college, I was no longer getting shots and managing with just OTC medication. Except for late August/early September, I never had any flare ups.

    In the last few years, I've been following a Primal Blueprint/Paleo Diet lifestyle. It's made a huge difference in how I look and feel. I've lost weight, cleared up my acne, and improved my moods. I've also discovered that, during allergy season, my symptoms weren't as severe. I still had to rely on the occasional Claritin or Zyrtec and limit my exposure to the outdoors. But, for the most part, things were manageable.

    That changed when I moved to Atlanta a few months ago. Up until then, I had spent my entire life in the Midwest. I knew things would be different in the south and that I would probably develop new allergies, but I never expected it to be this bad. Eating clean and taking OTC drugs hasn't helped. I've searched through this and similar forums for suggestions on what to do and have already applied some of the advice I've received. I've begun consuming local raw honey and supplementing my diet with Vitamin C and Quercitin. But I'm still miserable. So I'm now doing what I swore I would never do, which is see an allergist. And I already know what to expect. He's going to give me a prescription for some expensive medication and recommend I start receiving allergy shots. I was really hoping to avoid that, not just because of the time and expense involved, but also because it doesn't address the root problem.

    When I suffered from depression, I was put on anti-depressants which did very little for me. But then I started eating better and exercising regularly and my depression went away. When I struggled with acne, I tried various OTC treatments. They helped, but never prevented future breakouts. It wasn't until I cut out processed food that I saw clear skin. So I have to believe that seasonal allergies can be addressed in the same way. I feel like I'm missing a piece of the puzzle. I cut out dairy, sugar, grains and alcohol. I eat only organic fruits and veggies, nuts, wild fish, and grass-fed meat. I drink only filtered water and green tea. I consume raw local honey daily, supplement with Vitamin C and Quercitin. Is there something else that falls within the guidelines of The Primal Blueprint that I should try?
    Last edited by BigNoseDog; 03-06-2011, 12:36 PM.

  • #2
    I don't really have any advice, but welcome to Atlanta! I've lived here my whole life and the spring allergy season is just beginning. I never really had allergies growing up, but now I get headaches and a scratchy throat occasionally. Just wait until the pine pollen starts and everything turns yellow!

    I also use a little local raw honey, but I'm not sure how much it helps. Good luck in finding relief!

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    • #3
      Make sure your Vitamin D is sufficient--supplement according to the recommendations right away & get tested in 3 months. It's possible that you may not be able to get enough sun, even in Atlanta...
      Ancestral Nutrition Coaching
      Pregnancy Nutrition Coaching
      Primal Pregnancy Nutrition Article

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      • #4
        it may take you a few seasons to adjust. If the shots improve your quality of life, I am all for it.

        My kids and I all have seasonal allergies plus mold, pet dander and dust allergies. We moved to a new state last year and can say it was pretty rough allergy wise. Nothing some Zyrtec wouldn't handle. We only take it when we have really bad days, ie; when we need to. Now we are moving to another state and I am already preparing for another seasonal adjustment.

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        • #5
          This is not the first time I've moved to a new state, but it is the first time I'm lived outside of the Midwest. I realize that you can't adjust to a new environment in a matter of months and that it could take several years before I fully acclimate. If I have to get allergy shots, I'll do it. Medications are basically meant to alleviate one's symptoms, but they don't address the cause. At least allergy shots have the potential to build up one's immunity. But I see them as a last resort and would prefer to try other healthier (not to mention less expensive) methods.

          As for the raw honey, I hear mixed views on that. Some swear by it, but others say that because bee pollen isn't the same pollen found in the air, immunizing yourself against won't do any good. Then again, I read this on a site supported by allergists so they have a slight conflict of interest. It's kind of like a dermatology website telling people that cutting out dairy is a waste of time. I just wish I had started on the raw honey sooner. Up in the Midwest, allergy season doesn't start until late Summer. I didn't realize it would start in February.

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          • #6
            Hi BND,

            Welcome to the south!

            My story: I had TERRIBLE allergies that evolved into allergy-induced asthma when I moved into my hubby's house (something there was a trigger for me).

            I tried everything. Nothing worked, and I mean everything. I was having asthma attacks every morning at 3 am.

            Finally, I did a seven-day fast using a psyllium and bentonite drink. I based my fast on the book, "The Tao of Health, Sex and Longevity." I stopped having asthma attacks after three days of fasting and haven't had one since (10 years later). After fasting, I did about a dozen "Hulda Clark liver cleanses" (google it) over a two-year period. Slowly my allergies subsided and many other symptoms did as well. We moved to the south and still my allergies stayed at bay.

            Not everyone can go seven days without eating and I'm not suggesting you do. But, colon cleansing and liver cleaning really helped me.

            Good luck!
            sg

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            • #7
              I second the Vitamin D3

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              • #8
                I moved from MD to MS a few years back and the first spring here i had HORRENDOUS hay fever. i was up ALL night hacking, unable to breathe....the 'doctor' told me i suffered acid reflux .... i called BS on him, and toughed out the season, hay fever never showed up again. guess my body had to adjust to the south! it sure loves some southern hospitality now!
                Get on my Level
                http://malpaz.wordpress.com/

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by MalPaz View Post
                  guess my body had to adjust to the south! it sure loves some southern hospitality now!
                  You been reading too much of that feeling sexy thread.
                  A steak a day keeps the doctor away

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                  • #10
                    Well I just returned from my trip to the allergist. Turns out I have quite a number of allergies, mostly to various trees and ragweeds. I mentioned to my doctor that I was consuming raw local honey to try and build up my immunity. He didn't discourage me from doing so and even admitted that it's a good strategy for someone with a few pollen allergies. But given just how many allergies I have, he said it's unlikely the raw honey would have all the pollens I'm allergic to and, therefore, I shouldn't expect great results from consuming raw honey. But there's no harm in continuing to do so. I also told him how my symptoms seem to be more severe whenever I consume grains or dairy. The test showed no allergy to wheat or dairy, but he said that if I see a pattern with certain foods, it's best to listen to my body. So I'll continue eating the PB way. So we talked about my options. Short-term relief would involve nasal sprays, eye drops, and antihistamines. Long-term, he thinks immunizations shots are my best bet. Having had them as a kid and seeing firsthand how effective they are, I decided to pursue that option. I'd rather do that than have to take various drugs every time I get sick. I was really hoping for a paleo solution to this. But I guess what I'm experiencing now is proof that I'm living in an area that my genes weren't evolved to handle. Short of moving to a different city, this seems to be my best option.

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                    • #11
                      I had terrible allergies pre diet change. I was on a CW diet that I learned from my nutrition courses at school. I also was involved in a lot of chronic cardio. I was taking immuno therapy shots for allergies twice a week for a year and it really didn't help. And it was super expensive.

                      Since starting paleo over a year ago things have changed big time. Removing gluten/dairy from the diet helped the most. As well as slowing down with my exercises and sleeping better. I haven't been sick in over a year and I no longer take shots or anti-histamines. On high pollen days I still get clogged up if its windy but so does everyone else I work out with who don't have a history of allergies. If you ever get congestion in the sinuses and good fix is to use a neti pot which works wonders. I also agree that a good D3 supplement is a key component if you are not getting adequate sun exposure.
                      "If man made it, don't eat it" - Jack Lallane

                      People say I am on a "crazy" diet. What is so crazy about eating veggies, fruits, seafood and organ meats? Just because I don't eat whole wheat and processed food doesn't make my diet "crazy". Maybe everyone else with a SAD are the "crazy" ones for putting that junk in their system.

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                      • #12
                        I live in the South (Athens, Ga) and have bad allergies as well. I will second the suggestion about a Netti-Pot. This always helps me. I am on Zyrtec (generic form) every single day of the year to control my allergies. I also have to seasonally take nasal decongestants and use steriod nasal spray on top of that. I got the Netti-Pot 6 months ago and though the allergies and pollen counts are extremely high already it has kept me from using my normal decongestants and nasal spray for this long. I only use it about 3 times a week - more if I am feeling overly clogged. Try it and give it a week or two and I would be willing to be that it will somewhat reduce your symptoms.

                        Welcome to the wonderful South!

                        I am just starting to eat this way and I am hoping to reduce some of my allergies with this new lifestyle.

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                        • #13
                          Another welcome to Spring in Atlanta!

                          The pollen count here is insane, and it's just beginning.

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                          • #14
                            My hubby had really bad allergies but since he's eliminated gluten and gone on Vitamin D, he is doing much better.

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                            • #15
                              The last 2 weeks have been interesting. Shortly after my trip to the allergist, I developed a cold. I've been working long hours and admittedly haven't been eating as healthy as I should. Once I got rid of the cold, my allergies kind of returned. But it was pretty mild. An occasional sneeze, some slight stuffiness, and every now and then, some itchiness in the eyes. Because of work, I haven't gotten around to starting the shots, not that they would help for the Spring. But I have been paying extra attention to what I eat and just how my body reacts to certain foods. For example, one weekend I went out to eat and had a little bit of bread, some wine, and later ice cream. Within an hour, my allergies flared up. So I went back to eating clean. Chocolate is my big weakness and one day, I kept snacking on little pieces of dark chocolate. Well I guess it's true what they say about sugar messing with your immune system cause my allergies flared up. It seems like my body is especially sensitive to any deviations. It doesn't take much to elicit a reaction. On the one hand, that's good cause it doesn't take long for me to confirm which foods are bad for me. On the other hand, it leaves very little margin for error, which kind of stinks if you want to cheat every now and then. On the plus side, this strict way of eating has allowed me to lose a few pounds and now I'm back into my exercise routine. Hopefully, it won't take long to lose the weight I gained this winter. I guess that's the big plus in all this. My allergies are giving me added incentive to REALLY clean. I don't miss bread and I can live without wine or ice cream. But no chocolate? That's gonna be tough.

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