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Severe seasonal allergies all of a sudden! Any suggestions?

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  • Severe seasonal allergies all of a sudden! Any suggestions?

    None of us have been seasonal allergy sufferers...until now. This time last year we lived in our camper at a state park in GA--there was so much pollen that the lake's tide was yellow. We swam in that pollen water every other day and never had a sniffle. This year we live in a house in TN and for the past month our 5-year-old daughter has not been able to breathe and constantly has snot flowing from her nose. My husband and I are mildly congested compared to her, but it's still more than we're used to on a daily basis. I know that allergens in this region are supposedly some of the highest in the US, but this seems like night and day. There is also a paper mill nearby, which our daughter is exposed to more than we are because her school is just down the road from it. :/

    We've tried nettle tea w/local raw honey, but she's isn't very fond of it and only drinks a little so I doubt it's enough to help. I got a NeilMed sinus rinse bottle but she hates it and will only let us do it if she's really uncomfortable. She plays outside every single day (well, unless it's raining, and even then if it's not bad) so it's not like she's cloistered indoors all the time. I'm a believer in the hygiene hypothesis, so we don't typically use antibacterials to clean our home, just natural (and mostly homemade) products.

    I finally broke down and gave her Claritin because she was getting so bad at school that the teachers were getting tired of it. It's starting to help a little, but not much. I'd much rather have a non-pharmaceutical solution to the problem though. My Googling isn't turning up much so I thought I'd ask here.

  • #2
    Could the nettle tea and honey be masked in a smoothie (with local fruits/veg)? Does she get a form of probiotic in her diet regularly?

    If you can, it may help to get some kind of air filter system to run in her room overnight. Exposure to pollen can be helpful for allergies, but if she is reacting to chemicals (paper mill), it's probably best to just get her nasal passages as clear as possible whenever you can, for maximum comfort!
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    • #3
      So far, I've made the nettle tea into an iced tea with honey and lemon, she drinks a little but then asks for something else. I'll have to try the smoothie route. She does eat Greek yogurt, I have kombucha brewing but it's not ready yet. Good point though, I haven't given her any probiotics (other than yogurt) since she was an infant, though she's never had antibiotics in her life either.

      I just changed the air filter on our a/c just in case that was part of the problem, it wasn't due to be changed for another month though. She woke up this morning able to breathe out of her nose (though she was still a little congested). I was hoping that she was finally getting better but then got a call from school and had to pick her up a little while ago, she's not allowed back until she's seen a doctor. We were considering taking her out anyway for different reasons so that doesn't concern me all that much. I do wonder if she should go to the doctor though, just to rule out a sinus infection. Even then, most sinus infections are viral, so what's the point? Another concern is dairy, we already have her on a gluten challenge due to a rash that looks much like dermatitis herpetiformis (and is clearing up now that she's gluten-free) but I wonder if we should also try eliminating dairy. She doesn't drink much milk anymore, but does eat cheese daily.

      Thanks for the suggestions, I'm going to whip up a nettle tea smoothie right now.

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      • #4
        My first suggestion to anyone is the Neilmed sinus rinse squeeze bottle. But since she's five I totally understand her issues with it. Big people shouldn't have any problems once they get past the first use. I know between turning primal and ditching the allergens in my food and using the sinus rinse daily during pollen season, I just don't have sinus issues any more! It's been wonderful! I hope maybe the local honey will help gradually get her system used to the new allergens. Try sneaking it in everything for a while! When I moved from Mississippi to Tennessee I had the same issues. It's amazing how just a few hundred miles makes a big difference in what the body is acclimated to!

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        • #5
          She won't take a small spoonful of honey every morning? Raw local honey needs to be introduced regularly if it's going to have any effect, or so I've read.

          If it's an infection, at least you know what it is and can treat it (focus on just clearing out her nose and avoiding dairy will likely help). That will make sorting out the allergens a little easier.
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          • #6
            Originally posted by Rhonda the Red View Post
            My first suggestion to anyone is the Neilmed sinus rinse squeeze bottle. But since she's five I totally understand her issues with it. Big people shouldn't have any problems once they get past the first use. I know between turning primal and ditching the allergens in my food and using the sinus rinse daily during pollen season, I just don't have sinus issues any more! It's been wonderful! I hope maybe the local honey will help gradually get her system used to the new allergens. Try sneaking it in everything for a while! When I moved from Mississippi to Tennessee I had the same issues. It's amazing how just a few hundred miles makes a big difference in what the body is acclimated to!
            This Remedy Cured My Daughter of Her Perpetual Stuffy Nose (VIDEO) | The Stir

            I had her watch this video of another 5-year-old girl using one before I bought it, and she was totally cool with the idea so I bought one. Then she panicked and cried when we actually tried it and has only let us do it one other time because she was having a lot of pressure in her sinuses and her ear was bothering her. The earache went away within an hour, so I'm glad she let us! I'm going to try it again today, I didn't warm the water the first times so maybe that will help.

            There is one other girl in her class that moved here recently (from OR) and she's having the same problems, so I really think it's just the crazy amount of different allergens here. I'm going to start putting honey and lemon in her water every time I get a chance.

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            • #7
              Just wanted to do a quick update - I got her to do the sinus rinse!!! We watched the video again to help her get up the courage to try again, and I was right, the water wasn't warm enough last time. She giggled the entire time and we got a couple of big wads of neon green goop out. She can breathe!

              I also took the smoothie suggestion, and made one with concentrated nettle tea, frozen organic strawberries and blueberries, a banana, a drizzle of local raw honey, and a spoonful of greek yogurt. It was yummy and she drank a full glass. I also gave her a spoonful of the honey straight--you're right, need to make that a daily habit.

              Thanks everyone for the suggestions, I'm hoping this approach will work!

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              • #8
                Keep us posted!
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                • #9
                  I second the idea of running a HEPA filter in her bedroom. I have found with my own allergies that the simple act of keeping the air in the bedroom as allergen free as possible is super helpful, because it takes the load off your body for 8+ hours a day. I fired mine up yesterday, we're not into our pollen season yet but the dust is crazy right now. We need a good rain.
                  High Weight: 225
                  Weight at start of Primal: 189
                  Current Weight: 174
                  Goal Weight: 130

                  Primal Start Date: 11/26/2012

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                  • #10
                    Sorry, meant to keep everyone posted, but the NeilMed bottle is helping her a ton. She still has a runny nose some days, but she's not running around looking like Slimer from Ghostbusters anymore. She actually asks for me to do it if she's starting to get stuffy again. I've gotten in the habit of giving her honey daily, but don't get around to giving her the nettle every day and I probably should. Thanks everyone for the suggestions!

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                    • #11
                      I have to say that I used raw local FL honey for several years... I know a few people with bees as my husband grew up in this area with some people in the Ag business... and I still have seasonal allergies.
                      I still use raw local honey as a sweetener sometimes when I want sweet... just not daily huge doses of it, because I didn't find it made any difference at all. YMMV.

                      Rinsing my sinuses with a neti pot helps. I haven't tried the NeilMed spray bottle.
                      I also use Sinus Buster allergy(and natural nasal spray)... but there is no way I'm recommending that product for a kid.
                      When the pollen is high I also use allergy meds, the 24 hr kind cetirizine or loratidine. Preference for loratidine for seasonal allergies. I tend to use cetirizine in combination with ranitidine, a H2 recept. agonist, for allergic reaction breakouts like hives.

                      It is what it is... if I don't manage the snot, irritation, and inflammation I'll end up with a sinus infection, or other respiratory infection. There have been quite a few years I've ended up with bronchitis because of not managing the allergies well because of not wanting to take allergy meds. Now I take them.
                      “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”
                      ~Friedrich Nietzsche
                      And that's why I'm here eating HFLC Primal/Paleo.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by namelesswonder View Post
                        Could
                        If you can, it may help to get some kind of air filter system to run in her room overnight. Exposure to pollen can be helpful for allergies, but if she is reacting to chemicals (paper mill), it's probably best to just get her nasal passages as clear as possible whenever you can, for maximum comfort!
                        Yes agree with this,its tested that filtration of air do help in minimising allergies

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by namelesswonder View Post
                          If you can, it may help to get some kind of air filter system to run in her room overnight. Exposure to pollen can be helpful for allergies, but if she is reacting to chemicals (paper mill), it's probably best to just get her nasal passages as clear as possible whenever you can, for maximum comfort!
                          I agree with what you said, Air filter might help her to filter the air esp dust and pollen or a humidifier at night to relieve her nasal passage, it helps in respiratory issues. Local honey they say is not proven though for some it is effective, you may use a local honey that was raised closest to where you live, the closer the better since it will have more of exactly what you'll need.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by namelesswonder View Post
                            Could the nettle tea and honey be masked in a smoothie (with local fruits/veg)? Does she get a form of probiotic in her diet regularly?

                            If you can, it may help to get some kind of air filter system to run in her room overnight. Exposure to pollen can be helpful for allergies, but if she is reacting to chemicals (paper mill), it's probably best to just get her nasal passages as clear as possible whenever you can, for maximum comfort!
                            I agree with you. I do this air filtering actually 24/7 most of the time in our house. It really helps especially with asthmatic sufferers and those allergic to dusts and pollen. Neti pot is good in clearing out nasal passages.

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