Gary Trickett and his knowledgeable team at the West Bridgford Health Store are on hand to help with any health concerns you may have.
With over 30 years of experience in the healthcare industry, Gary is always in demand for his friendly advice, and this month he has hay fever on his radar…
We’re all looking forward to the warmer spring and summer months, but if you’re one of the millions of people in the UK affected by hay fever – like 20% of us are, and that number is increasing, you’ll know hay fever season is fast approaching, if it isn’t already in full swing.
An allergic reaction such as hay fever can be explained as an overreaction to a normally harmless substance.
The immune system identifies the harmless substance, in this case pollen, as dangerous and produces an antibody called IgE, which triggers the production of histamine.
Histamine is an inflammatory chemical that causes a range of unpleasant symptoms including runny nose and eyes, itching and burning in localized areas such as the throat, nose and eyes, puffiness, swelling and mucus formation. All in all, not very fun.
Tree pollen occurs first, usually from late March to mid-May, and affects about 25% of the population. But if the weather is unusually warm for the season, allergen-spewing trees, such as alder and filbert, have been known to wreak havoc long before the usual start of the spring hay fever season, and experts predict willow and birch will soon follow.
Grass pollen is by far the biggest trigger, affecting up to 95% of hay fever sufferers and tends to start from mid-May through late July when grasses and flowers bloom. Weed pollen can be released at any time, but the season generally runs from late June through September.
In addition to the staggered nature of the season, your postcode will also determine when you are likely to be affected. Generally, there is a later start and a shorter season in the north of the country, where there is generally less pollen. Urban areas also have a lower number than the countryside, but no doubt other airborne irritants to deal with.
What is the return home? Pollen pretty much has its bases covered from February through September BUT, if you are prone to hay fever, there are a number of steps you can take to stay ahead of the game.
Keep your body as free of toxins as possible by avoiding waste and eating whole foods. Limit your caffeine and alcohol intake and avoid nicotine.
If you live in a polluted area or work with chemicals or high traffic areas, regular detoxes to keep your system clean will help. Simple measures such as drinking plenty of water and keeping your bowel movements daily will reduce the toxic load on your system.
Avoid dairy products as they cause mucus formation which can exacerbate hay fever symptoms and keep your refined sugar intake low. If you suffer from any type of allergy, including hay fever, you are more likely to have unstable blood sugar and be sensitive to refined sugar. Sugar can trigger spikes and dips in blood sugar that cause the production of adrenaline, which involves the production of histamine – exactly what you don’t want.
Make sure you sleep well. While scientists are still trying to understand the exact relationship between sleep and the immune system, studies show that sleep helps alter the balance of anti-inflammatory proteins so the immune system can recognize and better respond to insects and pests. allergens, which may help reduce the severity of your symptoms.
Herbal remedies can also help. Echinacea purpurée taken twice a day can help improve your body’s ability to correctly identify harmful substances. The ideal would be to consider taking Echinacea about two months before your known hay fever, but it can still be helpful even after symptoms appear.
About two weeks before your usual symptoms appear, take operculated loofah ttwice a day. Pollinosan Hay Fever tablets from A.Vogel contain seven tropical herbs, including Capped loofah and Glaucous Galphimia, to help with grass and tree pollen allergies. They do not cause drowsiness and therefore will not affect your ability to drive or use machines. A nasal spray is also available for immediate relief.
If your eyes are particularly sensitive to hay fever, try Pollinosan Hayfever eye drops. With hyaluronic acid and chamomile, they offer a soothing solution for red, burning and itchy eyes caused by hay fever allergens, and can be used with contact lenses and glasses.
Finally, a little detective work will also help you outsmart your pollen-shaped enemy: stay on top of the latest pollen news in your area by checking your 5-day pollen forecast.
For more information visit Gary and his team at the Health Store, West Bridgford or call 0115 9814080.
And for 10% off in store, just tell the team you read about them in The West Bridgford Wire – your discount will be applied at checkout!