The Hidden Dangers of Allergy Medications and Some Alternatives

How do your allergy medications make you feel?

Regardless of whether you are taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, they are probably leaving you feeling drowsy, listless, drugged and foggy-brained.

Also, do you know what the side effects these drugs? Some common side effects of allergy meds are dizziness, blurred vision, nausea, enlarged prostate, yeast infections (which cause fatigue, lethargy and food cravings all on their own!), nosebleeds, sore throat, weight loss and thirst. PHEW! And, guess what? That list isn’t even complete!

So, what are some of your other options?

Let’s explore how the immune system works to trigger allergies.

Our immune system reacts to a protein in a particular type of pollen and makes antibodies to these “foreign invaders.” Exposure to these proteins causes a certain type of cell in our body, mast cells, to release histamine. This triggers mucus membranes to swell and mucus to flow. Mucus can flush unwanted substances out of the body and protect our tissues. The problem is, the immune system can get overwhelmed. Especially if you:

  • Are chronically stressed. (This can be emotional stress, physical stress from eating foods that don’t agree with your body or some kind of physical trauma such as caused from a medical procedure or a broken bone.)
  • Consume a lot of sugar/sweeteners or chemicals.
  • Are not well-rested.

These three factors influence our immune system greatly and can make our allergy symptoms worse.

6 Natural Solutions to Help Relieve Allergies:

  • Quercetin is a natural extract that comes from plant foods such as onions, apples, berries, buckwheat (which, despite its name, does not contain wheat or gluten) and citrus fruits. Quercetin is sold as a supplement and is a natural anti-histamine that does not cause the side effects that medications do.
  • Bromelain is frequently combined with quercetin in supplements. Bromelain is an extract from pineapples that calms the immune system.
  • Stinging nettle leaf makes histamine receptors less active. It is available as a supplement or tea.
  • Butterbur is an herb with a fun name. Studies show that it is as effective as Zyrtec at treating seasonal allergies. 1
  • Going dairy free. Most of my clients really do not like to hear this but dairy stimulates mucus production in many people. Dairy includes cow milk, cheese, butter and yogurt. Eggs and “milks” made from coconut or nuts are not dairy products.
  • Dry salt or halotherapy also helps relieve allergies. Sitting quietly in a salt room helps reduce stress and allows people to rest. In addition, the salt calms the immune system and helps thin mucus secretions.

Looking to get off your allergy medications and enjoy the spring? I can help! Contact me at