It’s Allergy Season—Suffer Less! Can Allergies Impact Mental Health?
-Allergy Management with LIFE Strategies
(LIFE = Lifestyle, Integrative, Functional, Evolutionary)
*This information is for educational purposes. Make an appointment with us to discuss integrative/holistic treatments for allergies, asthma or mental health & wellness, or with your regular medical provider.
Allergy season is upon us, and did you know that Histamine is a neurotransmitter? It also affects the release of other neurotransmitters including serotonin and norepinephrine (Think adrenaline). We often speak of anti-histamines as treatment for allergies, because allergic reactions trigger the release of Histamine, causing runny nose, itching, airway spasm (restriction), and rashes in the short-term, and inflammation long-term.
Allergies and Sleep
Histamine affects sleep, causing more alertness/energy, in the same way that anti-histamines cause people to feel tired/fatigued. So when environmental allergies kick in, imagine an increase in Histamine levels, runny nose and inflammation, less ability to breathe through the nose, and worse sleep. Sleep disruption alone can lead people to feel more agitated and anxious/stressed, and people with insomnia have a higher risk of depression and anxiety. See this article about the science possibly linking increased Histamine and depression. (Note: We support research done in humans, as animal testing is not always transferable, and can often be avoided.)
With Histamines causing spasm of airways, post-nasal drip that can pass into your lungs complicates the picture further, especially if you have asthma. By promoting cough, especially at night, even worse sleep can occur, and the anxiety of obstructed breathing feeds the mental imbalance.
Allergy Treatment that Can Change Your Life
So what simple things can you do to prevent and reduce allergies and the resulting symptoms, thus improve mental health?
Dry the mucus. Rinse it out. Open the airway (decongest). Relief Recipe follows…
Nasal Irrigation — Rinse the inside of your nose with salt water, using a Neti Pot, or similar mechanism. Sprays and water piks will use a much lower volume of water and will not likely reach the areas you are trying to irrigate.
–Distilled Water ONLY. Tap water is acidic and causes inflammation (congestion). Every year someone dies from parasites in tap water that reach the brain through the top of the nose. Don’t become a news story! Distilled Water may still have contaminants, like bacteria. Boil and cool distilled water to purify it further.
–Pre-packaged salt and baking soda provides the right pH (acid/base balance) for a solution that will not “burn”.
Antihistamines – Taken daily, loratadine (Claritin) or cetirizine (Zyrtec) dries the mucous mebranes. Note: 20% of people will feel sleepy when taking cetirizine (Zyrtec).
Decongestants — If you have congestion, despite the Neti Pot, try pseudophedrine (Sudafed) at a low dose to avoid anxiety/jitters. Purchase from a pharmacist so they can ensure you are not making METH in your basement. Studies show phenylephrine does not work.
DO NOT USE DECONGESTANT NASAL SPRAYS! Buying these over-the-counter, without proper education in the pitfalls of their use, is a big problem. Unless going up in elevation, scuba diving, etc., and briefly using these nasal sprays for no more than 3 days they will make your congestion worse!
Additional supplements you can order below:
Quercetin Ascorbate (Quercetin and Vitamin C) are supportive for allergies.
Quercetin + Nettles are supportive for allergies.
The above strategies can change your life, and also help prevent and treat Sinus Infections, thus avoid using antibiotics in many cases. We will post a new topic about Sinus Health and Sinus Infections at a future date.
Read more about Histamine.
*If you would like to be evaluated for allergies, insomnia/sleep disorder, or mental health concerns, or learn more about the alternatives to prescription and over-the-counter medications then please contact us at 800.651.7126, or through one of our clinic websites — LIFEMedicineHealth.com or HeartmindMedicine.com — You are not alone!
***If you found this information helpful please share, or donate to our Health Support Fund to help others who cannot afford to pay for services or supplements. Donate on our website through our secure payment portal. Thank you.
In Health and Healing…
Brent Jaster, MD