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Ragweed Allergy Season is Approaching

For many people, August brings with it the their recurring allergic reactions to  Ragweed pollen which is released by the Ragweed Plant which is a flowering plant from the sunflower family.

Symptoms may include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Cough
  • Nasal discharge
  • Sneezing
  • Wheezing

Our immune system is there to recognize any form of bacteria or virus that is potentially harmful to the body and then eradicate them. This in simple terms prevents us from becoming ill.  We produce saliva and mucous and sneeze to remove this potentially harmful items from our bodies.  People who suffer from allergies have a somewhat unbalanced immune system which can react in a defective way to inhaling the pollen.  The result…the out of control symptoms, the itchy eyes, scratchy throat and more.

In addition to the typical Ragweed allergy symptoms, there is also an association with what is called oral allergy syndrome and this is a situation where people may experience itchiness, tingling/swelling of the mouth, tongue and throat from eating certain foods. The foods that challenge those with a Ragweed Allergy are:

* Banana
* Cucumber
* Melon
* Zucchini
* Sunflower seeds
* Chamomile tea
* Echinacea

We have some recommendations with respect to food sensitivities and allergy season:

First remove the foods listed above for the duration of time that your immune system is fighting to remove the ragweed pollen.

Second, we recommend food allergy testing so that you can identify common foods that may be aggravating your immune system, weakening it.  When you remove trigger foods from your diet especially during peak pollen times, you can improve overall health and minimize the symptoms.

What else can you do?

It is very important to minimize your exposure to other known allergens during ragweed season because allergy symptoms appear whenever your immune system’s total allergen load reaches its maximum level. Avoid any irritating chemicals or odours by choosing natural cleaning products for your home and body.

Use window filters to keep the tiny pollen grains outside. Use air conditioners, dehumidifiers, and air purifiers to cool, dry out, and clean the air.

Stay indoors when pollen counts are high. Peak pollen counts are normally between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm. Keep your car windows closed when driving. When you have to go outside, take a shower as soon as you get back inside because pollen sticks to your hair and skin.

Nutrition

Drink 1/2 of body weight in ounces of water daily (e.g., a 150 lb person would drink 75 oz of water). It’s not that much! 8oz is one measuring cup and most glasses in your kitchen will be closer to 16oz.

Include a lot of the following foods in the diet:

  • Dark green, leafy vegetables
  • Deep yellow and orange vegetables
  • Nettles, bamboo shoots, cabbage, beet tops, beets, carrots, yams
  • Onions, garlic, ginger, cayenne, horseradish

Prevention

If you are able to, do make an appointment with your ND before your symptoms arrive.  It is a benefit to work on your immune system in advance. If your symptoms are present already, don’t worry there is still a lot that naturopathic medicine can do to help eliminate them and keep them away from you for the next challenging season.

Summer Blueberry Smoothie

Here is a recipe we have found for a refreshing, fresh blueberry smoothie. A great healthy alternative for those hot summer days.

Blueberry Smoothie

1 1/4 cups  Blueberry Juice chilled or just plain water !

3/4 cup fresh bluberries, cleaned and rinsed

1 cup vanilla yogurt or vanilla frozen yogurt

Combine blueberry juice and blueberries in a blender. cover; blend on high speed until mixture is smooth. add yogurt; blend until thoroughly combined.

The Heat is On.

Here in Ottawa we are experiencing record temperatures. We are set to reach 33 degrees today.  Water is always an important thing to consider as part of our daily life.  In this heat it is even more crucial.

The human body constantly needs water. It loses water through the lungs when breathes. It loses water with the daily urination, sweat and stool.

The human body requires at least one litre of water daily. The quantity depends on the activity, age, environment and other factors. The most active people need two or even three litres every day. Fluid consumption is necessary for proper metabolism in the body.

How to keep hydrated?

  • Upon waking consume 16 oz. of water in the morning. This will not only hydrate your body it will give your system a much needed jump start for the day. The human body actually loses water during sleep.
  • Don’t wait until your thirsty to drink water. By the time you feel thirsty, you have probably already lost two or more cups of your total body water composition.
  • Always keep a water-filled bottle on your desk.
  • Water, not carbonated beverages or sports drink, is the best fluid for keeping hydrated when it’s warm outside. Water is absorbed much more quickly than other fluids and may help to cool off your overheated body.
    Carry a water bottle with you wherever you move throughout the day.
  • If feel that tap water does not suit you, you must try bottled water. You can also take the bottled water by squeezing of a slice of lemon or lime with it.
  • You can try herb, fruit tea, weak tea, and coffee substitutes. It would be better to avoid those laden with artificial sweeteners and flavours.
  • Ensure a ‘water break’ at least once in an hour. For this you can set the timer on your watch as a reminder.
  • Develop a habit of having a water break instead of a coffee break. Set up “pop ups” on your computer to remind you to get up from your desk to get water.
  • Take water before, during and after your workout.

I found the following tool while looking around on the internet.  Go to the link to calculate how much water you should be drinking today.

http://nutrition.about.com/library/blwatercalculator.htm

Yours in Health

Vivienne Guy

Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine

Hello world!

Welcome to our blog.  We’ve just set it up !

Our vision for this blog is that it will be a place for us to provide information to our clients and to the general public. We hope that you will find useful tips on health and wellbeing, enjoy the recipes that will be posted and learn something that you can take away and put into practice in your life.

Now it’s time for us to get writing ! Check back soon.

Your HealthCare Team at Kilborn Naturopathic & Wellness Centre

Dr.Vivienne Guy, ND               Dr.Jada MacLeod, ND        Dr.Melanie Stewart, DC, RMT