Allergies affect the live of millions of people. The chances are every one of us has suffered an allergic reaction at some point in our lives, ranging from the severe to the annoying and inconvenient.
There are a number of ways we can tackle allergic symptoms and traditional, pharmaceutical medication plays an important role.
If you were suffering from a severe allergic reaction of course the first thing you would do is seek emergency medical attention.
There are however a number of natural, holistic measures people can also introduce into their daily lives which, alongside medical attention, can play a huge part in relieving their allergy symptoms.
Making a few changes can also go some way to reducing your impact on the environment by using fewer harmful chemicals, and also living a more simple, minimalist lifestyle.
If you’re looking to live a more environmentally conscious lifestyle, whilst also treating your allergy symptoms then this is definitely the path for you.
With that in mind, I’ve complied five simple ways in which you can learn to live with your allergies, and reduce their impact on your life, naturally.
- Change your washing detergent. If you suffer from allergic eczema or dermatitis, this is one of the simplest, but most important changes you can make. For years I used traditional, perfume and chemical based laundry detergents as most of us do. However there are a number of fragrance and phosphate free products on the market which can hugely improve skin and breathing related allergic symptoms. Don’t just look for hypo-allergenic, seek out the truly allergen free alternatives and see what difference it makes.
- Change your soap. Okay, this is similar to number one, but the principles are the same. If you have constant eczema or allergic conjunctivitis, the soap you wash with might be playing a part in the story. When you think about it, who really need expensive shower gels and hand pumped soaps which mostly go down the drain anyway and introduce yet more chemicals back into the water cycle? A simple bar of soap is proven to be as good at removing dirt as their flashy counterparts. And there are a number of brilliant allergen free soaps on the market. My personal favourite is dead sea mud soap which works up into a lather like regular soap and seems to last for months. Your wallet, and your skin will thank me for making the change.
- Fresh air. The home is known to be one of the greatest sources of allergens with poor air quality, dust and fumes from upholstery circulating through the atmosphere. Yet we spend more and more time indoors, slumped in front of televisions and computer screens and not in the outdoors, breathing in natural air as nature intended. The absolute best solution is to spend leisure time among real, natural air. Forest bathing, the pursuit of spending time, meditating and relaxing in a pine forest setting is hugely popular in Scandinavia and the far east, and is spreading to these shores. If you haven’t got the time, or an abundance of natural woodland, consider your home environment and keep it well ventilated, and consider investing in an air purifier if your budget allows.
- Eat simple, homemade produce. Some of the most common, most problematic food allergens in modern humans are intolerance to lactose, gluten and whey. When eating large amounts of processed, mass produced foods it’s far more difficult to keep a track of the ingredients you are ingesting. If, like me, you are intolerant of lactose you will find it almost impossible to go a day without being subject to some product or other than contains milk, and therefore lactose. You can sometimes find yourself endlessly reading labels on mayonnaise to find which products contain lactose and which contain a synthetic alternative. However there is a much better alternative, and that’s to go right back to basics and eat as much simple, organic and homemade food as possible where you’re in total control of the ingredients list. Rather than look at the thousands of ingredients on the back of the mayonnaise jar, with a few egg yolks and some organic olive oil you’re on your way to a super fast, cheap and wholesome homemade mayo. This will probably taste better and will mean you don’t have to eat all those nasty preservatives and chemicals whilst also avoiding your allergy to lactose.
- De-stress. Allergies are profoundly linked to stress. It’s tempting to focus solely on the allergen itself in order to improve your symptoms, for example avoiding dust mites if you have a dust allergy. While this is of course crucial, your overall health will also playing a huge part in the severity of your allergic reactions. People who are run down, overworked and stressed out are much more susceptible to infections and viruses. If you think about hay fever this can lead to blocked sinuses, similar to a heavy cold. And if you’re not well enough to fight it off before you know it your hay fever has led to a fully fledged cold or flu virus. Consider your general health and well being as not separate, but in tandem with your allergy battles. If you feel yourself becoming run down, this should be a red light. Consider a vacation or simple meditation or yoga you can do in the home which will improve your mental physical wellbeing. This goal is to improve your overall wellness in order to make it easier for your body to fight off and resist the pressures your allergy puts on it.
It doesn’t stop at these five areas of course. But my thinking is simple.
The products that you use should be as simple, and as organic as possible. And your lifestyle should be the same.
Keeping things as simple, as healthy and as cheap as possible is a great way for allergy sufferers to live happily and healthily. Try it, and see what you think.