Question: I am a 34-year-old male and basically in excellent health. However, ever since I was about ten years old, I have had hay fever so bad that I feel like I almost miss Spring. From early May to mid June my eyes water, my nose runs and my throat itches. I get short of breath and every year I end up with a sinus infection. I have been treated with allergy shots which helped for a while, decongestants which made me drowsy, the new allergy medicines which just made me feel funny and homeopathic medicines which only gave very temporary relief. Do you have any advice for me?
Answer: Allergies and hay fever are among the most common maladies suffered by modern Americans. Allergy medication every year is among the top five best selling drugs and if you count asthma, eczema and food allergies, almost one out of three Americans has some sort of allergy. Surprisingly, this condition is of relatively recent origin as even the homeopathic doctors in the early part of the century rarely described allergic diseases or hay fever. As I have discussed in this column, many changes in our life-styles and habits have occurred this century which probably account for this rising incidence.
Specifically, the best theory on the etiology of allergies is that they are related to an imbalance in the functioning of our adrenal gland. More exactly, when the adrenal cortex – that part of our adrenal gland that makes various hormones (such as cortisone) that mediate the inflammatory response – is weak or underactive, then a variety of symptoms occur. Besides inflammation, which can manifest as asthma, weeping skin or hay fever, depending on the site of the inflammation, these adrenal hormones also regulate such functions as sugar balance (via glucocorticoids), mineral balance (via mineralocorticoids) and sexual development (via the sex hormones.) A key point in understanding the therapy for supporting adrenal function is that all of these hormones are synthesized from cholesterol, and that the adrenal cortex is the organ in our bodies with the most need for the vitamin C complex to maintain its function. Also, it seems as if the adrenal cortex is very sensitive to blood sugar levels and that consumption of refined carbohydrates is at the bottom of many cases of allergies for both humans and in animal studies. The natural therapy for all allergies, therefore, is not cortisone – the conventional therapy for allergic disease but which suppresses and eventually weakens our adrenal glands – but a nutritional and supplemental program which actually rebuilds and rebalances our adrenal cortex.
The first step in this therapy is to absolutely avoid all refined carbohydrates including bread, pasta and sugar, as well as most sweet foods such as maple syrup and fruit juices, while any allergic symptoms are present. The diet should be rhythmical, that is you should eat three meals a day with no snacks in between. At each meal eat about 1/3 animal food, 1/3 properly prepared whole grains and 1/3 vegetables in a variety of ways, and with plenty of good quality butter. To aid in mineral balance, use only Celtic sea salt. I also suggest people include zucchini daily in their diet and to make liberal use of bone broths as the minerals in these foods seems to lessen allergic symptoms.
To help “immunize” yourself against pollen, eat 1 tablespoon of really raw honey (locally produced if possible) with the addition of about 1/2 tablespoon of fresh bee pollen. With the bee pollen, start with a few granules and gradually increase to the full dose. Eat foods high in the full vitamin C complex such as sprouts, sauerkraut, raw milk and fresh berries. Also, take a supplement with these components such as Cataplex C or Collagen C from Standard Process, or acerola berries, about 250 mg. three times a day, from Schiff, or from Springreen (816-221-3298).
Often with my patients I add either sublingual or intravenous adrenal cortical extract to augment adrenal function.
Your physician can obtain the adrenal cortex preparations from Apothecure (800) 545-9960. They also make a product called Adrenal Cortex Support which is a combination of desiccated adrenal gland, vitamin C, magnesium and licorice root, an herbal medicine well known for its ability to strengthen adrenal function. (Update – this company is no longer in business).
Most people get significant relief from this regimen after about three to four weeks, so don’t forget to start early next year!
Copyright: ©1999 Tom Cowan. All Rights Reserved. First published in Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation Health Journal🖨️ Print post
Can you please let me no your thoughts, one of my family has a 4 month baby and has had prolonged hayfever type nasal congestion, what do you recommend?
Paul Goldberg says
Apothecure, a company that your article recommends is no longer in business and is closed down due to judgements against it in regards to charges that some of its products led to severe illness and/or deaths in a number of instances. It would be prudent to remove it from your article. As a practitioner I have found that a number of types of products that “Functional Medicine” Doctors recommend carry significant risks and often do not address the original causes of problems. Functional Medicine is still Medicine and envelopes a hodge podge of pills and potions that are not well substantiated and often thrown about carelessly by practitioners simply because they are popular.
I am a long time admirer of Dr. Weston Price and used his book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration with my Graduate and Chiropractic Students for over thirty five as a Professor of Clinical Nutrition and Gastroenterology. I do not believe, however, that so called “Functional Medicine” would be accepted by Dr. Price were he alive today.
Paul A. Goldberg, MPH,DC,DACBN,DCBCN
The GoldbergTener Clinic for Chronic Disease Reversal
Huma Raufie says
I am in my early-thirties, and am in near perfect health. However, when I visit the countryside, or am around certain types of cats; my eyes water, can’t stop sneezing and struggle to breath sometimes.
Would you have a recommendation for something I can take before I expect to go out to the countryside, or while it is happening, If I am unexpectedly visited by one of the types of cats that I am allergic to.
Paul Guerra says
I have a similar question to this one posted. It appears I suffer severely from household dust mite allergies, particularly over the Winter. Is that shown to be of similar etiology to the seasonal allergies described here? Would the dietary treatment approach be similar?
I have a 5 year old son who is suffering from chronic enlarged turbinates. The ENT wants me to use steroid nasal spray, but I’m doing my best to avoid that! I’ve tried a homeopathy spray, xylitol sprays and an allergy tincture from a local health food store. A blood test for allergies is being undergone. What can I do for my son? He is almost entirely breathing from his mouth due to the congestion. I feel awful for him, and worry about his facial development.
Keep pursuing to figure out what he’s sensitised (allergic) to. Allergy blood test is a start but not conclusive on its own. A full individual history needs to be interpreted by an allergy specialist. Blood test, skin prick testing and maybe skin patch testing may be needed to figure it out in the context of personal medical history.
If you have no idea what could be allergic to, could be environmental and or food allergy. Suspect foods such as eggs and milk ((unfortunately! But may outgrow eventually. I speak as this was the case for me personally, allergic rhinitis.)
Also any smoke or fumes environment is irritating.
Also, has he ever been around birds of any kind? Especially pet birds. Allergic rhinitis (nasal congestion) is a common manifestation from bird and or egg allergy.
Hope this is helpful info. No need to suffer. Use the steroid nasal spray as advised by ENT to ease his suffering! See it as only temporary medicine until figure out the root cause of the congestion. A congested nose is awful and miserable!
Best wishes x