1

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Most paleo-friendly allergy medicine?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 10, 2011 at 11:18 PM

I've been feeling blah for a few months now, but the past couple of weekends have been exceptionally unpleasant. It's either been the relatively large amounts of dairy (conventional butter and some cheese; I normally avoid dairy other than clarified butter, but when I'm not at home for long stretches of time, I don't have much of a choice. Conventional butter is better than canola oil, I'm sure), or my allergies have been kicking my ass. I want to start taking an allergy medicine just in case, but seeing as I don't like to take medicines unless I need to, I'd like to find one with the least side effects. Are there any allergy medicines that you can recommend to me?

EDIT: Maybe I should clarify how I feel. I'm not necessarily talking about stuffy runny noses and itchy throats (though I have had some of that recently), but more like lightheadedness, trouble concentrating, low energy, and general "feeling off" for several months. I've eaten paleo for over a year (about 60:25:15, generally low fructose, active avoidance of wheat, n-6, and most dairy besides clarified butter), while being pretty strict for the last three months or so, and I'm fairly physically active at work. I can't see any nutritional deficiencies or foods I should avoid in my diet, so I'm just assuming it's the most probable cause. If I try Claritin for a month and it doesn't work, then at least I'll know one more thing that isn't the problem.

089dd41b18fbb95ebb5347cded708d98

(5635)

on November 11, 2013
at 12:06 AM

i have noticed no benefit from quercetin. it is way too weak for my allergies. the most i tried was 6 capsules a day.

47cbd166d262925037bc6f9a9265eb20

(55)

on November 10, 2013
at 11:55 AM

Is it good for all allergies or some ? Anyone else had success with quercetin ? I have dust mite allergy and allergic conjunctivitis...

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on April 12, 2011
at 03:41 AM

@hcantrall: The "I'm not trying to do a re-enactment" bit is the favored response for any paleo person doing ANYTHING non-paleo. If they want something non-paleo, they say they're not looking for a re-enactment. You can justify ANYTHING that way. So perhaps you should dig a little bit deeper and ask WHY you don't want to do a re-enactment in that respect. I gave my reasoning why I think retaining the opportunity to treat the real cause (and not just the symptoms) would be a good idea in this case; all you've seemed to do is whine about having allergies and announce your decision to use meds.

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on April 12, 2011
at 03:37 AM

@Suzanna: We're using the same word ("allergies"), but it seems we're talking about two entirely different things. I was talking about random environmental allergies like going outside in the summer and your throat getting all itchy etc. You're talking about food allergies. We're not talking about the same thing. This should be especially obvious since people were mentioning Claratin etc. When's the last time somebody took Claritin to avoid having an allergic reaction to coconut? Perhaps I'm out of the loop!

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on April 12, 2011
at 03:34 AM

@Sgroh87: Good points, but perhaps there's still some improvement to be made or some time to wait? Or maybe there's something non-food-or-exercise-related? Perhaps you breathe through your mouth when you're resting? That would probably explain the allergies. Or maybe you could use the allergy medication now and try to get rid of it the natural way again later? Paleo + breathing properly (through my nose while resting) = no allergies anymore for me. That's just my experience, but you can't have your own such experience if you're on allergy meds!

Bbd50c115fa066bea3ac23a4e82447ff

(558)

on April 12, 2011
at 02:53 AM

After 9 months on Paleo, I developed severe food allergies, and my allergist isn't sure what I'm allergic to. (My cat allergy is also worse.) The first episode occurred while eating coconut, berries and nuts, which lead to diarrhea, vomiting, hives, itching and losing consciousness and hitting my head. The second episode occurred 12 hours after eating, and included all of the above except syncope. For some reason my allergies are worse on paleo. Being told allergy medication is incompatible with paleo is really not helpful. I wouldn't be alive without benadryl and my epipen.

A993550f2a130df8d3462c08582f08ec

(589)

on April 11, 2011
at 11:00 PM

Or allergies are caused by 23 years of damage to the body from a poor diet and lack of activity, and my body was just more damaged than yours was. Alternatively, I feel like I have cut so much out of my diet (grains, most sugar, most dairy except clarified butter, legumes, most fruit, most nuts, etc.) that I don't really WANT to cut more out unless I have to.

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on April 11, 2011
at 02:53 AM

@RG73, did you read the rest of my comment, or did you just react to the first 7 words? Perhaps you could read the rest and actually respond to my point? Thanks. Also, I'm not looking to do a paleo re-enactment.

9f9fa49265e03ddd2bf2bba5477a556b

(3184)

on April 11, 2011
at 02:48 AM

If allergy medication is incompatible with paleo, so are computers, electricity, internal combustion engines and pretty much, oh, everything all the way back to the advent of agriculture. Good luck with your re-enactment though.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 11, 2011
at 12:45 AM

i suppose my point was that pharmaceutical versions of these compounds are far more concentrated than you would find in a plant. My reference to "studies" was to the studies that determined the dangers of NSAIDS, etc, and the likeliehood that these studies were carried out on higher concentration doses, such as one might find in a pharmeceutical version, not to the in vitro paper. But at this point I may just be two drinks in and quibbling.

9f9fa49265e03ddd2bf2bba5477a556b

(3184)

on April 11, 2011
at 12:34 AM

I'm not following. I was talking about the in vitro paper you linked (so based on that paper we don't know what it does in vivo). It can inhibit COX2. You generally want to be cautious messing with COX2 (see Vioxx). The other compounds in nettles antagonize or agonize any number of other receptors. Those compounds evolved to kill primarily the invertebrates that eat nettles and probably make mammals ill. It is in the interest of wild plants to not be eaten or made into tea.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 11, 2011
at 12:27 AM

mind you, im not ragging on your meds necessarily, im just ragging on your ragging of plant meds.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 11, 2011
at 12:26 AM

you also mention that most scientist can't even do science right, which um, further substantiates your faith in the full understanding of how it all works.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 11, 2011
at 12:25 AM

it does not assume plants evolved combinations of compounds to solve human problems, it assumes plants evolved combinations of compounds to solve plant problems. How do we get eaten and, hence, carried and seeded but not eaten to the point of death and other things plants worry about? Mind you, you yourself mention you'd have to overdose on a ton of nettle to cause a heart attack, and don't we kind of know by now that lots of otherwise benign substances can become dangerous in huge quantity? It's sort of a daft arguement. But I admire your unwavering defense of pharmeceuticals.

34a367e60db77270bd7096dc04270fdc

(4171)

on April 11, 2011
at 12:10 AM

I have terrible allergies to ragweed and various other pollen in the spring and fall. It's miserable and while I don't like to take drugs at all either, I draw the line here. There's something to be said for quality of life, Allegra-D is working well for me and when the sinus congestion isn't too bad I take Zyrtec. I guess my paleo membership should be revoked but like a lot of people here I'm not into caveman re-enactment, I just want to eat healthy and live a long time. If I was you, I'd go ahead and try an allergy med. I find zero side affects with either of those allergy medications.

9f9fa49265e03ddd2bf2bba5477a556b

(3184)

on April 11, 2011
at 12:05 AM

Mind you, you'd have to eat a ton of nettles for that--we have a long history of eating nettles as a species. But those compounds evolved to mess with insects and mammals and everything in between. It also has compounds that inhibit TNF-alpha and binds to steroid receptors. Those are a lot of different pathways I don't want to be antagonizing and agonizing randomly and the "whole" plant isn't going to cancel out unwanted effects. Nettles cause inflammatory responses as well (especially if you get abraded by their spikes). They don't want to be eaten and they're trying to poison us.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on April 11, 2011
at 12:01 AM

i agree with other posters. just take a claratin.

9f9fa49265e03ddd2bf2bba5477a556b

(3184)

on April 11, 2011
at 12:00 AM

I know that is the theory herbalists use. But it assumes that plants evolved combinations of compounds to solve human problems. Plants evolved most of those compounds to mess with animals eating them. So yes, some plants could have an active compound with a desired effect, but a negative side effect and another ameliorating compound. That would just be dumb luck. In the case of nettles, you antagonize H1, COX1, COX2 and a bunch of other things. Which is kind of what I'd do if I were a plant and wanted to kill an herbivore. Nettles can cause myocardial infarcs, Claritin can't.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 10, 2011
at 11:54 PM

right, because the studies you're referring to were done using the dosage in nettles, mitigated with the other natural compounds in that plant.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 10, 2011
at 11:47 PM

to my understanding, the benefit of "some herbal thing or another" is that often, medicines are synthesized from isolated compounds found in plants into a pill which can be patented. Problem is, sometimes the plant has other compounds which work in conjunction with the rest and mitigate the negative effects of the compound in isolation. Plus, herbal tinctures and whatnot can be cheaper, not to mention potentially more bioavailable...(like any supplement vs. a food source your belly recognizes). Just sayin'

9f9fa49265e03ddd2bf2bba5477a556b

(3184)

on April 10, 2011
at 11:46 PM

So pretty much like I said, herbs that work are going to be H1 antagonists, so basically they're like taking Benedryl. Except that nettles are also COX-2 inhibitors, which means they're like NSAIDS. So taking nettles is basically like taking a Bendedryl plus Celebrex. So if you want to mess with your kidneys and blood pressure, nettles are the way to go.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 10, 2011
at 11:34 PM

looks like nettles are that herbal thing that is an H1 antagonist.

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8 Answers

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5
9f9fa49265e03ddd2bf2bba5477a556b

(3184)

on April 10, 2011
at 11:29 PM

I'm not sure what's wrong with loratadine or diphenhydramine. Someone is going to suggest some herbal thing or other. That herbal thing may or may not work. The herbal thing that works is going to be an H1 antagonist, which is to say it is going to work in the same way as an OTC antihistamine. Loratadine (e.g. Claritin) has minimal side effects. If you want to shut down the allergic reaction, you need to block the H1 receptor. That simple. That, or remove the allergen. Or, you know, go to allergy shots. Or give yourself an helminth worm infection. Which is to say, if you don't want to be bothered with shots (which do have some efficacy), corticosteroids (which work, but definitely have negative side effects), give yourself worms, or drink some crazy herbal concoction, go for the Claritin. Yeah, it isn't "Paleo," but neither are allergies (the worms, but the generally unsanitary conditions took care of that).

9f9fa49265e03ddd2bf2bba5477a556b

(3184)

on April 11, 2011
at 12:05 AM

Mind you, you'd have to eat a ton of nettles for that--we have a long history of eating nettles as a species. But those compounds evolved to mess with insects and mammals and everything in between. It also has compounds that inhibit TNF-alpha and binds to steroid receptors. Those are a lot of different pathways I don't want to be antagonizing and agonizing randomly and the "whole" plant isn't going to cancel out unwanted effects. Nettles cause inflammatory responses as well (especially if you get abraded by their spikes). They don't want to be eaten and they're trying to poison us.

9f9fa49265e03ddd2bf2bba5477a556b

(3184)

on April 11, 2011
at 12:00 AM

I know that is the theory herbalists use. But it assumes that plants evolved combinations of compounds to solve human problems. Plants evolved most of those compounds to mess with animals eating them. So yes, some plants could have an active compound with a desired effect, but a negative side effect and another ameliorating compound. That would just be dumb luck. In the case of nettles, you antagonize H1, COX1, COX2 and a bunch of other things. Which is kind of what I'd do if I were a plant and wanted to kill an herbivore. Nettles can cause myocardial infarcs, Claritin can't.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 11, 2011
at 12:26 AM

you also mention that most scientist can't even do science right, which um, further substantiates your faith in the full understanding of how it all works.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 11, 2011
at 12:27 AM

mind you, im not ragging on your meds necessarily, im just ragging on your ragging of plant meds.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 10, 2011
at 11:34 PM

looks like nettles are that herbal thing that is an H1 antagonist.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 10, 2011
at 11:47 PM

to my understanding, the benefit of "some herbal thing or another" is that often, medicines are synthesized from isolated compounds found in plants into a pill which can be patented. Problem is, sometimes the plant has other compounds which work in conjunction with the rest and mitigate the negative effects of the compound in isolation. Plus, herbal tinctures and whatnot can be cheaper, not to mention potentially more bioavailable...(like any supplement vs. a food source your belly recognizes). Just sayin'

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 11, 2011
at 12:25 AM

it does not assume plants evolved combinations of compounds to solve human problems, it assumes plants evolved combinations of compounds to solve plant problems. How do we get eaten and, hence, carried and seeded but not eaten to the point of death and other things plants worry about? Mind you, you yourself mention you'd have to overdose on a ton of nettle to cause a heart attack, and don't we kind of know by now that lots of otherwise benign substances can become dangerous in huge quantity? It's sort of a daft arguement. But I admire your unwavering defense of pharmeceuticals.

3
9f304139f11b229ee56cf3d92b8c6c80

on April 11, 2011
at 10:52 PM

Look into Quercetin for allergies! It works!

47cbd166d262925037bc6f9a9265eb20

(55)

on November 10, 2013
at 11:55 AM

Is it good for all allergies or some ? Anyone else had success with quercetin ? I have dust mite allergy and allergic conjunctivitis...

3
6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on April 11, 2011
at 02:21 AM

None. Allergy medicine is incompatible with paleo. Your body is fucking up; this should tell you something. If you get rid of the indicator (the allergies), you won't get rid of the problem (whatever fuck up is causing that misfiring). You're better off keeping the allergies around so you have a profit/loss test for whether you're doing the right thing. If you get rid of a certain food and they get better, you know something. But if you're on the meds, those signals are gone.

The basic idea of paleo is to live sufficiently naturally to get everything back into line. Wrecking the system with medication to cover up the symptoms is a bad idea. You'll never know what works or what doesn't. It's like having chapped lips. You have two options: Use chapstick or work on your lifestyle. If you keep the chapped lips around, you'll know when they go away or get better that you're doing something right; but if you use the chapstick, you just lost that indicator. Covering up the symptoms wrecks your chance for a good profit/loss test to better your health in a real way.

Note: Perhaps allergies are genetic and there's nothing to do about it but take meds, but I doubt it. I had plenty of allergies and so did tons of other people I know who went "paleo" or close to it, and we all lost them in the process, along with tons of other problems that everybody thought wasn't under our control. When you go paleo, you find that tons of shit that everybody took as given disappears. It's a total game changer; don't expect anything to be the same.

Bbd50c115fa066bea3ac23a4e82447ff

(558)

on April 12, 2011
at 02:53 AM

After 9 months on Paleo, I developed severe food allergies, and my allergist isn't sure what I'm allergic to. (My cat allergy is also worse.) The first episode occurred while eating coconut, berries and nuts, which lead to diarrhea, vomiting, hives, itching and losing consciousness and hitting my head. The second episode occurred 12 hours after eating, and included all of the above except syncope. For some reason my allergies are worse on paleo. Being told allergy medication is incompatible with paleo is really not helpful. I wouldn't be alive without benadryl and my epipen.

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on April 12, 2011
at 03:34 AM

@Sgroh87: Good points, but perhaps there's still some improvement to be made or some time to wait? Or maybe there's something non-food-or-exercise-related? Perhaps you breathe through your mouth when you're resting? That would probably explain the allergies. Or maybe you could use the allergy medication now and try to get rid of it the natural way again later? Paleo + breathing properly (through my nose while resting) = no allergies anymore for me. That's just my experience, but you can't have your own such experience if you're on allergy meds!

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on April 11, 2011
at 02:53 AM

@RG73, did you read the rest of my comment, or did you just react to the first 7 words? Perhaps you could read the rest and actually respond to my point? Thanks. Also, I'm not looking to do a paleo re-enactment.

9f9fa49265e03ddd2bf2bba5477a556b

(3184)

on April 11, 2011
at 02:48 AM

If allergy medication is incompatible with paleo, so are computers, electricity, internal combustion engines and pretty much, oh, everything all the way back to the advent of agriculture. Good luck with your re-enactment though.

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on April 12, 2011
at 03:37 AM

@Suzanna: We're using the same word ("allergies"), but it seems we're talking about two entirely different things. I was talking about random environmental allergies like going outside in the summer and your throat getting all itchy etc. You're talking about food allergies. We're not talking about the same thing. This should be especially obvious since people were mentioning Claratin etc. When's the last time somebody took Claritin to avoid having an allergic reaction to coconut? Perhaps I'm out of the loop!

A993550f2a130df8d3462c08582f08ec

(589)

on April 11, 2011
at 11:00 PM

Or allergies are caused by 23 years of damage to the body from a poor diet and lack of activity, and my body was just more damaged than yours was. Alternatively, I feel like I have cut so much out of my diet (grains, most sugar, most dairy except clarified butter, legumes, most fruit, most nuts, etc.) that I don't really WANT to cut more out unless I have to.

2
8f4ff12a53a98f3b5814cfe242de0daa

(1075)

on April 11, 2011
at 01:38 AM

Modern histamines should not be an issue.

The current mainline allergy drugs are on their 2nd (claritin, zertec) and 3rd generation (allegra, xyzal (zertec 2.0), clarinex (claritin 2.0) improvement. Although it tends to be alleged that xyzal and clarinex are money grabs with limited efficiency improvement, and mostly made to deal with patent expirations (same active ingredients more or less).

These medications prevent the allergic reaction from occurring by selectively binding to receptors in your body that would normally over-react to allergens from seeing anything. So there is really nothing sinister from any 2nd and 3rd generation product, as they are strictly limited to preventing allergy for the most part (side effects can occur, but for something like claritin... at worst it is like a sugar pill).

1
A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

on April 23, 2011
at 03:47 PM

I have horrible seasonal allergies that I developed some five years ago or so. Now I take the 24h pills every 12h (loratadine), with multiple eye-drops added to it, and my eyes are still extremely itchy, watery and puffed. I sometimes wake up at night b/c I was scratching my eyes so much it was painful to wake me up. I dont' care if it's paleo or not, I need a relief. AS for now (after over a year of paleo) my allergies are as strong, same with asthma. Maybe one day they all disappear, but for now, I am taking whatever the medical field came up with.

1
Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 10, 2011
at 11:22 PM

nettles are supposed to be very good. Not sure what the best form to take them in is (not raw, that's for sure). You could try local bee pollen and also a neti pot is great. Once you get over the mental hurdle of thinking the water will go up your nose like when you're swimming (it won't), the neti pot can be super useful.

edit: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ptr.2763/abstract

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 11, 2011
at 12:45 AM

i suppose my point was that pharmaceutical versions of these compounds are far more concentrated than you would find in a plant. My reference to "studies" was to the studies that determined the dangers of NSAIDS, etc, and the likeliehood that these studies were carried out on higher concentration doses, such as one might find in a pharmeceutical version, not to the in vitro paper. But at this point I may just be two drinks in and quibbling.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 10, 2011
at 11:54 PM

right, because the studies you're referring to were done using the dosage in nettles, mitigated with the other natural compounds in that plant.

9f9fa49265e03ddd2bf2bba5477a556b

(3184)

on April 11, 2011
at 12:34 AM

I'm not following. I was talking about the in vitro paper you linked (so based on that paper we don't know what it does in vivo). It can inhibit COX2. You generally want to be cautious messing with COX2 (see Vioxx). The other compounds in nettles antagonize or agonize any number of other receptors. Those compounds evolved to kill primarily the invertebrates that eat nettles and probably make mammals ill. It is in the interest of wild plants to not be eaten or made into tea.

9f9fa49265e03ddd2bf2bba5477a556b

(3184)

on April 10, 2011
at 11:46 PM

So pretty much like I said, herbs that work are going to be H1 antagonists, so basically they're like taking Benedryl. Except that nettles are also COX-2 inhibitors, which means they're like NSAIDS. So taking nettles is basically like taking a Bendedryl plus Celebrex. So if you want to mess with your kidneys and blood pressure, nettles are the way to go.

0
559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on April 22, 2011
at 06:15 PM

I try to avoid medication, but for desperate times i use children's liquid Allegra. You can really control the dosage so you don't get over-medicated. Also, it has fewer additives, and the few it has are more benign, i feel. E.g it contains xylitol vs. aspartame that so many of the adult formulas have. Why a tablet of antihistamine needs aspartame, i can't fathom - but i'll do almost anything to avoid ingesting it.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 11, 2011
at 11:51 PM

Tartare mentioned bee pollen but the better choice is to go with local honey. It must be local to YOU. I live in a very high pollen area and a lot of us suffer from hay fever. The local honey acts much like a vaccine in that it carries the allergens and immunizes your body against the culprits. Try a tablespoon in the morning and you should be set.

Also - cleansing the sinuses with a solution of salt, baking soda, and distilled water at night should relieve the pressure and cleans out the allergens.

To find honey in your area, try Local Harvest zip search: http://www.localharvest.org/organic-honey.jsp *I noticed you're in Ft Worth and see that there are a ton of local suppliers.

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