Greetings from Austin, TX., the allergy capital of the world.
We're well into "cedar fever" season. Every year, starting around mid-December, lasting until February, millions of Ashe Juniper trees (around here erroneously called "cedar") in Texas, Oklahoma, and elsewhere release their pollen into the atmosphere. Prevailing winds then carry every last bit of that pollen to Austin.
Here's a photo of a "cedar" releasing its pollen:
Yes, it really does look like smoke coming off the trees. It's kind of terrifying to see the vast clouds of this stuff descend.
If you live in Austin for more than, say, five years, you will become allergic to the pollen. Every year, I and several dozen thousand others have a terrible time of it. It's been called "cedar-fever" since time immemorial. The symptoms can range from mild allergy to hard-core flu symptoms.
In short, this makes me "sickly". I have constant runny nose, sneezing fits, scratchy eyes, coughing, other flu-like symptoms, and severe fatigue. If I'm not extremely careful, I can get allergy-induced bronchitis, which is a real joy. In short, I feel like crap.
Also, I have severe IBS all through the season, regardless of what I eat. Normally, I have an iron stomach, but not during January. I can't eat anything without feeling crappy.
Obviously, I have a bad case of systemic inflammation brought on by the pollen. I essentially have to stop eating because of my constant upset stomach.
Help! What can I do about it? Anything?
(PS. come mid-February, I'll feel like a million bucks)
asked bysmcdow (641)
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on January 09, 2012
at 08:35 PM
You can buy local honey at a farmers market. Eating the honey will help reduce your allergy to the pollen.
on January 10, 2012
at 02:05 AM
I had this issue with the Chamisa, when we moved to Santa Fe.
Get your Vitamin D level to the high end of 50-80 ng/ml, eat 1 tsp local honey daily starting NOW and take 2000 mg Vitamin C (ascorbic acid powder or capsules) daily--more, if needed during the season, to bowel tolerance.
ps: The honey needs some months to kick in, so hopefully you will have complete relief by next season.
on January 09, 2012
at 05:18 PM
It's just two or three weeks? I'd weigh the merits of a short dose of prescription allergy medicines or nasal steroids. Not paleo, but if it nets you less disruption to your system, you might find it worth it.
Using a neti pot every time you come in from outside can help flush out the pollen lingering in your sinuses, too.
Food wise, I'd stick to gentle things like broth, meat, skinless root veggies those weeks. Possibly avoid dairy, fermented foods, nightshades, eggs, FODMAPs...anything that doesn't sit perfectly with you. But, frankly, with so much other irritation going on, even eating perfectly won't disappear your symptoms, just not add additional sniffles.
So sorry! The other 49 weeks of the year Austin is one of my absolute favorite cities-
on July 12, 2012
at 07:06 PM
Sinus rinsing 4-5 times per day.
Nettles, nettles, more nettles, capsules, tea, whatever, nettles.
Quercetin like Korion said can help a lot too.
And if worst comes to worst, and Claritin doesn't work for you, Benadryl, might as well be asleep if you are going to be miserable anyway.
on July 12, 2012
at 06:37 PM
Hi, I'm new on this site so my answer is way out of date, but it looks like we'll be having a heck of a ragweed season this year, (coming soon, too!) so maybe this answer will be useful despite it's arrival way past cedar season. (BTW, I concur on the local raw honey as being very helpful, and when it has cedar pollen in it, it tastes a little like pipe tobacco, in a good way)
My 2 (non-honey) solutions for pollen allergies, which have been immensely helpful during some wicked ragweed, cedar, and oak seasons, are acupuncture treatment (specifically NAET allergy elimination technique) and oral homeopathic anti-allergen drops for the specific allergens.
There are several brands of drops formulated for Texas allergens, but the brand that has worked best for me is BioAllers Tree Pollen formula and their Hayfever formula for ragweed. The tree formula has all the major CenTex offenders as does the hayfever formula.
Central Market sells the BioAllers drops, maybe Whole Foods does, too-- but be aware that when the pollen first hits the air, they will sell out & you'll be sad that you didn't get them sooner! Also, BioAllers makes a Mold, Yeast & Dust formula & a Pet Dander formula that I've heard are equally efficacious, though I don't have those allergies.
It is crucial to use these drops in the right way, i.e., they must be taken when you've had NOTHING else in your mouth for at least 15 minutes(no smoke, gum, food or liquids including breath fresheners, mouthwash or water.) Most particularly, you should wait at least an hour if you've had coffee or anything mint-flavored, including mint-flavored toothpaste, mouthwash, gum, tea or candy.
Assuming you've not had anything in yr mouth recently, you start with just a few drops, like 5, and drop them in yr mouth & keep them there for about 30 seconds before swallowing. The first day of use, you use them as often as you can, working around having had other things in yr mouth. You can decrease frequency of use over the next few days until you're at a maintenance dose of 15-20 drops a couple times a day.
I swear by these homeopathic drops, as they were the first thing that gave me any serious relief during cedar season-- before the drops, I seriously considered moving away from here! Then the NAET acupuncture seemed to pretty much do away with my reaction all together--absolutely remarkable! I hope somebody finds some of this info useful for their allergy issues, here in the allergy capital of the world!
on January 09, 2012
at 05:41 PM
Lets see, the bottle says Loratadine 10mg. Works fantastic and you won't need to change your diet at all.