Allergy-Free Zone Part 3 – 5 Steps to Discover Underlying Causes of Allergies
By, Dr. Rob Ivker
By now you understand that your allergies can be much more than a floating pollen or a response to hayfever. If the Quick Fix didn’t solve your recurring allergy symptoms, although I would guess that they’ve helped considerably, how do you find out what factors are creating your issues?
5 Steps to Discover Underlying Causes of Allergies
There are an estimated 65 million people who suffer from allergies. Over 55% in the U.S. test positive to one or more allergens when tested. As we age, we also become sensitive to many foods, spices and man-made substances in our foods and in our environment. So how do we target what’s effecting us?
The first thing to do when trying to solve a mystery is to create a strategy, a gameplan and a list based on the clues presented. I also recommend keeping a food diary. This is practice that we recommend to Sinus Survival Members. With our list, begin with the most likely items on your list (your list will be unique to you) and cross them off to narrow the solution. A sample of your Allergy Checklist:
1). My Most Commonly Consumed Foods. Keep a food diary for a week. Take your pulse in the a.m. on an empty stomach. Then take your pulse 15 minutes and then 30 minutes after eating. If your heart rate has increased by 15 to 20 beats per minute, circle what you’ve just eaten. Also, if you notice that you become congested, dizzy, sneeze, or have a runny nose, these are also symptoms that may present themselves.
2). A Food Elimination Diet. This is an exceptional way to find out if you have food sensitivities. It takes a little more work, but the benefits are greater health and isolating an issue that may have been plaguing you for years. Gold Members receive a full eDocument on this topic. The concept is to eat a very specific diet for 1 to 2 weeks, and then begin to rotate your favorite foods back into your diet every 3 days. This process is more beneficial than even food labs tests for most of my patients.
3). Take the Candida Quick On-line Test. Silver and Gold Members can download this simple scored test to see if you have a fungal overgrowth in your G.I. (register here). It’s estimated that over 80% of the U.S. adult population have some form of candida overgrowth. While this was rarely an issue 50 years ago, the use of antibiotics, birth control pills and our S.A.D. diet (Standard American Diet), create the perfect condition for this bacteria to thrive, and at our expense. Unfortunately, it can take up to 2 years to replenish beneficial bateria for the correct G.I. balance from just one round of antibiotics! Those with past sinus infections have usually taken repeted antibiotics over the years.
Candida overgrowth is nearly always present in ALL of my chronic sinus patients. In addition to creating toxins in your system, which create fatigue, pain, headaches, congestion and other symptoms, they also create food sensitivities and lower your immunity, which magnify allergies.
4). Your Allergen List. Write down a list of items that you have in your environment. Once you’ve isolated those items, there are strategies to 1). remove them from your environment and/or, 2). to build an immunity to them (see the first post on this topic).
Your common items might include:
– What we track into the house: Think about this one. How many people, dogs and cats do you have going in and out of your house tracking allergens into your home? Remove shoes at the door if at all possible.
– Fresh Air: We all need fresh air, but if you keep your windows open at night, the pollen count is higher in the evenings. Try sleeping without the windows opened, if at all possible.
– The air I breathe: Use an Air Vitalizer, a negative ion unit in your bedroom and office to clean the air of floating particles that can cause allergies and respiratory issues.
– Cat and Dog Dander. Try and keep pets off of your bed. This one isn’t easy for some people, but think of what they are dragging into your sleeping area!
– Your pillows: down is a common allergen. Think about using a synthetic pillow.
– Your pillows: dust and mites. Put your pillows in your dryer for 10 minutes a week.
– My bed: wash bedding once per week.
– Going to bed: take a shower or bath prior to hitting the sheets. At a minimum, do a quick wash cloth cleaning of your face, hands and arms before going to bed to remove pollens from those areas before you go to sleep.
– Where I sleep: remove stacks of magazines and books from your bed table
– Carpet: vaccuum twice weekly, have it cleaned in the bedroom, or remove carpet in your sleeping area.
See the full list in the Sinus Survival Membership area.
5). The Perfect Environment For My Sinuses. In the summer we live with the air conditioning on in our cars and in our offices and homes. In the winter it is hot air in each of these places. Our sinuses thrive in a “Hawaii-like” moist environment. Unfortunately, most of us don’t live in Hawaii or Figi and the dry air blowing directly at us dries our sinuses. When you combine dry, irritated sinuses with pollens, it the perfect environment for congestion, allergies and even to get a summer sinus infection.
In the winter time I recommend a warm mist humidifier in the home. In both summer and winter I recommend using a natural sinus nasal spray daily to keep your sinuses in optimal condition. I like the Sinus Survival Herbal Spray because of the aloe for it soothing properties and the Himalayan Salt, for it’s healing properties.
As before, I still highly recommend building your immunity through #1 and 3 below and also having #2 below on hand for quick natural allergy relief, if needed:
1). Pathway Grapeseed Extract
2). Plantiva AllerDx
3). Sinus Survival Allercide
Dr. Rob Ivker
Author, Sinus Survival
Founder, Fully Alive Medicine