Many exercise enthusiasts can't help but be excited for the warmer weather. They've been waiting to tune up their bikes and dust off their running shoes all winter. But for those with seasonal allergies, spring means watery eyes and runny noses. With this in mind, we chatted with Dr. Ivy Branin for some solutions so you can still be active.
Womensforum: How can we still be active during allergy season?
Dr Ivy Branin, ND recommends these general reminders:
Reduce allergen exposures by doing the following.
- Remove shoes and jackets at the door so you don’t track pollen in the house.
- Resist morning runs or walks since pollen counts are at their highest during that time. (During physical exercise we breath in more air rapidly, so if we are exercising in the morning we will be ingesting more pollen.) To avoid this, we should hold off our physical activity to the afternoon or early evening.
- Washing your hair before bed is recommended to keep pollen out of your bedroom.
- Keep windows and doors closed, especially early in the day, to keep pollen out of your home.
Womensforum: As far as supplements, are there any that you recommend?
Dr. Ivy Branin, ND answers:
Quercetin and other bioflavonoids: They inhibit inflammatory processes by stabilizing mast cells, which prevent histamine from being released They decrease leukotrienes, which are inflammatory compounds associated with bronchoconstriction. Dosage is 500 mg 3-4 times a day 5-10 min before meals with 1000mg Vitamin C to help with absorption
Vitamin C: Vitamin C prevents secretion of histamine and aids its detoxification and helps prevent exercise-induced asthma by reducing airway narrowing. Dosage is 1000 mg 2-3 times a day
Womensforum: Is there anything you can recommend as a natural treatment for exercise induced asthma?
Dr. Ivy Branin, ND answers:
For exercise-induced asthma, I suggest 500-1000mg of Freeze Dried Nettles 30 minutes before exercise. They have been shown to be as effective as antihistamines without the drowsy side effects. They contain histamine, serotonin and acetylcholine. Histamine of nettles acts as a local hormone and modulates immune response to allergens. Take 300mg-600mg twice a day at onset of symptoms.
Also try using a Neti pot, which clears nasal passages of dust, dirt and pollen without causing dryness like decongestants do. Use twice a day particularly before bed
Bio: Ivy Branin, ND received her degree in Naturopathic Medicine from Bastyr University in Kenmore, WA, one of the leading schools of natural medicine in the country. She also has a degree in Biochemical Engineering from Rutgers University. She is passionate about natural health and living and has helped people with a wide variety of conditions including asthma, ulcerative colitis, depression, arthritis, PCOS and cervical dysplasia.