It’s springtime again and unfortunately, many allergy sufferers are beginning to feel the affect of the warm weather. Mother Nature’s blossoming flowers, trees, and shrubs are releasing allergens such as pollen and ragweed into the air, which causes a chain reaction of sneezing, wheezing, coughing, and nose blowing misery for 50 million people in America. And what’s even worse, these beautiful, blossoming frenemies have catapulted allergies to the 5th spot among chronic diseases.
Now granted, this data does sound alarming, but as with all statistics, there are always variables that can skew the numbers so to speak. So what do these numbers really mean? Ok- there are many people who really do suffer miserably with allergies, but the good news is that many of them are only slightly allergic to common allergens such as pollen and ragweed. Furthermore, the severe symptoms that they experience are possibly caused by certain triggers such as dairy. So, if they avoid dairy during allergy season, their allergy symptoms might be mild or even better, might just simply go away. Now that’s data that can make everyone, especially allergy sufferers, breath more easily.
Milk does the Body Good- Well not Always!
Research has shown that dairy can actually trigger many of the allergic symptoms that people experience during the spring. Sorry dairy lovers, but you just might have to give up dairy based milk and cookies, milk shakes, and even cheese until the allergens die down in the air.
It turns out that many seasonal allergy sufferers just might be harboring an undiagnosed sensitivity to dairy. If the body has a sensitivity to dairy, it will be in a heightened attack mode after you have consumed it. Simultaneously, if seasonal allergens are introduced during this time, your body will overreact because it is already on high alert.
Conversely, if you don’t consume dairy during allergy season, your body will not be on high alert. Therefore, when allergens like ragweed and pollen are introduced, your body will see them as a minor problem and respond mildly to them-if it responds at all.
The Milk Experiment
When I first told my husband Joe this (he used to suffer horribly from allergies), he rolled his eyes and refused to entertain the concept of removing dairy from his diet. After all, I had just started studying nutrition at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition so his scientific brain dismissed the message as silliness. I’m sure he was asking himself what could she possibly know as a new student?
So, I had to speak to him on his level and I asked him to conduct his own scientific experiment. I told him to just try it for one week, which was huge because he loves milk and did not want to part with it. But alas, he acquiesced and the rest is history, as they say.
Joe was totally blown away with the results. His allergy symptoms of severe head aches (so severe he would often be bed ridden) simply went away. And so did all of the constant nose blowing and watery eyes that annoyed the both of us to no end.
That was 6 years ago and he remains pretty much allergy free when he doesn’t consume dairy during the allergy season. In addition (and perhaps most importantly), he trusts homeopathic medicine and often asks me for natural remedies to cure whatever ails him. I guess you can say that this little experiment turned out to be a win-win for both of us: The money we saved on medicine during allergy season-$100.00. Getting my husband to embrace homeopathic remedies-now that was priceless!