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The Downfalls of Antihistamine Drugs and Alternatives

Before you reach for over the counter or prescription allergy medicine, you should note that there can be side effects. According to the Allergy and Asthma Physicians of Rhode Island, antihistamine drugs can cause headache, dry mouth, and low blood pressure. It’s good to be aware before you start taking one that people can experience withdrawal symptoms from Antihistamines when they do decide to stop taking them. According to AAPRI, the medical term for this is pruritus and is denoted by “itching and burning sensations of the skin ranging from moderate to severe. Other antihistamine withdrawal symptoms include interruptions in sleep patterns.

It’s also important to keep in mind that it’s best to find the root of the problem rather than masking it. Most OTC or prescription antihistamines simply mask the problem. At Nutritest + Wellness we work to get to the bottom of your seasonal allergies and help to educate you on natural efforts you can make to combat them. If congestion and mucus is the problem, you should understand the role mucus plays in the body and foods that affect mucus buildup.

Mucus is beneficial to some degree because it, "serves as a sort of sticky tape that collects dust, bacteria, and other potentially harmful airborne particles so our body can get rid of these things more easily before they have a chance to settle into our lungs." However, if it becomes too much, sinus pressure can develop over time causing headaches, itchiness in the throat, respiratory issues and can be very bothersome. When you come down with congestion or a cold, it's important that you stay away from foods that increase mucus buildup. Some of these foods that increase mucus buildup according to the Lung Institute are:

  • Red meat

  • Milk

  • Cheese

  • Yogurt

  • Ice Cream

  • Butter

  • Eggs

  • Bread

  • Pasta

  • Cereal

  • Bananas

  • Cabbage

  • Potatoes

  • Corn and corn products

  • Soy products

  • Sweet desserts

  • Candy

  • Coffee

  • Tea

  • Soda

Some foods that decrease mucus buildup according to the Lung Institute are:

  • Salmon

  • Tuna

  • Sardines

  • Pumpkin

  • Pumpkin seeds

  • Grapefruit

  • Pineapple

  • Watercress

  • Celery

  • Pickles

  • Onion

  • Garlic

  • Honey or agar

  • Ginger

  • Lemon

  • Cayenne pepper

  • Chamomile

  • Olive oil

It’s also very important to stay hydrated when feeling the downfalls of seasonal allergies. When the body is hydrated, histamine production is lower. ”Dehydration can occur even if a person feels no immediate ill effects. One of the natural responses that the body has when dehydration starts is to release histamines into the blood. Histamines are designed to lock into special receptors that will cause the traditional symptoms of allergies. According to this article,

“This behavior helps to preserve the moisture that is already in the body by triggering other chemical processes. Histamines are also released defensively when allergens are encountered. Sneezing and coughing forces the allergens to leave the body. The best way to help lower histamine production during allergy season is to remain well hydrated when conditions are the worst.”


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