Allergy Alert: Complementary and Alternate Medicine for Allergy Sufferers

Many of us are searching for a more natural way to get healthy and treat allergies.One of the approaches is to work with an "integrative medical specialist" to complement traditional allergy care for ourselves and family members if you have allergies.First, let's get the proper testing to make sure you have allergies that require care.Second, how to "boost" our immune system to assist in conquering allergy symptoms with healthful foods? Great question, now I have some answers after talking with my colleague, Aran Degenhardt, MD, MPH who is a specialist of Integrative Medicine and on the Faculty of NYU Langone Medical Center in NYC.

Dr. Degenhardt also recommends fruits and vegetables for anti-oxidants (Vitamin C, selenium) and quercetins (gives fruits/veggies their color).In short, eat lots of fresh and colorful fruits and veggies.He feels they are even better choices if uncooked. Here are 5 more integrative tips for the allergy season:

1) Increase your intake of dietary omega-3 fatty acids, as found in fish (i.e. salmon), nuts and flax seed

2) Sinus irrigation with aerosolized water (hot shower, wet sauna, steam) using fresh ginger, lemongrass and eucalyptus

3) Drink plenty of water and keep well hydrated

4) Consider fresh ginger (frequently used in Chinese medicine)

5) Herbal remedies and supplements include butterbur and stinging nettle may provide relief

Of course it is essential with work with your health care provider and/or an integrative medicine specialist to develop a safe and individualized approach that is sound and right for you!

Dr. Clifford W. Bassettis an assistant clinical professor of medicine at the Long Island College Hospital and on the faculty of NYU School of Medicine.He is the current vice chair for public education committee of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.