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Seasonal Struggles: Hay Fever and Emotional Stress



Hey there, fellow corporate warriors! If you're one of the many people who struggle with hay fever, you know that it can be a real challenge to manage symptoms while working in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment. Did you know that there are natural solutions that can help alleviate hay fever symptoms and improve your overall health?

First off, let's talk about the impact of hay fever on our bodies.


Hay fever primarily affects the respiratory system and eyes, it can also lead to fatigue, impaired concentration, decreased productivity and cognitive performance.

 

Hay fever is typically treated with antihistamines and other medications, which provide short-term relief, but may come with side effects such as dry mouth and drowsiness. However, if the root cause is not addressed, your hay fever will be back again next year and the year after that.


Have you ever wondered if you could do more than just manage the symptoms year after year? The good news is you can and we will discuss all the available options in this blog.

 

You’re more likely to develop hay fever if you experience some of the following factors:


  • Weakened or imbalanced immune system

  • High amounts of emotional or physical stress

  • Lack of sleep

  • After surgery or physical trauma

  • If you live in urban areas with increased pollution

  • Exposure to tobacco smoke, especially during early childhood

  • Mould and dust exposure


Now, let’s look at the role of the immune system and organs in connection with your hay fever symptoms because by balancing these organs, you will improve your overall health and stop hay fever in its tracks.


Immune system

The immune system plays a crucial role in the body's response to allergens and the development of seasonal allergies. Allergens such as pollen, mould, and animal dander are perceived as harmful by the immune system, triggering an immune response to protect the body. When an allergen enters the body, the immune system produces antibodies called immunoglobulin E (IgE). These antibodies bind to the allergen, triggering the release of histamine and other chemicals that cause inflammation and allergy symptoms such as sneezing, itching, and congestion. Research from the University of Wisconsin-Madison suggests that a balanced and properly functioning immune system can help prevent or greatly reduce the severity of seasonal allergies. Eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, spending time in nature and reducing stress can all help support the immune system's proper function.

 

Spleen

The spleen is an organ we usually do not give much attention to. Its main function is to filter red blood cells and recycle those not functioning well. The spleen also stores extra blood in case of traumatic injury.


Emotionally, the spleen is about supporting and lifting yourself. Stress in the spleen may show up like varicose veins, bruising easily, bloody noses, gingivitis and also hay fever.


According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the spleen is responsible for producing Qi, the vital energy that flows through the body. When there is an imbalance in this organ, it can lead to a build-up of phlegm and dampness, which can exacerbate hay fever symptoms. Strengthening the spleens Qi could help alleviate hay fever symptoms, which could be achieved by avoiding late-night eating and overeating, cold drinks and trying herbs such as astragalus, ginseng or liquorice root.

 

Lungs

The lungs are vital organs in the respiratory system responsible for oxygenation, and carbon dioxide removal and they act as guardians of the respiratory system. Emotionally the lungs are about life force, and they influence how vital and accomplished you feel. Vitality can become overrun by sadness, grief and apathy. The lungs are also responsible for regulating the flow of Qi (vital energy) and maintaining the body's immune system.


When the lungs are imbalanced, it can weaken the immune system and make the body more susceptible to allergens and respiratory issues. This can lead to the accumulation of phlegm and mucus in the respiratory system, which can cause congestion and make it difficult to breathe.


Strengthen your lungs by practising deep breathing, and try yoga poses such as the lotus, tree, or cobra pose. Good posture helps improve lung capacity and reduce strain on the respiratory system. So make sure to sit up straight, keep your shoulders relaxed, and avoid slouching.

 

Emotional stress

Recent research suggests that emotional stress may play a role in the development and severity of hay fever symptoms. It refers to the psychological and physiological response that occurs when an individual perceives a situation or event as threatening, challenging, or overwhelming. Believe it or not, this applies even if you are watching movies or browsing social media, your brain doesn’t know the difference between a real situation and digital reality.


The link between emotional stress and hay fever symptoms is believed to be related to the body's immune response. Emotional stress triggers the release of stress hormones, which can disrupt the immune system's response to allergens. This can lead to an over-reaction of the immune system, causing increased inflammation and more severe hay fever symptoms.


A study from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre found that individuals who reported higher levels of stress were more likely to develop allergic sensitisation to pollen, which is a key factor in the development of hay fever.



Natural solutions to support you through hay fever season


Local Raw honey - consuming local honey regularly can help build up immunity to the pollen in your area. This is because honey contains small amounts of pollen, which can help your body adapt to the allergen over time. Take 1 tablespoon every day, all year round.

 

Quercetin - take 1000mg per day during hay fever season. This flavonoid stops the production and release of histamine.

 

Stinging Nettle tea - drink several cups a day. It contains an antihistamine that helps to reduce the body’s production of histamine.

 

Zinc - helps to heal the adrenal fatigue caused by stress. Take 30 mg per day.

 

Smart Vitamin A - boosts the immune system. Take about 2000mcg per day.

 

Butterbur - take up to 500mg per day. The active ingredient in Butterbur, petasin, seems to act as a leukotriene receptor inhibitor, helping to prevent or relieve an allergic reaction. At clinics in Germany and Switzerland, a double-blind study involving 131 patients confirmed that Butterbur is just as effective as its pharmaceutical counterpart Zyrtec at calming nasal allergies, with none of the drowsiness associated with antihistamines.


Histamine Formula Pack- this natural combination of quercetin, bromelain, vitamin C, hesperidin, magnesium and other supplements will support your body during the hay fever season.


Spirulina - some studies suggest that spirulina may have immunomodulatory effects, and can influence how the immune system responds to allergens. It is an antioxidant, so it helps neutralise free radicals and also reduce inflammation.

 

Probiotic-rich foods - foods such as kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, yoghurt, and unpasteurised cheeses support a healthy gut, and energy levels and improve digestion. A study from the University of Florida found that probiotics can improve nasal congestion and other hay fever symptoms.

 

Bone broth - helps to expel nasal mucus.


Movement as Medicine - physical movement and exercise reduce stress levels and boost the immune system, so it is better equipped to handle allergens and prevent allergic reactions. Deep breathing exercises strengthen the respiratory system, so the breathing becomes easier.


Mind-body practices - such as yoga and tai-chi help to reduce stress and promote a balanced immune system. Incorporate these into your daily routine and enjoy the benefits to your overall wellbeing.

 

Foods to avoid during the allergy season


Conventional dairy, sugar, wheat, processed foods, artificial sweeteners, food preservatives, peanuts, alcohol, too much caffeine, shellfish, and soy.

 

Dealing with hay fever while working in a corporate job can be challenging, but by addressing the root cause, you can greatly alleviate or even banish hay fever. As we continue to look into the intricate connections between our body and mind, understanding the interplay between hay fever and emotional stress opens up new possibilities for holistic approaches to health.


Happy Healthy Holistic is here for all your corporate wellbeing needs. Whether you are looking for wellbeing workshops, desk yoga, on-site massage or online events, we have you covered.


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