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It’s Allergy Season Again…

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That means that you (and the rest of your household) are more likely to have a runny nose, sinus congestion, morning cough, pressure in the ears, headaches, sore throat, post-nasal drip, and itchy or watery eyes.   Allergies can aggravate other chronic respiratory conditions, and they can predispose you to picking up a cold.

An allergic reaction is essentially an inflammatory one, involving the immune system, the lining of the nose/sinuses, and (most importantly) the gut.  The intestines are actually responsible for a huge portion of our immune activity, and having a healthy gut can decrease allergies, colds, flus, etc.

One of the best things you can do to decrease/eliminate allergy symptoms is take a good probiotic supplement.  These are safe for the entire family and are typically either capsules or powders containing the good bacteria that line our intestines and keep our immune systems functioning normally (they also decrease gas, bloating, constipation and diarrhea).  When looking for a good probiotic you want a product listing a variety of different strains (or types) of bacteria, including Lactobacillus, Sacchromyces, and as always the “Other ingredients” list should be short, indicating that it isn’t full of unnecessary fillers.   My favorite probiotic is by Integrative Therapeutics and called “Probiotic Pearls” – this particular brand is especially formulated to survive digestion in the stomach, delivering more probiotics to the small intestine (read: more bang for your capsule, and for your buck).

We have used probiotics for years to treat allergies, eczema, asthma, frequent colds, and digestive upset of all sorts.  They are particularly effective for children in decreasing ear infections, and the number of school days lost to illness.   There is even evidence that probiotics help to boost and stabilize our moods!

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