If you suffer from seasonal allergies, you can take over-the-counter drugs to reduce the symptoms. But, as I said on Saturday, these drugs can have serious side effects. And, even if they do help, they may lose their effectiveness after a while. So it's far better to fix the cause of the allergies.
For years, people thought they were born with allergies. But in recent years, more and more people have developed allergies later in life. Why?
Allergies start when your immune system is overactive. And the cause of an overactive immune system is an underactive adrenal gland. You see, when your adrenal gland doesn't work well enough, it doesn't produce enough cortisol. This pushes your immune system to over-compensate by producing histamines and other inflammatory substances. When this happens, the allergy symptoms kick in. So if your adrenal gland works great when you're younger, but begins to fail as you age, then you can develop allergies.
The best thing you can do is stop the allergies for good. Don't just attack the symptoms with drugs. There are a few nutrients you can use that will boost your adrenal gland and stop your allergies.
The best supplements you can use to rejuvenate your adrenal gland are pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), licorice root, and adrenal gland extract.
Many of us develop allergies after a high-stress time in our life. The reason? A pantothenic acid deficiency. This nutrient forms a key enzyme that creates cortisol. Our high-stress lifestyles tend to push our body to over-produce cortisol, which deplete pantothenic acid. So if you have allergies, you need to take at least 500 mg of pantothenic acid every day. If that dose doesn't work well enough, you can take up to 2,000 mg, twice a day. Make sure you lower this dosage as you rebuild your adrenal function.
When your body over-produces cortisol, your liver breaks it down and eliminates it from your body. You can keep your liver from breaking down too much of your cortisol by taking licorice root. In turn, licorice root helps your body maintain healthy levels of this hormone. When you first start taking licorice root, take 1,500 mg, twice a day. After four to six weeks, you can reduce this amount to 700-1,000 mg daily.
And, finally, you can help rebuild your adrenal gland by taking an adrenal gland extract from other animals. Taking the complete extract is better than taking just one single hormone. Taking 200-400 mg, twice a day gives you a much more complete adrenal gland treatment.
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One final note: There are times that these nutrients aren't quite enough to solve your allergy issues. My friend and colleague Dr. Frank Shallenberger, says, "In those cases, I prescribe hydrocortisone. I usually start patients at 5 mg to 10 mg, twice a day. Sometimes I'll also add 10-25 mg of DHEA, the other major hormone made by your adrenals. But you don't need to take hydrocortisone forever. Usually, a few months of my program is all it takes to bring your adrenals back. Once your adrenals are working properly, you stop the prescription."
Dr. Shallenberger also says you need to get enough sleep, avoid high-glycemic carbohydrates, avoid stimulants like coffee, and detox. Part of the detox includes avoiding allergens as best you can.
In the end, this will do a lot more to relieve your allergies permanently than taking drugs — and it may solve them completely.
Your insider for better health,
Steve Kroening is the editor of Nutrient Insider, a twice-a-week email newsletter that brings you the latest healing breakthroughs from the world of nutrition and dietary supplements. For over 20 years, Steve has worked hand-in-hand with some of the nation's top doctors, including Drs. Robert Rowen, Frank Shallenberger, Nan Fuchs, William Campbell Douglass, and best-selling author James Balch. Steve is the author of the book Practical Guide to Home Remedies. As a health journalist, Steve's articles have appeared in countless magazines, blogs, and websites.
Dr. Frank Shallenberger's Second Opinion (formerly Real Cures), October 2007.