Sneezing all year round. Sniffling and coughing. Cold symptoms that would pop up every other week. I lived with these symptoms for nearly two years, and for some unfathomable reason, I never thought it required medical attention. That’s until I got sick and had to go on antibiotics days before my weddings in July 2017. When your wedding is in jeopardy, It’s funny how quickly you spring into action, so upon returning from our whirlwind nuptials in Italy, I finally went to an ENT specialist. The diagnosis: allergies to dust, mold, pollen, daisies, and pet dander.
I write this personal blog in the hopes it helps other recently diagnosed allergy sufferers, and to share my ongoing journey to wellness. I also hope to learn how others are successfully (or unsuccessfully) doing the same.
Lesson #1: Listen to your body and see a specialist
As someone who’s been healthy all her life, the diagnosis was a shock, however everything finally made sense. In some ways, being so healthy actually hurt me and my judgement. Typically, when I’m sick or not feeling well, I turn to my cupboards of herbs, or discuss natural remedies with my mom. I just wasn’t accustomed to going to the doctor when something bothered me.
I shrugged off the symptoms and assumed they were a cold or that I was just run down. As a result, I was actually compromising my body, catapulting it into a vicious cycle simply because I didn’t intercept it early. Because I wasn’t treating the initial symptoms caused by the allergies, it created an irritation in my throat, which led to a sore throat, which led to a persistent cough, which led to a mild irritation/infection, repeat cycle.
Lesson #2: Educate yourself on what allergies actually are
When you tell people you have allergies, they don’t really think anything of it. Partly because allergies are so common, and also because we don’t really consider them to be a major illness. There’s a general acceptance that some of us have these annoying allergies, and there’s OTC medicine that you can take to treat them and live a normal happy and healthy life.
For a few months, I felt that way, too. My ENT immediately prescribed me an antihistamine, a steroid, a nasal spray and an inhaler for extreme cases. I told her that I preferred natural medicine, and didn’t feel comfortable taking all these meds and she put in my file “Patient resistant to medicine.” She then said she understood my preference, but that I had to “treat” the problem and get better, therefore I needed the medicine.
Out of desperation I took two of the medicines and IMMEDIATELY felt 100% better. It was like night and day. No sneezing, coughing, sniffling, itchy eyes. Life was great, but after a couple of months I realized that there was no end in sight to taking these medications daily. It became clear to me that while the medicine was totally effective, it wasn’t healing the underlying issue with my immune system and histamine in my body.
So I stopped the medicines immediately, and started sneezing and sniffling again the next day!
Lesson #3: Consider seeing a naturopathic doctor
If you simply want to treat the symptoms, read no further! Everyone has different goals; mine wasn’t to be on toxic medicines for the rest of my life. I wanted to identify the specific weakness in my body causing the allergic reaction and take steps to repair it.
Good friends of mine recommended a wonderful naturopath in Brooklyn (I’ll share his information once I have more data and can share more results with you). Through his diagnostic, he identified the histamine present in my body, as well as my system's poor circulation, which is why I’m always so darn cold!
He gave me 3 supplements, including ones for adrenal and enzyme support. The natural supplements aren’t a quick fix, so I didn’t experience the immediate results as I did with the manmade meds. However after 2 weeks, I am definitely sneezing less and barely cough and it’s the beginning of allergy season! It’s also important to note that I also take a tablespoon of bee pollen every day.
I really hope you found this information useful. Even if you aren’t an allergy sufferer, I think this approach can be useful for other diagnoses. It’s not often I share deeply personal excerpts from my life, but this topic ties into my life’s goal which is to help people live beautiful and balanced lives, and that can only happen if we’re healthy and happy first.