Allergies

I’ve been a moderate to severe allergy sufferer all of my life.  When I was little, I was the kid who always had a stuffy nose, but I guess mom and I both chalked it up to kids passing germs around and generally being a kid.  It wasn’t until our cat passed away, and we went to visit a family member who had several that we realized how severe my allergy to cats is.  I remember on that visit, my entire face swelled up, I started sneezing uncontrollably, and couldn’t breathe well again for hours afterward.  We had to leave early because my reaction was so bad and I wasn’t prepared for it.  I think I was about 9 or 10 when that happened.

Since then, I have kept a respectful distance from cats whenever possible (except for that stint in college when my roommate sold me on this adorably cute kitten, for which I paid dearly).  And I always carry or take allergy medicine before I visit people with cats, just to be on the safe side.  Generally, these simple precautions have been enough to keep me clear – except for springtime (pine pollen, anyone?) and a week or so in the fall when the fronts blow through ragweed and other nasty things in the air.

Invariably, I have always suffered horrible nasal congestion in early March, both because of the pollens, and because I find the need to brave the outdoors for a few weekends to do yard work in the spring – cutting back overgrowth, weeding, trimming, and planting spring flowers and herbs.   I have always assumed that the discomfort and sleepless nights were a necessary evil for enjoying the outdoors this time of year….until this one.

I’m not sure exactly why, but after doing all of my annual trimming & planting, and even hanging out on patios with friends, I’m actually breathing pretty well this year without medication.  Yesterday I had a minor sniffle, for which I took Benedryl (which typically wouldn’t make a dent in my congestion. Normally I had to have pseudoephedrin or nasal spray to get any relief at all) and it cleared right up.

So what’s different?  There are really only 2 things I can point to that are happening this year.  One, I’ve lost 55 lbs (made it official this morning) and I know I’ve lost a lot of that weight in my face, which probably also translates to clearer nasal and sinus passages in general.  And two, I’ve added a whole lot of local raw honey to my diet as a part of our paleo eating.  Oddly enough, another allergy-related problem has also magically cleared up – my dry, scaly elbows.  I can’t remember a time in my adult life when I didn’t have rough elbows, and they were always worse in the spring and fall along with my other allergies.  They’ve both cleared up to the point that they only feel a little dry.

I know they “say” that honey fights allergies, but wow, I didn’t know it could practically eliminate them!  Yay for Paleo!

2 thoughts on “Allergies

  1. I’m so proud of you two and I really appreciate you taking the time to show me some tips and tricks! I’ve been working on the kitchen all day today. I’m trying to figure out what to put on the shopping list, and looking for healthy recipes. You’ve both given me so many new ideas and I can’t thank you enough!!

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