Allergy to plant pollen, or hay fever - who is to blame and what to do?
Awesome season - spring! It is such an amazing daily happiness to see how trees are covered with transparent green, golden or pinkish haze, and cheerful green sprouts make their way among last year’s dead grass. In our Kuban, spring begins in February with a lilac carpet of cyclamens in the forest and golden rain of flowering hazelnuts. And it continues until the end of May with a consistent and long flowering of a variety of trees. But, it turns out, not all this time is a joy. Every year, the growing ranks of allergy sufferers are not only unable to enjoy the annual spring miracle, but are also prone to depression due to an ailment named Pollinosis. We’ll talk about this trouble. At the same time about its connection with viral diseases.
What is hay fever?
In fact, hay fever is a type of allergy, an exaggerated response of the body to substances that normally do not cause any negative reaction in people. In the case of hay fever - on the pollen of plants, or rather, on proteins and even non-protein substances that are contained in pollen.
The most common manifestation of hay fever is allergic rhinitis along with allergic conjunctivitis. In recent years, pollen bronchitis and asthma have often been added. However, there are options for damage to other organs. The longer a person is sick, the more severe the symptoms and more organs are involved in the disease.
In children, hay fever often "self-destructs" - very powerful rearrangements occur during growth and, especially, puberty.
If we talk about allergies in general, today the leaders in allergic diseases are the USA, countries of Western Europe, Japan, Canada. The global market for allergy medications is already comparable to the market for decorative cosmetics and computer games. According to experts, drug sales and treatment costs will only increase.
At the same time, the market for related products is growing explosively: climate control equipment, hypoallergenic clothes, toys, household chemicals, decorative cosmetics, all kinds of applications for gadgets, food, mechanized cleaning products. The number of allergens is expanding every year.
Unfortunately, mankind is farther and farther away from close coexistence with nature towards technogenic existence. Our body is not ready for this; genetic restructuring is a very long process.
Fortunately, research does not stand still and knowledge is becoming more accessible. And this means that the problems are solved and there are many ways, as always: from investing money to changing yourself, here everyone is determined for himself.
Pollinosis causing plants
For most of Russia, three periods of pollinosis development are characteristic:
- early spring, the flowering period of trees (allergenic pollen from hazelnuts, hazel, alder, birch, oak);
- the beginning of summer, the flowering period of meadow grasses (timothy grass pollen, team hedgehogs, fescue, bluegrass);
- end of summer, flowering period of weeds (pollen of wormwood, ragweed, quinoa).
The most allergenic dust-bearing plants are shown in parentheses, and in total more than 50 are known to date.
At the same time, the condition of allergy sufferers can be significantly worsened by the simplest and seemingly irrelevant products. For example: carrots, apples, celery, peaches, peanuts, kiwi, soy contain proteins similar to those allergenic in pollen of birch, alder, oak, hazel. That is, even if you sit at home, isolated from pollen, but eat apples, allergies can occur. Or intensify if it has already begun.
In a cross-food allergy with birch pollen, pears, cherries, cherries, plums, apricots, kiwis, potatoes, eggplants, peppers and nuts are seen. The pollen allergen of wormwood can cause cross-reactions with allergens of the pollen of ragweed, sunflower, dandelion, coltsfoot, and birch. And the pollen of quinoa and ragweed gives a cross-food allergy with beets, spinach, cucumbers, melons, bananas.
You will not envy allergies - not only does the nose flow, the eyes are swollen, there is almost nothing to eat!
By the way, changing the habitat is also not always able to help. Some allergens of birch pollen can cause cross-allergy with pollen from elm, plane tree, olive, poplar, horse chestnut. And exotic fruits for cross allergies have not been investigated - it is not known what threatens to consume.
Well, birch trees, oaks and hazelnuts are definitely not to blame. There are many theories explaining the rapid growth of allergies and, in particular, pollinosis. One of the most common is the hygiene hypothesis. Its essence is that the transition to compliance with hygiene standards prevents the body from contacting many antigens, which causes insufficient loading of the immune system (especially in children).
Since our body is designed so that it must constantly withstand a certain level of threats, the immune system begins to respond to harmless antigens. But contact with a variety of microflora and various vegetation in childhood is a kind of “vaccination” for the rest of my life.
By the way, the allergen-specific immunotherapy (ASIT) common today is essentially an antigen vaccine, it is only carried out for a long time, starting with the lowest doses.
Studies show that allergic diseases are much less common in third world countries compared with developed ones. People who move from developing countries to developed ones suffer from immune disorders the more often the more time has passed since the moment of moving.
In addition to hygienic aspects, the uncontrolled intake of drugs, especially antibiotics, which actively destroy the established microbiome of our body, is called a significant cause of the growth of allergies. It is impossible to restore the microbiome with probiotics - the known lacto- and bifidobacteria make up only 1-5% of the intestinal flora. And in the intestines (here the advertisement does not lie) - a large part of our immunity.
An increase in consumption (in food products) and use (household chemicals) of chemical products is another powerful provocateur of allergy development.
Acute and chronic stress is the scourge of our time and the enemy of immunity. Hypodynamia is even worse than stress.
Environmental degradation is also contributing, disrupting adaptation mechanisms in both humans and plants. In particular, in plants, instead of the formation of normal pollen, an abnormal shape and structure with a high concentration of heavy metals is formed. The incidence of pollinosis in ecologically unfavorable zones is 2-3 times higher than the national average.
And a very significant point is the change in the nature of nutrition. Processed foods, which today constitute the basis of the nutrition of the population, are not able to not only restore, but even simply support the disturbed intestinal microflora.
That is, who is to blame, of course, it remains to find out - what to do?
What to do?
"What to do" logically follows from "who is to blame." If much of our immunity is provided by the work of the intestinal microflora, it would be correct to put the intestines in order. And the most significant help in this can be provided by vegetables, fruits, herbs from their plot and wild plants. Better - fresh, very good - fermented.
Gradually, little by little, so as not to provoke a war between microorganisms in the intestine, but to ensure integration. The greater the variety, the better. Grams of 300 fresh raw vegetables, fruits and herbs per day, or raw and fermented (sauerkraut, soaked apples, turp) will gradually bring the intestines back to normal.
Children - for the summer in the village! And not to Turkey. Let them train the immune system. Now renting a house in the village for the summer is not a problem at all. If there is a cottage, go to the cottage, and let them live there all summer, eat strawberries, cucumbers, tomatoes and carrots from the garden beds. Food chemistry should be completely eliminated, household should be limited to the necessary minimum.
Drugs are a scary topic. Now the main allergy sufferers are the generation of antibiotics. When antibiotics were considered a panacea and prescribed to everyone, and microbes and bacteria (all) were considered enemies. Antibiotics for intestinal microflora, like napalm for the Vietnamese jungle - mow all living things. And it is necessary to restore to a more or less acceptable level for years.
However, many drugs create an aggressive environment for intestinal microflora. Therefore, it’s better to let the cold go away in a week, and not with the use of drugs in 7 days. And even more so, you do not need to prescribe any medications for yourself and especially for children yourself.
The movement is able to provide significant assistance in any (!) Treatment. Heals us blood and lymph, bringing what heals, and taking away garbage. In the supine position, blood and lymph move weakly, there are many stagnant places. It is clear that in this case, lazily moving lymph even lymphocytes to the desired place will not soon drag, if at all, drag it. Therefore - to move: to walk, run, jump, pump air in the lungs, dance or rush from morning to evening in the area with a hose, a chopper and other tools.
One needs to learn how to deal with stress, everything is very individual: someone helps meditation, someone religion, someone easier to relieve stress in the gym. Summer residents, as a rule, help stay on their site.
The environmental topic is one of the most painful. The ecology of the city is unlikely to change, you can only build an environmentally friendly environment in your personal space: in your apartment and in your own area. Plants will help!
Plants to help
A powerful regulator of immunity is Echinacea purpurea, in the second place is the frangipani, in the third is the elecampane high (although it is contraindicated for those who respond to wormwood flowers). Rhizomes of burdock and dandelion with pollinosis are also a good remedy.
Thyme creeping, oregano, a three-leaf shift - it’s nice to plant on the site and use it regularly. Also, the violet is three-colored, white cinnamon, common black-headed, round-leafed wintergreen can provide significant assistance in regulating immunity.
And weeds - dioica nettle, horsetail - not in compost, but in a plate or cup, there they will bring more benefits.
It is advisable not to mix everything in a heap, but to try one at a time, since very few variants of cross allergy have been identified and described.
Allergies and viruses
On the one hand, allergy is an excessive immune response of the body, so it seems that immunity is strong and actively fights. On the other hand, hay fever is a wet nose and wet eyes, to which all flying bacteria and viruses stick with pleasure. In addition, these are inflamed mucous membranes, already noticeably more vulnerable, and reduced barrier immunity. The disease worsens the course of the allergy, allergies worsen the course of the disease.
Light pollen, which is in large quantities in the air, like dust, in general, serves as a “vehicle” for viruses if someone nearby sneezed and coughed. And this further complicates the situation. If pathogenic bacteria and microbes can be destroyed by volatile, then this number does not work with viruses, they are not living.
It is better to sit at home during the "dusting".
I was born and raised in a village in the suburbs. Surrounded by mixed forests with a huge number of birches. I heard about the existence of allergies when I studied in Moscow.
I asked my local paramedic then about allergies - so she told me that there are no allergies (and hay fever, that is, hay fever) in the village. In the 20th century was not.
While living in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, the Khabarovsk Territory, a purely industrial city, she often encountered allergies, including seasonal hay fever, from acquaintances and colleagues.
Now we live in the Kuban, in the foothills, where in February in almost every garden, and also along the river and in the forest, hazelnuts bloom and dust. The forest around the oak-hornbeam also dusts in the spring. In July-August, ragweed spread all around, blooming and dusting - whoever would plague it here at all inconveniences!
Allergies to hazelnuts and oak have no local. An allergy to ragweed is now much less common than at the beginning of weed settlement in the vast Kuban, although at present it is incomparably larger. “Get well,” apparently.