I’m not about to jump into the fray on global warming. (I’ll leave that discussion to the experts.) But I recently came across a news story on the subject that stopped me in my tracks.
Let’s just say, if it turns out to be true, it doesn’t bode well for anyone.
According to some scientists, our warmer planet is going to come with more pollen. And I mean a lot more.
This rise is expected to take place over the next 30 years. And according to some experts, pollen counts will more than double by 2040. (They averaged 8,455 back in the year 2000—by 2040 they could skyrocket to 21,735.)
These experts also expect allergy seasons to last longer, with pollen release starting at the beginning of April—two or three weeks earlier than normal.
I admit, it’s a little hard to believe. Especially with so many parts of the country still stuck in a winter holding pattern. But it certainly can’t hurt to prepare yourself anyway. Because regardless of whether the “pollen-pocalyspe” ever hits, Spring will eventually arrive—and bring allergy season with it.
Luckily, I’ve got a few ideas as to how to handle this particular natural disaster. In fact, I’ve got an entire book full of them, called The Allergy and Asthma Cure. I also tackled this subject in detail last May in my monthly newsletter, Logical Health Alternatives. (If you haven’t subscribed yet, you can do so here.)
If you missed it, definitely go back and read the article. (You can find it in the archives.) But in the meantime, here are a few practical tips to give you an edge against pollen:
- Be sure to wash your hair after a day outside.
- Park your car in a garage, or other indoor space.
- Exercise indoors—join a gym or walk at the local mall instead.
- Use your clothes dryer. (Line-drying will cover your laundry in pollen.)
- If you have pets, be sure to keep pollen out of their fur, too. A good brush with gloves after a trip outside usually does the trick.
If these simple strategies aren’t enough, you might be tempted to turn to antihistamine drugs. But I wouldn’t recommend it. Believe it or not, these “go-to” allergy remedies can actually make you fat.
Back in 2010, Yale researchers published a study showing that antihistamines—including the popular over-the-counter drugs fexofenadine (Allegra) and cetirizine (Zyrtec)—are tied to weight gain.
Scientists don’t know for sure why this connection exists. But we do know that histamine plays a role in regulating your appetite. So if you block this neurotransmitter with a drug? Well, you can guess what comes next.
Unfortunately, though, we’re only just learning about this association and any potential underlying reasons behind it. And we know even less about which drugs are most likely to produce this effect. So I’d prefer my patients didn’t take them at all. But if you must, the only drug I can tentatively vouch for is Singulair.
This medication is in a different class from Zyrtec and Allegra. And I have seen no real adverse reactions with its use in my patients.
Which isn’t to say I recommend it. I’d much rather you rely on natural methods to calm your allergies instead. And fortunately, you have plenty to choose from.
Again, you can refer back to the May 2013 issue of Logical Health Alternatives for more details. But in the meantime, one of my favorite substitutes for antihistamine drugs is quercetin—an antioxidant that comes from the rinds of citrus fruit. For hay fever relief, I recommend 1,000 mg of quercetin, three times per day.
“Global warming brings on more pollen.” CNN Health. March, 12. 2013.