Seasonal Allergies and Sweet Treatments

Phoenix has been an interesting place to be this monsoon season!  With the giant dust storms and the rain that is actually falling in some areas of the valley pollen, dust, and other allergen in the air have sky rocketed.  This means everyone is having allergy attacks, sinus infections, dry eye, coughing, and sneezing fits.  It’s miserable, and in some cases a lot of the allergy medication companies (like Sudafed) just can’t keep up with demand.  So what can you do?  There are many many options for the allergy sufferer so let’s take some time to go over them today:

Oral Antihystamines:

Zyrtec, Allegra, and Claritin are great for the allergy sufferer and don’t usually make people drowsy, but with these medications come some drawbacks:

1. Some can be very expensive!  I have found that some of the cheaper places for allergy medications are places like Target and Costco (especially Costco).  Don’t be afraid to buy generic either!  If you can’t find the generic of your favorite brand ask for the pharmacists help or use the knowledge you gained in this article to help you.  Remember you want the “Active Ingredients” and strengths to be the same as the brand and often times the store will stick the brand and generic right next to each other.

2.  Taking it one day will not put a band aid on the mess that is seasonal allergies.  You sometimes need to take the allergy medications for up to a week before you can receive full benefits.  When it comes to your immune system there is no quick fix!

3.  If you’ve got an allergy cough these medications will not take care of it.

Benadryl and Chlor-Trimeton are great as well and do great things for your allergic cough, but can cause a lot of drowsiness.  They are also not recommended for people over the age of 65 or with people with an increased likelihood of falls.  Lets avoid that hip replacement surgery if we can, shall we?

Afrin… do me a favor and don’t you dare touch it.  I totally understand that it works well.  The unfortunate thing is that you can’t really use it longer than 3 days or else your body becomes dependent on in and the withdrawal symptoms are (drum roll please) the most miserable stuffy nose you have ever had.  I never recommend this product for allergies because I have never met anyone who’s stuffy nose lasted only 3 days.

Well, what can you use for a stuffy nose?  Especially if you are a person that is prone to sinus infections.

Sudafed is the first thing people go for, but there are some things to be concerned about.  If you have high blood pressure or congestive heart failure this is a no no.  This is also not even close to a first line product for those of you who are pregnant.  It is a category C.  This means this has to be a decision that you and your doctor need to make together.  Oh and there is signing the pesky book at the pharmacy counter  (you can thank the meth-heads for that folks).

Sudafed PE is okay… it doesn’t work as well or as long as the original Sudafed so I don’t usually steer people in it’s direction either.

A netipot is a great way to clear out your sinuses.  It looks like a tea pot, although you can get regular bottles that come with preservative free saline mix.  This is great for pregnant women and young children.  You basically hold your head over the sink and pour or squirt the saline into your top nostril until things come out the bottom nostril.  It’s technically kind of gross, but it’s really better that it’s out than in!

Another great product that you can use after your netipot or just with a regular stuffy nose is Xlear.  It is a xylitol nasal spray and wash.  It sounds crazy, but I tried some when I was at Mixtures and it works!  It goes into your nose like a regular nasal spray, but it is super moisturizing and also makes your nasal passages super slippery so that the bacteria that normally cause sinus infections can’t stick.  True story.  It is available for purchase at Mixtures and it is totally safe.  The only thing that is disconcerting is that it tastes sweet!

All these things are great for current allergy issues, but, as always, we try to promote preventative medicine at Mixtures.  If you are allergic to pollens and grasses get your hands on some local honey!  They usually sell it at places like Whole Foods and farmer’s markets (great places to go exploring).  This contains the local pollens that you are allergic to.  Have a teaspoon every day (Mary Poppins knew her stuff) and after about a year some people find their allergies subside some, if not completely.  Think of it as a super tasty allergy shot.

I hope these hint’s help you!

Quick updates:

We’re on week I can’t remember of my lifestyle modification and so far so good.  I’m in my tightest pair of pants comfortably and without muffin top!  Very exciting.  Something helpful I have found is to really shoot for 5 small meals a day that are high in protein and fiber.  I pack an apple, a protein bar, and a salad before I go to work every day and that helps me keep on track.  I’ll keep you posted.  I was in a size 6/8, but now I’m in a size 6 easy.  I’m also not getting as tired so so far so good!  I also have been taking the dogs for a walk most mornings of the week (about 1.7 miles) and doing some toning from  How are all of you doing with your getting healthy goals?

I now have a Mixtures email via Fearless Leader (Lori) and so if you have questions, but are conscious of your privacy please please email me:  I will respect your privacy!

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