Allergy drug effects and alternatives

Spring is in the Air!

However, that means so are all those common allergens.
It can be a disappointment when all you want is to open your windows and spend time outside as the weather is warming but you know you will pay for it with your allergy symptoms. The fresh green grass and the beautiful blooms of the trees and flowers sounds so wonderful but can sound like a nightmare to allergy sufferers. There are plenty of commercials telling you of the different over the counter medications you can take to help with those pesky symptoms…however, what they don’t tell you are the many side effects that these meds can cause. You may notice less sniffles, watery eyes or itchy throat but are those really worth the tradeoff of something much more serious? I have compiled a small list of some surprising side effects of your beloved Benadryl, Claritin or Zyrtec (to name a few).

~Impaired thinking. We have all heard that some of these over the counter (OTC) drugs can cause drowsiness…I’ve actually heard plenty of parents giving their children Benadryl for this very reason, to help put them to sleep…but causing sluggishness, decreasing mental sharpness and actually causing cognitive impairment is not a feeling I want for myself or for my children.
~Increased appetite. There are likely many reasons you can’t put those Girl Scout cookies down but taking medication with antihistamines can actually stimulate your appetite. Taking these meds on a regular basis or over the long term can be a reason you may notice weight gain.
~Altered sense of taste or smell. There is preservative and sometimes fragrance added to nasal sprays that can change your sense of smell which, in turn affects your sense of taste as well. You may notice some of your favorites don’t smell the same or your food is bland due to these additives.
~Long term health issues such as osteoporosis or diabetes. Often steroid creams are prescribed during allergy “season”. The stronger the steroid, the more body surface covered and the longer it is used can lead to decrease growth rate in children, increase in developing cataracts and may also be associated with osteoporosis and diabetes. Long term steroid use is not ideal.
~Infertility. Many fertility specialists believe the drying of the mucous membranes, caused by most allergy drugs, could lead to infertility. This does make sense.
~Anxiety. The stimulant properties of many allergy meds give heart palpitations, insomnia and anxiety. If you are already prone to these issues or to panic attacks, these drugs will only worsen your condition.
~Depression. Have you been feeling unusually sad? This is a lesser known side effect of allergy drugs with antihistamine. The sedatives in these meds can exacerbate existing depression or trigger a new found feeling of unhappiness. Low libido is a take-off of this as well. When you are depressed and sluggish, I doubt you will be in the mood for intimacy.
Now, as an allergy sufferer myself, I understand “you gotta do what you gotta do” as you don’t want to lock yourself in your home in a congested, itchy mess…

there are NATURAL alternatives!
Chiropractic has been shown to decrease symptoms. Regular chiropractic adjustments allow the body to function properly helps the body’s immune system function at full speed and is great for ridding head and sinus congestion. Acupuncture has been shown to have amazing results with sinus pressure/congestion relief as well as decreasing those other annoying symptoms such as itchy throat, itchy and watery eyes. Natural supplements! We carry an amazing supplement called D-Hist for adults and children. It has NO side effects and has been excellent for curbing those symptoms I get every spring. My kids take the children’s formula as well with their daily vit D and probiotic. There may still be a slight amount of sneezing, congestion, etc, but very minimal and worth it for me not filling my body with the drugs that are causing all these issues mentioned above. In my mind, I would prefer to have a bit of a stuffy nose or itchy throat for a few weeks than to worry about depression, anxiety, weight gain…and so on.
Please let us know if you have questions and let us know how we can help you and your family enjoy this spring, drug free!!