Allergies, Migraines & Colds – Oh My!

This picture was taken on May 20th last year – it was a beautiful day, and I was feeling crummy from allergies ūüė¶

Over the last 8 or 9 years, I seem to have developed seasonal allergies. It took me a while to figure it out, partly because I thought I just had colds from all the children at work and also because I frequently would get a monster headache (a migraine) rather than the typical sneezing and itchy eyes (although in the last couple years I get this too). It wasn‚Äôt until I was feeling bummed because I always felt crummy on my days off when the weather was nice, that I started to clue in:¬†I only ever experienced these symptoms on days when I was not protected inside an air-conditioned office all day. For a while, I was convinced I had allergy induced migraines because it seemed that sometimes the allergy pills helped, however, they didn’t help all the time and I suspect it had to do with whether I took the allergy pill early enough or not (i.e., once a migraine was triggered, it was too late for the allergy pill to stop a migraine).

My understanding now, from the Googling I’ve done and my personal experience (so take this with a big grain of salt because I’m no expert), is that it seems that while allergies do not cause migraines, people who are prone to getting migraines may find that allergies trigger them. This has definitely been my experience (and I have started to realize that other things, that don’t bother other people, seem to trigger migraines for me too).

I suppose I could just start taking allergy pills every day, and I may have to do that if these other methods do not work, but I find that allergy pills make me feel a bit stoned and not quite myself (cold pills have the same effect) so I would rather not take them if I don’t have to.

Given my digestive issues, I would also like to decrease my reliance on ibuprofen (which markedly increases during allergy/migraine season). Therefore, one motivating factor for sorting out my-diet and strengthening my immune system early in this year was to see if it might decrease my allergies and the migraines they trigger.

I had planned to incorporate some of the suggested supplements from this article into my daily¬†routine before the start of spring, however, time got away on me and I didn’t start taking them as early in March as I had hoped to (I started taking them on March 27th this year). Spring was definitely coming into bloom in Victoria when I returned from Mexico (i.e., when I started taking these supplements), however, I made a trip to Calgary (April 5-10) and (thankfully?) it was very much still winter there. Therefore, I am hopeful that by the time I return to Victoria, the allergy supplements I have been taking will have had a chance to become established in my system so that they will be more effective.

I also started taking magnesium every night¬†before bed, as I have heard this can help prevent migraines. I began taking magnesium on February 7th and interestingly did not have any migraines until I forgot to take it a few times in the last couple of weeks (the first time I had a migraine was March 21). I’ve been tracking my¬†migraines for over six months now with Migraine¬†Buddy¬†and prior to taking magnesium regularly I usually had at least one migraine a month (which was usually followed closely by another one or two). Although it wasn’t a very long test of the magnesium before I forgot to take it, I did go over one month without a migraine so that seems promising.

Some of the other things I’m trying (or plan to try) include:

  • Locally sourced bee pollen: I‚Äôve been sprinkling it into my smoothies and yogurt
  • Stinging nettle extract: I add a few drops to my water
  • Brewed stinging nettle: I have some dried stinging nettle, but I haven’t had the nerve to try brewing it yet…. not sure that it will taste as good as tea
  • Wearing large sunglasses when I go outside (at least when I remember to) in order to keep pollen out of my eyes (see above picture)
  • Allergy and Hay Fever Defense Tea from Silk Road (although, I cannot find mine right now so I might be out)
  • Neti Pot nasal irrigation: I don’t do this regularly, but I have tried it when I’ve been desperate for an allergy season solution

I’ll try to keep you posted on how it goes. Do you have any other suggestions for natural allergy relief or prevention (aside from staying inside an air-conditioned office all season)?

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