There is a thin line that exists between allergies and upper and lower respiratory infections, as they often go hand in hand. When our body finds itself battling allergies, our immune system begins to run on over-drive, which sets the stage for colds and infections.

It seems each and every year, more people are dealing with seasonal allergies that are lasting from early spring, way into fall.

Lately at the pharmacy we have been seeing a lot of people being treated for bronchial and sinus infections, much like what we experienced in the spring this year. This leaves people wondering if the cold will ever go away, or asking why their allergies are worse than ever before.

In my last blog post of September 24, I wrote about the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids through fish oil supplementation, and how they can aid with breathing in cases of asthma, allergies and even influenza, most likely due to their anti-inflammatory benefits.

Since allergies are often the stepping stone to upper and lower respiratory infections, I would like to share with you some strategies to a healthier allergy, cough and cold season.

The first step would be to try to eliminate allergens from your environment. Obviously we cannot control Mother Nature, although we can exert some control over the environment within our living and work spaces. One of the best things one can do is make sure that home air filters are changed at least every three months. If we are smokers, we want to kick the habit, or at the very least choose to only smoke outdoors, avoiding the second-hand smoke from lingering around pets and family members.

When you think of allergies and immunity, you should consider your diet, especially food intolerances. Food intolerances can lead to issues of inflammation, congestion, and immune suppression. One can have a food allergy or intolerance to any food, although avoiding or reducing dairy and gluten can provide a great benefit, as they are common intolerances people experience. Avoiding foods including excessive alcohol, refined sugar, artificial sweeteners and flavorings that can tax our immune systems is also recommended.

Common medications for symptoms include antihistamines and decongestants. Not only can these come with unwanted side effects such as drowsiness and interactions with conditions such as high blood pressure, they also only treat symptoms. This is why I prefer taking actions to support one’s immune system, and utilizing natural preparations which cast a wide net of prevention and resolution.

I have been recommending Aller-Essentials from Pure, which has been one of my favorite natural allergy supplements for years. What I really love about this is we are supporting the body systemically. Standard allergy products only treat symptoms, and this product actually targets the inflammation at the source.

Aller-Essentials contains a blend of nutrients that support both our innate and adaptive immune responses, has shown to provide nasal comfort and enhance immune cells. It has also been shown to stabilize our mast cells from going haywire, leading to the allergic reactions and inflammation.

Talk to a Martin’s Pharmacist to find out if Aller-Essentials is for you, and stay tuned to this blog, as we will be sharing a targeted approach on how to naturally support your immune system this season.