Spring is in the air, along with all the pollen that comes with this time of year.  Indianapolis is not a great place for people who have allergies, but there are some simple things you can do to prevent allergy flare ups.

Decrease your inflammation:

Allergies are a response to antigens that you come in contact with typically through the air or from contact with your hands.  If your body is allergy prone than you are more likely to have a reaction to an allergen.  What do I mean by “allergy prone?”  We can think of it this way:  Have you ever been stressed and one minor event happens that pushes you over the edge?  The body is no different, if you’re already in a state of inflammation then you are that much more likely to respond adversely to an allergen.

How can you keep you body’s inflammation under control?  It’s all those things that you know you should be doing, but don’t do.  You can keep you inflammation low by eating foods that increase  your bodies pH (more alkaline) such as fruits and vegetable while limiting the foods that lower your pH (more acidic) such as processed foods, sugars, coffee and alcohol.  You can determine your pH, by using litmus paper.  You should be at 7.0 or above, if you have a lower pH that means that your body is more acidic. Learn how to test you pH at ehow.com.

Nasal irrigation:

As we mentioned above, there is not a lot we can do to control the pollen in the air, but we can limit the amount of pollen that resides in our nasal passages. Recently there has been studies that have shown the benefit of using nasal irrigation in treating a variety of sinus related symptoms.  To read the study from the University of Wisconsin Medical School click here.

The most common type of nasal irrigation is called a neti pot, which looks like a small tea pot that you use to flush out your sinuses.  Personally I had a hard time using the neti pot and found it awkward.  I prefer using the Neil Med Sinus Rinse, because it is easier to get the saline solution into the nasal passages and doesn’t require putting your neck in an awkward position.


There are a number of different supplements that have been shown to help with allergy symptoms, too many to go into in this post.  We will save this topic for part 2, which I will complete next week.