Health authorities have stated this is one of the worst seasons for allergies (in Ontario). If you've already changed your diet (ditched the common food sensitivities), gone the natural remedy route and yet still suffer from allergies please I beg you don't clog up your liver with anti-histamines. This will only make matters worse and definitely won't dry up your runny nose!
I've got some information for you that will not only improve your health, but it may just be the secret to combating your allergies once and for all. It's simple, drink more water. Before you get your knickers in a knot that it couldn't possibly be that simple, let me tell you why it really is this simple. :)
Dehydration and Histamine
As noted in a fantastic book called "Your Body's Many Cries for Water" by Dr. Batmanghelidj, when you are dehydrated this causes a production in the neurotransmitter histamine which is the sensor regulator of water metabolism and its distribution in the body.
Elevated histamine will promote the thirst response.
Apart from it's obvious water role, histamine has responsibilities in antibacterial, antiviral and anti-foreign agents which are your body's defense system. When your body has a normal level of water, histamine levels are in check. When you are even slightly dehydrated this can elevate histamine causing allergy and asthma symptoms.
It has been shown in animal studies that histamine will decrease with water intake and increase with dehydration. Upping your water intake can help alleviate allergies and asthma within one to four weeks states Dr. B.
Dehydration and Asthma.
We need water to breathe. In fact, our lungs must be moist to take in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide. Now if concentrated blood (dehydrated blood) reaches the lungs, histamine will be produced and this promotes bronchial constriction. Your lungs use up to 1 pint of water per day so it only makes sense that bronchial constriction will occur to preserve water. If the tens of millions of children suffering from asthma would simply drink more water, I think we would see a drastic decrease in asthma and perhaps even fewer deaths too.
Dehydration and your snotty nose.
Since water is needed to keep the air passageways moist, more mucus will be produced in response to dehydration. In fact, in the first stages of asthma, mucus is secreted to protect the tissues.
Side note: One of the most common causes of constipation is dehydration. Your gut is a very moist water-rich environment. Your body has signals in place to uptake water from large organs like the colon for other life-sustaining organs like the heart and lungs which is why constipation is yet another sign of dehydration. In simple terms, where water is plentiful, the body will steal from these areas to sustain other organs.
Salt is a natural antihistamine.
I have admit, it drives me kinda bonkers that health authorities spend so much time pushing anti-sodium campaigns because this sends the wrong message that sodium is bad for us. It's very narrow-minded thinking.
In fact, in some people who have a salt shortage will produce the same symptoms of water shortage. Guess what? Salt is a natural anti-histamine -- POW! So if you have allergies, increase your salt (sea salt mind you, not table salt). Now please don't start dumping buckets of salt on to your food. Sprinkle some high quality sea salt you buy at the health food store. Of course, focusing on good quality "whole" foods is one of the easiest ways to get refined salt out of your diet.
Hopefully now you are convinced that taking anti-histamines will merely mask the problem.
Yes, sometimes the simplest answer, really is, the truth. I hope this knowledge inspires you! Please share with me how you hydrate your body!
Do you add lemon to your water? Do you carry water with you every where you go? What are your best tips?