I've been feeling blah for a few months now, but the past couple of weekends have been exceptionally unpleasant. It's either been the relatively large amounts of dairy (conventional butter and some cheese; I normally avoid dairy other than clarified butter, but when I'm not at home for long stretches of time, I don't have much of a choice. Conventional butter is better than canola oil, I'm sure), or my allergies have been kicking my ass. I want to start taking an allergy medicine just in case, but seeing as I don't like to take medicines unless I need to, I'd like to find one with the least side effects. Are there any allergy medicines that you can recommend to me?
EDIT: Maybe I should clarify how I feel. I'm not necessarily talking about stuffy runny noses and itchy throats (though I have had some of that recently), but more like lightheadedness, trouble concentrating, low energy, and general "feeling off" for several months. I've eaten paleo for over a year (about 60:25:15, generally low fructose, active avoidance of wheat, n-6, and most dairy besides clarified butter), while being pretty strict for the last three months or so, and I'm fairly physically active at work. I can't see any nutritional deficiencies or foods I should avoid in my diet, so I'm just assuming it's the most probable cause. If I try Claritin for a month and it doesn't work, then at least I'll know one more thing that isn't the problem.
I'm not sure what's wrong with loratadine or diphenhydramine. Someone is going to suggest some herbal thing or other. That herbal thing may or may not work. The herbal thing that works is going to be an H1 antagonist, which is to say it is going to work in the same way as an OTC antihistamine. Loratadine (e.g. Claritin) has minimal side effects. If you want to shut down the allergic reaction, you need to block the H1 receptor. That simple. That, or remove the allergen. Or, you know, go to allergy shots. Or give yourself an helminth worm infection. Which is to say, if you don't want to be bothered with shots (which do have some efficacy), corticosteroids (which work, but definitely have negative side effects), give yourself worms, or drink some crazy herbal concoction, go for the Claritin. Yeah, it isn't "Paleo," but neither are allergies (the worms, but the generally unsanitary conditions took care of that).
None. Allergy medicine is incompatible with paleo. Your body is fucking up; this should tell you something. If you get rid of the indicator (the allergies), you won't get rid of the problem (whatever fuck up is causing that misfiring). You're better off keeping the allergies around so you have a profit/loss test for whether you're doing the right thing. If you get rid of a certain food and they get better, you know something. But if you're on the meds, those signals are gone.
The basic idea of paleo is to live sufficiently naturally to get everything back into line. Wrecking the system with medication to cover up the symptoms is a bad idea. You'll never know what works or what doesn't. It's like having chapped lips. You have two options: Use chapstick or work on your lifestyle. If you keep the chapped lips around, you'll know when they go away or get better that you're doing something right; but if you use the chapstick, you just lost that indicator. Covering up the symptoms wrecks your chance for a good profit/loss test to better your health in a real way.
Note: Perhaps allergies are genetic and there's nothing to do about it but take meds, but I doubt it. I had plenty of allergies and so did tons of other people I know who went "paleo" or close to it, and we all lost them in the process, along with tons of other problems that everybody thought wasn't under our control. When you go paleo, you find that tons of shit that everybody took as given disappears. It's a total game changer; don't expect anything to be the same.
Modern histamines should not be an issue.
The current mainline allergy drugs are on their 2nd (claritin, zertec) and 3rd generation (allegra, xyzal (zertec 2.0), clarinex (claritin 2.0) improvement. Although it tends to be alleged that xyzal and clarinex are money grabs with limited efficiency improvement, and mostly made to deal with patent expirations (same active ingredients more or less).
These medications prevent the allergic reaction from occurring by selectively binding to receptors in your body that would normally over-react to allergens from seeing anything. So there is really nothing sinister from any 2nd and 3rd generation product, as they are strictly limited to preventing allergy for the most part (side effects can occur, but for something like claritin... at worst it is like a sugar pill).
nettles are supposed to be very good. Not sure what the best form to take them in is (not raw, that's for sure). You could try local bee pollen and also a neti pot is great. Once you get over the mental hurdle of thinking the water will go up your nose like when you're swimming (it won't), the neti pot can be super useful.
I have horrible seasonal allergies that I developed some five years ago or so. Now I take the 24h pills every 12h (loratadine), with multiple eye-drops added to it, and my eyes are still extremely itchy, watery and puffed. I sometimes wake up at night b/c I was scratching my eyes so much it was painful to wake me up. I dont' care if it's paleo or not, I need a relief. AS for now (after over a year of paleo) my allergies are as strong, same with asthma. Maybe one day they all disappear, but for now, I am taking whatever the medical field came up with.
Tartare mentioned bee pollen but the better choice is to go with local honey. It must be local to YOU. I live in a very high pollen area and a lot of us suffer from hay fever. The local honey acts much like a vaccine in that it carries the allergens and immunizes your body against the culprits. Try a tablespoon in the morning and you should be set.
Also - cleansing the sinuses with a solution of salt, baking soda, and distilled water at night should relieve the pressure and cleans out the allergens.
To find honey in your area, try Local Harvest zip search: http://www.localharvest.org/organic-honey.jsp *I noticed you're in Ft Worth and see that there are a ton of local suppliers.
I try to avoid medication, but for desperate times i use children's liquid Allegra. You can really control the dosage so you don't get over-medicated. Also, it has fewer additives, and the few it has are more benign, i feel. E.g it contains xylitol vs. aspartame that so many of the adult formulas have. Why a tablet of antihistamine needs aspartame, i can't fathom - but i'll do almost anything to avoid ingesting it.
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