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Allergies

Old 03-22-16, 07:43 AM
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Allergies

I need some help with debilitating allergies. I figured I'd start a thread as some of you folk have mentioned it before in passing.

I've always had pollen allergies of some sort. I recall being a kid in HS and not being able to finish mowing the lawn because I couldn't breath and staying up all night because of sinus congestion. It seems to be getting worse with age.

In the Spring of 2014 I went to the track (Alpenrose) for the first time coming out of winter. I did a few efforts and got dizzy. I thought it was a blood pressure thing, but my BP was no different than any other times in my past.

The symptoms would get exacerbated with high pollen days (spring, summer, or fall). The allergic reaction somehow sets off migraines. So, basically, I feel like it's 10AM after a night of hard drinking.

The symptoms were so bad that I went to the ER and had an MRI done for fear that it was something worse. They found nothing unusual. They did say that, "You must be really smart, because your head is HUGE." 5 hours later doc sent me home with a prescription for something that I wasn't familiar with. The pharmacist laughed, came from around the counter, and proceeded to take me to get some Dramamine for $3.

All the Dramamine does is make me ridiculously sleepy. I can't work using it. And it's not that effective.

Between the dizziness on the track and persistent back issues, I just stopped racing.

Anywhoo...It's allergy season now and this past week has been rough as hell on me. I feel like I'm in various stages of a hangover during the day. I've taken various combinations of over-the-counter meds over the years. Nothing really works well.

The pollen is so bad here that I can pull out my phone and while I'm looking at it, I can see spots of pollen start to accumulate.


(the "10.2" numbers are on a scale that maxes out at 12)

Our pollen levels are on a scale of 12. Low is 0-2.4, Low-Medium is 2.5-4.8, Medium is 4.9-7.2, High-Medium is 7.3-9.6, and High is 9.7-12.0. These levels take into account how much pollen the allergy sufferer is likely to be exposed to for that given period.
Anybody got any tips?

Last edited by carleton; 03-22-16 at 07:47 AM.
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Old 03-22-16, 08:43 AM
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As a teenager, I never had allergies but in my 30's, I somehow became allergic to pollen, esp in the Springtime. IT got gradually worse until I hit 40 and then I needed prescription allergy pills. Then I read how those pills are bad for a male prostate and I looked for alternatives to overcome the pollen related allergies.
Blah, blah.... here is the take away, go to a local farm market and buy "local" honey. Make sure it came from your area and not far away. The bees made the honey from the very same stuff you are allergic too and that is important. No sense getting honey made from pollen 100 miles away, because you might be allergic to that pollen, or it might not help cure you.
Now, take the honey and eat or drink (diluted in tea, coffee, hot water, etc) a tablespoon full 4 times a day. After about 2 weeks, you will notice a significant improvement. After a month, you might be cured of allergies. The idea here is to consume in small doses (think along the lines of a smallpox shot) the very thing you are allergic too and your body learns how to handle the pollen without producing something to fight against it.
I did that over 16 years ago and still remain allergy free. Once in a great while, my eyes might burn a little, but then I hit the honey for a few days and it doesn't come back.
Get a good sized jar of honey (about $25), it's cheaper than medication and far healthier for you.
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Old 03-22-16, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by NYMXer
As a teenager, I never had allergies but in my 30's, I somehow became allergic to pollen, esp in the Springtime. IT got gradually worse until I hit 40 and then I needed prescription allergy pills. Then I read how those pills are bad for a male prostate and I looked for alternatives to overcome the pollen related allergies.
Blah, blah.... here is the take away, go to a local farm market and buy "local" honey. Make sure it came from your area and not far away. The bees made the honey from the very same stuff you are allergic too and that is important. No sense getting honey made from pollen 100 miles away, because you might be allergic to that pollen, or it might not help cure you.
Now, take the honey and eat or drink (diluted in tea, coffee, hot water, etc) a tablespoon full 4 times a day. After about 2 weeks, you will notice a significant improvement. After a month, you might be cured of allergies. The idea here is to consume in small doses (think along the lines of a smallpox shot) the very thing you are allergic too and your body learns how to handle the pollen without producing something to fight against it.
I did that over 16 years ago and still remain allergy free. Once in a great while, my eyes might burn a little, but then I hit the honey for a few days and it doesn't come back.
Get a good sized jar of honey (about $25), it's cheaper than medication and far healthier for you.
Noted. Thanks! I'll get some this afternoon!
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Old 03-22-16, 11:52 AM
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I suffer pretty badly. I get congestion that's so bad it often turns into sinus infections. So bad I can't function. Claritin and Zyrtec don't do it for me. Sudafed, the real **** with pseudo ephedrine in it, helps with congestion but is banned in-comp. Flonase has worked wonders for me. It takes a few weeks to build up and be effective but has seriously improved my quality of life. And it's not banned in-comp even though it is a gluco corticoid.
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Old 03-22-16, 01:10 PM
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carlton, beware that it is really customary to start the honey dosages a month or two BEFORE allergy season and since you are already in it, it might not be so effective this year. Don't let that get you down, but you will see a huge improvement for next year and still possibly this year. I'm not totally sure about that though.
A heaping tablespoon four times a day for at least a month, maybe longer if you don't see improvements within two weeks. Good luck and keep me posted on your allergies and the improvements.
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Old 03-22-16, 02:34 PM
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I went out and got the honey. We'll see how it goes...

Thanks for the tips!
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Old 03-22-16, 03:10 PM
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Local natural honey is a good call.

I personally respond better to one type of allergy medication, Cetirizine, than the others. I use the generic Costco brand, which does wonders. It got so bad last season that I had to pull out of a road race 10 miles in I was getting dropped so bad(I'm a part time roadie that should have been there till the end). I explain this because if you haven't already done so, you may want to try a couple different types out to see if something works for you. Up until that road race last season I was using generic claritin which worked for a few years and all of a sudden it stopped for some reason.
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Old 03-22-16, 05:22 PM
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Have you tried closing flushing your sinuses? Neti pot or one of the modern equivalents? I'm not a doctor and didn't stay at a holiday Inn express last night, but some say it helps .
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Old 03-22-16, 06:03 PM
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The Neti pots are good to keep sinus infections at bay. Antihistamines basically get your body to stop certain inflammatory responses that are associated with allergic reactions. A runny nose is one of them. The problem with being on an antihistamine for any length of time is that it will stop the runny nose, and dry it out. Any matter that is left in there doesn't get cleared out. This stays behind and can end up going bad on you. The neti pot/sinus rinse helps to keep things moving and clean. Use only sterile water or saline. The other alternative is to lay off the meds for a day or two once a week and let your body's natural reactions help clean out your nose.

I've heard of the honey routine, but have never tried it. I would give it a go. I LOVE honey. My grandpa had an apiary and whenever we would visit I would always get busted with a spoon in my hand while dipping into a 5 Gallon bucket of honey. I think I was about 5 when it last happened.

I also suffer from pollen allergies, specifically grass. Desloratidine worked wonders for me. I found a double dose worked best, but it lasts about 24 hours, so no biggie there. It's a lower dose med as well. Much more "efficient" as far as how much you are taking. Costco sells it in bulk under the Kirkland brand. Really cheap. And don't worry, the bottle isn't huge. It's non-drowsy without any added stimulants as well. Desloratidine doesn't enter the nervous system like many antihistamines do. This is what causes the drowsiness.

Antihistamine tip: If you are male, and suffer from sinus headaches that are related to stress or lack of sleep try taking a Benadryl. Unless it's migraines, most males tend not to suffer from headaches the way females do. When the headaches do come, it's usually related to a lack of sleep. In situations of chronic fatigue/stress, the body will release histamines to counter the low level inflammatory response that sets in. The headache feels like it's right between and behind your eyes. Benadryl will make you drowsy and knock you out (solving the root problem), and take care of those pesky histamines that are giving you your headache. Two birds with one pill (or maybe 2 if you want to sleep for a longer time). You will wake up foggy, but your headache will be gone and you can get yourself back on a proper sleep routine.
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Old 03-22-16, 07:11 PM
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Not to downplay your pain but, you ready for a bit of my dumb luck.
I thought I was having an allergy problem while in your fair city this weekend. We just went through the worst of it and I only got itchy eyes. It doesn't happen every year but the feeling I usually get is like my teeth are ready to pop out. As it turns out it wasn't allergies, I have a known about bum tooth that fractured at some point over the weekend. It comes out tomorrow and get to spend the next week recovering from it.
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Old 03-22-16, 08:48 PM
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Update:

Current Therapy:

- Neti Pot (not fun AT ALL)
- Local honey
- Cetirizine

The neti pot DOES clean the house very well. I've been operating at like 40% for maybe ever and didn't notice!

It's tough. I'm in tears leaning over my kitchen sink with snot coming out of my nose and drool out of my mouth while I talk myself through it. It's not as sexy as it looks on the box:

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Old 03-22-16, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by carleton
It's tough. I'm in tears leaning over my kitchen sink with snot coming out of my nose and drool out of my mouth while I talk myself through it. It's not as sexy as it looks on the box:
Keep at it. If you get good enough, you can compete

https://imgur.com/pQrN4Ot
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Old 03-22-16, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by carleton
Update:

Current Therapy:

- Neti Pot (not fun AT ALL)
- Local honey
- Cetirizine

The neti pot DOES clean the house very well. I've been operating at like 40% for maybe ever and didn't notice!

It's tough. I'm in tears leaning over my kitchen sink with snot coming out of my nose and drool out of my mouth while I talk myself through it. It's not as sexy as it looks on the box:

i see what you're saying, that looks very sexy...
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Old 03-22-16, 10:31 PM
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sexy!
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netti2.jpg (16.0 KB, 7 views)
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Old 03-22-16, 10:38 PM
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This will show you how to properly use a neti pot.


https://33.media.tumblr.com/fc7a0206c...np75o1_400.gif
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Old 03-23-16, 04:55 AM
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I had such severe allergies in NZ (public health funded) that I was able to get a steroid injection that would clear up all of my pollen allergies for about 4-5 months. It is up to you if you want to take a steroid shot, it was absolutely fantastic for me given it was Pine pollen I was severely allergic to, and the town I lived in was surrounded on 3 sides by Pine forest. Doctors in other countries have tried to tell me prescription antihistamines are better, but I'm not convinced that they were that familiar with them, or preferred to chose the less dramatic treatment first without listening to my history.
I would have to put up with about a month or 6 weeks of mild allergies at either end of the season, and would just put up with it (hassle/drowsiness of taking antihistamines) or take some for a while till I forgot to take them and didn't feel rubbish any more.
Ultimately I solved it by moving to a different city without any Pine for miles, and don't need to take anything. Again, I live in a country with public healthcare, so if you can get a skin test to find out what types of pollen you're allergic to, can be a useful bit of information. If you live in a city with a lot of allergy problems, it should be pretty easy to find out.
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Old 03-23-16, 05:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Minion1
I was able to get a steroid injection that would clear up all of my pollen allergies for about 4-5 months.

That sounds WONDERFUL.

I'll ask my doctor about this.
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Old 03-23-16, 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by carleton
That sounds WONDERFUL.

I'll ask my doctor about this.
Although not racing at the moment, also ask if this is allowed by WADA...
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Old 03-23-16, 07:47 AM
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[MENTION=34156]carleton[/MENTION] - I also have debilitating allergies, even with shots I've slept through most spring/summer/autumns of my life (I have them year round). Eating straight bee pollen (not in honey and not mixed in with honey) is the only thing that has cleared these up even a little bit for me, now it's more like living with a mild cold. Bee pollen is cheap and it needs to be from local bees, not saying it's *definitely* going to work for you but it's worth a shot.

Edit - I've had the steroid shots before too when I'd go to the ER with hives, they are amazing but transitioning back into having allergies after the shot wears off (a day or so for me -) is something to consider
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Old 03-23-16, 08:15 AM
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had had life-long allergies and asthma...

tried pretty much everything available...immunotherapy (shots), honey, bee pollen, Rx meds, OTC meds...

shots were very effective, but ramping up the dosage and getting injections twice a week for several months was a bit of a PITA. they did provide significant relief tho.

the honey/pollen thing didn't produce any noticeable effects.

Benadryl turns me into a complete zombie, can't think or function, Claritin does nothing, but Zyrtec helps with watery, itchy eyes.

Neti pots are horrible devices...would rather have allergies than use one.
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Old 03-23-16, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by FullGas
had had life-long allergies and asthma...

tried pretty much everything available...immunotherapy (shots), honey, bee pollen, Rx meds, OTC meds...

shots were very effective, but ramping up the dosage and getting injections twice a week for several months was a bit of a PITA. they did provide significant relief tho.

the honey/pollen thing didn't produce any noticeable effects.

Benadryl turns me into a complete zombie, can't think or function, Claritin does nothing, but Zyrtec helps with watery, itchy eyes.

Neti pots are horrible devices...would rather have allergies than use one.
I'll second the Neti pot sentiment.
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Old 03-23-16, 03:35 PM
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Ever try Nasonex? Once a day nasal spray. I had problems with pills from hypertension to being drowsy.
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Old 03-23-16, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by curbtender
Ever try Nasonex? Once a day nasal spray. I had problems with pills from hypertension to being drowsy.
What sort of pills gave you hypertension?
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Old 03-24-16, 01:21 AM
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Update:

The pollen is getting worse. It's accumulating like crazy. If you touch anything outside or sit on a bench, you are dusted with yellow pollen. Yet, I felt close to normal today.

The Neti Pot works very well for keeping my sinuses clear. I've been doing it twice a day and I'm breathing very well. As well as I've ever done so.

The burning sensation that you get when water gets in your sinuses (like when you inhale water when swimming) goes away after a few days. Not sure how or why, but it did. So, if that's what's keeping you from doing it, tough it out. It gets easier.

I suspect that the pollen was getting caught by the mucus in my nose (as it's supposed to do) but staying there and flaring up the histamines. So, instead of blowing my nose, I'm rinsing it. It's less violent and more effective...and the least expensive sinus aid I've ever used. I'm sold.
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Old 03-24-16, 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by carleton
Update:

The pollen is getting worse. It's accumulating like crazy. If you touch anything outside or sit on a bench, you are dusted with yellow pollen. Yet, I felt close to normal today.

The Neti Pot works very well for keeping my sinuses clear. I've been doing it twice a day and I'm breathing very well. As well as I've ever done so.

The burning sensation that you get when water gets in your sinuses (like when you inhale water when swimming) goes away after a few days. Not sure how or why, but it did. So, if that's what's keeping you from doing it, tough it out. It gets easier.

I suspect that the pollen was getting caught by the mucus in my nose (as it's supposed to do) but staying there and flaring up the histamines. So, instead of blowing my nose, I'm rinsing it. It's less violent and more effective...and the least expensive sinus aid I've ever used. I'm sold.
My nose is always too clogged to get a Neti pot to pour through :-)
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