Hay Fever: Feeling the Effects of Ragweed Season?

Updated: Mar 30

By Jennifer Ide, R.BIE, CNP

If you have itchy eyes, a stuffy or runny nose, non-stop sneezing and a puffy face during this time of year, you are most likely reacting to ragweed.

Ragweed is a type of flowering plant that produces billions of pollen grains. The pollen contains proteins that trigger your immune system, causing you to experience uncomfortable symptoms. The pollen is very light and can travel hundreds of miles, making it almost impossible to avoid exposure to it.

Six important facts to note if you react to ragweed:

  1. During the autumn, the primary cause of hayfever is ragweed.

  2. Ragweed season starts in August, peaks in mid-September and can last all the way until the beginning of November.

  3. Ragweed is a common cause for asthma symptoms and hayfever (wheezing, coughing, runny nose or nasal congestion, itchy eyes, breathing difficulties etc.).

  4. If you react to ragweed, you may also react to bananas, cantaloupe, cucumber, honeydew, watermelon, white potatoes, zucchini and sunflower seeds. This condition is called oral allergy syndrome (OAS) . It’s when your immune system cannot tell the difference between ragweed pollen and the food, so it confuses the food as the pollen (1).

  5. Pollution can make the effects of pollen even stronger, so those living in more urban areas may experience a stronger reaction than those living in more rural areas (2).

  6. Ragweed is worse in the early evenings after a warm day, or on windy days when a lot of the pollen gets blown into the air.

What’s probably happening when you react to ragweed

If you react to ragweed, the main issue is that your immune system is identifying the pollen as something that is harmful, when it isn’t. By thinking that the pollen is harmful, your immune system responds to the pollen inappropriately. To get your body to properly identify pollen as something that is not harmful, BIE is used. BIE serves as a safe, long-term, effective solution without all the side effects of common treatments like antihistamines, nasal corticosteroid sprays or decongestants.

How can BIE help

BIE stands for BioEnergetic Intolerance Elimination. It is a technology that aims to eliminate an intolerance by reintroducing the frequency of particular stressors to your body. By doing this, your body can identify the pollen as something that is not harmful, and react to it appropriately, rather than cause the immune system to go into overdrive.

During a BIE session, the frequency of ragweed would be reintroduced to your body, so that your body gets “a taste” of what ragweed is (NOTE: you are not exposed to the actual pollen, just the frequency of it). On average, it takes 2-5 BIE sessions for your body to normalize to the stressors.

Other intolerances that can be associated with ragweed intolerances:

  1. Environmental factors (car exhaust and cigarette smoke)

  2. Food intolerances (bananas, cantaloupe, cucumber, honeydew watermelon, white potatoes, zucchini and sunflower seeds)

  3. Gut imbalances (enzymes, bacteria, hydrochloric acid)

  4. Immune system mediators (histamine, mast cells, antibodies). If you are tired of relying on your pills and sprays to get relief and want to address the root issue of your ragweed intolerance, try BIE!

Seven things that you can do right now before your BIE appointment:

  1. Keep your windows closed, and your fan or air conditioner on to decrease exposure to the pollen while you’re inside.

  2. Prepare yourself by checking the pollen levels in your area everyday. The Weather Network provides updates on pollen levels in particular cities.

  3. Stay hydrated. Dehydration leads to increased levels of histamine in the body. Histamine is a molecule that the immune system makes to produce an inflammatory response. We want to decrease inflammation as much as possible.

  4. Drink nettle leaf tea, which has a compound called quercetin, which helps to stabilize mast cells. Mast cells are part of the immune system that produce and secrete histamine. Stabilizing these cells will help to decrease histamine levels in your body, and therefore, inflammation.

  5. Cut down on pro-inflammatory foods to calm down your immune system. Avoid foods like dairy and wheat which excite the immune system.

  6. Up your intake of foods rich in quercetin: onion, apples, dark leafy greens, tomatoes, olive oil, berries and cruciferous veggies (ex. broccoli and red cabbage).

  7. Pollen is very light and can easily stick to you and your clothes. If you spend time outdoors, change your clothes and wash them immediately when you get in. Take a shower and wash your hair before going to bed.

What’s next?

To book a BIE session, or to ask any questions about how BIE works, please call our clinic at (416) 214-9251. We look forward to hearing from you!

References

  1. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. (2019). Ragweed Pollen Allergy. https://www.aafa.org/ragweed-pollen/. (accessed September 15, 2019).

  2. Sedghy, F. et al. (2018). Interaction Between Air Pollutants and Pollen Grains: The Role on the Rising Trend in Allergy. Reports of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. 6, 219-224.

Disclaimer

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