Waking up to a headache and a bout of sneezing? I've been there numerous times, due to allergies. My allergies have always been somewhat troublesome. When we moved to a humid climate, I quickly found out it can be worse. So, what types of allergens are common in humid climates and what things can be done to avoid them? Read on to find out what I learned through research, as well as personal experience.
What are the Most Common Allergens in Humid Climates?
Dust mites are a big problem in humid climates. They thrive in this type of environment and are so microscopic that they can go unnoticed. This may be good for them, but is not so great for those with dust mite allergies. Another allergen very prevalent in humid climates includes mold, which also does well in hot, moist areas. Tree and grass pollen allergens can also be bothersome in humid climates, as the Spring blooming season can last longer than in dry areas.
What Allergies Can These Common Allergens Cause?
Dust mite allergens can trigger allergies or asthma attacks in those who are allergic. Mold spores can do the same. Allergies triggered by pollen from trees, grass, and weeds is often referred to as allergic rhinitis or hay fever. Symptoms can include a sinus headache, a stuffy nose, sneezing, itchy eyes, itchy nose or throat, and hives. Severe allergies can cause anaphylactic shock, which is extremely rare with these types of allergies, but deadly. Those with severe allergies should stay aware of their triggers, as well as heed the advice of their doctor with medicines and an emergency plan.
Where are These Common Allergens Found?
Dust mites and mold spores can be found inside the home. They aren't always easy to spot. Mole can be hidden within walls, in attics, under sinks, and in other inconspicuous areas. It thrives in warm, humid climates. Dust mites can be found virtually anywhere. They generally like to hide in carpets, in furniture, on clothing, and on other fibrous surfaces. They also will cling to things such as furnace ducts. Tree and grass pollen, of course will be found outdoors.
Can I Avoid Allergens Common to Humid Climates?
Avoiding dust mite allergens can involve a regular routine of vacuuming carpets, cloth draperies, throw rugs, and furniture. Also helpful is to use a room dehumidifier in each affected area. This method also helps with mold. Mold inside of a home should be found and removed by mold removal experts. Some molds can be toxic. A good way to avoid some of the effects of pollen allergens is to stay inside during peak hours for the pollen, which are between mid-morning and mid-afternoon. Another option for allergens is to have allergy shots or take prescription or over-the-counter allergy relief.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
by Dennis Townsend, Contributing Writer
We hear it all the time from our doctors, " you are healthy but you could stand to lose a few pounds," which tells us that while we feel good, chances are, we are overweight. If you take a look at one of those charts that shows what you’re suppose to weigh at a particular height, many of us can describe ourselves as obese. And let’s face it, if you are more than 50 pounds over the standard weight for your height, you fit the definition of fat according to the chart.
And for some of us, if we are fortunate enough to get down to that "target" weight, we feel noticeably weak for some reason. We all have different densities in bone structure and therefore while the chart says you should weigh 200 pounds you would feel comfortable at 220 pounds. You are the perfect judge of how well you feel and you should relay that to your physician. I am not a doctor and I can only use myself as an example, so make sure you voice your concerns with your primary care physician.
There’s been a lot of talk lately about obese children and the campaign to get them to be active 60 minutes a day which is a good thing. A child’s metabolism burns calories at a far higher rate than adults and therefore the 60 minutes of active play could be all that is needed to keep your child at a good weight. Of course a proper diet is also essential and for far too long we have allowed our children to consume massive quantities of junk food if you’ll excuse my use of "conehead" analogy.
It may be quite difficult to deprogram your child from junk food and reprogram them to a healthy diet, but it can be done if you make it a family mission. And if your health allows it, you too can join your child in that target session of 60 minutes of activity a day. Eating healthy and being active together not only provides the benefits for which it was intended, but it also allows family bonding which so many families have lost in this digital world we now live in.
And there’s one more thing that you might be interested in, and that’s learning to make the most of your mornings. That means eat a healthy breakfast everyday not only because it’s the most important meal of the day, but studies have shown that when you eat a real fortified breakfast, it will boost your energy level a lot more than them so called "breakfast bars." Remember, you are the best judge of how you feel and what you think is healthy for you and your family and diet and exercise is something you can control.
Ever woke up to find your eyes are sealed shut, your nose isn't working, and your mouth is dry as a desert from hanging open all night? If you have, then you could have been experiencing symptoms of fall allergies. Oh, what fun, right? Trust me, I know the feeling. Throw in the sinus headache and a swollen throat and you're really in for a treat. So, how do you get rid of all that without resorting to medicines that make you drowsy and don't always work? Alternative fall allergy and sinusitis remedies may be the answer you're seeking. Here's 5 of what I feel are the best alternative remedies for fall allergies.
Cool Mist or Air
In the fall, the weather is generally cooler. Bundle up (if needed) and step outside late at night or early in the morning and catch a whiff of the fresh, cool air. It could help ease the nasal symptoms of fall allergies. If the weather isn't cool enough, then opt for a cool mist humidifier. This will increase the moisture in the air, which could help clear up dry nasal passages.
The Neti Pot has been used in India for centuries as an allergy treatment. The neti pot is simply an easier, and possibly more effective, way of flushing the nasal cavity with salt water, such as with nasal saline drops. Neti pots can be expensive, but many claim they are well worth the price. They have even been featured on the Oprah Winfrey show. According to MotherEarthNews, the International Archives of Allergy and Immunology discovered that flushing the nasal cavities with salt water was a mild and effective allergen-reducing method for children. It is even purported to have significantly reduced their use of antihistamines.
Yoga is used in many therapeutic treatments, including allergies and sinusitis. Some of the benefits come from the breathing, while others come from the actual positions. Yoga can clear the nasal passages, as well as relieve sinusitis and headaches. According to YogaJournal.com, there are several poses that are good for sinusitis. Downward-facing dog is a yoga position can relieve the headache, as well as the sinusitis. Other yoga positions that are great as alternative fall allergy remedies include the Bridge Pose, the Plow Pose, the Seated Forward Bend, the Standing Forward Bend, the Supported Headstand, and the Supported Shoulderstand.
According to ScienceDaily, EGCG, a compound in green tea shown to have many therapeutic effects, may also be a natural allergy remedy. While more studies are needed to prove initial results as fact, it could still be a wise choice to add green tea to your diet to combat allergies and other ailments.
MotherEarthNews states that certain foods can also help in combating fall allergies. Foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish, walnuts, eggs, and grass-fed meat could help suppress the occurrence of fall allergy symptoms. Spicy foods, such as chili peppers and horseradish can help relieve nasal congestion that may occur with fall allergies.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
by Dennis Townsend, Contributing Writer
With advances in medicine, we have made great strides advancing the life expectancy in the world, but there are still some diseases that are stubborn and require aggressive treatments such as the current Ebola virus. Scientists work feverishly to come up with new medicines to battle these hard to cure ailments, and usually they do, but the trouble is that when they do come up with these miracle cures, they can’t be used right away because The Federal Drug Administration, FDA, requires a certain amount of testing before these new drugs can become available to the masses, and then, can the masses afford it?
For each new drug that scientists come up with, it could take years before the FDA deems it safe for human application. This is very discouraging to families with a loved one with only so much time to live, who is suffering, and a medicine that has just been produced to ease the suffering, and perhaps maybe even cure the disease, can’t be administered because the drug must go through a battery of testing. Now there are some patients who are eligible for what they call “clinical trials”, but these patients are usually from well to do families because the new drug, most of the time, is very expensive. That in itself is a travesty because to lose one’s life just because they don’t have enough money for the newest medicines is unconscionable. This is a problem that must be addressed because all scientific research is funded by the government to which we all pay our taxes. One group of people should not be considered better than any other group, and to play God with someone’s life because of the amount of money one has is just not right
My belief is that the newest forms of treatment should be allocated to patients whose time is short, and there is no other options available. Regardless of the amount of money they have or the type of insurance they carry, every life is precious. Hospitals, doctors, scientists, and researchers make enormous amounts of money for all they do, and I for one do not deny that they undoubtedly deserve it, but somehow we must not forget about the people who’s lives are at stake just because they can’t buy a little more time to live. To be compassionate enough to put forth whatever effort it takes to save a human being is not only the right thing to do, but it would also define who we actually are.
by Dennis Townsend, Contributing Writer
As far back as 350 B.C., Aristotle theorized that sleep provides physical renewal, yet in the age we live in with our fast paced environment, technology driven timelines, and our quest to be all we can be, a good nights rest has fallen by the wayside.
The body’s clock runs roughly on a 24 hour cycle known as the circadian rhythm. It’s influenced by the amount of light that enters our eyes, which triggers our brain to produce more or less of the hormone “melatonin” which causes drowsiness. Sleep is a far more active process than once thought. While you’re sleeping, your brain and body are hard at work.
Let’s study this “body clock” more closely. We’ll start at noon. You are hard at work or doing daily task at home or just hanging out at the beach. Your fastest reaction time during the day is 3:30 pm. Next you’re at home having dinner, watching the television, or working outside. Your highest blood pressure occurs at 6:30 pm.
Having finished your day you turn in for the night at 11:30 pm after watching your local news program. While you may drift off to sleep at around midnight, your deepest sleep won’t happen until 2:00 am. From midnight to 2:00 am you are in what’s known as a “light sleep”.
In a light sleep, your eyes stop moving, your body temperature drops, and both heart rate and breathing are steady, and brain activity slows. Your brain is also at the point where it tunes out external noises. but it also shows burst of activity called “sleep spindles” which plays a role in learning and incorporating new memories. In your deepest sleep, your muscles relax, blood pressure drops, and breathing slows.
This is the condition that you would experience if you were to take a long space journey in suspended animation and waking during this phase often leads to grogginess. Deep sleep is the most physically restorative phase of the sleep cycle and is thought to be important for maintaining memories.
This part of sleep is also associated with Rapid Eye Movement, or REM, the part of sleep where dreams occur. To have a restful sleep you must be in the REM phase, and you must dream. You may not remember them, but if you woke up totally refreshed, then you did dream. Unless you didn't reach the deep sleep phase meaning you didn't dream and that's why you woke up still tired.
Now back to the body clock. At 4:30 am your body reaches its lowest temperature, and at 6:45 am your blood pressure jumps drastically. A great number of heart attack deaths have happened at this point of the day and that’s why taking caffeine at this point should be done so with extreme caution. Ease into that first cup. Recently it was concluded that one of the functions of sleep was to help cleanse cellular waste that naturally builds up in the brain during the day.
Oh, and by the way, after years of research, dreams are still a mystery. Any explanation is piecemeal and as Patrick McNamara, who is a dream specialist says, “We want one theory that could elegantly account for everything we see in our dreams and whether or not that’s ever going to be possible is up for grabs.” Something to sleep on, wouldn’t you say?
by Dennis Townsend, Contributing Writer
There are 165 million coffee drinkers in the United States alone, and sometimes we wonder how many cups a day can we drink without worry. The worry is a conditioned response because the caffeine in coffee has been blamed over the years for everything from heart disease to cancer.
I myself sometimes wonder about this because without my "cup of Joe" in the morning, I don’t feel motivated to get my day started. I’ve been a truck driver for the past 29 years, and I dread to think of how many cups I’ve had over that period of time. But after doing some research, I found out that coffee can actually be good for you,....imagine that.
There have been over 19,000 studies over the past decade that has looked into the dangers and benefits of coffee and research has shown that drinking moderate amounts can cut the risk of cancer and other diseases, and is a popular source of antioxidants. The next question you may ask is what is considered "moderate."
For most people, drinking 3 cups a day does more good than harm but remember however that our tolerance to caffeine varies from person to person, and for some, even a small amount can make them nervous and irritable. This is especially true if you are consuming additional caffeine, found in certain energy drinks, colas, tea, chocolate, and various cold and headache remedies. Research has found that most of coffee’s side effects occur when we consume "massive quantities".
In addition to antioxidants, coffee contains a host of antibacterial compounds that protect against infections and other ingredients that may reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Just remember to check with your doctor and get his take on how much you can safely drink if you have any health problems.
The benefits of coffee has affects throughout the entire body from preventing gallstones, to reducing the symptoms of Parkinson‘s disease, and even preserving cognitive functions. Also doctors at John Hopkins Hospital even found that 5 cups a day will not raise the blood pressure in a healthy person. I must say that if your doctor tells you that you must switch to decaffeinated coffee, then in my opinion, you lose the main reason people love to drink it, the caffeine.
So here’s the bottom line for you coffee lovers, most side effects occur at high doses and people with heart disease, cardiac rhythm problems, high blood pressure, active gout, or stomach ulcers, should reduce or eliminate their intake based on the advice of their physician. As for the rest of us who look forward to our morning cup of coffee, we should have no qualms about drinking it. Moderation is the key and for some of us, moderation means to the point where we couldn't thread a needle if our life depended on it.
Whole Body Health, Healing, & Medicine Journal
Lyn Lomasi is founder and owner of the Brand Shamans Content Community. Services include ordained soul therapy and healing ministry, business success coaching, business success services, handcrafted healing jewelry, ethereal and anointing oils, altar and spiritual supplies and services, handcrafted healing beauty products, and more!
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