Thursday, August 27, 2009

Allergies, astrology, and almighty whinges......

Hayfever has plagued me almost constantly for the past two years. Before I came to live in the USA I'd never suffered from hayfever at all - ever. Airborne pollens seem to be my worst enemy - tree pollens, grass pollens, flower pollens, weed pollens, in cyclic succession they come, with hardly time to draw a clean unadulterated breath in between.

Google "allergies and astrology", I told myself the other day, when feeling particularly fed up. Perhaps there'll be a clue, or an idea hidden there. One source blames the position of Mars in a natal chart, another says Neptune is the culprit. Order of birth among siblings might be involved. Yet another writer suggests that intercepted signs could be significant. I can't link my own problem to anything mentioned, except that I was my parents' first (and only) child.

Relocation has to be the key in my case - actual relocation from England to Oklahoma, but I still can't link the relocation of signs and houses to connect to my problem.

It's not only the incessant sneezes, runny eyes and difficulty sleeping - there are occasional severe, longlasting headaches to add to my menu of woe....and now I find that the tablets, which only partially help, have an especially unwelcome side effect: they bestow a propensity for weight gain. I wondered why I'd added 5 or 6 lbs over the past two years, after remaining much the same weight as when I arrived here for the first 3 years, and being very careful what I eat.

The last discovery pissed me off more than any of the others, or the constant expensive drain to buy medication which doesn't completely solve the problem, and to which I suspect my system will become addicted, making it well nigh impossible to ever stop taking the tablets. I use over-the-counter tablets: cetrizine, the generic of Zyrtec, and when things get especially bad, a nasal spray (cortisone) recommended by my doctor.

What's to be done?

Plodding on through Google, trying to remain undeterred I happened upon a website written by a fellow-sufferer who had tried something called the Qu Chi band - based on oriental medicine and acupressure. I've ordered one. It's worth a try!

I also read an article from May this year which indicates that experiments with folic acid (vitamin B9) are being carried out as it is suspected that a high level of this in the blood can help prevent the immune system from leaping into gear when triggered by allergens. Perhaps I'll top up my B9 intake then.

My impatient Aries Moon will not allow me to sit mildly by and sneeze my head off for 11 months of the year. Something has to be done!

The links below could be of use to a passing reader who is also a fellow-sufferer.


QU CHI band

Astrology and Allergy

No More Allergy

Astrology & Health

Allergies & Birth Order

A guide to summer allergies in your area (useful map of US and breakdown of allergens by monthly appearance)


Unknown said...

A friend of mine suffers from hayfever and asthma. She has just taken delivery of a salt pipe. It works like an inhaler but contains natural mineral salts which ease her symptoms. It may help you.

She also has an electric ioniser/fan that seems to help clear the room of particles particularly dust as her cottage is over 100 years old. The stone walls drop "dust" everywhere which then acts as an irritant.

It's a difficult one to resolve as once your system becomes sensitised to something it is hard to break the cycle.

I met one guy at a food fair whose immune system had completely broken down more than 10 years ago. He was literally living in a bubble apart from everything and everyone. Fortunately he met a nutrionist who basically had to take him back to square one with a raw food diet and rebuild his natural immunity and resistance to allergens of all types. Took 10 years but he was a picture of health when I met him. He's American, now living in the North Yorkshire dales, and started out the same way as you reacting to pollens etc.

Obviously an extreme example but he was able to overcome it over time.

Hope you can find something that gives you relief.

Jerry said...

Try the ancient ayurvedic NETI cure to clean your nasal passages and experience almost immediate relief - it worked for my friend who has suffered from hayfever all her life, and cured my own sinusitis.

Twilight said...

Rossa ~~~~ Many thanks for the ideas. The nasal washing device which the next commenter recommends too sounds like a good thing to try.

We have air conditioning which is supposed to filter the air - but might not be efficient enough, so an ioniser might help, I guess. I'll look into that.

Oh poor guy - having his immune system break down!

I'll try anything that'll reduce my need for these damned tablets!

Thanks again.

Twilight said...

Jerry ~~~ thank you for that - yes, I'll buy me a neti pot !
Your input is much appreciated. :-)

Unknown said...

Only thing about air conditioning is that it can dry out the air and in turn your sinuses. Maybe you need to consider a humidifier or at least some water in your rooms.

If the membrance in your nose dries out maybe it is more susceptible to irritation.

Unknown said...

Sorry, just another thought. The UK air is much "wetter" which can dampen down pollen so maybe my last suggestion has some merit. You come from a far more temperate zone and may not have adapted to the drier conditions.

We've just had the tail end of Hurricane Bill over here so a wash out end to August. No BBQ summer, it's the 3rd wet summer in a row!

Twilight said...

Rossa ~~~ We have a humidifier, but use it mainly when our heating is running in the winter. You're right, we should use it more, but to be honest it didn't make much difference to my problem last year.

We're having some very dramatic storms here. Last night it was a bit like the end of the world coming on - incessant lightning (TV local Storm Watch reported 2,500 lightning strikes in our area, and that was only part way through the storm)- ridiculously loud crashes of thunder. Lost power for a while too, and torrential rain. Another storm just starting now, not quite as bad though. So humidity should be okay at present. :-)

Thanks for your input, Rossa - it's much appreciated.

anthonynorth said...

My Dearest is a life long hay fever sufferer, and it's certainly no joke, so I sympathise. And nowadays the seasons are getting longer, too. Sadly, she's never found a perfect remedy - there are always side effects, the steroid based treatments adding on the weight.

Twilight said...

Anthonynorth ~~~ My sincere sympathies to Your Dearest, AN!

Yes, there's no such thing as a free lunch or a medication without a side effect. :-)

In my case though it's not the steroid nasal spray (which I use infrequently)putting on my weight. I think it's the fact that continued use of antihistamine tablets tends to slow the metabolism. Depending on a person's natural rate of metabolism weight gain can be slight or massive, from what I've gathered on-line from fellow-sufferers. I've done much better than some others, with a gain of only 5 or 6 lbs - but it has to stop now! Enufski!!

R J Adams said...

I'm not sure if this will be any comfort to you, but while I occasionally sneeze and splutter from allergies through the summer, since coming to America my Achilles heel was always colds. While rarely a sufferer from such things in Britain (and never from allergies) the first five years I was here caused me to catch half a dozen colds, or similar URTIs, every twelve months. Of course, driving forty kids to school didn't help.
I haven't had a cold for over twelve months now, however hard the little dears sneeze over me. I can only assume my antibodies have finally caught up with American germs. Perhaps your immune system will eventually get the message and snuff out the allergies before they produce symptoms. Frankly, I don't trust OTC medicines in the US and steer clear of them of much as possible. I believe they inhibit the efficacy of our natural healing processes.
I, too, suffer from more headaches than I ever had in Britain. The air in Illinois is appalling - full of pollutants and too far from the sea for any natural filtering. I'm sure Oklahoma is no better. The natives don't notice it. Even my wife looks amazed when I come home holding my head and gasping like a dried-up goldfish. But then, she hasn't lived for fifty years wafted by sea breezes, as any native of Britain has.

Twilight said...

RJ Adams ~~~ I do hope that I and my nose will eventually acclimatize, as you have, RJ. Thanks for the message of hope. ;-)

I don't like taking medications either, but needs must when things become unbearable. I experimented by trying to wean myself off the antihistamine tablets over the past 2 weeks, but the hayfever hit me like a ton of bricks within 2 days of leaving them off completely. Maybe i'll have to do the dreaded "cold turkey" one of these days.