3 Ways to Outsmart Fall Allergies

September 17, 2013
Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Award-winning nutritionist and New York Times bestselling author.

outsmart fall allergiesShore up your system for a sneeze-free season.

The beginning of fall means enjoying cooler temperatures, watching the leaves change, and yes, the return of allergies. According to AccuWeather forecasts, heavy rains this summer prompting more ragweed growth will make for a particularly severe allergy season across parts of the Southeast and Midwest, and “normal” levels in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Ragweed and mold—the two most prevalent allergy triggers this time of year—are not only downright annoying, they can develop into a serious health concern. Ranked as the 5th leading chronic disease in our country (the 3rd for children under 18), seasonal allergies and their secondary health issues are nothing to sneeze about.

These common allergens tend to lead to more serious and prolonged issues—many individuals go on to develop sinus infections, bronchitis, asthma, and middle ear infections when their mucous membranes are constantly under assault. Stats now indicate that some 50 million Americans are affected with allergy-induced inflamed sinuses, runny nose, itchy eyes, coughing, and dry, irritated throats.

Whether ragweed, mold—or both—stir up your autumn allergies, here’s my personal Rx to tackle symptoms now, before they develop into something more serious:

1. Support your adrenal glands.

Allergies, as well as hypoglycemia, fatigue, bags under your eyes, repeated stress of any type, and negative belief systems are all signs of burned out adrenal glands–your system’s fight or flight center for stress control. Adrenal fatigue can be remedied over time with simple but consistent lifestyle changes. Keep in mind that recurring respiratory infections are one of the most burdensome toxic loads on your adrenals, so addressing severe or chronic infection like sinusitis, bronchitis or pneumonia is key to recharging and rebuilding. Just about all forms of respiratory illness go hand in hand with low adrenal function.

Perhaps the least expensive thing that you can do in this regard is put sleep on the top of your “to do” list. Lack of rejuvenating, growth-hormone producing sleep is a major roadblock to complete adrenal recovery and is common with individuals who show both high and low cortisol levels. Getting in bed by 9:30 pm so that it’s “lights out” by 10 pm is ideal, as well as the faithful supplementation of an adrenal support supplement ideally taken at the “adrenal times” of 7 am, 11 am, and 3 pm. Eating breakfast before 10 am, reducing caffeine, sugar, and processed carbs, and emphasizing protein at every meal, plus a protein-rich bedtime snack is key to helping you recoup your energy, vitality, and enhance immune resistance during allergy season.

2. Sweeten your defenses.

Pollinating bees become covered in pollen spores which then end up in their honey, and many allergy sufferers swear by eating local honey to help alleviate allergy symptoms. Like a “vaccine,” the idea is that eating honey that contains local pollen can build immunity through gradual exposure. A 2011 Finnish study published in the International Archives of Allergy and Immunology, found that compared to the control group, the subjects using birch pollen honey during the birch pollen season experienced a 60% reduction in symptoms, two times as many asymptomatic days, 70% fewer days with severe symptoms and a 50% decrease in usage of antihistamines.  Add a spoonful of raw local honey to your morning hot water and lemon both as a preventative now and as a treatment later.

3. Guard against pollen and mold.

Before bed, shower and wash your hair because hair is a prime hiding place for pollen and mold spores to collect. Change your clothes after being outside on high pollen count days and stay indoors on windy days. Also, keep your yard and gutters clear of wet decaying leaves that can serve as a breeding ground for mold.

Incorporate these simple tips now, and you’ll be ready when allergies attack. Here’s to an easy, breezy—not sneezy—fall!

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Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books including The Fat Flush Plan series and her latest book, Radical Metabolism. She’s been rewriting the rules of nutrition for more than 40 years and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of diet, detox and women’s health issues. 

For a FREE daily dose of tips and strategies for maintaining healthy weight, conquering insomnia, and much more…check out my Radical Health Tips.

I’d like to meet and greet you on my Facebook groups, so won’t you check us out at the Radical Metabolism RevolutionFat Flush Nation, or my Inner Circle!


  1. Marina

    Thank you for the tips on dealing with allergies. I can share that UniKey’s Adrenal Support has really helped relieve my longstanding adrenal fatigue symptoms. And I no longer suffer severe fall allergies and chronic sinus congestion. I have learned from this site how critical adrenal health is to our well being and I am very grateful!

    • Sierra

      Marina, that is wonderful to hear! I have also had amazing success with the UNI KEY Adrenal Formula- my energy level has dramatically improved and my immune system is stronger than it ever has been.

  2. judi

    Keeping yard free of wet leaves is a problem. We live in a wooded community. Our neighbors let leaves lie to comoost year round. We try to keep our compost active and far away from the house as possible. Any suggestions more suggestions to deal with leaf mold allergies. We try to use salt irrigation before going outside.

  3. Chris Higgins

    Great advice for keeping those terrible allergy symptoms at bay. I plan on trying all 3 of these this year and visiting New England Allergy again as they are fantastic with seasonal allergies. Check out their site at http://www.newenglandallergy.com.

    • Team ALG

      The BioNet Air Purifier has been our choice for years.


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