Indoor Allergens: What You Can Do to Treat Them Naturally

You’d be shocked if you knew what’s actually in the air you’re breathing.  The average person inhales at least 20 billion particles every day, making exposure to potential allergens inevitable.  Whether you experience sinus congestion, itchy watery eyes or other sensitivities, experts agree that skyrocketing rates of asthma and allergies appear closely linked to pollution in our indoor and outdoor air.

While we can’t always avoid the environmental allergies and toxins outside our home, such as exhaust fumes, pesticides, and contaminants, we can make our home a haven.  Dust is considered a common allergen, but what most people don’t realize is that dust in the home is the major carrier for chemical toxins in the air. Multiple toxins, commonly found in the home, have been strongly linked to the development of allergies and the worsening of allergies. Typical culprits include new paint (especially on woodwork), new furniture (desks, bookshelves, cabinets, etc. that are made from pressboard), smoking in the home, plasticizers (from shower curtains and all fragrances) and the presence of mold.

If you can reduce your exposure to these compounds, your likelihood of experiencing indoor allergies drops considerably. Replacing your furnace filters regularly with high quality pleated filters is an excellent place to start. If you have new carpet or new furniture contaminating the air in your home, there is no air filter that will be able to keep up. You really need to remove the off-gassing sources from the house. This is vitally important when it comes to the presence of mold. Spraying mold with bleach or painting over it with special paint does NOT take care of the problem. Get in professionals and get them in now.

Once you have succeeded in removing or reducing the sources of indoor air pollution it is then time to begin working internally to help reduce your propensity to become reactive. While there are many nutritional solutions for indoor allergies, a noteworthy option is the protein digesting enzyme known as mucolase.  This specialized enzyme has been shown to support the immune system, targeting excessive mucus in the body to promote its breakdown.  In addition, some experts believe that an amylase enzyme blend on an empty stomach may help balance histamine, the body’s response to perceived allergens.

In my over 30 years of work in the field of environmental medicine, it has become clear that when patients stop consuming wheat and sugar products, they will often have a drop in their allergic reactivity. The lining of the respiratory tract and the digestive tract are covered in ‘mucus membranes.’  If you are causing irritation to your GI mucus membranes, your respiratory membranes will show the strain as well by being much more reactive.

Support a healthy intestinal environment and digestion by taking a high quality comprehensive digestive enzyme. I recommend Enzymedica brand enzyme supplements, as their primary focus is enzymes.  Promoting proper digestion and elimination will dramatically reduce the amount of “antigens” and “endotoxins” in the bowel and blood. This will lower your total load of antigens and make your body less reactive. Add to this regimen, a high quality probiotic to boost your overall immunity.

By using these simple natural solutions you should note a clear reduction in your allergic reactivity.

Dr. Walter Crinnion, ND is a noted expert in the field of Naturopathic Environmental Medicine.  A best-selling author, and Professor and Chair of Environmental Medicine Department, Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, his book, Clean Green, and Lean (Wiley Publishers, 2010) is available on his website