Natural strategies to manage spring allergies

From farmer’s markets to outdoor exercise, the longer, warmer days of spring offer a lot of opportunities to boost your health. But there is at least one thing that no one looks forward to: the annual onslaught of seasonal allergies.


Wheezing… sneezing… stuffy nose… itchy, red eyes. It’s no wonder so many people rely on medications to make it through allergy season. But men dealing with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in particular face a frustrating catch-22 in their search for relief.


So let’s take a moment to talk about this all-too-common struggle…


The trouble with popular decongestants


First, the bad news: Popular decongestants that contain pseudoepinephrine offer relief for your nasal passages… but they could cause urinary trouble, too.


These drugs work by squeezing blood vessels and muscles in order to stop congestion. But they also squeeze smooth muscles in other areas—most notably, in your bladder, your urethra, and your prostate.


To make matters worse, many men with BPH also take alpha blockers (Alfuzosin, Tamsulosin, etc) to open the bladder neck and help with urination. But according to Dr. Geo, about 10 percent of the men who use these drugs also develop nasal congestion—mainly people with a history of sinusitis or allergy sufferers. 


The bottom line: Men with BPH, who already struggle with urinary discomfort and frequency, are in desperate need of alternatives in the fight against springtime congestion.


The good news: Antihistamines like Zyrtec or Benadryl don’t come with the same set of concerns. (The main distinction to consider is drowsy versus non-drowsy options—but this will not affect any bladder issues.) And there are a number of drug-free strategies that can make a difference, too.


Drug-free strategies for allergy support


Some of these strategies are just common sense. Avoid too much outdoor activity when pollen counts are high, and keep your windows closed. Using a HEPA air filter, changing and showering when you are in for the day, and making sure your bedding stays clean can also help.


Saline sprays and adequate hydration will help to soothe irritation in your mucus membranes. But supplements may also provide some drug-free relief. Specifically, quercetin.


Quercetin is an antioxidant-rich polyphenol found in broccoli, onions, berries, grapes, herbs, tea, and wine. Published research shows that it has anti-allergic effects on the body’s immune response. But that’s not all: Research also supports its use for promoting prostate health—which is why it’s a staple ingredient in XY Wellness’s Prostate Support, included in our specially designed regimen for men under active surveillance.   


Dr. Geo notes that additional supplementation might be required for some men looking for allergy support—up to 500 mg of quercetin daily. But either way, this is one strategy that does double duty for your health, through the spring and all year round.  


Until next time,


The XY Wellness Team