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©2006 Publications International, Ltd. Exercise is a great way to reduce stress...and relieve allergies. See more pictures of natural allergy treatments.

Allergy-proofing, allergy medicines, and allergy shots are all standard methods of controlling and reducing allergies. But what's often overlooked when it comes to allergies is the importance of being physically and mentally fit. In this article, you will learn some of the more unexpected ways you can help control your allergies, as well as some new, alternative treatments. Let's begin with a look at the role stress can play in your allergies.

The Mess Called Stress

A healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise and a balanced diet helps curb stress, which isn't an allergen but does weaken the immune system, making the body more vulnerable to all kinds of infections, including those brought on by allergies (a sinus infection, for instance). And many people have trouble distinguishing between infections and allergies.

In our fast-paced, high-tech society, most people operate on overload. Our bodies, on the other hand, react to this overload in a low-tech manner by retreating to the basic "fight or flight" response mechanism. (Those were the two choices primitive people had when encountering stress, which typically manifested itself in the form of a hungry animal.)

When faced with a stressful situation, be it a large, hairy animal or an angry boss (often one and the same), the body produces stress hormones called cortisol and epinephrine. These hormones flood the bloodstream with an all-systems alert. Your heart rate increases, blood pressure rises, lungs pump harder, sweat glands let loose, and stomach acts up. These two hormones, interestingly enough, are actually protective against allergies and are given to people who are having severe allergic reactions.

Unless you know how to cope with stress, you will suffer physically and mentally. Undesirable emotions, such as anxiety and depression, and unpleasant signs or symptoms, such as high blood pressure, headaches, backaches, and upset stomach, will take control, steering the body and the exhausted immune system into dangerous waters.

De-Stressing Your Life

 

Fortunately, you can stay on course by learning to control your reactions to a stressful boss, a stressful event, or a stressful existence. There are plenty of enjoyable ways to reduce stress. Some of the most effective are regular exercise (both the aerobic and the strength-training varieties), meditation, and massage. Just remember, be sure to check with your doctor before starting an exercise program.

For some, traditional exercise isn't enough to clear their heads. Alternative allergy treatments are an option in these cases. Keep reading to learn about these outside-the-box treatments.

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.