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Can Probiotics Help Hay Fever?

Can Probiotics Help Hay Fever?

Over the past few weeks the wattles have bloomed. After a long winter of dull, leafless trees and grey skies, the dazzling pops of yellow offer a refreshing reminder that spring is on its way. For hay fever sufferers, seeing the blooming wattles may provoke a very different set of emotions. If you have hay fever you may be looking at the golden flowers with worry, apprehension, or even outright fear.

You’re not alone. Allergies are on the rise, with 30-35% of people in industrialised nations affected by allergies like hay fever, food allergies and asthma.

So what is an allergy?

Simply, it is an inappropriate and exaggerated response by the immune system to a normally harmless substance, such as pollen, food or dust mites. In hay fever this exaggerated response occurs in the nasal passages, causing the release of a chemical called histamine, which is responsible for the familiar itching, sneezing and runny nose.

Medical treatment for hay fever involves managing symptoms by suppressing the immune system's response, using antihistamines or corticosteroid sprays. But there are alternatives. Natural therapies for the prevention and treatment of hay fever focus on balancing the immune system. Recent research has shown that probiotics may also aid in improving immune system balance.

A review of 23 scientific trials involving over 1900 people concluded that probiotics can significantly improve hay fever symptoms and quality of life when compared with placebo. Probiotics have been found to correct deficiencies in the immune system and may alter the body’s allergic response. However, more research is needed to determine exactly how probiotics exert these benefits.

Unfortunately there was a great deal of variation between the probiotics studied in the reviewed trials. The trials used different strains of bacteria, dosages, strengths and formulations, and gave probiotics for different periods of time. As a result of these inconsistencies, the researchers could not make a firm conclusion or recommendation in favour of probiotics.

In my experience as a Naturopath, probiotic supplementation (as part of a comprehensive immune balancing protocol) can be very effective in improving hay fever*. The strains, dosage and formulation I choose depends very much on the individual’s symptoms and health history.

If you struggle with hay fever year after year, it may be time to do something about it!

Book in for your natural hay fever prevention plan TODAY, before hay fever season sets in. The earlier you get on top of it, the better your symptoms will be!

Gauri Yardi, Naturopath Melbourne, specialises in stress and anxiety, digestive and skin disorders, and loves to help people balance their immune system via their gut. To get Gauri's help managing your hay fever, call 1300 21 44 25.

*Disclaimer: Please know that the results are a typical and may vary from person to person


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