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FOX Medical Team

Natural Allergy Alternatives

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ATLANTA -

When Joan Sood moved to Georgia four and half years ago, she discovered beautiful Springs, and brutal allergies.

She developed severe post-nasal drip, coughing and congestion. Sood says, "It got so intense that I couldn't breathe."

Joan's neighbor actually had to call 911. She was okay, but says, "I realized then I have to get some treatment for allergies."

She came to Dr. Taz Bhatia at the Atlanta Center for Holistic and Integrative Medicine. Dr. Bhatia is an MD, who combines traditional medicine with treatments you don't see in a typical doctor's office, like acupuncture.

Dr. Bhatia says, "There are tons of allergy remedies out there."

For a fast-fix, Dr. Batia recommended Joan try Claritan, an over-the-counter allergy drug. That's Joan's backup. She says, "I use it either when it gets so incredibly intense , (or) I need just something extra."

To strengthen Joan's immune system, Dr. Bhatia also recommended Manuka honey from New Zealand. You can find it at local health stories. Bhatia explains, "It really seems like honey stimulates those immune-boosting cells. So it really helps your body to fight off the allergies. It's almost like thinking of allergies as an invader, and the honey comes in and it helps to beat those things off."

Bhatia says probiotics may also help. She says, "Probiotics put good bacteria in the belly. They strengthen the immune system. And they really help you to kind of prevent the runny nose, the watery eyes, the itchy nose."

Dr. Bhatia says natural allergy relief products like "D-Hist," tend to take longer to work than an over the counter fix. So you may need to use one of these natural products for a few weeks before your symptoms ease. So, if your allergies flare up, and you wake up feeling miserable, you might want to go with a fast-acting antihistamine from the drugstore.

Still, Dr. Bhatia says, " Keep in your mind that there are other options and other ways to balance out your immune system, so you may not be so dependent on those medications in the next week, or the week following or the entire spring season."

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