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Healthy Aging

Something is Running (and I don't mean the exercise kind)

By Sheryl Kraft

Created: 03/19/2010
Last Updated: 03/19/2010

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Oh, my. The weather is finally showing some positive signs – like temperatures above freezing! – and I'm feeling happier than I have in months. Ecstatic, in fact.

Yesterday, I was feeling so stressed from working non-stop days (and nights) that I promised myself I was not going to get through the day without doing my very favorite warm-weather thing: taking "" through my neighborhood. And finally, around 3PM, I bid my desk a temporary adieu and laced up my sneakers and got myself outside.

Glorious! Not only did I see some signs of growth on the trees, but I was shocked to see the growth of the neighborhood kids who were out playing, rid of their heavy constricting winter jackets. They had sprouted a good four or five inches since the last time I saw them – which was probably around the time I brought my walks indoors and they started their winter hibernation, too.

But I digress. My walk was fabulous. I felt energized by the luscious warmth and the sun’s brighter energy. I returned, happy and ready to tackle my work. Only thing was, five minutes after settling down to work, my nose started running like a leaky faucet. I couldn't stop sneezing, either. I sneezed with such force I feared pulling my back out. On and on (and on) it went, continuing well into the night, so much so that it interfered with my much-needed sleep.

Huh? Where did this come from? I just had a cold – a really, really miserable one – only 3 weeks before.

I’m beginning to think it’s allergies. I kept telling myself, over and over, it couldn’t be…I’ve never had allergies. Never. And I always felt sorry for the people that did because, well face it, they look miserable with their itchy, watering eyes and non-stop sniffling and nose-blowing.

This Matters> Allergies, it turns out, can develop at any time, at any age. People are born with a genetic predisposition to allergies, but sometimes they don't develop until you're old and gray. (Ok, I'm not that old, and definitely not, at least not to your knowledge, gray). No one really knows that turns these genes on, although there is speculation that the more exposure you have to a potential allergen, the more antibodies you build up until finally, one day, they become a (VERY LOUD SNEEZE) – ALLERGIC REACTION.

Oh, no, I'm thinking. Not me. I wait all year for spring to arrive and it suddenly becomes an ALLERGEN??

So, I'll wait it out. Maybe it is just (another) cold. How will I know? A cold may come with a fever, an allergy rarely does. A cold leaves you after a week or so, while an allergy will hang around long enough to really drive you crazy; sometimes, all season long.

Do you have allergies? Maybe you can share your tips on how you cope!

Read what Dr. Pamela Peeke has to say about it all:

And an overview of allergies here:


Oh, I'm on an antihistamine all year round. It's the generic Claritan that is sold over the counter. Take it every day. And I do one of those saline nasal rinses every morning. And I have prescription eye drops and nose stuff for when it gets really bad.

But not every year is bad. This is supposed to be a killer allergy season. I forget why.

I take Zyrtec from about the end of July through the end of October. I've also found that eye allergy drops work well for me to instantly quell my itchy and watery eyes. I've had seasonal allergies as long as I can remember, but I didn't develop an allergy to cats until I was in my 20s. It surprised me out of the blue. We were at a friend's house who had cats and I couldn't stop sneezing and by the end of the night I could barely breathe.

My husband and I suffer from allergies. Especially my husband. If you start taking QUERCETIN 2-3 months before the allergy season it really really helps. Also LOCAL BEE POLLEN and RAW HONEY (has to be local or it won't work). Take some every day and you'll be sneezing a lot less!

I was desensitized in France to candida and dust. My allergies got much worse during my pregnancy, which is why I went with the shots, so bad that I could barely breathe through my nose. Ugh! What a memory. I'm also allergic to harsh detergents. Recently I had an allergic reaction to something that left side of my face swollen for two days. No clue what caused this and it lessened with antihistamine. I have to go and see an allergist because it could happen again and be worse. Allergies are no fun!

I think I developed allergies last year. I kept telling myself it wasn't so, but every time I went outside, I went into sneezing fits!

I've had allergies all my life. I've had shots, pills, sprays and mountains of tissues. Some drugs make me a zombie, some give me a headache, some work and some seem to do nothing at all. It is all about finding what is right for your body.

You might also try eating local (within 50 miles of your house) honey. The science case for honey helping allergies isn't strong, but hey, you have an excuse to eat honey.

I'd rather have a cold any day than allergies. But I've developed allergies all the same -- *miserable*.

I'm so grateful for all these tips. I'm convinced it was allergies - and not a cold - because it went away as quickly as it came. Now I have some proven remedies from all of you to try!

I had allergies as a child (living in NY) that promptly went away upon moving to CA. Then, away in AZ my first year in college was hit by the cactus blooming allergies...but only that first year. Weird.

Seems like allergies always catch us by surprise and happen in unexpected places, too!


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