If you suffer from seasonal allergies, you know the signs and symptoms: itchy eyes, a scratchy throat and a nose that defies science by managing to be stuffy and runny all at the same time. Most people simply seek out their doctor for a pharmaceutical allergy treatment and go on with their lives. Others prefer a less conventional approach. These strange allergy treatments may not be mainstream but they might work, nonetheless.
Intestinal Parasites (Yes, You Read That Right)
If your doctor suggested purposely infecting you with hookworms, you'd probably be searching for a new doctor. However, research has shown that these creepy parasites may be able to cure everything from allergies to asthma.
Scientists believe that the worms have managed to hack into the bodily systems that control immunity responses and somehow lower the antibodies that are likely to destroy the worm's colonies. As a surely unintended side-effect of their slithery brilliance, hookworms have actually managed to make their host's body less susceptible to auto-immune reactions.
The treatment hasn't gone mainstream for obvious reasons, not the least of which is stomaching these disgusting stomach parasites. However, if you're really suffering, you may not mind some helpful guests.
Paying someone to stick needles in your skin probably isn't at the top of today's to-do list but proponents say it actually works. Acupuncture has long been known to help chronic pain but for allergy sufferers, those needles may also help to change the auto-immune reactions inside your body that are responsible for your hay fever.
Studies haven't shown that it's a cure-all, but at least one clinical trial suggests that allergy sufferers use less prescription medication when their allergy treatment routine includes acupuncture. As long as you don't also suffer from trypanophobia, why not give it a go?
Being sick stresses you out and stress raises your blood pressure, making you feel even worse. Some prescription allergy medications can also elevate your blood pressure. Meditation, while not a cure for allergies, can help lower your stress levels enough that you'll feel better (even if your nose is still out of commission).
There's no wrong way to meditate. Simply clear your mind and focus on your breathing rather than your scratchy throat and watery eyes. The benefits are near-instantaneous and even if it doesn't help your allergies, it'll help your overall sense of well-being.
Allergies are no fun for anyone. Conventional treatments generally work well but that doesn't preclude the strange and unusual. As always, talk to your doctor, such as someone from Allergy Asthma & Immunology Associates, about starting any new allergy treatment – but especially before you infect yourself with intestinal parasites.