Tag Archives: Immune Support Packets by Designs For Health

Winter Cold or Winter Allergies?

IsItACold..JacquieIconBy Jacquie Eubanks

Many seasonal allergy sufferers are grateful when temperatures cool, as outdoor pollens and allergy triggers temporarily disappear. However, spending more time inside increases our exposure to indoor allergy triggers. Holiday foods, indoor festivities and holiday decorations can all trigger allergic responses, especially for those who may have sensitivities or asthma. Central heating, Christmas trees, overindulging in holiday foods and drinks and skimping on sleep may all cause reactions, which can contribute to asthmatic or allergic responses. Indoor allergens and pollutants can include irritants such as mold spores, dust mites, pet dander, household chemicals and smoke. Mold spores are especially hazardous as, unlike pollens, mold can grow anywhere and requires little more than moisture and oxygen to thrive.

With additional time spent indoors, allergic individuals are more likely to suffer from symptoms that are often attributed to colds, such as runny nose, sinus irritation, sore throat, headache, fatigue and congestion. Both colds and allergies set off immune responses and, while many symptoms overlap, cold sufferers are more likely to have fever or body aches as opposed to itchy eyes or throat . Usually with colds, symptoms gradually get better within a week or so. If symptoms persist or are intermittent, allergens may be responsible. People who have allergies are more likely to develop asthma and those who have asthma may be particularly sensitive to indoor allergens. Insufficient sleep, eating too many sugary holiday treats and getting overexcited can also trigger asthma attacks.

Knowing your triggers and limiting your exposure is one way to control winter allergies.

  • Christmas trees are often blamed for an onset of allergy symptoms. While some may be sensitive to the strong scent of pine, others will be sensitive to pollen and microscopic mold spores that may be present on the tree and released into the air. If you have the time and the space, hosing down the tree and letting it dry outdoors before bringing it inside may help to reduce allergens. For those with sensitivities, limit the amount of time a live tree stays indoors to less than two weeks, or perhaps consider an artificial tree.
  • Molds can be found indoors and out and are well known allergy triggers. Mold can hide in many indoor spaces, especially basements and bathrooms. Increasing ventilation in damp areas can help combat mold. If you store your holiday decorations in the basement, be sure they are stored in sealed containers and wash your hands thoroughly after moving any boxes. Firewood stored outdoors can also be mold contaminated, so wear gloves when bringing it inside and be aware that burning the wood indoors can trigger the release of airborne pollutants.
  • Dust mites, microscopic allergy-inducing relatives of the spider, are known to live on mattresses, bedding, upholstered furniture, carpets and drapes. Stuffed animals can collect dust mites too, but they can be limited by placing unwashable favorites in a plastic bag and putting the bag in the freezer for a few hours each week. It’s unlikely that dust mites can be entirely eliminated but you can reduce their number by washing bedding in hot water once a week and, if you live in cold climates, you can leave non-washable bedding outside overnight to kill dust mites. Frequent vacuuming with a cleaner that has a HEPA filter can help to trap allergens. Those who are super sensitive should consider wearing a mask while vacuuming to reduce exposure to dust, dust mites and mold spores. Better yet, when possible, have someone without sensitivities do it for you.
  • Animal dander can cause allergic reactions in people who have a reaction to the proteins found in dead skin cells that are shed by the animal. While we don’t want to leave our family pets out in the cold, there’s increased exposure to dander during winter months spent largely indoors. Bathing pets regularly often helps reduce allergens , as does keeping pets out of our bedrooms and especially our beds. Ideally, your pet should sleep in a less used area of the home.

Although not recognized as an allergen, sugar invokes an inflammatory response and suppresses the immune system, so be wary of too many indulgent holiday treats if you want to stay healthy this winter. In addition, insufficient sleep can compromise the immune system, leaving us more susceptible to viruses and infections. Studies show that our amounts of killer T cells go down and inflammatory cytokines go up when we are sleep deprived, leaving us more susceptible to the pathogens that cause colds and flu. Continuing on with a healthy lifestyle during the holidays and reducing exposure to your known triggers is the best way to combat indoor allergies, hopefully enabling you to feel well enough to enjoy those holiday parties!

Great product suggestions for seasonal allergies include:

Natural D-HistNatural D-Hist by Ortho Molecular – This very popular product provides natural relief of allergy discomfort with carefully selected nutrients. The formula contains anti-inflammatories, antioxidants and flavonoids, which help to manage histamine levels, support natural antioxidant activity and support sinus, nasal passage and respiratory health. Gluten, soy, corn, and yeast free.
D-Hist Jr.
D-Hist Jr. by Ortho Molecular, formulated especially for children, provides relief from seasonal allergy discomfort in an easy to take lemon-lime flavored chewable tablet. Gluten, soy and yeast free. No artificial colors or flavors.
Allergy Response
Allergy Response by Innate Response Formulas – This product supports healthy allergy and inflammatory responses and helps stabilize histamine release with vitamin C, quercetin and nettle leaf extract. Gluten, soy, dairy, sugar and corn free formula.


And for immune support and cold and flu symptom relief try:

Immune Support Packets
Immune Support Packets by Designs for Health – These individual packets provide antibacterial and antiviral support with a comprehensive arsenal of immune supportive herbs and nutrients, which aid in building a strong immune defense during cold and flu season.
Hevert Cold & Flu ReliefHevert Cold & Flu Relief by Hevert Pharmaceuticals – This product provides homeopathic support for the temporary relief of cold and flu symptoms. This formula will not cause drowsiness and contains no artificial ingredients. Formulated for adults and children over 6 years of age.
Comparative degree and type of sensitization to common indoor and outdoor allergens in subjects with allergic rhinitis and/or asthma. Online. ww.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9117881
Tips to Control Indoor Allergens: Online. http://www.aafa.org/display.cfm?id=9&sub=18&cont=533
Allergy: Lifestyle Management. Online. Henry, Milgram, M.D. http://www.nationaljewish.org/healthinfo/conditions/allergy/lifestyle/holiday-tips/
Sleep and Immune Function. Online. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3256323/
Common Seasonal Allergy Triggers. Online. http://acaai.org/allergies/types/seasonal
Allergies, Asthma and Winter Holidays. Online. http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/asthma-library/allergies,-asthma-and-winter-holidays.aspx


Stay Healthy: Immune Supporting Tips

immumne2JacquieIconBy Jacquie Eubanks

It’s the beginning of flu season and the thought of that looming threat may make some of us a little uneasy. Fortunately, most of us who may get the illness will not develop complications and will recover with rest, proper nutrition, adequate hydration and OTC medications. For some, an antiviral prescription medication may be recommended, which can be effective at reducing the severity of the illness when taken as soon as possible after symptoms develop.

Many factors contribute to your risk of coming down with the flu, including age, as infants, children and the elderly are more vulnerable. Others at high risk of hospitalization from complications of the flu include those with chronic medical conditions or compromised immune systems, those under chronic stress, the severely obese and pregnant women.

Do you ever wonder why some will come down with flu symptoms while others appear to be able to resist the bugs that cause the illness? Are you one of those people who seem to catch every viral infection that makes the rounds in the office or at school? Perhaps your immune system could use some attention. Following are some reasons why your immune system may be functioning at less than optimal levels:

Poor diet – Malnutrition impairs immune function. Diets high in sugar, fast food and processed foods don’t provide the rich nutrients your immune system needs to build its army of white blood cells, which fight infections and pathogens. Surprised? Don’t be, as it’s the diets high in vegetables, fruits, nuts, protein and healthy fats that promote overall health and provide the nutrients the immune system requires for optimal function.

Stressful lifestyle – Chronic stress puts the immune system under duress, leaving the body more vulnerable to illness. Scientific data shows that the negative effects of stress on the immune system have implications for health, including reduced antibody production and decreased lymphocyte proliferation. You can cut your chances of succumbing to a cold or the flu by mindfully reducing stress. Studies show that people who meditate have 50% reduced risk of illness, likely because meditation reduces the physical effects of stress that weaken the immune system. Massage on a regular basis has also been shown to produce positive changes in immune function.

Lack of sleep – Sleep deprivation raises the risks of illness by activating the stress response, elevating inflammatory chemicals and suppressing immune function. Sleep loss appears to cause changes to the system that activates our immune defense by decreasing the production of infection fighting antibodies and cytokines, chemical messengers that regulate the response of the immune system. Adequate sleep of 7 -8 hours a night for adults and up to 10 hours for children supports immune function by enhancing the body’s ability to form an initial response to invading pathogens.

Inactivity – Just as a weakened immune system generally accompanies a sedentary lifestyle, physical fitness is associated with healthy immune function. The human body was not designed for an inactive lifestyle, as studies show a sedentary lifestyle disrupts normal body functions that are necessary to maintain good health. Physical inactivity increases susceptibility to viral infections, while regular moderate exercise enhances natural immunity. It would appear that getting active is a good prescription for getting and staying healthy. During exercise, antibodies and white blood cells circulate more rapidly throughout the body, increasing the chances of detecting illnesses earlier.

Vitamin D deficiency – Scientists have found that vitamin D is crucial to immune defenses. However, vitamin D deficiency has seen a dramatic increase among children, teens and adults in the U.S., leading to compromised immune function and inflammation. Studies indicate that the effects of vitamin D deficiency include an elevated risk of developing chronic disease and immune system abnormalities, which can result in infections and autoimmune disease. Without sufficient vitamin D, killer T cells, which fight infections, remain dormant and don’t complete the necessary activation process needed to seek out and destroy pathogens. Supplementation, fortified foods and natural sunshine exposure for at least 15 minutes, 2 – 3 times a week will help to support adequate blood levels of vitamin D.  

Gastrointestinal health – Digestive health directly impacts your immune health, as your GI system is the headquarters for your immune system. A poorly functioning digestive system negatively influences the health of your immune and nervous systems and impacts hormonal health as well. Gastrointestinal immune cells secrete lymphocytes, which attack harmful pathogens. Beneficial intestinal microflora help prevent the overgrowth of harmful microbes, enhance the function of natural killer T cells and form a barrier to prevent germs or pathogens from being absorbed into the bloodstream. Supplements such as pre- and probiotics provide live strains of beneficial bacteria that offer significant support for optimal digestive and immune function.  

In addition to following these healthy tips, here are some great supplement choices for immune support:

Immune Support Packets
Immune Support Packets by Designs For Health – These twice daily packets provide a comprehensive formula of immune supportive herbs and nutrients to help build a strong defense during cold and flu season.
Bio-D-Mulsion by Biotics Research – This super absorbable emulsified liquid formula supplies 400 IU of vitamin D3 as cholecalciferol per drop.
Digest Gold™ W/ATPro
 Digest Gold by Enzymedica – This potent digestive enzyme formula is designed to support optimal digestive function, enhancing immune and overall health.