Start At The Beginning
An allergic reaction is an overreaction of your immune system, and there are several kinds of hypersensitive responses. Pet, Pollen, Sinus, and Skin allergies are all examples of different types of allergies, and they're also contracted in various ways.
Then there are the symptoms. It's like the immune system wanted to make it as complicated as possible to decipher what's going on, but if we can get through other bodily mysteries, by-George, we can solve this one too.
Understanding Your Symptoms
Symptoms don't necessarily have to line up with the type of allergy you have. You could be suffering from constant congestion due to several different types of allergies (like pet, pollen, or chemical). But even when the allergy type is the same, two people can experience radically different symptoms.
Let me give you a better example: If we met the character Pig-Pen from the Peanuts, I'd get a sinus infection, my oldest son would start coughing, my youngest would say his nose hurts, and my husband would have itchy skin. Same stinky character, many different symptoms; same allergen, many different responses, but while knowing your symptoms is important, it doesn't tell us enough.
Dr. Leo Galland in his book "The Allergy Solution" presents a unique method to classify symptoms, not just define them. A stuffy nose could mean a million things, so it's wise to classify the symptoms into three categories; severity, frequency, and duration.
Dr. Galland suggests monitoring all three as a way to better find what you're allergic to, verses to just responding to the symptoms. How severe is your reaction? How often do you experience your symptoms? How long do they last? Monitor your allergy symptoms like a woman in labor monitors contractions.
After tracking your symptoms for a while, you'll undoubtedly have subquestions. The goal is to narrow down your symptoms as much as you can. You may discover that based off of the severity, frequency, and duration of your symptoms, your nose only gets stuffy when you do laundry.
Monitoring your symptoms through Dr. Galland's method will help you gauge what's triggering your allergies.
What Triggers Your Allergies?
Several triggers can cause an allergic reaction, and it's essential to know how you contracted the allergen. Remember you can get allergies through the good old-fashioned gene pool or via injection, consumption, inhalation, and skin contact. So, what causes your symptoms?
Here are a few starter questions for finding your triggers:
It's helpful to write these out and just stare at them. What similarities are you finding? What connections are you beginning to make? What do all these triggers and symptoms have in common? A person, place, or thing? Wait, those are nouns, not allergens, we're looking for pronouns, the (specific) cause of your symptoms.
If you're trying to figure out what allergies you have and how to treat them on your own, or if you're seeking the help of an allergist, describing your symptom severity, frequency, and duration will help unlock what's going on a whole lot faster.
Finding out what triggers your allergies can help prevent them. You could uncover that you have congestion at work, but not home. Your bedroom air freshener could be giving you those headaches or your deep love of cheese could be causing that sinus infection. Classify your symptoms and find your triggers, unless of course, you like leaving mysteries unsolved.
Linda Lavender writes articles to help folks with Auto Immune Disease, Depression, Anxiety and other health related illnesses.