Many people who train for self-defense experience having to skip training or workouts because of allergies. It could take days or even weeks before they can get back to normal training. And allergies are something that can affect anyone.
Allergy refers to hypersensitive reaction of the body to certain harmless substances. It could also mean an unusual reaction of the body in relation to the increase in the immunoglobulin level. Allergic reactions normally occur when the immune system reacts to allergens. Allergens can enter the body through the digestive system, respiratory system or skin contact. There are three common types of allergens, namely the inhalant allergens (such as pet dander, house mites, pollen, spores), ingestant allergens (eggs, peanut, milk, certain medications), and contactant allergens (such as metals and cosmetic products).
Generally, there is no cure for allergies. However, their symptoms can be controlled using certain medications including antihistamines. But antihistamines cannot give relief to all kinds of allergies. Antihistamines can relieve the symptoms of hay fever, allergic rhinitis, atopic eczema, urticarial, allergic conjunctivitis, and allergic reactions due to insect bites and stings. Patients with mild allergic reaction to ingestant allergens may also find relief by taking antihistamines. In some instances, doctors may also recommend antihistamines for patients with fluid in lungs caused by allergic reactions.
How Antihistamines Work
When the body is exposed to allergens, it will trigger the body to release chemicals called antihistamines. Histamines are what causes the skin to itch or the nose to swell when exposed to allergens. To block histamines and stop the symptoms of allergic reaction, you need to take in an antihistamine.
There are different types of antihistamines available which can be categorized into commercial antihistamine and natural antihistamine. Commercial antihistamines are available in capsules, tablets, liquid, eye drops and nasal sprays. Some can be bought over the counter while others are prescription only. Popular brands of prescription antihistamines are Astelin, Astepro Atarax, Vistaril, Clarinex, Cyproheptadine, Emadine eyedrops, Palgic (carbinoxamine) and Xyzal. OTC antihistamines, on the other hand, include Allegra, Benadryl, Dimetane, Claritin, Chlor-Trimeton and Zyrtec (certirizine).
One of the disadvantages of commercial antihistamines is that some people might suffer from their side effects, the most common of which are drowsiness, dizziness, dry mouth, blurry vision, nausea and vomiting. That is why they resort to using natural antihistamines from plant sources.
There are some herbs that you could easily source from your pantry or backyard garden, which possess strong antihistamine properties. One good example is thyme which can aid in allergic reactions to the skin such as itchiness and skin rashes. Other herbs with antihistamine properties are basil, fennel, chamomile, ginger, parsley, saffron and nettles.
The saying that prevention is better than cure best applies to patients who have a history of allergic reactions to certain allergens. For instance, if you are training for self-defense outdoors and you are allergic to dust, be sure to find a location that is not dusty. If symptoms persist despite taking antihistamines, it is best to see your doctor immediately.