Many cases of hayfever in children are mistaken for the common cold, with symptoms being similar: nasal congestion, clear runny nose, itching of the nose and eyes and sneezing. Nasal itching may lead to some bizarre facial expressions as the child tries to relieve it and to one thing all parents love – nose picking. More serious symptoms can include headaches, wheezing and coughing, and nasal congestion is usually worse at night, interfering with sleep, and I’m sure we all well know that disturbed sleep often leads to a disturbed human being the next day – an irritable child then equals an irritable parent!
School-aged children with hayfever often have trouble concentrating in class due to tiredness and irritability, caused either by the hayfever symptoms themselves or as a side effect of anti-histamines, leading to compromised learning and cognitive function. Interestingly, there has been recent investigation in a possible correlation between hayfever and ADHD, as there are similarities in classroom symptoms.
Hayfever is in the same family as eczema and allergic asthma, and indicates an imbalance of the immune system. Most people are unaware that 70% of the immune system is in the gut, so digestive health is vital in the prevention and treatment of hayfever and other allergies – ensuring proper digestion and adequate bowel movements (sorry, but it needed to be said!) by getting plenty of raw fruits and veggies, water and exercise is important. Probiotics and digestive/anti-allergy herbs may also be need.
Another factor that has been found important in the immune system maturing properly is what’s called the ‘Old Friends’ hypothesis – that is, exposure to friendly micro-organisms in soil and worms – so get those mud pies cooking and don’t use antibacterial everything, which kills off all those lovely good bugs.
Diet can also create a state of immune imbalance and increased mucus production, predisposing to hayfever, and these dietary components do not necessarily give a positive reading in skin prick tests for allergies. Most typically, they are dairy products, white flour products, sugar, salt and yeast.
Brought to you by Janelle Moors, Naturopath/Remedial Massage Therapist
27 Yeaman Rd, Montrose, 3765 Ph: 0432 893 810 E: firstname.lastname@example.org