Living With Cats & Allergies

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Just because you have allergies doesn't mean you can't bring a small furry friend into your life. Learn about living with cats and allergies with help from an expert from the Arizona Natural Health Center in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Treating Allergies
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Dr.Laurinda Kwan from the Arizona Natural Health Center. Cats are part of our family, so it can be difficult if you've developed an allergy to your long time companion. The good news is, you don't have to give up your pet. There are things that you can do, that do not require daily antihistamines, and you and your cat can live in harmony and allergy free. There are five important things you can do to deal with your allergies to cats. Number one, take vitamin C. Vitamin C helps to build a healthy immune system and is safe and inexpensive and can be taken in larger doses. Even 5000 milligrams of vitamin C a day, can be safe. But always check with your doctor to find out what the optimal level of vitamin C is for you. In about three to four weeks, you should see an improvement in your allergies. Also, remember to drink lots of water with your vitamin C. Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin, so you'll receive maximum benefits by staying hydrated. It's also helpful to add foods rich in vitamin C to your diet. For vegetables, add red and green chili peppers, bell peppers and dark leafy greens, such as kale. But remember, cook these foods minimally and even eat some of them raw. Because vitamin C is a heat sensitive vitamin. So, the longer you cook these vegetables, the more the vitamin decreases. For fruits, add papayas, citrus fruits, kiwis and strawberries. Number two, is corsitine, this is nature's antihistamine and helps to control allergies. The recommended dosage is about one thousand milligrams a day in divided doses, and taken between meals. Foods that contain corsitine include, red wine, tea, apples, red grapes, red onion, and green leafy vegetables. Like the foods rich in vitamin C, these are best consumed raw to receive optimal benefits. Number three, is stinging nettles. This is a common weed found in many parts of the United States and is also nature's antihistamine. But without the unwanted side effects of drowsiness. About 300 milligrams daily will offer relief for most people. If you're checking at your health food store, you may find these allergy relievers together in one handy product, kind of similar to these. Number four, is neti pots, which is a small teapot that has been used in India for thousands of years to flush the sinuses and keep them clear. This simple technique helps to flush out dander that you breathe in and thin out congestion, so you can breathe better. Netis or other nasal rinse products are inexpensive and can be found easily at health food stores and even local drug stores are carrying them now. Use your pot about twice a day, especially if you've been playing with a cat. Number five, is Homeopathy. A natural alternative to allergy shots is Homeopathic treatment. Homeopathy is a safe and effective treatment for cat allergies, for both adults and children. Homeopathy helps to build an overbalanced and over-reacting immune system to function more healthfully. You can find Homeopathic medicines at your health food store. These are typically used for over-the-counter, self limiting conditions. For example, if you have cat allergies, you want to match the symptoms of your allergies to the remedy. If your symptoms are clear nasal discharge that is irritating to the skin, you may need a Homeopathic medicine called Allium Cepa. If you have burning, itchy eyes, you may need Euphrasia. And these are just two possibilities, try one one at a time to see which one might work for you. And with chronic allergies, it's always best to see a doctor that is skilled in prescribing Homeopathic medicines. Remember, practice good hygiene, wash your hands frequently around your cat, and avoid touching your face. If you touch surfaces with dander and then, your eyes or face, these are ways allergens enter the body. And as much as we love them, keep your cat off your bed. All these supplements are relatively safe for treating allergies to cats. But always check with your doctor first, with any questions and before beginning any treatments. I'm Dr.Laurinda Kwan from the Arizona Natural Health Center, talking to you today, about living with cats and allergies.


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