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Article by Jenetta Haim

Don’t mistake an allergy for the flu

It’s 7 am Monday morning and you call your boss saying, “Sorry but I can’t go to the office as I have the flu”. Then you may say, “I have an irritated throat, runny eyes, skin rashes and irritated lungs”. I prefer to stay at home because if I go I will be worse. What happens if I tell you that your symptoms are an allergic reaction that can be caused by abnormal changes in the environment and those changes can be attributed to global warming!  

Yes, global warming not only affects polar bears it may hit you right now as an allergy because certain components in the air have changed their concentrations. Typical allergies are associated with spring in the past but now, as the seasons are changing in length and frequency with weather more extreme it has also impacted on the temporal appearance of pollen in the air. Wind intensity and heat waves are phenomena associated with global warming and their intensity and frequency are expected to increase and with this, more strange patterns of matter in the air, such as dust and pollen.

Experiments have been done around the world on the effects of global warming on plants and it has been found that the more carbon dioxide there is the more pollen they produce and that is bad news for allergy sufferers. It is predicted the levels of carbon dioxide will double by the end of the century which will have a negative impact in the health sector as more people will be affected by pollen allergies. Studies related with trees and production of pollen have shown that some trees are already producing three times more pollen than they used to and in fact all plants are growing larger – plants like poison ivy which also have stronger itching qualities due to the carbon dioxide

The burning of fuels such as diesel and its impact on asthma is also a problem which has doubled in the last 25 years or so. Pollen binds with diesel particles in the air and goes deep into the lungs. Another compound that comes with the burning of diesel are nitrates. Nitrates have a serious impact in elderly people because it alters the membranes in the lungs making the exchange of oxygen difficult. In other words, nitrates contribute to respiration problems which can worsen if the person is a smoker or lives in a polluted city.

As people age they often have heart and lung problems already so it is even worse when they are affected by the pollutants in our atmosphere. It means they could go into anaphylaxis if affected. This is a life-threatening allergic reaction which causes a swelling in the throat and breathing problems. It needs emergency medical treatment.  One reason for this could be that many older people take beta-blockers as part of their daily medication and these already increase the risk of anaphylaxis. Also the medication used to control anaphylaxis does not work as well with beta-blockers in your system.

Global warming has also been correlated with the strength of the poison that some insects present and also with the length of life of those insects. This means that some poisonous insects are now stronger, can live longer and are more numerous. It is thus not surprising that people that visit remote areas or tropical areas are more likely to be affected by some stinging allergic reaction.

Unfortunately, our denatured society is providing many potential hazards for us that could seriously affect our health. It becomes the responsibility of us all to try and counteract what is happening out there regarding our world. Whilst it is easier sometimes to say ‘what can I do, I am only one person’ we need to remember that one plus one equals two and if we all band together and refuse to contribute to the things that will harm us and our children in the long term then companies producing and responsible for these hazards will have to change.

What to do

Remember Zinc will raise your immunity, Echinacea is great for the flu and immunity, Vitamin B is great for infections, Vitamin C is good for the flu and in general to keep you healthy and a multi vitamin makes up for all those days when you don’t eat all the right how many days a week is that?

If you take the right natural supplements to kick start your health in the right direction you will find you will get healthy and stay healthy for the most part. Remember though that there is no quick fix and nothing compensates for the standard good health eating plan of 3 vegetables of different colours, 3 fruits, one serve of protein minimum daily, up to 2 litres of water, exercise at least 3 times a week for one hour, sleep 7 hours a night and lots of rest and relaxation with family and friends on the weekend. The above combination will get you well on the way to being healthy and having a healthier lifestyle.


25 Jun 2017

Article/Information supplied by Jenetta Haim

Disclaimer - Any general advice given in any article should not be relied upon and should not be taken as a substitute for visiting a qualified medical Doctor.