Fall brings the scent of baked cinnamon and fresh fallen leaves along with the return of the allergy season. Mold and ragweed are common culprits in fall seasonal allergies. Because people with diabetes are vulnerable to allergies, it is important to learn how to ward off the symptoms.

  • According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, about 50 million Americans suffer with some type of allergies. Diabetes type 1 is an autoimmune disorder and allergies are, too. Often people with type 1 or 2 diabetes suffer from allergies. When your body responds to allergens, it releases antibodies to combat them. Histamines are released into your bloodstream, which trigger allergy symptoms. Allergy symptoms may include a dry scratchy throat, sneezing and sinusitis. It can also cause itchy red eyes, swelling of your lips, hands, face or tongue. You might have trouble breathing or wheezing as well as tightness in your chest, bloating or stomach cramps.
  • Ragweed flowers from the middle of August through the end of October. To minimize it from growing in your backyard, plant cover crops such as buckwheat or clover. Fallen leaves are a place where mold thrives, especially when it rains. Clean them up before they develop mold which may irritate your fall allergy symptoms. Proper maintenance of your backyard can help reduce the irritants associated with fall allergies.
  • Often people stay indoors to avoid allergy symptoms. This does not work if you are letting the allergens inside. Clean your air conditioner and furnace filters to reduce the pollen in your home or office. An additional benefit of cleaning the filters is reduced energy bills in time for the chilly fall season. Once you have a clean indoor environment, stay inside during the early and mid-morning hours when pollen levels are typically the highest. Consider investing in an air filter tower which may reduce allergy symptoms as well. Try a humidifier when you use steam heat which may increase house dryness and allergy symptoms.
  • Drink plenty of filtered water daily during the fall allergy season. Histamine, which triggers allergy symptoms, is released by your body to stop water loss. Drinking water prevents the release of histamine. Eating certain drinks and foods can aggravate allergy symptoms. Do not over indulge in foods and beverages that produce mucous such as ice cream, cheese, yogurt and milk. Nibble on diabetic food choices instead to combat hunger pangs. Avoid alcohol that contains sulfites such as red wine. People with diabetes should minimize their alcohol intake because it causes fluctuating blood sugar levels. Allergy symptoms can also set off a series of events that may affect your blood sugar levels. Test your blood sugar regularly during the fall allergy season.
  • There are five basic categories of allergy medications. Included are corticosteroids, antihistamines – nasal and oral antihistamines as well as oral and nasal decongestants. Other allergy treatments include immunotherapy such as oral drops and allergy shots. Consult with your diabetes care team before taking any prescription or over-the-counter allergy medications to avoid contraindications. Steroids can elevate your blood sugar. Increased testing of your blood glucose might be required if your doctor recommends this type of allergy medication.
  • Talk to your doctor about allergy remedies with little or no side- effects, Consider using saline nasal drops and eye drops to relieve fall allergy symptoms. Inquire about using a Neti-pot with sterile saline solution to cleanse your nasal passages and relieve allergy symptoms. Acupuncture is another potential remedy for allergy symptoms. Ask your doctor about taking over-the-counter medications such as Diabetic Tussin Menthol cough drops for a dry throat or Diabetic Tussin Mucus Relief Caplets to reduce congestion.

Fall allergies might be inevitable but being well-prepared can minimize your symptoms. Take precautions before your fall allergy symptoms strike. This makes it possible to enjoy the beauty of the fall season without feeling miserable!