Allergen immunotherapy generally refers to injections of the actual allergen to encourage immunity in the body to desensitize the allergic response. Natural remedies may also be beneficial as allergen immunotherapy alternatives.

According to NatureMedClinic, allergen immunotherapy in the form of subcutaneous shots is considered safe and natural. Since the actual allergen is used to decrease the body’s immune response, this form of allergy treatment is considered naturopathic or homeopathic. Although generally considered safe, allergy shots can be life-threatening as there is potential for an anaphylactic allergic reaction.

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Prevention explains the following five alternatives to allergen immunotherapy shots may offer relief from allergies:

1. Acupuncture uses fine, sterile needles that are inserted into acupoints in the body in order to bring relief from a variety of maladies and conditions. The belief is that acupuncture may assist with regulating immune responses, which results in alleviating allergy symptoms. In effect, acupuncture is desensitizing the immune response to allergens similar to the effects of subcutaneous immunotherapy.

2. Probiotics found in cultured dairy products and fermented grains, beans, beverages, vegetables, and condiments may improve gut health and increase beneficial gut bacteria, which may be a critical factor in reducing allergic responses. Researchers believe that probiotics balance out a type of cytokines responsible for immune system maintenance.

3. Spirulina is a type of algae that is full of vitamin B12 and protein. Research has shown that spirulina in the amount of 2,000 mg every day for six months decreased allergy symptoms in study participants, specifically nasal congestion and sneezing.

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4. Nasal sprays that contain a saline solution may reduce allergy symptoms. The saline is thought to flush the allergens and other debris from the nasal passages and ultimately the bloodstream. A study from the University of Cologne in Germany reported that participants experienced a 28 percent improvement in their allergy symptoms and saw a 62 percent decrease in the need for more medication.

5. Moderate-intensity exercise for 30 minutes a day may significantly decrease allergy symptoms. In a recent study, researchers reported an 83 percent decrease in participants’ symptoms after 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise. Researchers believe moderate exercise “produces an anti-inflammatory response in the nasal passages,” says Prevention in reference to reports from researchers in Thailand.

Before adding treatments, talk to your doctor to see if any of these allergen immunotherapy alternatives are right for you.

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