Are you someone whose hay fever starts to kick in as early as March? It’s not that uncommon.
Whether it catches you early or not, if you suffer from hay fever it won’t be long until you begin to feel some of those dreaded symptoms like being full of catarrh and sneezing and feeling painfully itchy and irritated. Perhaps you suffer from other allergies too, and conditions such as asthma; these also become aggravated during spring and summer.
If you want to nip ghastly hay fever in the bud, you could try taking a daily probiotic, but you’ll need to start now.
Hay fever, or allergic rhinitis, develops when the immune system becomes overly sensitive to pollen and overreacts to it.
Hay fever season usually runs from March to September, and symptom severity varies between people. If you suffer from hay fever you may have a runny or blocked nose, sneeze and cough, have sore, itchy and watery eyes, an itchy throat or mouth, headaches, earache and fatigue.
If you also have asthma, you may experience shortness of breath, wheezing and a tight chest.
A more recent pilot study performed in 2018 in Queensland showed significantly positive results for adults with hay fever who took a probiotic supplement.
44 adults with severe or moderate hay fever were given a probiotic twice daily for eight weeks. They were then asked to report on their medication use, symptoms and quality of life.
63% of the participants had a substantial improvement in their quality of life, their symptoms also improved, and they decreased their conventional medication.
Lead researcher Dr Nic West suspects that the probiotics suppress the inflammatory response, increasing tolerance levels to pollen.
A larger study carried out at the University of Florida and published in 2017, also found that a specific combination of probiotics (Lactobacillus gasseri KS-13, Bifidobacterium bifidum G9-1, and B. longum MM-2) improved quality of life and hay fever symptoms.
173 adults with seasonal allergies received either a probiotic or placebo twice daily over eight weeks at the height of the spring allergy season. Each week, the participants filled in an online survey to measure the intensity of their symptoms.
Overall, there was a greater improvement of symptoms (particularly nasal) in the probiotic group, and they were able to carry out daily tasks more efficiently.
Stool samples in the probiotic group also showed a beneficial shift in gut bacteria.
Researchers noted that although the study was carried out on hay fever sufferers with less extreme symptoms, and the improvements overall were relatively modest, they were clinically relevant and more research is needed.
It’s also important to mention that the study was meant to commence before the start of the hay fever season but instead started at its height when the severity of symptoms were at their greatest and already entrenched.
In theory, this indicates that the probiotics would have to work harder to cause an effect.
The researchers also cite that probiotics could have the most beneficial effect in infancy when the immune system is forming.
These are just three of many studies looking into the benefits of probiotics for reducing hay fever symptoms. Reports are mixed, and more research is needed, but there is some persuasive evidence out there which suggests it’s worth giving them a try.
It would be interesting to see studies using different combinations of probiotics in varying amounts to see if they have stronger effects.
If you have hay fever, are not already taking probiotics and would like to see if they make a difference, start now. In the future, it would be advisable to start taking them a few months before the hay fever season begins.
We recommend Progurt Probiotics, an immensely powerful and advanced probiotic containing one trillion beneficial bacteria that reach the gut alive. What makes them so effective and unique is the fact that the probiotic strains are Human Probiotic Isolates, identical to those found in the human gut at birth.
As they are native to the human digestive tract, Progurt Probiotics work synergistically with you to attain a more naturally balanced microbiome. If you do take them, and you notice an improvement, it would be great to hear your story, so let us know.
Written by Rebecca Rychlik, Nutritional Therapist and Homeopath. Follow Rebecca on Instagram, Facebook and Medium, @rebeccabitesback.
Probiotics could have the most beneficial effect in infancy when the immune system is forming.