T Nation

Allergies

Oh man, my friggen allergies have got me numb to the world. I was at the gym yesterday, and it was all I could do to stay focused, everytime I’d try to start a lift, I’d wind up sitting there staring off into space like some kind of mouth breathing moron.

I didn’t even finish my workout, I got half way through and was like “screw it”. Is anyone else affected this bad from allergies?

Not that bad, but when my allergies kick in, my sinuses flare up and it makes it hard to breath deeply when I’m working out, so I tend to scale back the intensity a tad when I’m feeling under the weather. If I push too hard, I tend to feel worse and then I don’t feel like going to workout at all the next day.
It sucks, but it’s something I have to deal with. Thankfully it only happens a few times a year (usually around the time the seasons start to change)
-Djwlfpack

Yup. I get 'em BAD. No food allergies, but dust, trees, pollen, and animals all get me.

My advice? Go see your MD and get a prescription. The nasal inhalers are the best. I know, I hate squirting shit up my nose every day too, but there’s a good reason for it.

Allergies are a cascade problem-- they hit your nose first, and the symptoms spread from there: the itchy, watery eyes, scratchy throat, inability to focus, cold sweats, I know the whole routine. So the nasal inhalers are basically steroids that cut the reaction off at its source. There’s no point to a pill that’s going to spread through your whole bloodstream when you can just hit the problem at its source, right?

Ask your doc about:
Beconase: Great inhaler, really easy to take, and there’s no taste to it; but you HAVE to do it twice daily or the effects go down noticeably.
Nasarel: Not as easy to take because it’s a little more viscous than the Beconase so it runs down the back of your throat a bit, and it tastes like crap. BUT, you only have to take it as often as is personally necessary for you. For me, it’s about once every other day (You have to experiment and discover this for yourself, after a breaking-in-period of taking it twice daily for about two weeks). I can suffer through a couple minutes of craptastic nasal flavor every two days in order to avoid the suffering. This is what I take currently.

If you’re looking for over-the-counter stuff, I used to LOVE Claritin, but I don’t know if they’ve changed the dosage for OTC, I used to take it when it was prescribed.
I also used to take Allegra, which is another prescription pill, and it worked great as well.
The OTC stuff will also be more expensive in the long run, I think Claritin runs about $6 for 10 pills at Rite-Aid.

The biggest thing to remember is that allergies are CHRONIC. You absolutely must stick with the prescribed regimen. All of the ACUTE cures I’ve taken (that is, take a pill as soon as you feel a reaction coming on) don’t do anything but make me sleepy. Daily (or at least periodic) treatments are totally the way to go, and for me it’s all about nasal inhalers.

I’ve never responded that great to any treatment, though I’ve never gotten a shot. Claritan does a decent job in that I am not as stuffy and don’t get the itchy eyes and such on a normal basis, but if I have to go out and mow the lawn watch out! I mowed last night (we have 9 acres, of which I mow about 3.5) and I had to stop halfway through because I couldn’t see anymore and generally felt like shit. I ended up at the gym with two really puffy eyes that were barely open and doing the mutation series leg day. It wasn’t pretty but I had a good workout nonetheless.

I sit here today wearing my glasses and with sore eyes, but I feel MUCH better.

I hate allergies, mine are real bad. If I sneeze one time, I go off into about a 20 sneeze sequence. I take alegra 180 and it works pretty good, but takes a while to kick in and wears off before I go to bed.

FYI:

If you go OTC, Alavert and Claritin are the same except for cost. They are both loratidine, but Alavert is half the price.

The best thing is to get a script from your doc for Allegra. It’s much cheaper with a 3rd party copay only and won’t put you to sleep (or interfere with any thermos you are taking) like Zyrtec or Clarinex. Ask for Allegra only. Trust me.