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Pollen2It's one of the few drawbacks to living here in the North Bay:  allergy season. And it's happening now. But you probably already knew that.

denisecooluris tDenise CoolurisAllergy sufferers know all to well what an allergic reaction feels like. But how, exactly, does it happen? Denise Cooluris, a Naturopathic Physician with Hill Park Medical Center in Petaluma, explains the connection between respiratory and GI tract responses, and how it develops early in gestation.

Not everyone is susceptible to allergies, and Cooluris explains that genetics has a lot of say about who is and isn't.

pollenPollen cells magnifiedIn Sonoma County and the North Bay, the biggest sources of the pollens that can trigger allergies are not trees or flowers, but native grasses.

There are also online resources you can use to track local pollen counts and forecasts, by zip code. Here's one.