Taking Advantage of Allergy Testing and Treatment
An allergy is an overreaction of the immune system to an inappropriate stimulus, such as dust, pollen, grass, pet dander, mold, food, etc. The immune system believes it is being invaded by a parasite rather than a harmless allergen in the environment, and therefore, it rallies its defenses to fight off the enemy.
The list of symptoms caused by allergies is longer than you might think. Primary signs of allergies include:
- Runny or congested nose
- Watery and itchy eyes
- Frequent ear infections
- Sinus headaches
- Nasal polyps
- Conjunctivitis (eye irritation)
- Muscle/joint pain
- Skin rashes and eczema
- Mental problems such as confusion, slow thinking, depression and forgetfulness
- Respiratory effects including endless colds, chronic cough, recurrent bronchitis
There are many items in the environment that could cause your allergies. They fall into four general categories:
- Animal dander — from dogs, cats and cockroaches
- Mold and mildew
- Dust mites
- Pollen — from trees, grass and weeds
In addition, certain food causes allergies and others cause your body to react to some of the environmental allergens listed above.
Testing for Allergies
There are many different allergy testing options offered at Optimal Health & Wellness. We offer the traditional scratch and blood test for pollen, grass, trees, and dust that is offered by most allergy doctors. We also offer food allergy and food sensitivity testing via blood and/or blood spot testing. These types of testing is generally more detailed about the reactivity of types of food patients are exposed to. We also offer advanced allergy testing for chemicals and other agents depending on the patient’s needs.
Treatment for Allergies
Treating allergies takes a comprehensive approach to help reducing the symptoms and preventing them from coming back. Our allergy specialist can take a look at the patients overall toxic burden, whether it is the air we breathe, the food we eat, things we drink, and even emotions we experience. The body can sometimes only take so much before it develops allergy symptoms. By helping the body detox from these factors, we can help to reduce the total body burden of allergens. We also have to look at potential nutritional deficiencies which could cause the immune system to not tolerate the allergens as well. There are various supplements and herbs which can help the body tolerate allergies without causing side effects.
Immunotherapy is the closest thing to an allergy therapy cure. It’s a process that desensitizes your body to allergens by introducing them to your body, via serum, in small doses. As treatment progresses, the amount of these allergens (also known as antigens) in the serum increases so your immune system learns to tolerate and then ignore them, making you a much happier person during allergy season!
Acupuncture is effective at reducing allergy symptoms. Several tiny needles are inserted near your sinuses and the effects are almost instantaneous sinus relief which can last several hours to several days.
For more information about allergies causes, symptoms, and treatments, please ask staff at Optimal Health & Wellness.