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, anxiety/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 can cause allergies and others may 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.
We offer LDA and LDI types of treatments for treating and eliminating allergies.
LDA – Low-Dose Allergy treatment
LDA (short for low-dose allergy therapy, or ultra low dose enzyme activated immunotherapy) is a method of immunotherapy that actively “switches off” immune cells that are erroneously causing patients to be ill by misidentifying normal substances in the body to be allergens. LDA is used to treat all types of allergy, sensitivity and intolerance to inhalants (pollens, dust, mites, danders, etc.), foods and chemicals.
LDA immunotherapy is extremely low dose and administered infrequently, only every two months at first, and later less often. Treatment is required only every two months initially for a period of approximately 12 months. After that time, the treatment interval may generally be extended to three months or longer. Most adults with significant problems require 16 of 18 treatments at these intervals of two months or less often, at which time treatment often may be discontinued.
LDA is different than compared with conventional allergy escalating dose immunotherapy, conventional treatments are generally administered twice weekly for the first four to six months of treatment. Once the very high maintenance dose is reached, the treatment interval may be extended to once every two weeks or even monthly, but rarely less often without return of symptoms. Conventional escalating dose immunotherapy cannot usually be stopped without the return of some or significant symptoms within 3 to 12 months of cessation. LDA treatments are more effective than conventional allergy treatment because frequency of treatment is much less, and much safer without risks of anaphylaxis or return of allergies.
LDA has been successfully used to treat such conditions as:
- Seasonal and perennial hay fever
- Recurrent sinus/ear infections
- All types of food allergy
- Food sensitivities
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- All autoimmune diseases
- Chemical sensitivity
- Digestive issues
- many other problems
LDI – Low-Dose Immunotherapy
LDI (short for low-dose immunotherapy) which is an expanded application of LDA (low-dose allergy therapy), treatment made available to practitioners in the US by W. A. Shrader, MD, for the resolution of allergies and select autoimmune disorders. LDI works by helping the immune system restore proper balance by reducing inflammation caused by pathogens (bacteria, viruses, parasites, etc.) LDI has been shown to provide dramatic relief of symptoms and improvement in health for patients with a wide range of chronic illnesses, including Lyme disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, Hashimoto’s, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, interstitial cystitis and lupus.
Most autoimmune diseases are triggered by an initial infection. As the immune system fights the infection, it may begin to confuse the body’s own proteins with proteins made by foreign invaders such as bacteria and viruses. Even after the pathogens have been eliminated, the immune system remains activated, and an autoimmune reaction triggered by the pathogens has been launched.
LDI combines specific antigens (bacteria, toxins, or other foreign substances that induce an immune response in the body) which can be administered by intradermal injection or by sublingual dosing. The effect is calming the abnormally activated immune system and in turn reducing the negative effects of an improper overactive immune system. Each dose of LDI is customized to the patient based on the symptoms and the health condition they are in. Some patients can experience immediate symptom relief within days, and can last for several weeks.
Low-dose immunotherapy has proven to be a safe and effective treatment for many chronic illnesses that previously had no effective treatment options, or which were often treated with harmful prescription medications. Some of the chronic illnesses that have seen improvement with LDI therapy include:
- Lyme Disease
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Candida related illnesses
- Autoimmune Arthritis (Rheumatoid, Reactive)
- Crohn’s Disease
- Ulcerative Colitis
- Psoriasis (some forms)
- Interstitial cystitis
- Unknown Allergies
- and other inflammatory types of diseases
For more information about allergies causes, symptoms, and treatments, please ask staff at Optimal Health & Wellness, who are more than happy to help you learn more.