Allergy Testing and Treatment
A Naturopathic Approach
Dr. Ray Lendvai, Naturopathic Physician
Over the last few decades there has been a steady increase in the incidence of allergies and asthma particularly in the younger population and an increase of sudden spontaneous allergies in adults. Some of the postulated causes are an increase of pollutants and chemical toxins in our environment, overuse of antibiotic medications, increased stress in our daily lives and a controversial possibility, the repeated administration of vaccines in infants whose immune systems have not fully developed. As a naturopathic physician, I have had the opportunity to help many people find solutions to their allergy problems. This article will outline some of the important considerations for successfully treating allergies.
An allergy is a hypersensitivity of an individual to a particular antigen(s) (e.g. pollen, dust, mold, foods) to which the immune system has been sensitized often due to overexposure at a young age or a vulnerable time. This sensitization creates an imbalance in the immune system and results in a hypersensitivity to that item. The key point in the naturopathic approach is to address the immune system imbalance that is reflected by the hypersensitivity and to correct this imbalance.
The first step is to identify the particular allergen(s) you are reacting to by doing allergy testing. There are a number of methods of testing including scratch test, blood test and electro-dermal screening all of which are commonly used in naturopathic clinics.
Electro-dermal screening is a non-invasive testing method using acupuncture points that is particularly effective in identifying even subtle allergic reactions and sensitivities.
Next, lifestyle factors that will hinder treatment like excessive stress, lack of exercise, lack of sleep, nutritional deficiencies and overly dry or damp living conditions must be addressed. This process is called removing obstacles to cure. Leading a healthy balanced lifestyle will go a long way in the elimination of allergies. A general detoxification program can be a part of this step. A naturopathic physician can create a personalized health program that will address these lifestyle concerns and establish a strong foundation for your life-long health and well-being.
When a strategy is in place to remove the obstacles to cure more specific treatment can be considered. In our clinic we have found two methods to be effective in the treatment and elimination of allergies; oral desensitization and homeopathy. In oral desensitization we use a series of seven highly diluted solutions of the particular allergen we are treating like pollen for example. The treatment is administered orally in increasing concentration over a period of 45 minutes. By gradually increasing the concentration of the solution the immune system becomes desensitized to the allergen and it no longer causes an allergic reaction.
In homeopathy there are specific medicines that have shown effectiveness in the regulation of the immune system and the treatment of allergies. Homeopathic medicines are also given in high dilutions and therefore are very safe for people of any age to take. Both methods are effective in treating environmental allergies like pollen, dust and mold as well as all types of food allergies. There are also nutritional supplements that a naturopathic physician may recommend for you to help in the treatment of allergies and to prevent recurrence.
These two methods of treatment have consistently shown better results than conventional allergy shots and provide more lasting improvement than antihistamines.
If you are suffering from allergies consider seeing a naturopathic physician to help you safely and effectively treat and eliminate your allergies for good.