What are allergies?
An allergy is a reaction to a foreign substance by the immune system. The body’s defense system responds to foreign invaders or pathogens and this response triggers some form of immediate reaction in the body. Children today experience allergies at a much more alarming rate than ever before. Environmental allergies tend to be seasonal; much worse in the spring and the fall when there are airborne allergens from trees, flowers, grasses, and pollen. Other common allergens are foods such as eggs, milk, wheat, soy, and peanuts. Allergens can cause an over-production of Immunoglobulin E (IgE) in the body. This antibody elevates levels of histamine which causes inflammation and triggers an immediate allergic reaction. In some cases severe allergic reactions can trigger anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock, which can be fatal.
What your doctor will tell you about allergies?
A pediatrician will refer your child to a pediatric allergist. The pediatric allergists do skin-prick and blood testing (RAST Radioallergosorbent) to determine environmental or food allergies. Food allergies are more critical because they can be life-threatening so allergists recommend elimination of the allergenic foods and provide a prescription for epinephrine in the form of an “eppy” pen to use in emergency situations. Pediatric allergists are trained to diagnose, provide a treatment protocol and manage the allergies. Depending on the type of allergy, the allergist may prescribe antihistamines, cromolyn sodium (nasal spray), decongestants, eye drops and steroid sprays. Allergists also recommend immunotherapy (allergy shots) injecting the allergen into the body to create immunity to that allergen, but many times the risks can be potentially more dangerous due to severe reactions such as hives, rashes and even anaphylactic shock.
Another way to think about allergies:
A second type of allergic reaction is Immunoglobulin G (IgG). The IgG is much less understood as being an allergy because the inflammatory reaction is affecting the immune system. Symptoms are usually delayed manifesting two or three hours later and are not usually life-threatening. IgG symptoms are often referred to as being an intolerance or sensitivity rather than an allergy. They also tend to be more cumulative in nature and respond on a deeper level within the immune system. Sleep disturbances, asthma, bedwetting, eczema, constipation and diarrhea, ear infections, bladder infections, and chronic sinusitis are all IgG reactions.
A third type of allergic reaction called Immunoglobulin A (IgA) develops usually when there is autoimmunity present. Due to the Leaky Gut Syndrome, immune function is impaired and inflammation in the gastrointestinal lining causes the protective coating of antibodies called IgA to be released. The body is unable to fight off infection and becomes vulnerable to all types of pathogens. Because the GI tract is unable to eliminate toxins, they overload the liver and deplete the sulphur containing amino acids so the detoxification process becomes impaired. High levels of ammonia may develop due to liver toxicity which affects brain functioning. Any chemicals or toxins at this point that are ingested cannot be detoxified out of the body by the normal process, and consequently, cause a misfiring of the neurotransmitters in the brain. This is the reason why children with autism spectrum disorders may have“neurological” reactions such as hyperactivity, mood swings, meltdowns, inappropriate behaviors, sensitivity to sound, light, etc. Consider removing gluten and casein and all toxic ingredients from the diet to help heal the GI tract.
Allergy checklist to start:
- Make dietary changes. Eat whole foods; buy organic. Remove all GMO, fast and processed foods and those with colors, artificial ingredients, preservatives, phenols, salicylates and inflammatory foods such as casein, gluten, soy. Strictly limit sugars, salt, and white refined carbohydrates. Join the Feingold Association Feingold.org to learn more.
- Include plenty of good quality fats, such as coconut and olive oil, avocados, wild salmon, organic chicken and turkey, ghee, eggs, etc.
- Heal the gut with GAPS, PALEO, or GF/CF diets, a good probiotic, Keifer non dairy yogurt, digestive enzymes with DPPIV for gluten and casein sensitivities, zinc picolinate, coconut oil with MCT (medium chain triglycerides) and eating fermented vegetables and foods.
- Clean up your environment. Remove animals (both live and stuffed!), carpets. Use non-toxic cleaners, building materials.
- Ask your pediatrician to run some laboratory tests that give information about possible food sensitivities and allergies, Test for Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) IgG,IgA,IgE and IgM. Other testing could show deficiencies in vitamins and minerals, bacterial overgrowth and gluten and casein sensitivities.
- Use homeopathy specific for allergies (Nat Mur, Nux Vomica, Arsenicum Album, Allum Cepa) Consider using Schueller’s cell tissue salts which can be effective as well. Individual homeopathics can be specific for whatever the allergic symptoms or condition is.
- Add fermented foods and probiotics daily to keep the gastrointestinal system and microbiome healthy and strong which in turn will keep the immune system strong.
- Use herbs, essential oils and natural supplements such as Bioflavonoids (quercetin, catechin and hesperidin), flaxseed oil, stinging nettles, garlic, ginger, micelized A (water soluable vitamin A) zinc, milk thistle, myrrh, histadine, red clover, and NAC.
- Take Vitamin D3, Vitamin C and sulphur – N’acetylcysteine (sulphur) treats and prevents upper respiratory infections for those prone to chronic infections. MSM transdermal cream, Epsom Salt Baths and NAC all improve detoxification and allergies.
- See a well-trained acupuncturist to help strengthen the lungs, kidneys and liver.
- See a NAET or Bioset practitioner for an allergy elimination treatment to eliminate food and airborne allergies.
If you’ve addressed these issues and are still dealing with allergies:
- Test OAT (Organic Acid Test) by Great Plains Laboratory for yeast overgrowth and Candida, oxalates, and other microbial infections
- NutrEval by Genova Diagnostics Labs covers the following areas: malabsorption & dysbiosis; cellular energy & mitochondrial metabolism; neurotransmitter metabolism; vitamin deficiencies; and toxin exposure & detoxification need.
- Homeopathic or Naturopathic physicians can diagnose and treat asthma naturally so that the child’s immune, sensory, neurological and nervous systems develop without being compromised.
- Ionic foot baths can help detox unwanted pathogens and are easy to do with children
- Infared Sauna can detox through the skin and help strengthen the lungs.
- Hypnotherapy can lessen or completely prevent allergic reactions and assist the immune system in responding in a different way.
Still looking for answers?
Visit the Epidemic Answers Provider Directory to find a practitioner near you.
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