Allergies and What to do About Them
By: Dr. Andrew Dickens NMD
Allergies, oh what misery! Lord Byron said, “If I laugh, ‘tis only that I not cry!” Such is the discomfort of allergies.
Allergies result from a white blood cell reaction called an IgE immunoglobulin reaction. This is what causes hives and anaphylactic shock. There are also “sensitivities”, often lumped under allergies, which is an IgG immunoglobulin complex reaction. While allergies are immediate, sensitivities may take 24 to 72 hours to show up. So with food sensitivity, something eaten as long ago as three days, may only now be affecting your body today. If something you eat more regularly is causing a reaction, there could be a never ending symptom response.
So What to Do?
First, barrier functions must be corrected and maintained for any allergy treatment to be totally effective. Barriers are what separate the outside world we live in from the inside of our bodies. Barriers in the body are the outer layers of the skin, respiratory system and GI tract, which only let in desired elements like food, oxygen and water. For barrier control in respiratory complaints, this means drinking at least half the body weight in ounces of WATER daily. Also, keep bedroom humidity at 40-45% so that mucous membranes do not dry out while sleeping. Consider an air purifier for the removal of allergenic particulates, and possibly even removing carpeting, there will be less allergens to trigger an attack.
For GI (gastrointestinal) barriers, this requires adequate digestive enzymes (sufficient stomach acid and pancreatic enzymes) and proper intestinal bacterial growth with any necessary correction of abnormalities. Often, the removal of candidal overgrowth and its hyphae, which has resulted from the use of antibiotics, is necessary to establish an intact barrier.
For skin complaints, an intact and continuous skin barrier is necessary to resolve any issues. Again, this is dependent upon adequate water intake and essential fatty acid consumption (Linoleic and Linolenic acids) and their metabolites EPA and DHA (fish oils). These oils are also critical in dampening the allergic response and also for barrier functions in the lungs and GI tract.
Asthma or Allergies?
Asthma may in fact not be asthma, which is an irreversible physiologic change, but merely Reactive Airway Disease (RAD). RAD is bronchial spasm and constriction only upon exposure to an allergen. It can be stopped and reversed if treated early enough.However, chronic RAD will cause permanent damage to the lungs and lead into asthma. Asthma is triggered not only by allergens but by exercise, emotions, and other causes. Interestingly, with vaccinations there has been a dramatic plummeting of short term childhood illnesses and an explosion of chronic, lifelong and expensive illnesses like asthma, Crohn’s disease and Type 1 diabetes (Bach J. NEJM 2002). What vaccinations have apparently done is replace the training of “self vs. non-self” with an erratic, unschooled, and undisciplined immune system.
To control allergies, specifically the IgE reactions, conventional medicine typically gives allergy shots. This may involve as many as two shots a week and take three to five years with a 40% resolvement rate and approximately 20 deaths per year (Kail, K., Allergy Free) In contrast, there is NEAT (Natural Elimination of Allergies) as developed by one of the founders of the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Dr Konrad Kail. This has an alleviation of both IgE and IgG in as few as 4-5 visits with an 87% rating of “good to excellent” results with no shots. Again, clearing of allergies, once one leaves the rather primitive conventional model of treatment, is rather simple. The real solution is to maintain barrier functions and also the support of endocrine glands.
Supporting the endocrine glands is often a big issue, which will lead to truly “fixing” allergies and sensitivities. Without the necessary input from the adrenals and thyroid with adequate blood sugar control by the pancreas, the immune system will not have the energy and balance to adequately control the immune response, thus setting up allergies and sensitivities.
At Healing Pathways Medical Clinic, the German technology of Electrodermal Screening (EDS) is employed to determine in real time what will and will not work. This is in contrast to the standard “Here, try this for a month and let’s see what happens”. For example, what the endocrine glands may need for healing and support may range from botanicals and to different types of minerals and vitamins to homeopathic remedies to pharmaceutical thyroid medication. It all depends on what that individual needs. Tired of the injection routine? Want to be clear of allergies and heal the body so that is resistant to the allergic response? The answer is actually quite simple.
About Dr. Andrew Dickens:
Dr Andrew Dickens is the medical director of Healing Pathways Medical Clinic in Tempe, AZ where he specializes in allergies and chronic conditions.