What is an Allergy?
Allergies occur when the body mounts an immune response to some foreign substance that is generally harmless. The particle is called an allergen. These allergens can be from one or more of any number of sources including foods, food additives, dust, pollens or chemicals. Some allergies occur in response to items that you come into contact with rarely (maybe you avoid them) or items to which you have had an overexposure.
Types of allergies
The most dangerous type of allergy is termed type 1 or Anaphylactic. With this type, the body’s response is life-threatening.
There are other types of allergies termed type 2 or delayed onset that are not as dangerous but they can affect a person’s quality of life on a daily basis. The difficulty with non-anaphylactic types of allergies is the response to the allergens can often be delayed making it is much more difficult to identify the allergen.
For most people with troublesome allergies, the lining of either the respiratory or digestive tract has been altered so that it is not forming a complete barrier and small particles are able to enter the bloodstream. When this occurs the immune system assumes that they are foreign organisms and attacks them. Once this attack has been established the immune system can program itself to attack again even if a small amount of substance is presented. In extreme cases even if a trace or a signal of the substance is detected. It is this signalling response that creates the over reaction to the event.
Traditional mainstream medicine’s approach to treating allergies is simply to suppress the immune response or the entire immune system with steroids or medications. This approach is often very effective at decreasing the symptoms caused by the allergy, but it may generate new problems (headaches, fatigue, nausea, nose bleeds, dry mouth and asthma – depending on what drug is used). Beyond that, mainstream medicine does not recognize delayed response allergies as allergies at all; in that case, there is no immune treatment provided only system specific treatment (for eczema or digestive upset) which fails to resolve the cause of the symptoms. The Naturopathic Approach is to identify the allergen and treat the reason that you are reacting to it.
The best way to treat allergies is desensitization. Here at Ocean Park Natural Therapies we have several ways of managing the condition. Like most Naturopathic Physicians, we can assess your status using an IgG panel blood test. In most cases, this will reveal the allergen and will allow us to develop a plan of avoidance and oral desensitization that will lead to relief from your symptoms. If you have a more complex or severe case, we may employ our exclusive Advanced Allergy Therapeutics (AAT System) which is non-invasive desensitization using computer generated signals and neutralization protocols prior to doing more traditional and more risky direct allergen protocols. It has the capacity to identify more specific allergens than are identified in the general blood IgG panels.
There are many people who suffer from allergy-like symptoms who do not have an immunoglobulin response. These people have what are called “sensitivities” or “intolerances”. If this is the case, we may consider ordering a test which measures your blood’s response to potential sensitivity activators. Alternatively, these situations can also be treated with our AAT system which affects both true allergies and “sensitivities and intolerances”.
Whatever your immune system is reacting to – we have a broad range of methods and skills to help identify and alleviate this challenge. At Ocean Park Natural Therapies, using integrative natural therapies we will help you to have a healthy functioning immune system.