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Allergies

BACKGROUND

The word allergy is derived from the Greek words meaning "altered reaction." An allergen is defined as a substance that provokes an abnormal immune reaction. Having an allergy means that when exposed to an allergen the body is sensitive to, an individual usually suffers physical symptoms (e.g. headache, vomiting, rashes, migraine, asthma, etc.) An allergen can be almost anything from house dust, dog dander, foods, chemicals or even bacteria, just to name a few. Allergy is quite common and it is estimated that over 20% of the population have allergies (excluding hayfever), with this being quite a conservative estimate.

FOOD ALLERGIES

A food allergy is a reaction of the immune system to certain components of food. When an individual ingests a food they are allergic or sensitive to, their immune system recognizes it as foreign and mounts an iummune reaction to it. This means that just as the immune system would react to a virus or bacteria by forming antibodies, the immune system may form antibodies and mount an immune reaction in response to a component of food.

In discussing food allergies it should be emphasized that there are different ways in which an individual’s immune system may react to an allergen. The Immediate Food Reaction occurs within 3 hours after digestion and is caused by the presence of a high IgE antibody levels in the blood, which sets off an immediate allergic response. This is considered the “anaphylactic reaction” and symptoms include shortness of breath, hives, swelling of the lips and throat, vomiting, etc. This type of reaction is the one tested for by Medical Doctors using the scratch/prick test. However, most allergic reactions to foods are IgG, not IgE, mediated. IgG antibodies cause Delayed Food Reactions which can occur up to several days after ingestion of the reactive food. Such allergies are often the cause of many "chronic symptoms.” Allergy testing at our clinic includes assessment of both IgE and IgG antibodies through blood sample.

Some common indications for food allergies include:
• Infant colic, Skin rashes, or Malnutrition
• Depression
• Aphthous stomatitis (canker sores)
• Asthma
• Eczema
• Attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity
• Autism
• Chronic fatigue syndrome
• Dermatitis herpetiformis
• Epilepsy
• Gallstones
• Inflammatory bowel disease - ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease
• Intestinal dysbiosis, Candidiasis
• Intestinal hyperpermeability
• Irritable bowel syndrome
• Migraine headache
• Multiple sclerosis
• Otitis media (ear infection)
• Peptic ulcer
• Psoriasis
• Rosacea
• Seborrheic dermatitis
• Urticaria (hives)

ENVIRONMENTAL ALLERGIES

Just like a food allergy, an inhaled environmental allergen can cause a hypersensitivity reaction in those sensitive to it. Most inhalant allergies are IgE mediated as opposed to IgG mediated reactions in food allergies. Some common inhalant allergies include animal dander, trees, grasses, weeds, and molds. The most typical symptoms of inhalant allergies include nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing, itchy nose and eyes, excess tear production in the eyes, postnasal drip, cough, loss of the sense of smell and/or taste, nose bleeds, brain fog, fatigue, sinusitis, and/or asthma.

Our inhalant allergy testing includes region based inhalants particular to Western Canada and the USA including panels of common tree, grass, weed, and mold as well as cat, dog, and mite (environmental) antigens.

WHAT WE HAVE TO OFFER AT KAMLOOPS NATUROPATHIC CLINIC:

Diagnosis:
- Allergy Testing: state of the art enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay technique (ELISA, 96-well format for best precision) to measure serum antibodies
- In office scratch testing to diagnose inhalant allergies

Treatment:
- Elimination and/or Rotation Diet Plans
- Allergy Desensitization

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250-377-3077

250-377-3079

kncnd@shaw.ca

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