It sucks! Suffering from allergies, that is. Symptoms are annoying (and could include stuffy nose, red, itchy eyes, constant sneezing, dark circles under the eye) to life-threatening (anaphylaxis). It is caused by the hyper-reactivity of the immune system to natural as well as synthetic substances found in our food, air (inhalant allergens), and chemicals in our environment. The typical response would be the use of OTC and prescription anti-histamines, steroids and epinephrine (for anaphylactic conditions). Most of them are effective except for some unpleasant side effects such as drowsiness (anti-histamines), suppression of the immune system (steroids), and tachycardia (epinephrine). One more thing, a person has to take them indefinitely because the root cause/causes are not really addressed (by just symptomatic treatment alone). There are natural alternatives to allergy treatment and they include quercertin and bromelain. They may be taken if one is wary of taking any medications whatsoever. One thing though, is that it still doesn’t address the cause or causes of the allergy.
Other more effective treatments for allergy include immunotherapy (subcutaneous or sublingual) and L.D.A. therapy. Subcutaneous immunotherapy, otherwise known as “allergy shots” involves the administration of gradually increasing amounts of allergens over several months to a couple of years. The injections are given weekly or biweekly. This causes the body to produce less symptoms than are otherwise caused by exposure to antigens. Sublingual immunotherapy, on the other hand, involves the administration of liquid antigen drops under the tongue. It is safe, convenient and can be used on high-risk patients, such as elderly patients, asthmatics, and pregnant patients.
L.D.A. (low dose allergen) therapy, is a method of allergy treatment that was started by Dr. Leonard McEwen from England. Originally known as EPD or enzyme potentiated desensitization, Dr. McEwen used very tiny doses of various allergens along with an enzyme called beta-glucuronidase. Treatments were administered every 60 days. The treatment was found to be effective for a wide range of allergens (food, inhalants, chemicals) as well as other immune system disorders. EPD however, is no longer available in the US and has been replaced by L.D.A. L.D.A. therapy is similar to EPD and acts by stimulating T-suppressor cells. The main difference is that the allergen solution used for L.D.A. is not sold at regular pharmacies. It is made by compounding pharmacies according to a doctor’s specifications/prescription. The main benefit of L.D.A. therapy is that it seems to train the immune system to stop attacking normal substances that the body encounters (foods, inhalants, chemicals), rather than just temporarily alleviating symptoms or lowering the body’s histamine levels.