by David Sheridan, M.D.
I believe that no one should have their life diminished because of allergies. “It’s just allergies.” We hear this often. I’ve even said it myself. Allergies don’t get much respect in the medical world. Did you know that millions of work and school days are lost because of allergies? One relatively straightforward problem may be costing millions of dollars in lost productivity each year. It’s because of allergies that we have a new workplace phenomenon: “presenteeism,” meaning the worker is present, but not totally functional. The fact is that allergies are one of our costliest maladies. Fear not! There is room for hope.
Allergy sufferers usually describe chronic, recurrent respiratory symptoms that are often misdiagnosed as an infection. They often end up taking antibiotics which are not needed and don’t help. However, the increased secretions and congestion caused by allergies may, in fact, lead to infection. In these cases, antibiotics are necessary but still do nothing for the allergic response that is behind the scenes. This scene only repeats itself, and the antibiotic exposure allows yeast to overgrow in the colon. One then becomes allergic to yeast and is therefore exposed 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. It’s a vicious cycle. Unfortunately, some of us are born with this tendency.
Some people have a genetic predisposition that causes their immune system to overreact to things like animal dander, pollens, and molds. It’s not the dog’s fault. It’s our immune system overreacting to things that pose no threat. The individual items to which we overreact are called allergens because they create an allergic response. Foods can get into the act, as well, in ways more complicated than one eating shrimp and getting hives. There’s more on this later.
This over-reactive immune response may cause symptoms ranging from minor to life-threatening. Typical upper respiratory symptoms include nasal congestion and or a runny nose. These symptoms may even alternate. Additional symptoms include sneezing, post-nasal drip, and itchy, watery eyes. Asthma is another typical allergic response and can even be fatal.
During an asthma attack, the airway constricts, and air flow becomes restricted. It is harder to get air in and out. Thankfully, there are medicines to help the symptoms that work most of the time. Tragically, asthma deaths still occur. As with the infections mentioned above, such medications don’t address the underlying allergic cause that is almost always present. This is why we believe treating the allergies directly is critical.
So how does one know if their symptoms are allergies or not? A doctor experienced in allergy care can use symptoms and symptom patterns to a high degree of accuracy.
At the Hotze Health & Wellness Center, we believe history is critical for diagnosis. One particularly important clue is when symptoms occur seasonally. We find that the symptoms listed above, when chronic and recurrent, are almost always due to allergies and respond well to properly dosed allergy drops. This “immunotherapy” trains the immune system, so it will stop overreacting to these allergens.
Knowing that, we can then use an allergy test to come up with the proper dosing for allergy treatment drops, kind of like a recipe that’s tailored to an individual’s needs. While many allergy doctors treat everything at the same dose, it turns out that different allergens may have significantly different treatment requirements. Therefore, they should be addressed each with its own dose requirement.
This is getting to the root of the issue and not just covering up symptoms. Relief may be just a few drops away. Don’t suffer through another allergy season.
Contact us today for a complimentary wellness consultation at 281-698-8698. It’s time to get your life back!