Allergies affect millions of adults and children with symptoms of sneezing, itchy eyes and runny nose. Yet the first most common symptom of allergy is fatigue. This symptom is often attributed to other causes when allergy is actually the reason. Persistent symptoms of allergy may have serious physical, social, emotional and cognitive effects on individuals suffering from allergies. Overall the decreased quality of life may be very significant.
If an individual has a genetic predisposition towards allergy their plasma cells, a form of white blood cells, produce an abnormal antibody called immunoglobulin E (IgE antibody). A different antibody will be produced against each allergic antigen or offending substance. These abnormal IgE antibodies circulate in the blood and bind to mast cells.
Mast cells are important because they line the respiratory tract from the tip of the nose through the nasopharnyx, through the four sets of sinuses (maxillary, ethmoid, sphenoid and frontal sinuses), down the bronchial tubes, into the lungs as well as into the gastrointestinal tract. The mast cells are located on the mucosal lining of the respiratory and gastrointestinal tract.
Once an individual has an abnormal IgE antibody to an allergen on a mast cell, they are sensitized to the allergen. The next time they inhale or ingest that substance, their plasma cells not only produce more antibodies, further stressing their immune system, but the allergens bind to the antibodies on the mast cells, causing the mast cells to die, rupture and spill their chemical contents directly into the tissues.
The primary chemical that is released into the tissue from the mast cell is histamine. This is why anti-histamines are the typical treatment for allergic symptoms. Histamine and the other allergic mediated chemicals released from the mast cells cause local tissue swelling, inflammation and drainage. When this happens in the respiratory tract, initially the patient has a clear drainage. Because the immune system is under stress, this clear discharge becomes a culture medium for bacteria and viruses. Subsequently, the drainage becomes yellow and green and the patient presents to their physician with an upper respiratory infection. The physician will treat the underlying infection with antibiotics along with anti-histamines and decongestants. In doing so they fail to address the real underlying problem, the actual allergy.
Other common symptoms of allergy include a persistent cough, asthma, eczema, headaches, joint and muscle pain, irritability or brain fog. Frequently abdominal symptoms such as bloating, indigestion, gastric reflux, abdominal pain, constipation or diarrhea may be encountered.
The Wycoff Wellness Center’s approach to allergy is to begin with a comprehensive history and complete physical examination. We then discuss the potential for other tests for allergy such as blood tests (RAST testing), skin testing or pulmonary function testing. We then put all of this information together and provide you with a complete method to deal with your allergy symptoms.
Our treatment program emphasizes education regarding your specific allergy findings and symptoms that you are experiencing. Our highly trained staff will assist you in reducing your expoSusure to the identified allergens in your home or work environment. We may recommend a variety of prescription medications depending upon your specific needs. We may also offer you the option of treatment of your allergies. This may be accomplished by sublingual (under-the-tongue) drops.
Our experience has found that sublingual treatment is as effective as allergy shots but much easier to accomplish. Our office will be able to provide to you under the tongue drops that may be administered at home on a daily basis. The Wycoff Wellness Center staff will demonstrate how easy it is to effectively treat your allergies in this manner without the need for weekly allergy injections.