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What is an allergy?
An allergy is an abnormal reaction by the immune system to normally occurring substances in the environment.
What are the two (2) categories of allergies for which we test?
The two categories of allergies for which we test are food allergies and inhalant allergies.
Name the six categories of inhalant allergies.
- 1. Weed Pollens
- 2. Grass Pollens
- 3. Tree Pollens
- 4. Dust & Dust Mites
- 5. Mold Spores
- 6. Animal Danders
List in order the first 20 inhalant allergens for which we test.
- English Plantain
- Russian Thistle
- Marsh Elder
- Grass Mixture
- Tree Mixture
List in order the second 20 inhalant allergens for which we test.
- Mountain Cedar
- Dust Mite Farinae
- Dust Mite Pteronyssinus
- T.O.E. (Trichophyton, Epidermophyton, Candida)
- Mold Mix A
- Mold Mix B
- Mold Mix C
- Grass Smut
- Grain Smut
- Dog Hair
- Cat Hair
- Horse Hair
- Cattle Hair
List the Bix Six food allergens for which we test.
- 1. Wheat
- 2. Corn
- 3. Egg
- 4. Yeast
- 5. Milk
- 6. Soybean
Explain the cause of the allergic reaction.
As an individual inhales or ingest various substances, they cross inner lining of the body and they enter the bloodstream as allergens. If this individual has a genetic predisposition towards allergy, his plasma cells, which are a form of white blood cells in the bloodstream, produce an abnormal antibody, called immunoglobulin E (IgE antibody) to these various allergens. These abnormal IgE antibodies circulate in the blood and bind to Mast cells.
Why are mast cells important?
Mast cells are important in that they line the respiratory tract from the tip of the nose through the nasopharynx, 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 on the mucosal lining of the respiratory and gastrointestinal tract.
What does it mean to be sensitized to an allergen?
Once an individual has an abnormal IgE antibody to an allergen on a mast cell, he is sensitized to that allergen. The next time he inhales or ingests that substance, his plasma cell not only produce more antibodies, further stressing his 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.
What is the primary chemical released during an allergy reaction and what effect does it have on the body?
The primary chemical that is released into the tissue from the mast cell is histamine. This is why individuals purchase anti-histamines. Histamine and the other chemicals released from the mast cells cause local tissue swelling, inflammation and drainage. Because the immune system in under stress, this clear discharge becomes a culture medium for bacteria. Subsequently, the drainage becomes yellow and green, and the patient presents to his physician with an upper respiratory infection. The physisican will treat the underlying infection with antibiotics, give anti-histamines and decongestants. In doing this, he is simply putting a finger in the dike, but water is coming over the top of the dam in the form of untreated allergies.
How do we treat allergies?
We treat allergy by using the old adage: "Fight fire with fire." By giving a dose, either sublingually (under the tongue) or injectably, of the very substances to which a person reacts when he inhales these substances, we can build up a good blocking antibody, IgG, which blocks the allergy reaction. The allergy treatment is an immunization, which desensitizes the individual to the allergens to which he is reacting.
What does the treatment of inhalant allergens, by shots or drops, do to ameliorate or eliminate the allergy reaction?
The treatment of inhalant allergens, using injections or sublingual drops, builds up immunizing blocking antibodies (IgG) which block the allergy reaction.
How long does it take to stimulate the immune system to build good blocking antibodies to various allergens by using sublingual drops or injections?
Once this happens and optimal levels of blocking antibodies are obtained, what option may an individual have?
An individual may choose to try to take their allergy treatment on a less frequent basis. For example, instead of taking drops daily, they may try to take drops every other day.
When can a guest have the opportunity to reduce the frequency of their allergy treatment?
Once they have been on treatment and symptom-free for 2-3 years.
Does allergy desensitization treatment CURE an individual of allergies?
No, it alleviates sysmptons but does not change a person's genetic makeup.
Should a guest ever be encouraged to completely stop allergy treatment if it has been working for them?
No, because eventually their immune system will again weaken and they may then need to be retested in order to restart treatment. In the same way all guests should expect to take hormones for the rest of their lives, so it is with allergy treatment.
Do we test guest to see if they have allergies?
No. If we perform allergy testing on a guest, we already know by their clinical history that they have allergies.
Why do we allergy test our guest?
We test only to establish the correct dose of antigens to use in creating their allergy desensitization immunotherapy.