Allergy Testing and Treatment
Are Allergies Driving You Crazy?
Do you suffer from any of the following symptoms?
- Itchy eyes
- Runny nose
- Post nasal drip
- Chronic cough
We can help. More than 9 million Canadians suffer from allergies. Allergies most often develop during childhood, but may appear at any age. Children who have an allergic parent are more likely to develop allergies. The most common environmental allergens are pollens, moulds, dust, animals and insect stings. Testing can help you determine if you are suffering from an allergy and to identify the cause so that you can be on your way to feeling better. We will work with you to treat your symptoms and remove any contributing factors.
We offer in office skin scratch testing for:
- Trees (prevalent from February to May)
- Grasses (May to July)
- Weeds (July to September)
- Dust mites
- Cat dander
- Dog dander
This quick procedure involves pricking the skin (usually the inner forearm) with a small amount of the allergen and measuring a response (within 20 minutes). Several allergens can be tested at one time. This type of testing is considered superior to blood testing for IgE antibodies.
Allergy Testing Important Patient Guidelines:
Prior to allergy testing, please avoid taking the following:
- Corticosteriod: Prednisone for 2 weeks
- Anithistamines: Claritin, Reactine, Allegra, Aerius for 1 week
- Antihistamines: Atarax, Benadryll, Chlor-tripolon, Sudafed, Dimetapp for 2 days
- Gravol, Cimetidine, Zantac, Famotidine for 2 days
- Analgesics and Anti-inflammatories for 2 days
- Nasal sprays and inhaler avoid day of appointment
Allergy Desensitization Treatment
Treatment is provided in the form of homeopathic sublingual immunotherapy which uses small doses of the allergen under the tongue to build tolerance. This type of therapy has minimal side effects, is less invasive than traditional allergy shots and easy to use (done at home). It is most effective to start therapy before the allergy season begins, usually 1-2 months before the season but can be started at anytime. This therapy is suitable for children 3 years and older, non severe-asthmatics and other populations who are unable to tolerate traditional injections.If you have a severe life threatening allergy, we recommend you consult with your Allergist for the most suitable treatment recommendations.
Research shows that sublingual therapy is an effective method of treating and managing allergies (Annals of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, Aug 2006; Ear Nose and Throat Journal, Aug 2007) and is also supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) as an alternative to allergy injections. Food Allergy & Sensitivity Testing and Treatment.
Food Allergies and Sensitivities
Have you ever wondered if you or one of your children are suffering from undiagnosed food allergies, sensitivities or intolerances?
A food allergy is an abnormal response to a food triggered by your body's immune system. Food allergies may present with a variety of symptoms from mild to severe. Typical symptoms of food allergies may include one or more of the following: itching, hives, puffy eyes, constipation, diarrhea, bloody stools, stomach upset, nausea & vomitting, runny nose, sneezing, difficulty concentrating, poor attention, eczema, fatigue, fussiness, gas or darkness & swelling under the eyes called allergic shiners.
There is also evidence that food allergies may be linked to conditions such as asthma, eczema, recurrent abdominal pain, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, depression, some behavioral disorderes, headaches, fatigue, hay fever, and chronic ear infections.
The most common food allergens include cow dairy, although wheat, citrus, soy, eggs, corn, shellfish, peanuts and other nuts. Individuals who have food allergies, eczema and asthma may have a genetic disposition thus obtaining a thorough family history is important.
Food allergies trigger a hypersensitivity reaction in the body which causes the release of IgE antibodies. IgE mediated allergic reactions typically occur within minutes to hours after exposure to the food of concern. These may be tested via skin prick testing or by blood IgE level testing.
Sometimes a reaction to food is not an allergy. This type of reaction is called a "food intolerance". These symptoms may mimic those of a food allergy. Food sensitivities are considered intolerances which are non life threatening and non IgE mediated. They may be associated with elevations of IgA or IgG antibodies detectable up to a few days after ingesting the food in question.The clinical relevance of food and inhalant-specific IgA and IgG is not yet fully established. The presence of food and inhalant-specific IgA and IgG represents exposure to a food or inhalant allergen and does not in itself identify allergy. Test results must be evaluated by the healthcare practitioner who understands the limitations of these tests. This can make food sensitivities challenging to identify & diagnose. IgG antibodies may also be elevated in foods that are consumed regularily or on an ongoing basis. Test results are compared to patient history and symptoms to help identify food intolerances.
How We Can Help
We offer numerous options to help you identify food allergies and sensitivites. We offer both IgE/IgG blood testing or we can simply work with you to develop an elimination diet to help you identify foods that may be negatively impacting your health while ensuring adequate nutrition. Once your food allergies have been identified your Naturopathic Doctor will work with you to design a nutritional dietary plan as well as an individualized treatment protocol to treat your allergy symptoms, improve your digestion, support your immune system, and improve your overall nutrition.
If you are concerned about a life threatening allergy ie. peanut allergy, we recommend you consult a medical doctor for a referral to an Allergist for testing.
*During testing, never eat a food to which you suspect or know that you or your child is/are severely or anaphylactically allergic to. Please consult or medical doctor or an Allergist if you suspect a life threatening allergy.