Introduction: The original definition of allergy was “a condition of unusual sensitivity to a substance or substances which, in like amounts, do not affect others.” Conventional allergists have narrowed the definition of allergy to include only those reactions caused by IgE antibodies. Testing for allergies has been available for around 100 years, and originally involved introducing the suspected substance into the skin (scratch or prick test). A raised, red reaction signified allergy. Skin testing is incomplete because a wide range of adverse responses occur through various immune or energetic pathways that don’t cause a skin response. Blood tests have been developed to measure various immune mediators including RAST orELISA tests. It is now thought that many adverse reactions occur due to energetic imbalances. We extensively use the Meridian Stress Assessment (MSA) test, which involves measuring changes in electrical resistivity at certain points on the skin in response to exposure to the unique energetic fingerprint of the substance being tested. A trial of avoidance of the food or other substance which tests positive should be done. After observing any clinical improvements, the substance is re-introduced. An adverse response to that substance verifies “allergy” or sensitivity.
Allergy Reactions can produce almost any imaginable symptoms. Classical allergy is mediated through IgE antibodies which include itchy eyes, runny nose, stuffy blocked sinuses, asthma, hives and eczema. Many digestive symptoms appear to be “allergic.” Particularly fascinating are the central nervous system “allergic” responses including headaches, anxiety, depression, sleep disturbance, hyperactivity, irritability, anger, temper tantrums, aggressive behavior, cognitive dysfunction, and fatigue.
Traditional Desensitizing Injections involve injecting tiny amounts of the substances which tested positive on the skin test. One or more shots are given twice weekly. The strength of the shot is slowly increased. After many months, blocking antibodies are formed which shut off the IgE response to those substances in the shots. Once the shots become effective (often takes a year or longer), maintenance shots given every 2 weeks for a number of years are usually required to maintain the effect. This system works quite well for seasonal pollens, but doesn’t work as well for year round problems, and certainly doesn’t work for foods or chemicals. Disadvantages of this system include the need for frequent painful shots, potential for dangerous reactions, limited range of reactions it controls, the expense, the time it takes to work, and the ongoing need for frequent treatments. Newer treatments have many advantages.
Sublingual antigen therapy involves giving drops of allergenic substances under the tongue. Treatments have to be given at a precise dosage to be effective, but a “stabilizing system” developed in our office allows most people to respond favorably to one specific dose which stays the same throughout treatment. Advantages of this system include: A wide range of substances can be treated, including pollens, animals, dust, mold, foods, chemicals, and even hormones and medications. Treatment is very safe and side effects are unusual. Sublingual drops are painless, can be given at home, and usually work quickly (often within minutes). Treatments can often be spaced out and even discontinued after months of treatment. It is usually highly effective and the cost is low. This is a great system when there are only a few allergies. Disadvantages include the need to keep taking the drops, as much as three or more times daily at first, only a limited number of substances can be included in each bottle, so multiple bottles may be needed, and insurance won’t pay for this treatment.
Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique (NAET) is a treatment developed by Dr. Devi Nambudripad, a chiropractor. She discovered that stimulating specific acupuncture points affected the immune system, and reactions to substances held in the hand could be shut off by treating specific acupuncture points. These treatments can be done using needles, pressure, or even laser stimulation. Advantages of this treatment include: Once the reaction has been shut off, no further treatment is needed. From then on (theoretically forever) you no longer react to that substance. A wide range of substances can be treated, even toxic substances like pesticides. The procedure is very safe, has minimal if any side effects, and is generally painless. Even the acupuncture needles when used are surprisingly painless. It generally works very quickly, and is usually very effective. Disadvantages include: Only one or possibly a few items can be treated at a time. Many treatments may be required for someone with extensive allergies. With foods, 10 basic nutrients need to be treated before starting on the most troublesome foods. Treatment can only be done in the office. Insurance companies usually won’t pay for this treatment (one company does pay for a few visits).
Jaffe Mellor Technique (JMT) is an advanced treatment system beyond NAET. It works well for most forms of auto-immunity (conditions caused by your own immune system attacking certain body tissues). Good results have been reported for osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, Crohn’s disease, scleroderma, ankylosing spondylitis, lupus, multiple sclerosis (MS), and others. It seems to be effective in dealing with acute infection as well.
Sensitivity Reduction Technique (SRT) is a greatly improved system of allergy treatment which replaces NAET and improves JMT. Three foundational treatments are done initially, each one containing many allergenic substances. Allergies are often much improved after the 3 initial treatments. Larger groups of allergenic substances can be used with each treatment, so far fewer treatments are needed than with NAET. Food avoidance after treatment only needs to be for 3 hours. Allergies to a wide variety of foods, pollens, molds, animals, dust, chemicals (including toxic products like pesticides and solvents), and even microbes can be treated with this technique. Treatment eliminates the reactions so no further treatment of any kind is required.
Drug Therapy for Allergies has become the standard for most allergies. Several newer antihistamines are not supposed to cross the blood-brain barrier, and are theoretically non-drowsy formulas. These drugs includeClarinex (similar to the now over-the-counter Clariten), Allegra, and Zyrtec. They may work quite well but sometimes only help a little or not at all. Not all “allergic” reactions involve histamine release, so not all reactions are covered by this approach. Cortisone given orally or by injection has been very effective, but with a very high incidence of side effects, including weight gain, diabetes, mineral loss with osteoporosis, cataracts, etc. Nasal cortisone sprays or inhaled cortisone into the lungs for asthma works quite well. These are much safer than systemic cortisone, but there is some absorption of cortisone systemically. Various eye drops with cortisone, antihistamines, or decongestants may relieve eye symptoms. A variety of newer asthma medications are now available which are quite effective.
In our opinion drug therapy only controls symptoms, and is a poor substitute for specific allergy treatments which usually control the symptoms more directly and much more completely. However, drug therapy may be adequate for mild allergies.