The wide spectrum and variety of symptoms caused by allergies are often unrecognized by patients and their physicians. Identifying and treating underlying allergies is one of the major approaches we use at this clinic to solve health problems.
The immune system's main role is to protect our body from infections and cancer, but sometimes it overreacts to what is typically a harmless substance. This overreaction is known as an allergic reaction. Common airborne allergens include pollens, dust, dust mite, mold, animal dander. The classic example of airborne allergy is hay fever, which produces symptoms such as sneezing, nasal congestion, itchy eyes and asthma in response to pollens.
Allergy symptoms are known to be mediated by the release of histamine. Allergic reactions also release numerous other inflammatory mediators besides histamine. Allergic reactions are best described as inflammatory in nature, which can adversely affect any organ system in our body, for example:
- Inflammation in the nose causes congestion
- Lung inflammation triggers asthma
- Gastrointestinal inflammation-"irritable bowel syndrome"
- Joints and muscle inflammation-arthritis and myalgia, fibromyalgia
- Brain-mental fogginess, memory impairment, mood swings, depression
Long-term untreated inflammation can lead to chronic disease, which is one of the reasons why identifying, avoiding and treating allergies is important. Cardiovascular disease has been clearly recognized as having a major inflammatory component.
So from both a health improvement and disease prevention viewpoint, allergy evaluation, identification and treatment can be extremely beneficial.