When we talk about allergies there are many different kinds. There are those that cause a runny nose, sneezing, and itchy eyes often caused by grasses, pollens or pets and there are those that cause stomachaches, eczema, or hives from something we eat.
Whether it’s food or a pollen if the symptoms are immediate and in the realm of a watery nose, irritated eyes, scratchy throat, or hives these are true allergies, mediated by an IGE immune and histamine response.
If reactions are vaguer and comes on even days after an exposure, the reaction is what we call a sensitivity or intolerance, and antihistamine medications won’t work to alleviate symptoms.
Regardless, allergies and intolerances build upon each other. If a patient is allergic to juniper in the springtime but also has an intolerance to dairy, for example, the patient will feel better and have less of a reaction in spring if they are eating a dairy free diet. It’s what we call a threshold phenomenon; there comes a tipping point when allergies overwhelm the system and the person feels just plain terrible.
Pinpointing what a person is reacting to is powerful. By knowing exactly what they react to we are able help them avoid reaching the tipping point of allergic overload. Here at Baker Family Naturopathic, our physicians help patients discover or verify a particular food sensitivity or environmental allergy. Using state of the art allergy testing (through blood and saliva), we are able to help patients identify offending foods and allergens. Patients come away feeling empowered, understanding which foods aggravate their systems and learning strategies to better prevent and control allergy reactions without medication.