Allergies

What causes allergies?lady sneezing

Allergies occurs when a person`s immune system reacts to substances in the environment that do not bother most people.

These substances are known as allergens and are found in

  • house dust mites
  • pets fur
  • pollen
  • moulds
  • and most often foods

You may experience symptoms like sneezing, shortness of breath, itching and watery eyes.

Whilst in most people these substances (allergens) pose no problem, in allergic individuals their immune system identifies them as a’ threat’ and produces an inappropriate response.
The best way to fight allergies is to avoid the offending allergen, but for many of us, this isn’t possible.  Treatments are based on the underlying pathophysiology.  Antihistamines help fight the unpleasant effects of histamine release, including sneezing, itching, and runny nose and eyes.  Unfortunately, they do little to prevent the release of histamine in the first place and some have significant side-effects.

Eczema affects the skin, causing redness, itching, and sometimes infections. When eczema worsens it is called an eczema flare. Usually there is no single factor for an eczema flare.

What causes eczema?

Why some people develop eczema is not well understood. It is common for people with eczema to have other allergies.  Eczema is a chronic health problem that affects many people of all ages, but is most common in infants

In people with eczema the skin does not retain moisture very well, which causes it to dry out easily. This makes the skin more open to allergens and irritants. These can trigger the skin to release chemicals that make the skin itchy. Scratching itchy skin causes more chemicals to be released, making the skin feel itchier. This scratch and itch cycle can cause discomfort, disrupt sleep and affect quality of life.

How can a Naturopath help?

From a naturopathic view point, removing and/or decreasing exposure to the cause is the first step to treating allergies and asthma. The next step is identifying any and all food sensitivities. Most people have some food sensitivities, and when we decrease the immune reactivity in one area of the body, it can decrease in other areas as well.

Treatments available include blood tests to identify the allergen or the 500 item hair test.  The hair test is bio compatibility testing, it is simple to complete with a hair sample taken and sent for testing.  Why is this test so good?  Compatibility testing identify ‘s foods, personal and house hold products that your body is sensitive too, at a cellular level.  These are the items that may be causing your immune system to become over sensitive.

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