Life Without Allergies and Asthma

Life Without Allergies and Asthma

Prior to my exposure to holistic medicine, I never knew what it was like to live without allergies. My parents just thought I was a sick kid. I suffered from chronic ear infections, ruptured eardrums, ear tubes, asthma, eczema and multiple hospitalizations for asthma and pneumonia. Things got a little bit better as a teenager. As long as I remembered to use my puffer before practice I would only have wheezing and shortness of breath at the end of football or track practice. If it was not winter time, I had a chronic runny nose, itchy eyes, frequent sneezing, and itchy skin. I did see an allergist in college and my symptoms were much improved by using sodium cromolyn eye drops and nasal spray along with antihistamines, Singulair, and a steroid nose spray.

I now live life essentially free of all allergy and asthma symptoms and prescription drugs. I do have to avoid my particular food allergies which are: dairy, gluten, and soy. Likewise, I have found nearly all of my allergy and asthma patients possess food allergies and a genetic typing referred to as, Under Methylation. This genetic biotype leads to increased activity of the immune system and results in high levels of circulating histamines, which in turn generates allergy symptoms. Additionally, it leads to a lack of stomach acid production and poor digestion. Lab tests may be used confirm this diagnosis. They are: whole blood histamine, RBC copper, RBC folate, homocystine, ammonia, urinary, pyrroles, and routine blood tests such as a CBC, Complete Metabolic Panel, and thyroid and adrenal panels.

Reduced methylation and poor digestion lead to food allergies\sensitivities as well as environmental allergies to dust, pollen, trees, plants, molds, or animals. These under methylation individuals are at increased risk for heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's disease, and virtually all autoimmune diseases such as lupus, Rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Lou Gehrig's disease, and inflammatory bowel disease. In other words nuisance allergies may be an early warning sign for bad health problems to come. Therefore, I prefer to treat the problems by correcting Methylation rather than just treating the allergy symptoms.

Food allergies are almost always induced by a condition called Leaky Gut Syndrome aka intestinal hyper permeability. Prescription drugs, infections and poor digestion can lead to the intestinal lining becoming more porous which allows undigested food molecules and other "bad stuff” (bacteria, yeast, toxins, and all other forms of waste products) to enter into your bloodstream. The immune system will start producing antibodies against these substances creating immune complexes which can be deposited virtually anywhere in the body. The most common locations that produce obvious symptoms are the sinuses, lungs and joints. A simple blood test can identify IgG, IgA, and IgG food and environmental allergens. Treatment consists of avoiding the offending foods, improving digestion, healing the gut and avoiding any offending prescription drugs. The health of the digestive system can be measured by the Bio 101*.

Traditional medical doctors treat allergies and asthma with antihistamines, leukotriene inhibitor such as Singulair, steroid or sodium cromolyn nasal or oral sprays. They also recommend avoiding allergy triggers such as going outdoors during high pollen counts, dust mite proof covers for your pillows and mattress, good air filters for the furnace and keeping the windows shut in the car and home.

If you prefer to take the natural route without prescription drugs, I recommend you see a holistic doctor, who understands problems with food allergies and methylation. All clients should be given a treatment plan based upon their individual genetic makeup. As a general rule, most of my patients take Vitamin C 1000 mg 3 times a day with meals to help clear the histamines. If I suspect sulfite sensitivity, i.e., hives, migraines, and reflux, I also add Molybdenum. Folic acid is not metabolized normally by most under methylater's therefore; I recommend a good multivitamin with the active form of folic acid, (methyl tetrahydrofolic acid), in place of folate.

Vitamin D and a high quality probiotic are the most important supplements to help regulate the immune system. My average patient takes 5000 units of D3 per day and my goal is to achieve a serum level of 60ng/dl to 80ng/dl. Other vitamin immune modulators are Vitamin E, selenium, and Vitamin A. Important vitamins for the methlyation pathways and energy are the B vitamins, as well as the minerals zinc and magnesium. The under methylation biotype often does well with SAMe., methionine, inositol, and TriMethyl Glycine (TMG).

Natural supplements that treat allergy symptoms are quercetin, stinging Nettles leaf, bromelain, and OPC’s from grape seed or pine bark. All allergy sufferers and asthmatics should drink at least 8 full glasses of filtered water per day. Individuals should increase quality proteins and fresh and raw foods. You should eliminate all prepackaged and refined foods and all hydrogenated fats and oils.

If allergy and asthma symptoms persist then the individuals should be evaluated for a chronic infection. Blood, stool, urine, and other unique testing can be used to identify these infections. The infections might be common bacteria, viruses, yeasts, but may even be parasites such as protozoa and intestinal worms, spirochetes which produce Lyme disease, or mycoplasma, chlamydia and molds.

There are multiple ways in which infections can induce allergic reactions. Infections may cause direct damage to the intestinal wall causing Leaky Gut Syndrome. Many have the ability to up regulate the part of the immune system which allows allergies to occur. Or, they may cause inflammation by a direct invasion of the lung and sinus tissue.

In summary, allergy symptoms and asthma should not be treated lightly. At HWOFC, we feel all individuals should be evaluated for the source of these issues. We utilize lab tests to evaluate adrenal, thyroid and Methylation function, problems with digestion and food sensitivities. We also consider chronic infections in the complete therapy of an allergy/ asthma patient.

Dr. Clifford Fetters M.D. practices functional medicine for adults and children along with Bruce Thomas MD, Michael Mountain D.C. and Jerry Weber Naturopathic Physician. Their practice is located at 11900 N. Pennsylvania St., Carmel, IN 46032. Their phone number is 317-663-7123. Website: hwofc.com.