“ALLERGIES AWARENESS WEEK” - HELP WITH ALLERGIES & INTOLERANCES
With “Allergies Awareness Week” on the horizon (25th April-1st May) it is a fact that the UK has some of the highest rates of allergic conditions in the world, with over 20% of the population affected by one or more allergic disorder. A staggering 44% of British adults now sufferfrom at least one allergy and the number of sufferers is on the rise.
An “allergy” is an over-reaction of the body to substances which are harmless to others, and is the result of weaknesses in the immune system. The range and type of substances (allergens) is vast, with some of the most common being cow’s milk, egg, pollen, nuts, animal hair and dust. More unusual allergens include cosmetics, chemicals, metals and medications such as penicillin and cortisone. Dermatologists are warning that a common preservative chemical found in everyday cosmetics, household cleaning products and paint may be responsible for an “epidemic” of painful skin allergies. MI is used in a wide range of shampoos, moisturisers, shower gels, make-up and baby wipes including Nivea Body Lotion, Wet Ones & Boots Men’s Face wash.
One can develop allergies as a result of long term stress, anxiety, and even by exposure to electricity and radiation from common appliances such as mobiles and computers. Asthma, hay fever and eczema are common conditions linked to allergies. Skin patch tests are available which may establish the cause of the allergy. However, the link between cause(allergen) and effect(allergy) often remains a mystery, with many sufferers spending a life time trying to pin point the “culprit”.
Common allergic symptoms, caused by the release of histamine, include inflammation, redness, itching and difficulty breathing. However, any acute or chronic irritation of the body or mind, may be the result of an allergic response.
- NATURAL IMMUNOTHERAPY: As allergies are fundamentally an immunity issue it makes most sense to strengthen ones’ immune system and reduce ones’ susceptibility to the allergen/s. Knowing the cause of the allergy is not always a necessary feature of this treatment. Oral immunotherapy has been successfully used to desensitize children to egg. After 10 months of homeopathic therapy, 55% of those who received oral immunotherapy passed the oral food challenge and were considered to be desensitized; after 22 months, 75% of children in the oral-immunotherapy group were desensitized. This method can work even in the most difficult of cases. Matthew, age 9, was reduced to eating only chicken and rice, as many other foods would trigger an acute allergic reaction of high fever and hives all over his body. He was having difficulty sleeping and his physical development was being held up. A range of antihistamine and cortisone treatments over a number of years had not improved his condition. Within months of his prescription Matthew was eating school dinners and McDonalds with no ill effects. He had also grown new teeth and grown out of his clothes! (www.danielakarsten.co.uk/testimonials/allergies) Similarly, Katherine became more tolerant to gluten, Penny was able to eat various foods that had previously caused severe bloating, cramping and diarrhea, including her favourite food beetroot, and Amber was able to play in the fields without suffering with severe hay fever symptoms (www.danielakarsten.co.uk/testimonials/hayfever)
HEALTHY NUTRITION: It is now well documented that gut health leads to good health, improved immunity, and better resistance to allergens. Children with allergies tend to have less good gut bacteria and a limited “microbiome”. Healthy nutrition and natural exposure to environmental bacteria increases gut bacteria and reduces allergies. A good quality pro-biotic can be used by children and adults to improve gut health. Anti-histamine rich foods such as ginger, onions and garlic, blueberries and carrots are able to disrupt or block the histamine receptors in the immune system and naturally moderate symptoms. Most fruits and vegetables (with the exception of strawberries and tomatoes) will be able to help to a degree. High quality herbal teas especially ginger and peppermint can also help ease mild symptoms. Potentially the biggest threat though is from refined sugars as these trigger a rush of adrenaline into the system that causes the body to produce more histamine – so less sugar is a must.
ANTI-HISTAMINES ETC Conventional treatments include anti-histamines and cortisone-based products to reduce allergic symptoms, but can occasionally cause allergic responses in themselves, and can also affect the immune system long term.
DESENSITIZATION THERAPY: Used in relation to food allergies de-sensitization therapy works by exposing the patient to tiny doses of the allergen, with the aim of reducing the severity of allergic reaction over time.
It is not known specifically what has caused the rise in allergies and intolerances, however, if you, your child or someone you know is compromised or blighted by allergies, whether single or multiple, help and hope is at hand.
Contact Daniela Karsten, RS.Hom, Dip.Hom. ACH, www.homeopathessex.com for more information.