Why An Allergy Doctor May Not Be the Answer to Your Allergies
Your allergies may be forcing you to change your lifestyle in unwanted ways or be disrupting day-to-day activities! Some over-the-counter medicines may provide relief, but your body’s particular response to the allergens may drive you to seek help from an allergy doctor in Colorado Springs, or better yet a functional medicine physician. A functional doctor can get to the root of your allergies instead of just treating your allergies.
Allergies – whether seasonal or food-related – can make the day-to-day miserable for those that suffer consistently. But they can be more than just a miserable annoyance. Primarily, because allergies are a sign that something is not in alignment within the body. Sensitivities and allergic reactions are all responses to something the body considers an invasion. Some of these “invasions” may be legitimately harmful to your body, but many of them are actually harmless outside irritants that our bodies should be able to handle without excessive reactions. It’s your overworked defense system that sees the invasions and considers them a threat, triggering your body’s natural defense measures.
What are allergies?
- Common allergens surround us on a day-to-day basis, including pollen, dust mites, pet dander, insect stings, foods, and medications.
- Your immune system is triggered by the intrusion of one of the above normal parts of the environment.
- Your body becomes aggravated or overreacts to this intrusion.
- The immune system goes to work to fight the intrusion. It fights by making IgE antibodies.
- The immune cells release inflammatory chemicals (such as histamine) into the bloodstream.
- Your allergic reaction or symptoms are then a result of your immune system’s inflammatory chemicals acting on the digestive system, airway, skin, nose, throat, eyes, etc.
The body has an amazing ability to defend itself against harmful invaders (which is great). However, sometimes the defenses are too aggressive. In these cases, your body reacts to mild, non-harmful substances as though they are a serious threat. The body is aggravated by the perceived intrusion and the system goes to work to fight the invasion.
Who can help with allergies?
Many think that either a primary doctor or a specialized allergy doctor are the only two options you have for treating your allergies. However, we unpack a different option below that often can actually heal your allergies, not just treat them. Read on to find out.
Allergy Doctor in Colorado Springs
When you visit a Colorado Springs allergy doctor, they will diagnose and treat allergic diseases. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, an allergist is specialized in identifying allergy and asthma triggers using standard skin prick tests. These tests will determine your immune system’s specific triggers.
An allergy doctor may:
- Advise you to avoid contact with your triggers, e.g., stay away from wooded or grassy areas, particular animals, or certain foods.
- Suggest over-the-counter antihistamines or decongestant medications to reduce allergy symptoms when you have been exposed to one of your irritants.
- Prescribe steroid medication to suppress the immune system from responding in a particular way. This could include skin creams for skin irritants or an inhaler for respiratory symptoms.
- Use immunotherapy such as regular allergy shots. Allergists give the allergy shot regularly over 3-5 years. The shot contains a very small amount of the substances which trigger the allergic reaction. The allergy doctor increases the dosage over time, to aid your body in building up tolerance to the allergens with the goal of eventually diminishing reactions.
- Require you to carry an epi-pen for severe life-threatening allergies which necessitate injectable adrenaline to prevent airway closure and severe blood pressure drops.
Allergy doctors will most likely treat with medication prescriptions which can be highly effective at suppressing symptoms. But this fails to get to the root cause!
Functional Medicine Doctor in Colorado Springs
A functional doctor will not just treat symptoms, but instead will look for the root causes of your allergies by considering your genetics, current environment, lifestyle, and immune system.
As stated above, your immune system is always processing and making decisions about how the particles you breathe, the foods you consume, and the chemicals you come in contact with will affect you. The immune system, in many ways, dictates your allergies.
Approximately 70% of the immune system is located in the gut. This is where immune cells learn what to attack and what should be a normal part of your environment. Functional doctors are beginning to take a serious look at leaky gut syndrome to better understand their patient’s allergic reactions.
A functional doctor may:
- Discuss recent changes you have experienced. Changing environments can change your irritants. This can come from seasonal change, changing housing, or lifestyle change.
- Lead you through an elimination diet to identify foods your immune system reacts to.
- Order functional blood tests to discover other types of allergies, as eliminating other immunologic burdens on the body may help reduce other allergic symptoms.
- Use a nutritionist to create a balanced allergen-free diet plan.
- Consider the production of your regulatory immune cells.
- Add specific supplements to reduce the body’s inflammatory response.
- Utilize sublingual tablets (which dissolve under the tongue) for immunotherapy.
Because your immune system affects your whole body, your whole body can work better after finding your particular triggers, regulating what you take into your body (whether through the skin, airways, or the gut), and boosting the health of your immune system.
When you partner with a functional medicine doctor to treat your allergies, you’ll discover a comprehensive approach that looks at your entire health picture and seeks to heal the root cause.
To learn more about finding not just relief but healing from your allergies, call us at True Life Medicine at 719-686-7776.