Posted on

How Your Body Talks When You Have Hay Fever or Allergies

allergy-1738191__340Spring is in the air, with lovely flowers and trees blossoming around us. For some of us, the spring fragrances are invigorating and refreshing. But for others, springtime triggers an unwanted cascade of stuffy noses, scratchy throats, infected sinuses and miserable headaches. And then there are some of us who experience these unpleasant symptoms year round, as we are exposed to pet dander, dust, mold, or other allergens.

Why do some people get hay fever and others do not? It’s frustrating to be suffering from allergies when others around you are energized and feel fine, even though the exposure to pollens, animal dander, dust and mold is the same in all people.

What is the trigger that tells the body to mount an allergic response in some people but not others? Although we may not know exactly why that happens, fortunately we now can understand much about the immune system and how it talks in the body. With that information, maybe we can ameliorate some of the unpleasant symptoms that make springtime (and other times) miserable for some of us.

Normal Immune Response

 When a microscopic foreign body enters your body, your white cells identify it as foreign (or the enemy). Foreign bodies may be infectious agents, or food that has not adequately broken down, or chemicals, mold spores or even pollens, animal dander or dust. Your white cells send out signals immediately to get the enemy under control.

 One message goes to the macrophages. Macrophages are like little garbage trucks, but instead of coming once or twice a week they are constantly available on demand. As soon as they get the SOS signal from the white cells, they come quickly and digest the foreign body, thereby rendering it harmless.

 The white cells send another signal to the basophils. These little guys release substances that cause inflammation, including pain or itching, and swelling. We might refer to the basophils as an early warning system: something is not right, or “you just ate (inhaled, swallowed, touched) something that is not good for you.”

If your body recognizes the allergen as a trigger it has experienced before, it will notify the bigger immune system, which we might compare to a spy detection system. Your larger immune system is activated to attract previously formed antibodies (it remembers the previous exposure) and other cells to get rid of the offending ‘foreign body.’ If your body has not seen this particular foreign body before, it may form new antibodies to help fight and get rid of the offending (enemy) agent. (Yay for 007!)

 Allergic Immune Response

 If you have allergies like hay fever or allergic asthma, your body has formed immunoglobulin (which are also called antibodies). The allergy antibody we are most familiar with is called immunoglobulin E (IgE). Each IgE is specific to one trigger, like dog dander or certain tree pollens. You probably have many IgE immunoglobulin, each reacting to a different substance.

Immunoglobulin remembers your previous exposure to the pollen, or animal dander, or even dust and mold in the house. When the IgE receptor is stimulated with the foreign exposure, the mast cells release chemicals that cause an immediate inflammatory reaction, and start to make more of these inflammatory chemicals. The chemical most commonly associated with allergies is histamine, which is the major culprit in hay fever.

 Itchy is a good word to describe the effects of histamine. Histamine causes the eyes to have tears and swell and become itchy. The nose becomes congested, itchy and has a clear liquid discharge. The throat becomes itchy. The bronchioles (small connecting pipes to the lung where air exchange takes place) become smaller and produce mucus. We call this asthma or wheezing.

 Treatment for Allergies

 So what do we do to become allergy free? Or is there such a thing? We have found some things that can help tremendously:

  1. Be healthy
  • good diet
  • basic supplements
  • exercise
  1. Instead of taking anti-histaminics (with their lengthy list of side effects), try
  • Quercetin and
  • Stinging nettle,

both of which reduce the amount of histamine released from the mast cell.

  1. Avoid offending substances, if you can.
  2. Allergy desensitization, through any number of ways:
  • NAET (Nambudripad Allergy Elimination Technique). This technique that I have used successfully for years in my practice involves exposure of offending substances in homeopathic vials while stimulating the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems, along with tapping of certain acupuncture points
  • LDA (Low Dose Allergen)–low dose exposure of the offending allergens by injection or under the tongue
  • Homeopathic drops that address predetermined allergens by season; otherwise placed under the tongue
  1.  Signaling molecules help the body’s natural immune system to more appropriately respond to allergens: now available as a supplement. Contact my office for details.

Dr. Gardner works out of his Riverton office, Keys to Healing Medical Center. He can be reached at (801) 302-5397 for appointments.

Posted on

Honey for Allergies!

allergies. you didn’t mention raw local honey. it does amazing things for people with outdoor allergies. a tablespoon a day.

Thank you for adding this trick to the local community regarding another reason to use raw honey for their sweetener.  In order for the raw honey to help with allergies, it needs to be local raw honey.  It will have the pollen from the local community, and not honey bees pollinating in a different allergy region.

Posted on

Info on Milk

I have a 17 mo old granddaughter. She needs adenoids/tonsils out, and tubes in ears. Had her on Goats milk, but with all the supplements added it got to expensive. Put her on cows milk, then Soy. What do you recommend?

Enjoyed your information on “soy” products. What is your feeling on “rice” drink? Our daughter cannot use an milk from mammals, We have used rice drink for some time and it seems a credible substitute.

read your interesting article re soy. I use soy milk on my cereal because I have always hated cows milk or goats milk and need the calcium from some sort of milk. Can you tell me if rice milk would have any of the same issues as soy?

I have no issues with rice milk.  Almond milk is also an excellent choice, and you can make it at home.

Regarding the baby girl, there are two issues here:

1. Best milk for a 17 month old. First of all, after the age of 12 months, she doesn’t need any milk for nutrition sake. That means milk is only for taste, usually to go on cereal. I am opposed to cows milk because it is pasteurized and homogenized (processed), although I have no problem with raw milk.

Soy milk interferes with thyroid function and absorption of some minerals, so it is not a good choice. Additional common options include goats milk (the closest to breast milk), almond milk and rice milk.

2. She may have allergies if she had her tonsils and adenoids removed and tubes placed. Cows milk and soy milk are common allergens, and these are additional reasons to avoid those two milk sources. If you suspect allergies, find a practitioner that does NAET on infants and reduce her allergies. She will feel much better after that.  In my office, I do a treatment procedure called Alldesen, which is allergy desensitization.  It incorporates many principles from NAET, as well as other treatments.  I have found it to be as effective, or more so, than when I was administering shots for allergy treatments as a conventional medical doctor.

If you would like more information, please contact my office at 801-302-5397 and we can send you an information packet.

Posted on

Allergies without Symptoms

Is it possible to be allergic to something without having any symptoms? I recently had a blood allergy test done and found out I was mildly allergic to oats and moderately allergic to eggs. I was very surprised because I eat both often and have never noticed any sort of allergic response.

Each assessment of allergies and hypersensitivities has its strengths and weaknesses.  I find the IgG blood tests to be too sensitive, and often give positive results when there are no reactions to a substance.  The ultimate true test of food allergy is the following (This is according to me, Dr. Gardner)–

Avoid the food for 14 days. Then take a small amount of the food one day, a large amount of the food the next day and none of the possibly offending food the third day while you watch carefully to see if you have any symptoms.  If not, keep eating it.  Another way to test would be to have muscle testing with a practitioner who has the food vials to test you.

Posted on

Chronic Sinusitis

My daughter has chronic sinus problems and bronchitis. She has had these kind of problems since she was little. As a teenager we gave up on regular doctors and antibiotics and I treated her with more natural things. She calls me daily for advice on what to do. I am out of ideas. Any suggestions?

Chronic sinus problems and bronchitis usually have an allergic basis. In my office I do a form of allergy treatment that is highly effective called “AllDeSen” (allergy desensitization).  My treatment method uses a number of techniques that I have studied or developed over the years.  It is partly based on a technique called “NAET.”

Find an NAET practitioner near you to muscle test for dust, mold, danders, carpet, foods, chemicals, anything she can think of. Quercetin and stinging nettle act as anti-histaminics, and are safe herbs. There are immune builders–andrographis, resveratrol, beta-glucan, maitake and sheitake mushrooms, cat’s claw.

She should be taking plenty of vitamin C and NO SUGAR, as it depresses the immune system. Energy work like acupuncture, Jin Shin Jyutsu, craniosacral may also prove useful. The Neti pot with saline solution can soothe the nasal and sinus passages also.

Posted on

Lactose and Fructose Intolerance

My child has been diagnosed with fructose and lactose intolerance, is it possible to remain healthy without fruit/veg and dairy?

Lactose and fructose are both sugars and require specific enzymes to break them down to be utilized by the body. Lactose is found in milk, and milk is not needed nutritionally after 1 year of age, so that is easy to eliminate.

Most milk is highly processed, both pasteurized and homogenized, which changes the structure of the proteins and fat, making it even less healthy. Raw milk is best if cows’ milk is used, but know your sources and their hygienic habits in raising the cows and obtaining the milk.

There are healthy forms of milk–almond and other grain milks, and one of our favorites: coconut milk. Avoid soy milk. Since lactose intolerance is often due to lactase (the enzyme that breaks down lactose) deficiency, that enzyme can be supplied with the milk and the lactose will digest. It is called Lactaid. However, many people think they have a lactose intolerance because they have a reaction to milk, but the real reaction is to the milk protein. This will not be solved by Lactaid.

Fructose is found in fruits, and not in vegetables, so you do not need to eliminate vegetables if there is a true fructose intolerance.

There is a procedure to desensitize you to your allergies. In our office it is called AllDeSen, short for allergy desensitization. It is a combination of NAET, BioSet, and other energy modalities that resets the body toward the allergen, thereby eliminating its reaction in the body. It is very effective, and safer than conventional skin tests and allergy shots. It is not only effective against pollens, dust, molds and danders, it is also effective against foods and chemicals.

Don’t forget to give basic vitamin, mineral and essential fatty acid supplements as additional insurance for adequate nutrient intake.