This spring, awaken your health

If the thought of the age-old “allergy shot” makes you cringe, then it may be time to begin exploring an alternative that is painless and done in the convenience of your own home.

by Dr. Paul Stallone — 

Spring, in all its splendor of new beginnings, is upon us. Birds chirp, flowers bloom and many of nature’s creatures reemerge into the sun’s … ahchoo! Pardon the sneeze. It is allergy season, after all.

Along with the birds, what also reemerges are the watery eyes, stuffy noses, sinus infections, asthma and the like — in perhaps their strongest form. What do you do when you feel unable to enjoy the beautiful weather? If the thought of the age-old “allergy shot” makes you cringe, then perhaps it may be time to begin exploring an alternative that is painless and done in the convenience of your own home.

I hate shots! Is there an alternative?

Sublingual means under the tongue. Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) is a process by which patients are tested through simple lab work and the proper dosage of allergy serum are administered as drops under the tongue. The serum is then absorbed into the bloodstream through tiny capillaries in the mouth.

This method was developed in the early 80s, has been endorsed by the World Health Organization and has been confirmed as safe and effective by more than 50 scientific studies. Self-administering the drops under the tongue in the comforts of one’s own home is only one of the benefits.

This method of allergy treatment has been shown to yield much faster results than its injection counterpart. In fact, research has shown that with SLIT, 80 percent of patients experience relief  of their symptoms in three months or less. Injection therapy commonly requires a year or two to produce similar results. Individuals suffering from asthmatic problems report an even higher success rate, with 90 percent achieving significant symptom relief within just a few months.

Sounds great … how do I get started?

The first step in getting started on the SLIT program is to find a reliable practitioner who will review your health history, focusing on allergies. Then a brief and painless test follows which will provide answers as to exactly how allergic an individual is to their surroundings.

Once this level of sensitivity is established, a monthly supply of serum is made specifically for the individual that will provide almost immediate protection and relief from the country’s major allergens. After this initial, normalizing month, a “maintenance” vial is given to each patient. The length of time needed to take the maintenance drops, to permanently rid the body of these allergies, varies from person to person.

Patients who utilize SLIT attest that when spring arrives they are able to transition into the season without any significant allergy or asthma flare-ups. In fact, research has also shown that SLIT works well for a number of people who are not often helped by traditional allergy and asthma treatment programs, including allergy shots.

Furthermore, physicians are able to test and treat even young toddlers, since the testing itself is quick and painless, and there are no cumbersome weekly shots to worry about. In fact, many allergists won’t even treat children until about age 7 because of the regular regimen of injections that is needed. And since the serum is portable, frequent travelers and winter visitors are also able to benefit and remain consistent with this chosen therapy.

Anything else?

Besides coping with allergies induced by Mother Nature, it is always important to address all possible culprits of the symptoms presented (e.g., food and/or other substances that the body may be reacting to).

In addition to cutting-edge blood tests that can pinpoint the exact underlying food sensitivities of an individual, another form of testing known as electrodermal screening (EDS) is available to further test the body and its reactions. EDS is used to screen various conditions by detecting energy imbalances along acupuncture meridians. This is done painlessly and effortlessly and often pinpoints answers about symptom questions that have plagued individuals for years.

Arizona used to be a haven for individuals fleeing from the allergy-induced health problems of their home states. This is unfortunately no longer the case. Most people know it’s more and more difficult to find an Arizona “native.”

Ironically this is one of the main reasons allergies continue to be a growing problem here. As newcomers have poured into the state — many for relief from their allergy problems — they have brought with them their favorite trees and grasses.

In fact, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) ranked the general Metro Phoenix area the 18th most challenging place to live with allergic asthma in 2006. And the AAFA consistently ranks Phoenix among the country’s top 100 allergy capitals.

With this in mind, it’s important to know about all the various treatment options available and to choose the one that will make watery eyes, stuffy noses, sinus infections and … ahchoo! (see what I mean?) … disappear.

Find relief and a practitioner near you today.

 

Paul Stallone, N.M.D., founded the Arizona Integrative Medical Center in Scottsdale, Ariz. He combines natural, alternative and conventional treatments to best fit and benefit each individual patient’s needs. 480-214-3922 or www.drstallone.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 27, Number 2, April/May 2008.

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