Respiratory problems such as allergies and asthma can be common among children. We offer a comprehensive approach to identifying your child’s allergies and/or asthma triggers and then work with you to keep them under control. Allergies are simply an excessive response by your immune system to something typically harmless. There are several different types of allergy responses and identifying which type of allergies is key to alleviating them.
Traditional allergy testing and the “skin scratch test” are often used inappropriately and miss the bigger picture. The immune system responds with different cells and reactions depending on what it has been presented. The level of immune elevation and type of cells that are up regulated to the foreign substance will categorize it as an allergy or sensitivity.
Allergies are associated with somewhat of an immediate response such as hives, trouble breathing, and watery eyes. This is in large part to an antibody made by your body called IgE. These can be emergency situations and some individuals even carry around an “EpiPen” for these instances.
Sensitivities/intolerances on the other hand, may not present symptoms immediately like IgE allergies.We prefer the term sensitivities as intolerance leads us to believe that all we are missing is some sort of enzyme that can be replaced and the consumption of these harmful foods can continue. An example of this is lactose intolerance and the missing enzyme lactase. Often we call food sensitivities, “delayed hypersensitivities”. They can lurk for months or years slowly activating different parts of your immune system causing GI distress, prolonged skin reactions, autoimmune conditions, sinus infections and many others. Largely antibodies, IgA and IgG, carry out these non-IgE-mediated hypersensitivities. Due to their lack of an emergent reaction in the body they are often over looked in clinical practice but are the main driving factors in many autoimmune conditions and respiratory disease. A single exposure to a sensitivity can activate antibodies for up to 3 weeks.
We can determine if your child’s respiratory problems are caused by food allergies/sensitvities. For those seasonal allergies and hayfever we offer natural alternatives to allergy medications to keep those immune responses in check.
Additionally we have lung function testing (spirometry) available in our office to diagnose and monitor asthma.