Functional Medicine for Allergies

Causes, Symptoms, & Effective Management Strategies

Introduction

Allergies are a common health condition characterized by an overreaction of the immune system to harmless substances, known as allergens.

Led by the expertise of Dr. Kayla Milano, let’s explore the causes, symptoms, home remedies, treatment options, and our specialized approach to managing allergies effectively.

A man using a tissue for his nose from allergies.

What are Allergies?

Allergies occur when the immune system mistakenly identifies a harmless substance, such as pollen, pet dander, dust mites, or certain foods, as a threat to the body.

In response to exposure to these allergens, the immune system releases chemicals such as histamine, which trigger allergic reactions. Allergies can affect various parts of the body, including the skin, respiratory system, digestive system, and eyes, making functional medicine for allergies an effective treatment path.

Causes of Allergies:

Allergies can be caused by a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors.

Common causes of allergies may include:

 

  • Genetic predisposition: Family history and genetic factors play a significant role in the development of allergies. Individuals with a family history of allergies are more likely to develop allergic conditions themselves.
  • Environmental allergens: Exposure to allergens such as pollen, pet dander, dust mites, mold spores, and certain foods can trigger allergic reactions in susceptible individuals.
  • Occupational allergens: Some individuals may develop allergies to substances encountered in the workplace, such as chemicals, latex, or animal proteins.
  • Lifestyle factors: Factors such as smoking, pollution, diet, and stress may influence the development and severity of allergies.

Symptoms of Allergies:

Allergic reactions can manifest in a variety of symptoms, depending on the type of allergen and the individual’s sensitivity.

Common symptoms of allergies may include:

 

  • Sneezing
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Itchy or watery eyes
  • Skin rash or hives
  • Swelling of the lips, tongue, or throat
  • Coughing or wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Fatigue or malaise

What should I try at home before seeing a provider for Allergies?

Before seeking medical advice for allergies, individuals can try several home remedies and lifestyle modifications to help manage symptoms and reduce exposure to allergens.

These may include:

 

  • Allergen avoidance: Identifying and avoiding triggers such as pollen, pet dander, dust mites, mold spores, and certain foods can help reduce allergic reactions. This may involve using air purifiers, vacuuming frequently, keeping pets out of the bedroom, and avoiding outdoor activities during high pollen seasons.
  • Nasal irrigation: Using a saline nasal rinse or nasal irrigation system can help flush out allergens and mucus from the nasal passages, relieving congestion and sinus pressure.
  • Allergy-proofing the home: Taking steps to minimize allergens in the home, such as using dust mite-proof mattress and pillow covers, washing bedding in hot water weekly, and keeping indoor humidity levels low, can help reduce allergic symptoms.
  • Over-the-counter medications: Antihistamines, decongestants, nasal corticosteroids, and eye drops available over-the-counter can help relieve allergy symptoms such as sneezing, itching, congestion, and runny nose.
  • Allergy-friendly diet: Avoiding or limiting exposure to common food allergens such as peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, dairy, eggs, wheat, and soy may help reduce allergic reactions in individuals with food allergies.

Best Treatment Options for Allergies:

Treatment for allergies aims to reduce symptoms, improve quality of life, and prevent allergic reactions.

Treatment options may include:

 

  • Allergy medications: Antihistamines, decongestants, nasal corticosteroids, mast cell stabilizers, and leukotriene modifiers may be prescribed to relieve allergy symptoms and prevent allergic reactions.
  • Immunotherapy: Allergy shots (subcutaneous immunotherapy) or allergy tablets (sublingual immunotherapy) may be recommended for individuals with severe allergies who do not respond to medications. Immunotherapy works by desensitizing the immune system to specific allergens over time, reducing allergic reactions.
  • Allergen avoidance: Identifying and avoiding triggers such as pollen, pet dander, dust mites, mold spores, and certain foods is essential for managing allergies and preventing allergic reactions.
  • Emergency medications: Individuals with severe allergies may be prescribed emergency medications such as epinephrine auto-injectors (EpiPens) to treat life-threatening allergic reactions (anaphylaxis).

Our Process for Treating Allergies:

We specialize in the comprehensive evaluation and management of allergies to help individuals achieve relief from symptoms and improve quality of life.

Our approach with functional medicine involves a thorough assessment, including a medical history, physical examination, allergy testing, and evaluation of triggers and symptoms. Based on the results, we develop personalized treatment plans tailored to each patient’s specific needs, goals, and preferences.

Our team of experienced allergists, immunologists, and healthcare professionals collaborates closely with each patient to implement allergy management strategies, including medications, immunotherapy, and allergen avoidance techniques. We prioritize patient education, empowerment, and support throughout the treatment process to ensure the best possible outcomes and long-term success in managing allergies.

Functional Medicine for Allergies: Your Path To Less Symptoms

Allergies are a common health condition that can significantly impact quality of life, but with the right approach, they are manageable. By understanding their causes, symptoms, triggers, and treatment options, individuals with allergies can take proactive steps to achieve relief from symptoms and improve overall well-being.

Whether through medications, immunotherapy, allergen avoidance, or lifestyle modifications, managing allergies is possible with the guidance and support of healthcare professionals.

With our comprehensive approach to treatment, we are dedicated to helping individuals with allergies achieve symptom relief and live healthier, happier lives.

We are currently accepting patients worldwide.