Could Food Allergies Be Causing your Unexplained Symptoms?

Food allergies can occur by excessive reaction of your immune system to foods.  Not all reactions to food are due to allergy.   They can occur from over-eating, spoiled food and from the chemicals inherently present in some foods (tyramine in red wine, histamine in strawberries, pesticides on conventionally grown non-organic foods).  It is estimated that over 1/3 of the population has food allergies, food intolerance or food sensitivity.  Food ‘allergy’ is generally defined as a reaction to a food that is mediated through the IgE antibody and produces an “immediate-type” of reaction.  See below.   This causes acute reactions such as sneezing, runny nose, rash, wheezing and at worst, anaphylaxis.   Food ‘intolerance’ is generally considered as a reaction to chemicals inherently present or added to foods.   Food ‘sensitivity’ is often used as a broad term that includes many different types of reactions that are not mediated through IgE, including abdominal pain, reflux, joint inflammation, headaches, and numerous others.

Low Dose Allergen Immunotherapy:  LDA

Low dose allergen immunotherapy (LDA) is a unique method of immunotherapy, far different from other allergy treatments currently available. It has been employed to treat multiple conditions and appears to be a long-lasting treatment option for allergy and many autoimmune illnesses. It has also been employed for many conditions not generally assumed to be due to any type of allergy or autoimmune disease.

Conditions treated successfully with LDA include hay fever, dust mite allergy, perennial rhinitis, asthma, urticaria (“hives”), eczema (dermatitis) of most all varieties, angioedema (swelling of the face, lips, etc.), food (or food additive/preservative) allergy or intolerance, adverse responses to chemicals (multiple chemical sensitivity, or MCS), ADHD (attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder), autism, Tourette’s syndrome, irritable bowel disorders, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, migraine and other headaches, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and systemic lupus erythematosis.

LDA immunotherapy is extremely low dose and administered infrequently, only every two months at first, and later less often. Treatment is required only every two months initially for approximately 12 months. After that time, the treatment interval may generally be extended to three months or longer. Most adults with significant problems require 16 of 18 treatments at these intervals of two months or less often, at which time treatment often may be discontinued. Of the approximately 50% of patients who cannot discontinue LDA after 16 to 18 treatments without return of some symptoms, the majority will continue treatment longer at intervals of 6 months to a year. Children (under 12) may often stretch their treatments out earlier, and stop sooner without return of symptoms. Children as young as 1 month of age have been treated safely.

The response to LDA does not take long to appear, and certainly over 60% of patients note a significant positive response with their first treatment. Almost all patients respond positively by the third treatment, and if no response is noted by then, we generally reevaluate the situation. About 1 in 25 patients does not respond with strongly positive results until having had 6 treatments. The overall response rate for all conditions treated with LDA is approximately 65% to 95%, depending on the condition being treated. The overall failure rate (no improvement) is about 10%.

Since LDA is compounded by a large compounding pharmacy, and used by prescription for specific patients, it is not regulated by the FDA the same way as a product sold by commercial manufacturers.  It is legal for patients and physicians to use, but is not “FDA Approved.”  There is no insurance coverage for LDA.  It is administered either by injection or as drops under the tongue (sublingual).