Having suffered from severe eczema, allergies and asthma lead me into the study of natural medicine. Helping kids and families treat these allergic disorders with natural medicines in one of my favorite things to do. Before we discuss natural treatments for asthma, allergies and/or eczema, we will first discuss them and their origin.
Allergies, eczema and asthma usually develop at a young age. The bodies’ immune system develops and changes and kids grow up and are exposed to different bacteria, viruses, etc. The immune system is designed to fight off viruses, bacteria and parasites. People with allergic disorders have an immune system that inappropriately reacts to things in the environment like pollen, animal dander, mold etc., instead of just reacting to viruses, bacteria and parasites. The immune system becomes over sensitive and causes itchy skin (eczema), water eyes and runny nose (allergies) or constriction and inflammation in the lungs (asthma).
Conventional treatments for allergic disorders focus on managing the symptoms: itchy skin-(cortisone cream), allergies-(anti-histamines) asthma-(bronchodilators and corticosteroids for anti-inflammation). These treatments work for symptom management but don't really offer long term solutions. For asthma these treatments can be life saving and should be used until symptoms are gone for an extended period of time! People need to breathe! Once symptoms are managed we can look at more long term treatments to treat the root cause of the out of balance immune system.
With natural medicine we first need to find the root cause of these allergic disorders. The immune system develops in the digestive tract. Allergic disorders start when the immune system gets out of balance (th1/th2/th3 immune cells) (not enough blog to write about that). In my experience, this imbalance usually comes from a combination of genetics, food sensitivities/food allergies, and/or antibiotic use (gi irritation). To balance the immune system we need to address these issues.
Treatment consists of identifying and removing food sensitivities/allergies, restoring digestive health and balancing the immune system. Identifying food sensitivities/food allergies can be done 1 of 2 ways, either an elimination diet, where patients are put on a strict diet of what is consider hypoallergenic foods, i.e. animal proteins, vegetables, fruits (except citrus) rice, nuts and seeds. This is considered the best way but can be difficult for younger patients and/or families. Another option, which I frequently use in practice, is a food sensitivity/food allergy test. This tests for 96 of the most common foods. Currently there is no perfect food allergy test, but I have had great results with this test and think it is one of the best currently available.
Once food allergies/sensitivities are identified and eliminated than immunes system balancing nutrients can be added. Probiotics, Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin D and Quercetin are used to calm inflammation, heal the digestive tract and balance out the immune system while improving the symptoms. Most patients notice significant improvement in their symptoms within the first month of treatment. As symptoms improve the need of medication diminishes.
So if you or a loved one suffers from asthma, allergies or eczema, give us a call and schedule an appointment today. If you have additional questions you can schedule a free 15 min phone consult with Dr. Graves by clicking HERE.