Allergies are the 6th leading cause of chronic illness in the United States with over 50 million Americans suffering from allergies each year. Specifically, environmental allergies and sensitivities are the responses by the human body when it encounters normally harmless substances (allergens) in the environment that the immune system identifies as unfavorable and produces antibodies (IgE). This reaction results in the release of histamine and other chemicals and an allergic reaction is elicited.
Some of the common environmental allergy triggers include dust, pollen, pet dander, mold, and cockroaches. Environmental sensitivities can also be triggered by chemicals, electromagnetic radiation, or environmental scents and manifest with symptoms such as difficulty concentrating, fatigue, forgetfulness, and irritability.
Allergy testing in combination with physical examination, environmental history, a medical history of symptoms, and additional testing and screening for gut disorders or nutrients deficiencies can be helpful in identifying allergens and developing treatment plans to reduce or eliminate symptoms.
Environmental allergies tests include skin prick/scratch tests, intradermal skin tests, or patch tests which test for specific allergens by contact or injection of allergen, or blood tests to check for IgE antibodies.
A variety of comprehensive testing panels are available through Rupa Health that measure allergies and hypersensitivities to multiple environmental chemicals, molds, additives, and toxic metals/minerals. Specific IgE blood tests use specific allergens that are added to the patient’s sample of blood and the immunoglobulin E (IgE) levels are measured. Each allergen is tested separately. High levels of IgE usually indicate allergy to that specific substance. Some testing examples include the following:
Common symptoms that may indicate an environmental allergy or sensitivity include:
Plans to manage allergies can involve eliminating contact with identified allergens, addressing gut issues, and adding nutrients to improve immune system functioning.
Here are some common treatment plans for environmental allergies: