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Reference Guide
Allergies & Sensitivities - Environmental

Allergies & Sensitivities - Environmental

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Allergies & Sensitivities - Environmental
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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.

What do the environmental allergy tests measure?

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:

  • Access Medical Labs’ Candida Albicans Evaluation tests for IgG, IgA, and IgM to Candida albicans in patient blood samples. Candida albicans has been noted in the development of environmental allergies, and can be found in the soil and the human body.
  • ELISA/ACT Biotech’s LRA Environmental Chemicals Block 61 tests a blood sample for hypersensitivity using 61 environmental chemicals.

What are common symptoms of environmental allergies?

Common symptoms that may indicate an environmental allergy or sensitivity include:

  • Itchy or watery eyes
  • Itchy nose, throat
  • Runny nose, nasal congestion
  • Hives, itchy skin
  • Severe insect bite/sting reactions
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Sneezing, coughing

Treatment Plans

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:

  • Filtering indoor air: To eliminate possible allergens in the home.
  • Avoidance of allergen: Once identified, limiting exposure to allergen if possible.
  • Herbs and Supplements: A variety of herbs and supplements are beneficial in alleviating allergy symptoms.
  • Improving gut health and nutrition: A healthy gut microbiome can help to decrease allergy symptoms.
  • Managing stress: Relaxation techniques can help reduce symptoms.
  • Adequate sleep: Improving sleep can improve health and help with allergies.
  • Acupuncture: Has been utilized to reduce symptoms.
  • Immunotherapy: Administration of allergen through a series of injections by a healthcare provider over a period of time.
  • Epinephrine Injector: If allergy is severe, carry an epinephrine injector pen for emergencies

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