Even if you’re one of the fortunate few to not be affected by allergies of some sort, chances are you know someone who is. The Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America estimates that one in five people suffer from some type of allergies. Food allergies, fragrance allergies, pet allergies, and environmental allergies are on the increase, and exposure to any offending sensitivities can trigger symptoms ranging from mild discomfort to significant health risk.

While there are measures you can put in place to mitigate spiraling into the allergic abyss, and naturopathic solutions can, in many cases, provide a measure of relief to reactions, sometimes a more dedicated attack is required.

When simple solutions aren’t doing the trick, knowing your “enemy” better gives you the advantage. Here are some further options to ramp up the battle against allergy symptoms:

Scratch test:  Identify the root cause of your symptoms with a scratch test.  A small drop of solution containing the potential allergen is placed on the forearm, and then the skin is gently scratched through the drop with a sterile needle. If you’re allergic to the sample, the skin will turn red and a small bump will form. Knowing what you’re fighting helps you be better prepared.

Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT):  SLIT treats the cause of allergies by giving small doses of the allergen in the form of drops under the tongue. Research shows that when an allergen is presented this way, the immune system learns to tolerate the allergen and the result is less allergy symptoms when the body is exposed to the allergy source. The World Health Organization has endorsed SLIT as a viable alternative to allergy shots.  SLIT is by prescription only and is covered by most extended medical plans.

It is possible to experience dramatic improvements in your allergic reactions. Ask your health provider about what natural options could work best for you.

Dr. Sarah Sjovold is a Naturopathic Doctor practising at Livstil Wellness Clinic. She regularly sees patients in the Langley and Surrey area looking for help with digestion, detoxing. and immune support.

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