Allergies, like us, come in all shapes and sizes. They happen when your immune system reacts to a foreign substance that’s harmless to most people…but your body doesn’t see it that way. When you encounter the offending substance, your immune system kicks into overdrive, trying to protect you from something it perceives to be a threat. This reaction can cause swelling and inflammation where you really don’t want it, like your skin, sinuses, and digestive system. Everyone’s heard of seasonal allergies, but—fun fact—there are more than 10 different categories of allergies that can affect different parts of your body, and an estimated 50 million people in the U.S. suffer from one or more of them. The most commonly diagnosed allergic conditions include those to pets, insect stings, foods (especially nuts, shellfish, soy, milk, eggs, and wheat—including gluten!), and mold, though you can potentially be allergic to anything, including medications you might need to control a condition. (Allergies—they really know how to be inconvenient, don’t they?) Sometimes allergy symptoms are pretty obvious, like when you break out in hives after using a new moisturizer. Other times—say, when your eyes and throat are scratchy—it can be difficult to determine what’s triggering your symptoms. That’s when a visit to a practitioner who specializes in allergies can help. Unfortunately, there’s no single test or procedure that can provide a comprehensive diagnosis. Instead, your practitioner will rely on a combination of factors, including your medical and personal history, a detailed symptom diary, and one or more allergy tests. Allergy tests include the skin prick test, patch test, blood test (Specific IgE), and challenge test. It’s important to know that allergy tests don’t always indicate the severity of an allergy, but that information is critical for your life. An allergic reaction can be mild, or it can be severe—as in full-blown anaphylaxis, a life-threatening reaction. People with severe allergies should carry a rescue medication (like an EpiPen) at all times. And if you are having an allergic reaction and are having trouble breathing or feel like your lips, tongue, or throat is swelling, seek emergency care ASAP. To treat allergies, you need to come at them from all sides. You can start by avoiding the allergen as much as possible. But let’s be real, giving up your rescue kitten is a lot harder than giving up, say, your morning bagel or eggs (though if that’s your fave breakfast, that might be hard too!). If avoidance isn’t a realistic option, then there are other steps you can take. Unfortunately, there’s no cure for allergies, but if you need to relieve the symptoms it may help to turn to a combination of over-the-counter and prescription meds, such as eye drops and antihistamines. If you want to take on allergies proactively (versus avoiding allergens and dealing with reactions as needed), you may also want to try allergy shots, a type of immunotherapy that works by exposing you to low doses of the offending allergen. If you’re interested in immunotherapy or just want to swap allergy war stories, talk to your WanaFam about their experiences. That’s what we’re here for!
Recent posts about Allergies
I’ve been doing a lot of research on Lyme since I live back east and spend a lot of time in nature and I recently heard that Lyme can make you have new food allergies out of no where. has this happened to anyone? so scary!
Making arrangements to find an allergist in hopes of getting to the bottom of my persistent allergies, but in the mean time I’m needing help with relief. Any products/tips that have helped people with stuffy ears + nose, sinus pressure and sore throat?
Has anyone had an in depth allergy test done? I’m starting to think my constant sinus infections/sore throats might be related to an allergy in my home. I was diagnosed with chronic tonsillitis and had my tonsils removed a few years ago, but my sore throats, sinus issues and fatigue haven’t gotten much better. Unfortunately, my ENT doc has been dismissive about these issues. I’m thinking a full allergy skin prick test might be beneficial. Any advice or insights?
Videos about Allergies
High Intensity Health: Allergies, Antibiotics & The Immune System w/ Dr. Leo Galland
High Intensity Health
Books about Allergies
The Food Allergy Fix: An Integrative and Evidence-Based Approach to Food Allergen Desensitization
Eating should be fun, not cause for fear. But for children with food allergies, the condition transforms even simple pleasures like parties and picnics into dangerous minefields. Instead of resigning themselves to a lifetime of avoidance and exclusion, food allergy sufferers can now take action and embrace the promise of desensitization therapy. In The Food Allergy Fix, board-certified allergist and immunologist Dr. Sakina Bajowala discusses how allergies can be managed through sublingual and oral immunotherapy, which retrains overactive immune systems through the precise administration of foods. Combining rich history and current scientific research, Dr. Bajowala arms parents and patients with the tools they need to begin working with a trained immunologist, while walking readers through her innovative and holistic treatment process. The incredible success of Dr. Bajowala’s integrative approach proves that it is possible to live in a world free from the chains of a food allergy diagnosis. This book is the first step toward reclaiming freedom.
An Epidemic of Absence: A New Way of Understanding Allergies and Autoimmune Diseases
A brilliant, groundbreaking report on the dramatic rise of allergic and autoimmune disease, and the controversial therapies scientists are developing to correct these disorders. From asthma to Crohn’s disease, everyone knows someone who suffers from an allergic or autoimmune disorder. And if it appears that the prevalence of these maladies has increased recently, that’s because it has—to levels never before seen in human history. These days no fewer than one in five—and likely more—Americans suffers from one of these ailments. We seem newly, and bafflingly, vulnerable to immune system malfunction. Why? One possibility is that we have systematically cleaned ourselves to illness; this belief challenges deeply entrenched notions about the value of societal hygiene and the harmful nature of microbes. Yet scientists investigating the rampant immune dysfunction in the developed world have inevitably arrived at this conclusion. To address this global “epidemic of absence,” they must restore the human ecosystem. This groundbreaking book explores the promising but controversial “worm therapy”—deliberate infection with parasitic worms—in development to treat autoimmune disease. It explains why farmers’ children so rarely get hay fever, why allergy is less prevalent in former Eastern Bloc countries, and how one cancer-causing bacterium may be good for us. It probes the link between autism and a dysfunctional immune system. It investigates the newly apparent fetal origins of allergic disease—that a mother’s inflammatory response imprints on her unborn child, tipping the scales toward allergy. An Epidemic of Absence is a brilliant, cutting-edge exploration of the dramatic rise of allergic and autoimmune diseases and the controversial, potentially groundbreaking therapies that scientists are developing to correct these disorders.
The 7-Day Allergy Makeover: A Simple Program to Eliminate Allergies and Restore Vibrant Health from the Inside Out
A top allergy specialist provides a simple holistic program that helps a broad range of allergy sufferers heal themselves naturally. THE 7 DAY ALLERGY MAKEOVER is written for people who want to take an active role in their own healing. The book lays out action-oriented, step-by-step instructions on uncovering the root cause of allergies, and makes simple but specific changes that can stop allergy symptoms from recurring. What began as a mother’s desperation to save her son has led to a comprehensive program that helps a broad range of allergy sufferers heal themselves naturally. As an allergy specialist, Dr. Susanne Bennett sees roughly 100 patients a week, from children to movie stars. They come to her after exhausting every resource: doctors, medicines, creams, shots, you name it. They suffer from hives, sneezing, headaches, asthma, muscle aches, swelling and digestive problems, and more. THE 7 DAY ALLERGY MAKEOVER, based on 23 years of Dr. Bennett’s clinical experience, is an easy-to-implement and transformational plan for eliminating allergies from your life forever. Each chapter in THE 7 DAY ALLERGY MAKEOVER focuses on a different aspect of health and environment for a person suffering from allergies--nutrition, air quality, living environment, water, body hygiene, and emotional and mental stresses.
Podcasts about Allergies
Sawbones: A Marital Tour of Misguided Medicine: Asthma and Allergies
Welcome to Sawbones, where Dr. Sydnee McElroy and her husband Justin McElroy take you on a whimsical tour of the dumb ways in which we've tried to fix people. This week: We cure your sniffles with fox blood.
The Brian Lehrer Show: Adult-Onset Food Allergies Become More Common
Ruchi Gupta, pediatrician and professor of pediatrics and medicine at Northwestern Medicine and director of the Science and Outcomes of Allergy and Asthma Research Team at Northwestern, talks about a recent study where she found more than 10 percent of American adults have a food allergy, and about half of that group developed a new food allergy as adults — numbers that surprised her.
Stuff You Should Know: Gesundheit! How Allergies Work
In this week's SYSK Select episode, about 30-40 percent of humans suffer from some sort of allergy. The big joke, though, is that every sufferer is the victim of mistaken identity. Allergies are the result of a hypersensitive immune system mistaking a harmless protein for a foreign invader.
House Call With Dr. Hyman: 4 Steps to Getting Rid of Seasonal Allergies
“Dr. Hyman, I’ve been suffering from seasonal allergies for years,” writes this week’s house call. “Is there anything that I can do to make these go away or am I doomed forever?” You are definitely not doomed; however, I do know how miserable seasonal allergies can be, especially in the spring and summer. Conventional medicine treats seasonal allergies with injections and pills, which unfortunately, create side effects and fail to address the root problem. If you don’t address the root cause, then the allergies will never go away.
Myers Detox: The Allergy Solution with Dr. Leo Galland
Dr. Leo Galland talks to us this week about The Allergy Solution. We discuss the role of allergies and how you can balance immunity, nutrition and lifestyle to get on the path of healing! Are toxic metals causing your fatigue and health issues?
FX Medicine Podcast Central: Practical Interventions for Allergy and Atopy with Nicole Bijlsma
Does living in a 'westernised' country put you at greater risk for allergy and atopy? The science and statistics are saying yes. The major drivers for allergy and atopy are multifactorial and complex but indeed, almost all circumstances relate back to modernisation and the industrial revolution. Society's obsession with sterilisation and being 'germ-free' has put us at risk. Now, in Australia, 25% of the population can expect to be diagnosed with allergy at some point in their life. Today we welcome back Nicole Bijlsma, author of "Healthy Homes; Healthy Families" and leading environmental health expert who takes us through these varied risks and how we can intervene in practical ways to minimise the incidence of allergy and atopy in our modern lives.
Myers Detox: Reversing Allergies with Low Dose Immunotherapy (LDI) with Dr. Nick Baboulas
Dr. Nick Baboulas talks to us this week about LDI, Low Dose Immunotherapy, and how it can help you reduce symptoms related to immune system malfunction. Are toxic metals causing your fatigue and health issues?
The Cabral Concept: Auto-Immune, Allergies, Asthma, Acid Reflux or Bloating?
One of my favorite things to see is when medical research finally catches up to what natural medicine has known to be true for years... One of those big breakthroughs was when conventional medicine realized the connection between the “gut” and the rest of the body... This has now led to massive funding, lab testing, and research into a deeper level of understanding into how to heal...
Medical Medium Podcast: Healing From Allergies
With symptoms ranging from a runny nose and itchy eyes to migraines, fatigue, and more, allergies can make life miserable. Thankfully, there are many natural methods we can empty to heal the root causes of allergies and prevent future reactions. Listen to this recent Medical Medium Radio Show to learn about healing allergies naturally.
The Cabral Concept: Food Allergies vs Intolerances, Labial Adhesion, Branch Retinal Vein Occlusion, Celiac Reversible, Caffeine Heart Palpitations, Creatine Loading
The Ultimate Health Podcast: Dr. Justin Marchegiani - Is Food Allergy Testing Useless? • Common Parasites • Intermittent Fasting Isn't For Everyone
Dr. Justin Marchegiani is a certified functional medicine practitioner that works with a wide variety of patients all the way from athletes trying to increase performance and heal from injuries to the everyday person with chronic health challenges. Using a holistic approach, he addresses core underlying barriers to health which allows his patients to heal faster and feel better. In this episode, we discuss: How did Justin fall into functional medicine? Every bite of food either pushes you toward inflammation or anti-inflammation How Tom Brady starts his day Emphasizing good proteins and fats, in the morning Gut issues may NOT cause gut symptoms 80% of your immune system is in your gut Is there any value in food allergy testing? The autoimmune template... not diet Vegans and vegetarians going AIP or paleo to heal To sustain life, you have to consume life How important are supplements? Justin's a huge fan of digestive enzymes and HCL What really helped Justin's Hashimoto's NDT and desiccated thyroid What's the deal with H. pylori? How are infections "passed around?" What are the most common parasites Justin is seeing in practice? Ingesting worms on purpose?!? Stop kissing your dog on the lips Specific herbs to treat microbial infections When intermittent fasting isn't a good idea Testing for environmental toxins and heavy metals SIBO: small intestinal bacterial overgrowth With low energy comes poor mood Start your day right, with momentum What does Justin's breakfast look like?
The Ultimate Health Podcast: Dr. Leo Galland - The Allergy Solution • The Stress-Allergy Connection • Peanut Allergies In Kids
Dr. Leo Galland is internationally recognized as a world leader in integrated medicine and a founder of Functional Medicine. Educated at Harvard University and the NYU School of Medicine, he won the Linus Pauling Award for his trailblazing vision that created a bold new way to practice medicine for thousands of doctors. Dr. Galland has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, on the Dr. Oz Show, The Today Show, Good Morning America, PBS, CNN, and Fox. The past spring he released a new book titled The Allergy Solution. In this episode, we discuss: Why have we become so allergic? The majority of people in the US today will have an allergic reaction in their lifetime Automotive pollution is a major factor contributing to our allergy epidemic The relationship between formaldehyde and allergies Allergies start in your stomach A healthy microbiome has a high level of diversity Anti-plaque toothpastes may still contain triclosan Eating fast food three times a week increases your risk of developing allergies Your diet is essential to having a diverse microbiome Having outdoor pets leads to a significant reduction in allergies An immune deficiency allows the allergic reactions to become overactive The link between stress and allergies Allergy means altered reactivity An allergic reaction can produce almost any symptom 30-40 years ago... it was easier to lose weight and harder to gain weight If you have allergies you're more likely to become overweight AND if you're overweight you're more likely to develop allergies Two factors that can increase a child's risk of developing a peanut allergy
- American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology. Allergy Library. American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology. Allergy Library.
- JAMA Network Open. Prevalence and Severity of Food Allergies Among US Adults. JAMA Network Open. Prevalence and Severity of Food Allergies Among US Adults.
- Mayo Clinic. Allergies. Mayo Clinic. Allergies.
- Mayo Clinic. Milk allergy. Mayo Clinic. Milk allergy.
- The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne. Allergy and Immunology. The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne. Allergy and Immunology.
- Current Perspectives. Non–IgE-mediated gastrointestinal food allergy. Current Perspectives. Non–IgE-mediated gastrointestinal food allergy.