Sunday, May 5, 2013

Seasonal Allergy Elimination Program

Spring is finally here! But for many of you this also means that your seasonal allergies are acting up and you are likely already suffering runny noses, itchy eyes, postnasal drip, sinus congestion, headaches, hives and other pesky allergy symptoms.

While over the counter allergy medicines do provide relief, many of our patients are looking for more natural ways to manage their symptoms or are seeking a more permanent solution to reduce or eliminate their allergies all together.

This is where Naturopathic Medicine can help! It's amazing to see patients managing their symptoms naturally and reducing their need for allergy medications, but it's even more amazing to see allergy symptoms reduce or eliminate all together!

A Naturopathic Allergy Elimination Program is comprised of 3 basic steps and encompasses many different therapies tailored to each individual and their commitment level.

     Step 1: Managing your allergy symptoms
     Step 2: A Commitment to a Healthy Diet and Home
     Step 3: Healing the Digestive and Immune system

Step 1: Managing Your Allergy Symptoms

The first step to a Naturopathic Program is to reduce your symptoms and get you feeling better asap! Following an initial visit, natural supplements are suggested for allergy symptom relief and an acupuncture series may be started at this time. An acupuncture series is optional and typically consists of weekly treatments for approximately 4-5 weeks at which time treatments can be spaced out to an appropriate maintenance program.

Step 2: A Commitment to a Healthy Diet and a Healthy Home

Now come the big changes, and those that require quite a commitment. But, this is what Naturopathic Medicine is all about! Getting to the root cause of the problem and promoting health in general. Not only will these changes reduce your allergy symptoms, they will also reduce your risk of every chronic disease out there! (and will likely clear up any other health concerns you presently have) Don't worry, these changes can be made through baby steps and we're here to support you!

To truly reduce or eliminate your seasonal allergies we need to get the immune system back in balance.  It is important to address the root cause of the immune system reactivity and start there. First, we'll look at the gut. Since the digestive system and immune system are intimately related we will need to determine and eliminate the foods that are causing an inflammatory response in the digestive system and a subsequent hyper-reactivity in the immune system.

Second, we need to address the other common trigger for immune system imbalance - our environmental exposures. We are each exposed to hundreds of chemicals on a daily basis and these chemicals are common disruptors of immune system function. Now I'm not talking about living in a bubble, but I am talking about taking steps towards living more clean. This means reducing your exposures to everyday chemicals found in your food, water and indoor air. Initially this can seem an overwhelming task but avoidance is prudent for your overall health, and specifically that of the immune system. 

Again, don't worry, these changes can be made through baby steps and we're here to support you!

Step 3: Healing the Gut and Immune System

Now that you've eliminated the foods that cause inflammation and immune system reactivity and are working towards a healthy home, we can start to repair the gut and encourage the immune system to find balance again. This is where nutritional supplementation is used to soothe inflammation, heal the intestinal lining and to teach the immune system tolerance.

Within a few weeks you should be experiencing a reduction in your symptoms however, the program should be continued for approximately 4-6 months for best results. At this point a maintenance regime with the acupuncture and nutritional supplements can be determined. Even after all of this, you'll need to keep your diet and home as healthy as possible for the immune system to remain in balance, but also for general health promotion and disease prevention.

A typical appointment series in a Naturopathic Allergy Elimination Program:

     Initial Visit: Complete health intake and supplement recommendations

     Second Visit: Acupuncture (optional) and planning for food elimination

     Third Visit: Acupuncture (optional), dietary support and healthy home counseling

     Fourth Visit: Acupuncture (optional), dietary and lifestyle counseling

     Fifth Visit: Acupuncture (optional), dietary and lifestyle counseling, supplementation

At this point, and depending on your results, the frequency of acupuncture can be spaced out and a maintenance plan can be determined. 

*This program outline is a recommendation only and may be modified to suit each individual's specific health concerns*

If you have any additional questions, or would like to book an appointment, please phone the office.



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