Allergy & Antigen Therapy (Immunotherapy)/Asthma Q & A
For those who are susceptible to allergies or suffer from asthma, the world is full of environmental hazards, from the food they eat to the phones in their hands. At Environmental Health Center–Buffalo (EHC Buffalo), environmental and integrative medicine specialist Dr. Kalpana Patel has devoted her practice to studying allergies and asthma and helps her patients in Buffalo, New York, and surrounding areas, become more aware of the hazards around them. To learn more about managing your allergies and asthma through allergy testing and immunotherapy, call the office or use the online booking tool to schedule a consultation. Phone consultations are also available.
What are allergies?
Allergies is a catchall term to describe your body’s response to something it views as a threat. This threat, called an antigen, can come from the outside or from inside in your own body. Why some people develop allergies remains unclear. Allergies can strike at any age, and there are hundreds of harmless substances that can become dangerous antigens for some people and not for others.
The easiest way to illustrate this is that while some people can eat a handful of peanuts without consequence, those who have an extreme peanut allergy, are in considerable danger if they’re even around peanuts.
The reason for this is that when you have an allergy, your body’s immune system produces antibodies called immunoglobulin E (IgE) when it encounters an antigen. These antibodies prompt your body to respond in different ways, including:
- Rashes, eczema, dermatitis, or hives
- Sneezing and watery eyes
- Swelling and inflammation
- Wheezing and difficulty in breathing
- Abdominal pain
- Hyperactivity, ADD, ADHD, and learning difficulties
- Chronic headaches and migraines
- Chronic joint pain, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia
In extreme cases, anaphylactic shock can occur, which can be life-threatening. It causes a number of symptoms, which may include a rapid pulse, hives, and swelling of the tongue, lips, and throat which limits your ability to breathe.
What is asthma?
Asthma affects approximately 25 million people in the United States, causing chronic problems with their ability to breathe freely. During an asthma attack, your airways swell and become narrow, making it difficult to take in air.
Asthma can develop in children and adults, and its severity varies from one person to the next. For some, asthma poses nothing more than an occasional hassle, while for others it can be life-threatening. While medical researchers have yet to identify a single underlying cause of the disease, they believe that asthma is affected by the following:
- Environmental pollutants
- Existing allergies
Because of Dr. Patel’s work in environmental medicine, she understands the effects that your surroundings can have on your body and works with you to find relief from your asthma with the identification of triggers and testing and treatment with various therapies.
How are allergies and asthma treated?
At EHC Buffalo, Dr. Patel specializes in the following allergies and asthma triggers:
- Mold and mycotoxins
- Bacteria and viruses
- Electromagnetic fields
When you come in, Dr. Patel first uses a special type of intradermal testing for mold, mycotoxins, food allergies, food sensitivities, chemical sensitivities, electromagnetic field sensitivity and many more items as indicated from your evaluation.
As an environmental specialist, she also performs a comprehensive evaluation of your indoor and outdoor environment, which may uncover mold and mycotoxin contaminations, among other triggers.
Once Dr. Patel has a clearer picture, she works with innovative immunotherapies to help your body not to overreact. Your body responds more normally to the presence of an antigen through different immunotherapies including:
- Antigen injection treatment for pollen, mold, mycotoxin, foods, chemicals, EMF
- Sublingual immunotherapy
- Low-dose allergy immunotherapy like LDA and LDI
Immunotherapy works by introducing only a small amount of the antigen into your body at a time in order to build up resistance. Dr. Patel’s goal is to help you overcome severe allergic reactions and asthma attacks by working systemically with your body to reduce its over-reactive response.
If you’d like to learn more about innovative immunotherapy treatments that offer long-term solutions for your allergies or asthma, call EHC Buffalo or fill out the online form to schedule a consultation or phone consultation.