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Jun 14, 2013

Allergy Season is upon us. Are you experiencing allergies?

What is an allergy? 

An allergy is an inappropriate response by the body’s immune system to a substance that is not normally harmful. In some people, the immune system wrongly identifies a nontoxic substance as an invader, and the white blood cells overreact and do more damage to the body than the invader.

What are common signs and symptoms of environmental allergies? 

Seasonal nasal congestion, itching, burning eyes, hives, coughing and headaches.

What are the most common substances that can provoke seasonal allergies? 

In Colorado these include trees such as Elm, Cottonwood, Cedar, Juniper, Pine and Aspen, and  other plants such as ragweed, pollen, thistle, dust and sage.

Other substances that can provoke an allergy include:

nickel, cosmetics, lanolin, animal dander, dust mites, some common drugs such as penicillin, aspirin and sulfa drugs, some food additives such as benzoic acid and sulfites and chemicals found in soap and laundry detergents.

Many people are allergic to molds. Molds can live throughout the house, under the sink and in the bathroom, basement, refrigerator or any dark and damp place. Mold spores are carried in the wind and predominate in the summer and early fall. Cutting grass, harvesting crops or walking through tall vegetation can provoke a reaction.

How does natural treatments differ from traditional allergy treatments? 

Natural treatments do not use drugs such as steroids that treat only the symptoms and tend to mask the cause.   Natural treatments build the immune to prevent allergies.

What kind of natural treatments are available for environmental allergies? Dr. Wiancek uses homeopathy to desensitize a person from their specific environmental allergies. She also uses natural anti-inflammatory products and Chinese herbs depending upon how severe the reaction. 

 Most people with environmental allergies have food allergies.  When you identify the food allergies and eliminate them the environmental allergies go away. 

What foods can provoke an allergic reaction? Some of the most common allergenic foods include chocolate, dairy products, eggs, shellfish, strawberries, citrus fruits, corn, wheat, food additives, preservatives and dyes.

What are the most common symptoms of food allergies?  

There are many symptoms related to food allergies these include:

Recurrent colds, sore throats, chronic tonsillitis, ear infections, ringing and buzzing in the ears, chronic nasal congestion, postnasal drip, Meniere’s syndrome, constipation, diarrhea, abdominal cramping, ulcerative colitis, gallbladder disease, irritable bowel disease, migraines and other headaches, hives, canker sores, psoriasis, eczema, acne, asthma, frequent urination, teeth grinding, bedwetting, colic, muscle aches, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, unexplained fatigue, anxiety, depression, insomnia, food cravings, obesity etc. Most of these disorders have more than one cause, but food allergy is a relatively common and frequently overlooked cause.

How is a food allergy best diagnosed? 

Dr. Wiancek uses a blood test, which test 100 different foods to diagnosis food allergy. A person can become allergic to almost any type of food and any combination of foods. Therefore, an accurate diagnosis is important.

Depending on how severe a person’s symptoms are there are different ways to treat food allergies such as desensitizing a person, total elimination and improving digestion. Without treatment our immune system will become depleted and symptoms can become worse over time.

If you suspect you may have an environmental or food related allergy it is best to get an assessment.  Without treatment your immune system can become depleted and symptoms can get worse. For any question please call Dr. Wiancek at 970-926-7606 or e-mail website