Allergies are an overreaction of the body’s immune system to specific substances that it misidentifies as harmful. This overreaction of the body’s immune system is known as an allergic reaction and the substances that cause it are called allergens.
All systems of the body can be affected by foods, environmental, and chemical sensitivities, which can cause unpleasant symptoms and illnesses. We often try to adjust to these, live with them and put up with them. Medication may help but not get to the cause of the problem. The symptoms just keep recurring. Symptoms and illnesses experienced may include: continual tiredness and low energy levels; mood swings; irritability; inability to concentrate and think clearly; asthma; eczema; itching; migraine; headaches; catarrh; bloating; digestive problems; constipation; diarrhoea; irritable bowel syndrome (IBS); wind; thrush; cystitis; PMT; difficulty with losing weight.
On your first appointment you will be tested for sensitivities to 50 different foods, environmental and chemical substances that we come into contact with every day. You will also be tested for vitamin and mineral deficiencies and any weaknesses within the endocrine system which may be contributing to the symptoms you are experiencing.Before testing, a full case history will be taken (please bring details of any medication you are using).
After testing you will be given written details of any sensitivities and deficiencies you have. You will also be given advice on how to avoid your sensitivities. Supplements to address any deficiencies will be supplied, and sound nutritional advice will be given to restore good health and well-being.
All patients will be monitored and supported after their consultation. A follow-up appointment may be necessary.
Allergies are an overreaction of the body’s immune system to specific substances that it misidentifies as harmful. This overreaction of the body’s immune system is known as an allergic reaction and the substances that cause it are called allergens. Potential allergens can be anything from dust mites and pollen to insect stings, fragrances, and foods such as shellfish and peanuts. Whatever the allergen, allergic reaction symptoms can be miserable, ranging from a runny nose and watery eyes to breathing problems, diarrhea, hives, and even death.
Allergens and Your Body
Your body’s immune system is a collection of cells and organs that work individually and collectively to protect your body from outside invaders such as parasites, viruses and bacteria. Your immune system is an incredibly active and efficient defense mechanism, but not a perfect one. That is why we all get colds and many people develop diseases.
Allergic reactions are caused by both an outside invader and the body making a mistake. When a generally harmless substance such as pollen enters your body, your immune system may mistakenly treat it like a harmful invader. How your body reacts next determines the symptoms you feel.
The Allergy Chain of Events
Here is what happens inside your body when an allergic reaction occurs. This is known as the allergic chain of events or the allergic cascade.
The allergen enters your body where it is misidentified as a harmful and foreign substance by your specialized white blood cells that work together to identify and exterminate bacteria and viruses.
These cells are known as B-cells and T-cells
Your body then begins producing IgE antibodies which are proteins specifically engineered to neutralize the threat of the mis-identified allergen.
These IgE antibodies attach themselves to a specialized blood cell known as a mast cell (most commonly found in the body’s airways and GI tract) and lie in wait for the same substance to enter the body again.
When the allergy sufferer comes into contact again with the same allergen, the IgE antibodies begin breaking down the mast cells.
As mast cell walls are destroyed, each releases a load of chemicals, including histamine, prostaglandins, and leukotrienes, into the surrounding tissues and blood.
These chemicals then bind to receptors in your blood, nasal tissues and other tissues in your body, causing a host of symptoms ranging from swelling to sneezing and a runny nose to hives.
The release of histamine is what causes a cascade of allergy symptoms that can affect the GI tract, skin, respiratory system or cardiovascular system.
Registered Allergy Therapist Member of the British Institute of Allergy and Environmental Therapy
Helen was originally qualified to teach Food Studies and Nutrition. She then went on to study Allergy Therapy and is now a registered Allergy Therapist and is a member of the British Institute for Allergy and Environmental Therapy.