Allergy Connection - Questions and Answers


What is an allergy?

 

The term "allergy" is frequently debated among the medical community. To many general allergists, the word refers primarily to the adverse effects of inhalants such as pollens and animal dander's. These allergens can cause symptoms such as hay fever and asthma. In actuality, allergies or hypersensitivities are much broader in scope and involve adverse reactions caused not only by inhalants, but also by the food we eat and the chemicals present in out air, food, and water. Food, chemical, mold and other allergies cause symptoms that are diverse and include not only hay fever and asthma but also fatigue, headaches, abdominal pain and many others. In addition, allergies can often affect the central nervous system and cause learning, behavior and developmental problems in children. Fortunately, many of these allergy conditions can be helped. Modern testing methods have made it easier to detect hidden allergies and prescribe a treatment, which will enable the patient to live a healthier, happier life.

What is Integrated Medicine?

 

Integrated medicine is a form of medical care that combines conventional and complimentary therapies to treat patients. Medicine or surgery may not be the best or only option for every medical condition. Doctors need to take the time to listen and understand their patients and to consider all avenues of treatment for health problems.

How does Dr. Layton test for allergies?

 

Dr. Layton prefers to use the Provocation/Neutralization method of testing allergies. This test involves injecting a small amount of suspected allergen under the patient's skin. If a positive reaction occurs, he may administer weaker dilutions of the allergen until a negative, or neutralizing dose is found. The neutralizing dose is then used as a treatment dose, blocking the reaction to various foods, molds, and chemicals.

My child's teacher tells me my child is listless, disruptive, and unable to concentrate in the classroom. I don't observe these problems at home. Could my child be allergic to something in the school?

 

Allergies can be caused by ingested food, or the chemicals and molds present in the air, water, or in the building, including in our homes and schools. Parents will often notice that a child's health and behavior worsen as the school week progresses. This is a strong indication that something outside the home is adversely affecting the child.

Some elements in a school that cause allergic reaction include:

 
  • Moldy or dusty school buildings
  • Desk tops or cabinets made of fiberboard
  • Heating or cooling systems
  • Chalk
  • Paint
  • Perfume worn by a teacher or other school personnel
  • Cleaning Agents
  • Is it true that babies with colic are allergic to milk? Could this cause future medical problems for my child?

     

    Sensitivity to milk is now commonly accepted to be as a cause of colic. Pediatricians will often eliminate milk from a breast-feeding mother's diet or will switch formulas if a baby is suffering from colic.

    But milk may not be the only food upsetting the infant. It may be necessary for the breast-feeding mother to eliminate foods from her diet one at a time to see what effects her child's symptoms. Breast milk is the best food for a baby, but the mother should be aware that what she is ingesting is then being passed on to her baby.

    Problems with milk ingestion do not end when the baby outgrows colic. Recurrent ear infections, chronic nasal congestion, and behavior problems frequently occur in older children with milk allergies.

    How should an allergy be treated?

     

    No one treatment is appropriate for all patients, even ones who suffer from allergies to similar substances. The most common treatment for allergies is injection desensitization. Over the past decade, in course of treating his many allergy patients, Dr. Layton has found sublingual immunotherapy to be more effective and less traumatic than injection desensitization.

    What is Sublingual Immunotherapy?

     

    Sublingual Immunotherapy is a variant of homeopathy that treats the cause of an allergy, not just the symptoms. Several drops of a diluted allergen, based on the patient's allergy response, are placed under the tongue of the patient to block an allergic reaction to that particular substance. This form of therapy is used to treat allergies to pollens, molds, chemicals and foods.

    Dr. Layton prefers sublingual immunotherapy because it is safe, convenient and effective.

    My pediatrician seems to be an advocate for certain drugs including Ritalin. What role should drugs play in treating learning and behavior problems?

     

    Ritalin has proven to be an effective treatment for some children with ADD or ADHD, but it is not appropriate for many children with learning or behavior problems. It is crucial that your pediatrician or family physician performs a comprehensive medical evaluation of your child before prescribing any medication. Many parents do not know, and many physicians may not consider, that allergies can be the underlying cause of learning, and behavioral problems in children.