Integrative Health Approach
Allergic immune dysfunction is best served by an integrative approach to diagnosis and treatment
Health is a complex balance of innumerable factors. Hoping to knock down the intricate network your immune system has constructed to cause (and maintain) your allergies by changing only one factor would be like pushing any one piece out of a Jenga tower and expecting it to crumble. Sure, there are a few key support pieces that if removed from the balancing tower (or changed regarding your health) could have a significant effect in the right instance. But more often than not, it takes purposeful changes in multiple areas to eventually cause the whole original structure to disassemble and allow you to enter a drastically different and better stage of health.
Allergic immune dysfunction is caused and maintained by a combination of permanent genetic factors and fluctuating environmental signaling factors. While sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) is an integrative treatment on its own, affecting many different aspects of your immune system and health beyond simply the allergens present in your SLIT allergen drops, we have found that it can be even more beneficial to also work on improving any additional health factors – such as what you eat, your home and work/school environments, chronic inflammatory conditions, stressors, etc – that are likely supporting your immune system’s state of aggravation and intolerance. Improvements in each of these areas have advantageous effects on their own, but the combination of these changes together brings about health gains that go beyond the sum of these pieces alone. For many, this can be life-changing.
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Allergies are a product of your immune system making some poor decisions, such as choosing to ramp up into attack mode when seeing harmless substances
While sublingual immunotherapy is a fantastic tool to help train your immune system to make better decisions, there are many other factors also signaling and influencing how your immune system function at the same time. Some of these other factors include the food you eat, your job/school and daily activities, the environments you spend your time in, your other medical conditions, your sleep habits, and your active stressors. If one or more of these factors put strain on your immune system, your immune system may feel like it needs to remain in “fight” mode overall, or may be trying to do so many things that it becomes overwhelmed. An immune system in fight mode will be much harder to calm down to improve your symptoms. An overwhelmed immune system will react to even lower levels of allergen exposure, having a much harder time learning tolerance.
Sublingual immunotherapy is like school – your SLIT doses are the classes, your immune system is the student, and an integrative health approach is the support and tools that student need to thrive
A well-taught class will help a student that attends the class to some degree. However, each student has unique skills and different surrounding situations that also affect how well they will learn. Assessing a student’s skills and teaching in a complementary, personalized manner can greatly benefit the student. Evaluating a student’s surrounding situations and helping improve things that are hindering his or her ability to focus and learn can make the class even more useful. We have found these same principles to be true when it comes to health.
Sublingual immunotherapy is an incredible treatment in its own right, but there are many factors that can influence how much it can help a person, and we want to help you optimize as many of these factors as possible. At Allergenuity Health, when we put effort into providing a high-quality SLIT treatment (“teach class”) and you put in the effort to take your SLIT drops properly (“attend class”), it is very likely that your immune system will learn several useful things that will help reduce your symptoms and build some tolerance to your allergen(s). If we work together to further assess how your immune system appears to respond to allergens and immunotherapy (its “skills”) – by monitoring changes in your symptoms and performing appropriate tests intermittently – we can even better tailor your treatment to support your particular needs, often leading to even better results. And if we further work together to evaluate and improve additional things that may be interfering in this process, such as significant allergen exposures in your home or work environment or the foods that you eat, causes of chronic inflammation in your body, poor gut health (since the GI tract is actually our largest immune organ), your skin barrier function, etc, your immune system will be less occupied and less strained by these other issues and therefore better able to focus on learning from the tolerance-promoting signals it receives from your SLIT drops. (You will also feel much better simply from improving these aspects of your health as well.)
The synergy of benefits from an integrative health approach can really provide phenomenal, often life-changing results
At Allergenuity Health, an integrative health approach is part of the core of how we operate overall because it not only makes sense but also repetitively provides tremendous health benefits across the board. Not only will you feel better and healthier from improving other aspects of your health, but given the complex interconnections of our body’s systems especially with our immune system, these improvements in other areas will also directly affect your underlying allergies, your propensity to collect additional allergies and allergic conditions, and your results from SLIT treatment in many beneficial ways.
Without the overwhelming and immune-activating distractions of large allergen exposures (as much as possible), your immune system will be able to focus on the allergen it sees in your SLIT drops instead and will more easily find it to be harmless and not worth attacking. Without chronic illness and inflammation from other sources to occupy its resources and persistently spread activating signals, your immune system will be able to function at baseline in a much more calm state from which it is much easier to learn and promote additional tolerance to your allergens.
We have heard it over and over again from our patients who have engaged with us in an integrative health approach for their allergy care – this approach has the potential to drastically change your health and therefore life for the better and open up the world to you, the way it should be. We want to do anything we can to help get you to where you want to be.