Often allergy to dust mites, moulds pollens, animals or foods.
Many people and children with asthma have a simple allergy to dust, house dust mites, pets, moulds or food intolerances. With allergy testing or dietary "work outs" it is possible to identify specific triggers, control them or prepare antidotes to neutralise them.
Asthma, Mites, Pets and Homes
House dust mites thrive in a warm, humid environment such as modern, well insulated, centrally heated homes; their main habitat is bed mattresses, carpets and soft furnishings. We know that they die in very low or very high temperatures and where the humidity is low. Cooler, well ventilated homes discourage inhalant allergies. Some patients have made the observation that their asthma, previously thought to be a permanent or irreversible problem, actually clears within 48 hrs of arriving in any Mediterranean country or high in the mountains, where humidity is low, only to relapse on their return to the UK. This confirms that asthma can partly or totally be reversed if we could effectively control the quality of the air we breathe.
Asthma and Diet
Contrary to popular belief, asthma is not always caused by allergens in the air. Some patients find that their symptoms get worse after eating certain foods or additives and get better when they leave them out of their diet for 1-2 weeks. On the basis of this observation, we can define, by a dietary test known as Elimination and Challenge, which specific foods are responsible for one's breathing problems. This kind of allergy is very different to peanut allergy, which is fast and potentially life threatening. It is called Type-B, delayed or masked allergy and is a common cause of breathing problems, characterised by congestion and/or mucous production from the sinuses, nose, throat or the bronchial tree. Dairy products are top of the list for causing mucous secretions, mainly cow's milk protein, casein and lactalbumin, not lactose. Nasal polyps are frequently caused by inhalant allergy combined with food intolerance.
Asthma - Treatment
At The Burghwood Clinic we recommend skin prick tests or blood tests to identify the culprits if inhalant allergies are suspected. If food intolerance is likely to be the cause, a Diagnostic Eating Plan is implemented for two weeks to see an improvement or clearance of the symptoms then there is a re-introduction phase to identify which foods are the problem. Alternatively, intra-dermal tests can be used.
Once the cause(s) have been identified, e.g. inhalant allergies, we can prevent the symptoms using a form of desensitisation, Enzyme Potentiated Desensitisation. If foods are the issue and there are too many to leave a balanced or workable diet, we also offer another form of desensitisation called Neutralisation.
Clinical Trials re: Bronchial Asthma
The following is a sample of papers to give a flavour of some of the evidence to support the view that allergy, environmental medicine and nutritional medicine has a major role to play in the modern medical practice.
Children with Allergic Rhinitis and/or Bronchial Asthma treated with Elimination Diet
Ogle K., Annals of Allergy, May 1980: 44; pp273-8. 91% of 322 children showed significant improvement in trial. View article
Food Sensitivity and Asthma
Wraith D.G., Brostoff, and Challacombe. Food Allergy and Intolerance, London Bailliere, Tindall 1987; pp486-97. Study of 265 patients on avoidance of incriminated foods led to a huge reduction in the use of inhalers and steroids.
Asthma Induced by Sulphur Dioxide, Benzoate and Tartrazine contained in Orange Drinks
Freedman B.J., Kings College Hospital, Clin. Allergy 1997: 7; pp407-415. 18% of 272 patients with asthma reacted to one or more of the constituents of orange drinks.
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