What are allergies?
When you have an allergic reaction, it's your immune system telling you that something you have eaten or something in your environment is harmful. Triggered by an antigen (a substance such as pollen, mold, food, chemicals, or an insect bite), your body will react to that substance even though it may not be harmful for most people. Every person has their own allergy triggers and tolerances to specific antigens. At Kotsanis Institute of Functional Medicine in Grapevine, TX, we believe that allergy symptoms are responsible for more visits to a doctor’s office than any other illness in this country. Living and working within the DFW Metroplex, board-certified otolaryngologist Dr. Constantine Kotsanis sees many patients with allergy symptoms who have recently moved to Texas. Even though these patients may not have had previous problems with allergies, moving to a new environment can often create new challenges for the immune system.
If you're seeking relief for an allergy, we do offer allergy testing and low-dose antigen (LDA) treatment. This treatment activates the T-lymphocytes (immune-system-controlling white blood cells) which shut off the undesirable allergic response. The T-lymphocytes have a half-life of 12 – 16 weeks and form life-long memory cells that eventually give you the long-term relief you need. Patients who have gone through our LDA treatment report that they need less medication, get fewer infections, and have more tolerance to foods, pollens, and chemicals. If you or your child is enduring life with an allergy and you want to pinpoint a specific allergy and get LDA treatment, then contact us for a consultation.
Symptoms of an allergy
Allergic symptoms frequently include congestion, itchy nose, post-nasal drip, sneezing, and watery eyes. Additional symptoms might include:
- Hyperactivity in children
- Repeat sinus or ear infections
- A feeling of fullness in the ears
- Sneezing, coughing, wheezing, and asthma
- Rashes such as hives and eczema
- Joint aches
- Gastrointestinal symptoms such as bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting
Preparing for LDA Allergy Treatment
Preparing for LDA treatment consists of being on an antifungal protocol for at least five days before your first treatment. It is very important that the rotating anti-fungal protocol is followed before and between LDA treatments (as yeast and Candida are suppressed). On the day before, the day of, and the day after an LDA shot, you must:
- Take your prescription medication for serious medical conditions (like insulin, hormones, heart medications, etc.)
- Stay away from triggering foods, household chemicals, allergy medications, and household pets
- Eat only cooked foods (not raw foods because they contain enzymes that may interfere with treatment)
- Refrain from ingesting your normal nutritional supplements
- Stop using over-the-counter allergy medications, antihistamines, decongestants, and nasal sprays one week before and three weeks after an LDA treatment
- Avoid alcohol, fatiguing exercise, and extreme sun or heat exposure
If you have questions about a specific medication, please call us. We'd be happy to go over the directions for you.
Allergy Treatment options
At Kotsanis Institute, we use low dose antigen (LDA) treatments for our patients with allergies. LDA can be quickly administered in our office. We administer these intradermal injections into the forearm at year one, two, and three after diagnosis:
- Year one – treatments every two months
- Year two – treatments every three months
- Year three – treatments every six months
Most patients receive a total of 11 – 15 treatments over three years. Some effects of LDA treatments can be almost immediate; however, the full benefit of LDA treatments may be slow to appear. Generally, patients tend to notice some significant improvements with the first or second injection, and the response rate usually increases with subsequent injections. Typically, children respond faster than adults to LDA protocols. In some cases, we see an immediate response with the first injection, while other patients respond within around 4 – 5 doses. You may experience a localized reaction at the injection site, which appears red, feels itchy, and may swell to the size of a half-dollar or larger. The size of the reaction has no relationship to what type of response you will have.
Allergy Relief is on the way
Dr. Kotsanis is accepting new allergy patients who have not been diagnosed or who need a physician to manage their current LDA care. Please call and set up an appointment if you'd like to begin your allergy treatment at Kotsanis Institute of Functional Medicine in Grapevine, TX today.