For allergy sufferers, sneezing, wheezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes can be challenging, especially when the weather is starting to warm up. One way to feel better and ditch the allergy symptoms is through LDA or Low Dose Allergy Therapy, which enhances and teaches the immune system to ignore harmless substances (allergens). As a form of enzyme-potentiated desensitization, LDA is a very low-dose or homeopathic allergy treatment method.
What Are Ways To Treat And Desensitize Patients With Allergies?
The Conventional Medical Model
It has always been a twice-weekly to twice-monthly allergy shot with a specialist. In fact, this traditional treatment has been very effective for seasonal or environmental allergens like pollen or other specific allergens.
However, conventional injections also have downsides, including the frequency of visits required in the first 1-2 years and the treatment limited to a select number of allergens. Also, it may not cover a wide range of inhalants when a patient has quite a few reactions. Additionally, allergy shots are ineffective for patients with autoimmune diseases, food sensitivities/allergies, and chemical intolerances.
Also called SLIT, it has been a favored alternative oral therapy whereby patients tested can have low-dose serum prepared by a compounding pharmacy to take two times daily under the tongue in the comfort of the patient’s home. As a matter of fact, no needle pokes are needed in this treatment, and no frequent visits are required after initiating therapy.
Based on test results, SLIT can cover various allergens for desensitization. However, the downside of this treatment is that some patients may need to remember to take the drops twice daily and should continue this therapy for 18-24 months on average for them to experience the full benefit and desensitization. In addition, SLIT therapy is restricted to environmental inhalants, as well as it does not cover any foods or chemicals for desensitization.
Ultra Low Dose Enzyme Activated Immunotherapy
As an effective treatment option for all allergies, patients who used this therapy have found it cost-effective and enjoy that no further testing is required to start therapy. Since it offers less frequent injections, it saves time, and many patients prefer it, especially those who are wary of needles. It is a safer therapy than conventional injections (which can be life-threatening).
How Does Low-Dose Allergy Therapy Work?
Low Dose Allergy is a method of immunotherapy enhanced by a small or low dose of the enzyme called beta-glucuronidase. That said, the beta-glucuronidase activates extremely low amounts of various allergens, which is significantly lower than the conventional allergy shots and stimulates the T- suppressor cell production.
T-suppressor cells then signal and turn off helper cells, which cause the misidentification of normal substances in the body that get mislabeled as allergens or foreign invaders. In this case, abnormal immune reactions cause inflammation, intestinal permeability, autoimmune conditions, and other diseases.
Moreover, the injections for LDA are spaced out every 6-8 weeks since T- helper cells take some time to mature in the bloodstream. As the treatment progresses, injections are less frequent every few months. As indicated, LDA treatment consists of a very shallow injection into the first layer of the skin, in the smallest amount, about 1/20 cc.
LDA includes mixtures of over 300 allergens that allow patients with multiple food sensitivities or chemical intolerances to respond favorably to treatment. The available LDA mixtures that we carry include the following:
- Environmental Inhalants mix: pollens, grasses, dander, dust mites, fungi, yeast, candida species, etc.
- Food mix: low dose and intermediate dose of over 300 foods
- Chemical mix: various chemicals, perfumes, formaldehyde, etc.
- Bacterial mixes specific for Autoimmune Conditions
What The The Low Dose Allergy Therapy Look Like?
- LDA injections are injected into the forearm. They are tiny.
- A patient receives one to two doses per treatment on average.
- Injections of LDA are administered initially with a two-month gap between appointments.
- As the treatment progresses, the time is extended between injection appointments until they are down to only once a year.
- In some cases, patients have even been able to stop treatment for longer periods (longer than once a year) without their allergy symptoms returning.
- After 16 to 18 months of injections, most patients can go extended periods between injections or stop injections altogether.
- For severe food allergies, 6 to 12 doses for 1 to 2 years of treatment may be necessary before results are noticeable.
- Over 60% of patients note a positive response with their first treatment.
What Does LDA Treat?
It is a safe and effective therapy for the relief of immune reactions, which also treats the following conditions, such as:
- Seasonal allergies (hay fever, spring allergies, etc.)
- Perennial allergies (year around runny nose, nasal congestion)
- Nasal polyps
- Allergic conjunctivitis
- Chronic sinusitis
- Chronic otitis media (ear infections or “glue” ear)
- A food allergy or intolerance
- Chemical or fume intolerance
- Migraines/severe headaches
- Eczema, chronic dermatitis
- Chronic idiopathic urticaria
- Chronic fatigue
- Candida infections
- Chronic pelvic or vulva pain
- Anosmia (lack of sense of smell)
- Interstitial cystitis
- Chronic cough
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Contact dermatitis
- Angioedema (swelling of lips, face, or tongue)
- Hyperactivity (ADD & ADHD)
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Crohn’s disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome, spastic colon
- Chronic diarrhea, constipation
- Chronic anal irritation
- Sjogren’s Syndrome
- Menier’s Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
- Raynaud’s Disease/phenomena
- Recurrent pharyngitis/laryngitis
Is Low Dose Allergy A Safe Treatment?
LDA is generally a safe and effective treatment that uses a natural pathway of immune modulation at a strength less than the average. For over 10,000 patients in the US from 1993 to 2001, it has found no significant adverse reactions in an initial study. In another study in the US, LDA had better responses for repeated ear infections in children than any other condition in which they found that a reaction to foods often causes ear infections.
However, LDA should not be used during pregnancy. It is imperative to consult a Specialty Natural Medicine for things to be avoided during the LDA injection appointment or click on Diet Level I or II-III tabs. LDA is safe for nursing moms and children over two weeks of age.
More importantly, let the doctor know of any history of eczema, asthma, skin allergy of any kind, hives, lips, face, or body swelling, autoimmune disease, anaphylactic reactions, or multiple severe reactions before receiving an LDA. This may require special preparation.
The Bottom Line
Whether it’s for spring allergies or a sensitivity to treat but never knew you could, you now have a path to lasting relief. Waco Center for Functional Medicine, PLLC offers Low Dose Allergy Therapy, which treats allergy, sensitivity, and intolerance to inhalants, foods, and chemicals. Ultimately, LDA works by restoring your body’s natural, active immunity to specific environmental antigens and allergens, which have been lost through allergy and autoimmune disease.