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Allergies Mucous Membranes

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Article by Ron Fisher, ND

Allergies – The Mucous Membrane Focus

An allergy is a hyperactive response of the immune system to certain substances that are 'foreign' to our bodies. These substances are called allergens, and they can range from food and pollen to drugs and dust and can quite frequently occur in combination. Allergies are something we seem to acquire throughout life, and some people are more susceptible than others.
The entry point to our bodies for allergens is usually the upper respiratory tract or the gastrointestinal system. These areas of our body are lined with mucous membranes. Of course the allergy can also be introduced by injection (including vaccinations) but this is less common and very hard to prove. Mucous membranes function as protection, support, nutrient absorption, and secretion of mucus, enzymes, and salts.
In the case of allergies the protection role of mucous membranes fails. From a naturopathic point of view it makes sense to help the body restore the protection role of the mucous membranes. Conventional medicine has gone down the path of trying to modify the immune response to the allergen. It seems more logical to us to focus the treatment on restoring the mucous membranes to good health and the body to normal function. After all, the majority of your immune system actually functions out of these mucous membranes and so the restoration process is also restoring good immune function.
The starting point for a naturopathic treatment for allergy is identifying and removing the main causes of the allergy. This is usually necessary so that we can remove inflammation from the area affected and start the process of repairing the mucous membranes. There are a number of herbal remedies that have been shown to be effective in this repair process. You will need therapeutic doses of these remedies which are only available from a practitioner qualified in naturopathy or herbal medicine.
Once you and your practitioner are satisfied that the repair process is effective you can then experiment with reintroducing the allergens. At first this should be at very minute doses. They should be introduced one at a time with a small increase in the dose every 3 days so that your tolerance to the allergen builds up slowly and your now healthy mucous membranes have got time to adjust.
 With more severe allergies it may be necessary to wait around 6 months to 1 year for the antibodies for the allergen to be fully cleared from your system before introducing the allergen but in less serious cases it may be possible to start introducing the allergen after a few months of maintaining healthy mucous membranes. Success at this final stage of treatment of reintroducing the allergen can vary greatly between people and will depend largely on the skill of your practitioner. If this process fails, then you will need to continue to avoid the allergen to remain in good health.

However, never discontinue prescription medications without first consulting your doctor.

For more Allergy related information view the >> Allergy Research and Discussion Articles or see the >> Allergy Article  Menu

For all your Allergy  related questions, including Allergy Tests, please contact us.

12 Oct 2010

Article/Information supplied by Ron Fisher, ND

Disclaimer - Any general advice given in any article should not be relied upon and should not be taken as a substitute for visiting a qualified medical Doctor.