Allergy & Sensitivity Testing & Support

Why do Naturopathic Allergy & Sensitivity testing and Support?

Adding in Naturopathic care to traditional allergy treatment can help to calm the immune system down, reducing the severity and in some cases number of items a person is reacting to.  Simply reducing the amount of anti-histamines a client needs can also translate into an overall improvement in health and wellbeing.

In some situations, the reaction occuring is not a true allergy (thus testing negative on allergy panels), but a sensitivity.  There are testing options for sensitivities to environemental/ chemical/ food additives and foods.  Knowing what the problem is can relieve some stress to a person experiencing symptoms of sensitivity. 

Avoidance of triggers is not always possible, or desirable.  Approaches using nutrients and targeted supplments to support immune and gut function, as well as manage allergy or sensitivity symptoms may also improve quality of life.

Naturopathic Doctor’s can assist in testing for allergens and sensitivities, in alternate ways, and in some cases faster with a user-pay system.  Allergy testing can be provided from an allergist under Alberta Health coverage.  I do always recommend my clients receive care from an allergist wherever possible, and ideally collaborate and assist in care where needed. 

How does Testing Work?

Allergy and/or Sensitivity testing can be done with finger poke (lancet- IgG and IgE) or blood draw (IgG, IgE and Alcat testing).  There are advantages and disadvantages to both, which will be reviewed with you at your inital appointment to help guide you to making the right choice to address your overall symptoms.

What is the first step?

 All clients with allergy/ sensitivity concerns should start with a new patient consult.  In some cases, calming down your immune system with a naturopathic approach is recommended before any testing should be done.   When deemed appropriate, testing can be done following an initial intake on the same day.  Read about testing notes below for details to prepare.

How to prepare for allergy or sensitivity testing?

For more accurate testing, antihistamines should be avoided (when safe to do so) for 4 days prior, as well as immune lowering medications (only when safe to do so).  Probiotics, digestive enzymes and gut lining supports are all recommended to avoid 2 weeks prior to testing. 

In the case immune lowering medications are not safe to discontinue, testing is generally still valuable so long as you are experiencing symptoms.  Your results may be somewhat reduced in intensity.

An IgG type test will only test foods you have eaten in the past 3 months, and test accurately foods you have eaten in the past 3 weeks.  A celiac panel is only accurate if you have been eating gluten daily for 4 months prior (and for some clients this is too difficult to do).  An Alcat test does not require recent exposure to a potential sensitivity, nor does an IgE test (just historic exposure at some time).  You can discuss these options with reception prior to your appointment.

What else can be done about my allergies/ sensitivities?

Looking at overall health, supporting optimal health in all areas can lead to an improvement in overall allergy/ sensitivity response.  

Targeted treatments can also calm an overactive allergy response.

Improved gut health can reduce the formation of new food sensitivities, and help reduce current sensitivities.

Improved sleep and stress resiliance play a role in overall immune function and allergy/ sensitivity response.

Targeted body work, CranioSacral therapy, Acupuncture and Bowen therapy can help with lymphatic drainage, relieving congestion and associated pressure.

Treatment approaches are tailored to the individual client, and may include: Botanical medicine (herbs), targeted nutrients and probiotics, homeopathic medicine, diet modification, CranioSacral therapy, Acupuncture and Bowen therapy, all offered at the Calgary Centre for Natural Medicine.