Many patients and parents contact the clinic enquiring whether we conduct allergy testing for themselves or their child. The answer is yes we do and all the testing we provide is laboratory based using functional biochemistry with either samples of blood (taken by our phlebotomist) , saliva, stool or urine. We do not use the numerous (and in many cases dubious) forms of testing that involve other mechanisms as they have not been shown to be truly objective in outcome. The results are returned to the clinic from the labs via email and are then emailed directly to the patient. The benefit of this type of testing is that it can be read and understood by any medical professional with no subjectivity. These tests can then be used as a bench mark from which treatment protocols can be measured. A consultation is then advised to discuss the results and any further treatment protocols

Allergy and sensitivities can be multifactorial and a naturopathic approach to this often complex area of health may well provide a deeper insight to the possible triggers and predisposing and maintaining factors. As can be seen below problems are rarely in true isolation and classically patients with one allergy may well have a history of asthma, eczema or digestive problems such as bloating and flatulence or IBS .
Below is an overview on allergy courtesy of Metagenics

Food allergy occurs as a powerful inflammatory immune response is directed towards benign proteins (food allergens) due to immune dysregulation and a loss of normal immune tolerance. In a classic allergic reaction, the immune system produces IgE antibodies that bind with the allergen, triggering the release of histamine and other potently inflammatory chemicals (mediators) that lead to common allergic symptoms as itching, swelling, hives, and breathing difficulties. Food allergies range from occasional mild irritations or in some patients severe life threatening events, such as anaphylactic shock or severe asthma, making food allergies a serious condition.
The majority of adverse reactions to food are caused by non-immunologic mediated mechanisms.

Also called food intolerance or food hypersensitivity, food reactions can occur because a person lacks digestive enzymes, such as lactase for the digestion of lactose in milk. Sensitivity may also occur to common preservatives and additives, such as monosodium glutamate (MSG), sulphites and gluten. Other adverse reactions may be caused by food-borne microbial pathogens and toxins.

Airborne

Airborne allergies most commonly affect the respiratory tract, commonly causing hay-fever and asthma. Allergic rhinitis (hay-fever) is an IgE-mediated immune reaction to airborne allergens. It affects between 10-16% of people, with 70% of cases occurring before age 30. Symptoms resemble hose of viral rhinitis but persist and show seasonal variation. This most common form of allergy involves the entire respiratory system - nasal cavity, eyes, mouth, throat, bronchi and lungs – and is a serious trigger for asthmatic patients. There is an inherited tendency, with a child having a 50% chance of developing such allergy if one parent is allergic, and a 75% chance if both parents are allergic.

The approach taken by the Plymouth Naturopathic Clinic towards allergy and sensitivity is very much a multifaceted one. Identification is the first stage but this is often combined with the commencement of a program designed to improve the integrity of the gut and to decrease the re-activity of the immune system towards the trigger. Inflammation is often part of the allergy/sensitivity picture and a Naturopathic approach to the consultation is often very illuminating as to where improvements can be made to help your body cope better.