Sunday, July 14, 2013

Alternative Medicine and the Allergic

I made a new youtube video about a peanut allergy research study I am involved with, here is the link:

I am extremely allergic to peanuts. I majored in Biology in college and a few years back, I started working at an allergy testing laboratory.  The doctor that worked there with me was a naturopath.  Being deeply suspicious of natural remedies and their potential for a severe allergic reaction, I didn't really trust anything she said.

However, after working closely with her for months and months, I started to really like her, and I was curious about what naturopathic suggestions she would have to help alleviate my asthma, eczema, and allergic reactions.  One day in January, after everybody in the office had been out sick with severe stomach flu for at least a week, I went to her office, feeling queasy and I said, "help."  I asked her what she recommended so I wouldn't get this horrible sickness.everybody got.  My allergies, asthma, and eczema mean that when I get sick, I get way sicker than normal people.  My immune system seems to only be interested in attacking me, not the viruses.  She told me to take massive vitamin C until I had diarrhea(I know, gross, but I was desperate not to get sick) and then drink massive water, and take 30,000 IU of vitamin D.  What?  But I was feeling worse by the hour, so I followed her advice when I got home from work that day, Friday. The next day, I projectile vomited 3 times in the morning.  I couldn't even keep water down and I was so sick and thirsty.  And then I started getting better rapidly.  Following the Naturopath's advice, I was sick for half a day.

I then asked her for some naturopathic advice, and here's what worked:
-Taking fish oil (purified of mercury & dioxin) supplements.  Helps with the eczema.
-Vitamin C supplements.  Vitamin C is a natural antihistamine.
-Zinc, & magnesium supplements.
-Fresh ground echinacea tea (I get it in bulk from a natural herb store)

Before I started the supplement regimen, my  asthma & eczema were a heck of a lot worse than they are now, and I feel way better in general.  I also eat fresh vegetables (preferably organic) of all kinds every day.

I've also had experience with Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture.  Although I was warned by my doctors about taking the Chinese herbs, I never had a problem, and actually only taking Chinese herbs prepared by my acupuncturist, along with getting acupuncture every two weeks, I was able to go off benadryl, and zyrtec completely.  I cannot explain this with the knowledge I learned in Biology.  But TCM is a healing system using energy, and apparently I am really sensitive to energy.

So it's weird.  Although my education and my Western doctors say that this could be potentially dangerous thing for me to try, my personal experience has demonstrated these healing modalities to be quite safe and effective.  Do research before you book an appointment, Yelp is a great resource to go to for reviews on your local alternative healer.

Having multiple allergies means I am exquisitely sensitive.  I've had some intense experiences at the acupuncturist, most every time, I feel my chi shift.  It's amazing for me and it really does work.  When I get acupuncture when I have sinus congested and asthma, 5 minutes after the needles go in, my airways relax like I have been breathing through a nebulizer, and the sinuses in my head drain and I feel way clearer.

Having multiple severe allergies, it is easy to be overly cautious and live in fear.  But a healthy dose of reasonable advice from a naturopath, and the occasional acupuncture session does wonders to heal the havoc wrecked on your body from allergies. So I would recommend to go for it, try alternative medicine, I did, and it was the right choice for me.

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