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Advanced Alternative Medicine Center

Advanced Alternative Medicine Center

Request an Action PlanTo Request an Action Plan to address My Child's Allergies Click Here

In this video, Dr. Huntoon discusses child allergies and what you as a parent need to be aware of.

Click on any of the links to your right, listen to our radio show on How To Raise a Healthy Child, or scroll down to read the full article.

Understanding what having allergies means for a child's long term health is important.

Dr. Huntoon is ready when you are.

Allergies in Children

An estimated 50 million Americans have some type of allergy. In most people, allergies first appear during infancy or childhood. Allergic disorders rank first among children’s chronic diseases.

Find an allergist to help treat your child's allergies

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Learn about allergy symptoms

Any child may become allergic, but children from families with a history of allergy are more likely to be allergic. Children may inherit the tendency to become allergic from their parents, but only some of them will develop an active allergic disease. Children’s allergies can show up in different ways including:

Skin rashes (atopic dermatitis or eczema)

Asthma

Allergic rhinitis (also known as "hay fever")

Food allergies

Allergic rhinitis is the most common of all childhood allergies. It causes runny, itchy nose, sneezing, postnasal drip and nasal congestion (blockage). The child with allergies may also have itchy, watery and red eyes and chronic ear problems. Despite its common name, "hay fever", these allergy problems can occur at any time of the year -- seasonally or year-round, and do not cause fever.

The following are just a few points on potential problems for children with allergic rhinitis. Early identification of allergy problems in your child will improve their quality of life, decrease missed school days and keep you at work.

Nasal congestion

Allergies are the most common cause of chronic nasal congestion in children. Sometimes a child's nose is congested (blocked) to the point that he or she breathes through the mouth, especially while sleeping. This may also cause the child to not get a restful night’s sleep and then be tired the next day. If the congestion and mouth breathing are left untreated, they can cause abnormal changes the way the teeth and the bones of the face grow. Early treatment of the allergies causing the nasal congestion may prevent these problems.

Allergy and ear infections

Allergies lead to inflammation in the ear and may cause fluid accumulation that can promote ear infections and decreased hearing. If this happens when the child is learning to talk, poor speech development may result. Allergies can cause earaches as well as ear itching, popping and fullness ("stopped up ears"). Anyone with these symptoms should be considered for testing and treatment.

Allergies at school

Fall means going back to school. For children with allergies, that may mean absences due to problems related to allergic rhinitis. The following are suggestions for helping the allergic child and problems to look for so that allergy can be properly diagnosed and treated.

Allergy or asthma action plan for emergencies

If your child has asthma or severe allergy, provide your child's action plan to the school nurse or administrative office. Also discuss your child's access to medication in case of an emergency.

School pets: Furry animals in school may cause problems for allergic children. If your child has more problems while at school, it could be the class pet.

Asthma and physical education: Physical education and sports are a big part of the school day for many children. Having asthma does not mean eliminating these activities. Children with asthma and other allergic diseases should be able to participate in any sport the child chooses, provided the doctor's advice is followed. Asthma symptoms during exercise may indicate poor control. Be sure that your child is taking controller asthma medications on a regular basis. Often medication administered by an inhaler is prescribed before exercise to control their symptoms.

Dust irritation: At school, children with allergic problems may need to sit away from the blackboards to avoid irritation from chalk dust.

Food allergic infants

The best food for a newborn is mother's milk. However, some especially sensitive babies can have allergic reactions to foods their mothers eat. Babies can be tested for allergies. Eliminating these foods from the mother's diet may provide relief for the child.

As infants grow, their nutritional needs continue to change and your healthcare provider will advise when it is time for solid foods.

Cow's milk can cause allergies in children. Milk should be eliminated from a child's diet only if you are sure the child is allergic to it. Parents may suspect an allergy if the child exhibits congestion, changes in behavior or hives after the ingestion of milk or other dairy products. If you suspect your child may be allergic to milk, consult your healthcare provider, who may conduct appropriate tests to verify the allergy and prescribe the proper course of treatment for children allergies.

Signs and tests

The health care provider will perform a physical exam and ask questions, such as when the allergy occurs.

Allergy testing may be needed to find out whether the symptoms are an actual allergy or are caused by other problems. For example, eating contaminated food (food poisoning) may cause symptoms similar to food allergies. Some medications (such as aspirin and ampicillin) can produce non-allergic reactions, including rashes. A runny nose or cough may actually be due to an infection.

Skin testing is the most common method of allergy testing. One type of skin testing is the prick test. It involves placing a small amount of the suspected allergy-causing substances on the skin, and then slightly pricking the area so the substance moves under the skin. The skin is closely watched for signs of a reaction, which include swelling and redness. Skin testing may be an option for some young children and infants. Skin testing is not always accurate.

Other types of skin tests include patch testing and intradermal testing. Again, these types of testing may not always be accurate

Blood tests can measure the levels of allergy-related substances, especially one called immunoglobulin E (IgE).

A complete blood count (CBC) and looking at the fraction called the eosinophil within the white blood cell count may also help diagnose allergies.

The Alternative Perspective

Alternative Testing

Using Manual Muscle Testing is a very common and accepted practice within the healthcare industry. In association with using the actual substance suspected or a testing vial that the person holds, the doctor then tests a strong muscle (usually a shoulder muscle) to see if the substance/testing vial creates a muscle weakness. This can be done with older children or with the use of a surrogate for infants and younger children. This form of testing is a far easier way to determine if the body has an issue with a substance and can be considered an allergy. Most practitioners who do muscle testing will also have a form of treatment to correct the allergy response (NAET or TBM) and allow for the person to overcome the allergy.  This should be considered before starting any Medical Treatment, as with all Medical Treatment, medications will be used which then change the physiology of the body and create a whole new circumstance to be dealt with at a later date.

Treatment

Severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) need to be treated with a medicine called epinephrine, which can be life saving when given right away. If you use epinephrine, call 911 and go straight to the hospital.

The best way to reduce symptoms is to avoid what causes your allergies. This is especially important for food and drug allergies. Sometimes, as with food or environmental factors, this is not practical.

Looking into Alternative Treatments with a Holistic Chiropractor can help you address these factors.

There are several types of medications to prevent and treat allergies. Which medicine your doctor recommends depends on the type and severity of your symptoms, your age, and overall health.

Illnesses that are caused by allergies (such as asthma, hay fever, and eczema) may need other treatments. These include working with a Holistic Chiropractor who can help you address these conditions.

Alternative Treatments

Having allergies is not fun at all. Being motivated to look for non-conventional forms of treatment is warranted. Working with a Holistic Chiropractor can offer benefits, as using a well-rounded, multifaceted approach to address all the causes and imbalances within the person. This has demonstrated positive results when sticking to a specific treatment plan. Discussing what is involved and the time commitment necessary to having a full recovery is warranted.

Others have benefitted by using Acupuncture, Homeopathy or Naturopathy when following the treatment guidelines set up by your practitioner and you. Discussing what is involved and the time commitment necessary to having a full recovery is warranted.

The Medical Perspective

In some cases, your medical doctor may tell you to avoid certain items to see if you get better, or to use suspected items to see if you feel worse. This is called "use or elimination testing." This is often used to check for food or medication allergies. This is time consuming and may be problematic when you or your child craves the thing you are asked to avoid, as this usually leads to upset.

The doctor may also check your reaction to physical triggers by applying heat, cold, or other stimulation to your body and watching for an allergic response.

Medical Treatments

Medical treatments are used by many people when suffering from allergies. This may be problematic when dealing with side-effects associated with the medications. As with all medication, certain side-effects are known and others are not known. It is important to consider the side-effects and to do some research into the medication being prescribed to determine if the side-effects are worse than the symptoms associated with your allergies.

Medications that can be used to treat allergies include:

ANTIHISTAMINES

Antihistamines are available over-the-counter and by prescription. They are available in many forms, including:

Capsules and pills

Eye drops

Injection

Liquid

Nasal spray

CORTICOSTEROIDS

Anti-inflammatory medications (corticosteroids) are available in many forms, including:

Creams and ointment for the skin

Eye drops

Nasal spray

Lung inhaler

Patients with severe allergic symptoms may be prescribed corticosteroid pills or injections for short periods of time.

DECONGESTANTS

Decongestants can help relieve a stuffy nose. Do not use decongestant nasal spray for more than several days, because they can cause a "rebound" effect and make the congestion worse. Decongestants in pill form do not cause this problem. People with high blood pressure, heart problems, or prostate enlargement should use decongestants with caution.

OTHER MEDICINES

Leukotriene inhibitors are medicines that block the substances that trigger allergies. Zafirlukast (Accolate) and montelukast (Singulair) are approved for people with asthma and indoor and outdoor allergies.

ALLERGY SHOTS

Allergy shots (immunotherapy) are sometimes recommended if you cannot avoid the allergen and your symptoms are hard to control. Allergy shots keep your body from over-reacting to the allergen. You will get regular injections of the allergen. Each dose is slightly larger than the last dose until a maximum dose is reached. These shots do not work for everybody and you will have to visit the doctor often and for many years.

Expectations (prognosis)

Most allergy symptoms can be easily treated with medication. Understand this is not treating the cause of the allergy. As with all medication, sometimes side-effects and complications make the treatment worse than the original allergy response.

Some children may outgrow an allergy, especially food allergies. However, once a substance has triggered an allergic reaction, it usually continues to affect the person. This can be stopped when choosing to work with alternative methods.

Medicines Two Choices for You

Your Solution

Alternative treatments and Hope for Allergies

Working with a Holistic Chiropractor who treats allergies can offer benefits, as using a well-rounded, multifaceted approach to address all the causes of the allergies and the underlying imbalances within your child. This has demonstrated positive results when sticking to a specific treatment plan. Discussing what is involved and the time commitment necessary to having a full recovery is warranted.

Others have benefited by using Acupuncture, Homeopathy or Naturopathy when following the treatment guidelines set up by your practitioner and you. Discussing what is involved and the time commitment necessary to having a full recovery is warranted.

Allergy shots are effective when used to treat people with hay fever symptoms and severe insect sting allergies. They are not used to treat food allergies because of the danger of a severe reaction. Side-effects to any medication are common and unpredictable when treating for the first time. Consider all the potential side-effects associated with allergy shots and determine if this is what you’d like your child to experience. A discussion with your doctor or pharmacist is warranted before beginning treatment with allergy shots.

Allergy shots may need years of treatment, but they eventually work in most cases. However, they may cause uncomfortable side effects (such as hives and rash) and dangerous outcomes (such as anaphylaxis).

Complications 

Anaphylaxis (life-threatening allergic reaction)

Breathing problems and discomfort during the allergic reaction

Drowsiness and other side effects of medicines

Calling your health care provider

Call for an appointment with your health care provider if:

Severe symptoms of allergy occur

Treatment for allergies no longer works

Prevention

Breastfeeding children for at least 12 months or more may help prevent a cow's milk allergy and wheezing in early childhood.

However, changing a mother's diet during pregnancy or while breastfeeding does not seem to help prevent allergies.

For most children, changing the diet or using special formulas does not seem to prevent allergies. If a parent, brother, sister, or other family member has a history of eczema and allergies, discuss feeding with your child's doctor. When you introduce solid foods and what foods you give your baby can help prevent some allergies.

There is also evidence that infants who are exposed to certain allergens in the air (such as dust mites and cat dander) may be less likely to develop allergies. This is called the "hygiene hypothesis." It came from the observation that infants on farms tend to have fewer allergies than those who grow up in more sterile environments. However, older children do not seem to benefit.

Once allergies have developed, treating the allergies and carefully avoiding allergy triggers can prevent reactions in the future.

Working with a Holistic Chiropractor who treats allergies can offer benefits, as using a well-rounded, multifaceted approach to address all the causes of the allergies and the underlying imbalances within your child. This has demonstrated positive results when sticking to a specific treatment plan. Discussing what is involved and the time commitment necessary to having a full recovery is warranted.

Others have benefited by using Acupuncture, Homeopathy or Naturopathy when following the treatment guidelines set up by your practitioner and you. Discussing what is involved and the time commitment necessary to having a full recovery is warranted.

Just remember:

Allergies in children are common.

Many childhood problems are made worse by allergies.

Treatment of your child's allergies with a Holistic Chiropractor will make them happier and healthier.

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