Many people suffer, unknowingly, from allergies and their symptoms can vary widely. The most familiar types of allergies, such as airborne irritants in nature and the environment, have more obvious, but debilitating symptoms, such as running eyes and nose, headache, blocked sinuses, sore throat, and lesions or itchiness of the skin.
But other less obvious symptoms of allergies, such as extreme fatigue, depression, arrhythmia, dizziness, vision problems, tinnitus and nausea, can often be overlooked or attributed to other causes.
This is particularly the case with food allergies, which are often difficult to pinpoint. However, all allergy symptoms, and allergies, stem from the same underlying cause; namely, a failure of the body’s immune system.
Western medicine usually treats allergies with a variety of medications, such as cortico-steroids and antihistamines, in an attempt to control uncomfortable allergy symptoms. Unfortunately, while effective at arresting symptoms, these medications have no effect on the cause of the allergies. Frequently, the side effects of allergy medications can be equally debilitating, and can cause drowsiness, dizziness, dry mouth, tinnitus, and other unpleasant side effects. When taken over time, these medications lose their effectiveness, and will need to be replaced with stronger dosages, or alternative drugs. But, all allergy medications will only treat allergy symptoms, not their underlying cause.
In contrast, Oriental medicine takes a more holistic approach to allergy relief. It focuses on the cause of the allergies, not the symptoms. It seeks to identify the root of the problem: What is causing the failure of the immune system; what is causing the internal dysfunction and imbalance; and what is undermining the body’s natural ability to combat its allergies? Once this causation is identified, herbal medicines can be prepared to rebuild and strengthen the immune system, and enable it to overcome any allergen that affects the body.
According to Korean Constitutional theory, not only do allergy patients have a weak immune system, but also weak lung, spleen and kidney systems as well. In addition, their whole body Qi is totally out of balance. Because of these imbalances, the patient’s body cannot overcome its internal inflammatory condition, caused by the allergy, nor its external symptoms. Fortunately, all these problems can be corrected with Constitutional acupuncture and Oriental herbs, together with a change of diet and lifestyle.
Both poor diet and negative lifestyle choices are key factors in allergy causation, together with high stress. For allergy sufferers who are smokers, recreational drug users, heavy drinkers or overweight, it will take longer to rebuild and strengthen their immune system function because it is already being compromised by negative choices on a daily basis.
Once the immune system is strengthened and functioning optimally, all internal inflammation will subside, and the body will regain its internal balance, correct Qi function will be restored, and in most cases, the allergies will self resolve, as the immune system is now strong enough to keep them in check.
Dr. Hyun K. Lee has a practice in Solvang and Beverly Hills. He can be reached at 693-5162 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.