Dropper for Sublingual Immunotherapy

Sublingual Immunotherapy

Your immune system is a complex connection tasked with the responsibility of fighting infection and handling possible threats to the health and safety of the human body. It is a complex network that develops strengths, weaknesses, and specific reactions to chemical compounds and microorganisms.  An immune system can target and identify these substances or microorganisms and coordinate an effective response. This response is often a way to protect the body from the potential effects or side-effects from the substance or microorganism.

Sometimes, the immune system can get confused, as it works to identify different substances, and might actually create something called an allergy.

An allergy is the response of an immune system to a particular substance that the immune system considers dangerous and the resulting response can be something as simple as a little itchiness, to full on anaphylactic shock. However, some reactions are more subtle and mild, but can sometimes worsen over time. These immune system reactions are called allergic reactions and can be severe, even causing serious health issues or becoming life-threatening. The difficult part about allergens is that they could be common household substances that you are exposed to on a daily basis and aren't aware of. It could include pet hair, dust, molds, pollen, cleaners, foods and even plants.

Fortunately, most allergic reactions to substances are minor. Some more serious reactions can lead to death if not treated immediately. There are possible methods to reducing the severity of an allergic reaction. Immunotherapy is the concept that is built around this idea. Traditional immunotherapy uses injections to expose the body to a small amount of the allergen and the immune system can pick up on the tiny amount, but does not react strongly because the amount of the allergen is so small. Injections can be expensive, time consuming, and traumatic for someone who is fearful of them. So, there is an alternate type of immunotherapy that does not require sharp needles: sublingual immunotherapy.

Sublingual immunotherapy uses drops that contain a small amount of the allergen and works in the same exact way that allergy shots work. These liquid drops or pellets are placed under the tongue and are absorbed into the body. The absorption is immediate and bypasses digestion, making it very effective.

This kind of treatment has many benefits over traditional immunotherapy.

1.       It is less painful
Sublingual immunotherapy does not require the use of needles, reducing the sensation of pain from the injection. And for patients who have a fear of needles, it lessens the anxiety and fear that come from using them.

2.       It’s cost effective
Under the careful guidance of your practitioner, sublingual immunotherapy can cost less. Injections require a trained person to administer them, usually in a hospital or medical facility. This requires you to travel. Taking drops under your tongue does not require the same level of travel, nor does it require the presence of a trained professional. In some cases, your practitioner will suggest a personalized or tailored version of the drops. For instance, if you are allergic to your pet’s hair dander, the droplets might contain the hair from your pet instead of a generic version.

3.       Liquid and pellets are available
Sublingual administration of immunotherapy can also be through pellets. One such example of using tablets to treat allergies was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association on April, 2016. The study, titled Efficacy of a House Dust Mite Sublingual Allergen Immunotherapy Tablet in Adults With Allergic Asthma, focused on reducing the impacts of an allergic reaction to house dust mite through sublingual immunotherapy. The study authors found that the treatment improves the allergy to house dust mite, further research is needed for safety and efficacy.

The positive benefit to treating allergies is that there are proactive ways to improving our immune systems. Immunotherapy is one of them. The idea of small exposures to allergens can be a little alarming, but with cautious planning and careful monitoring, allergies will improve over time. We have ben using this therapy in our office for 17 years and find it to be a safe, effective way of managing allergies.

Field with flowers

Lyme Disease on the Rise

As the weather gets warmer, we enjoy more time outdoors. With warm weather comes more exposure to tick bites, which can lead to Lyme Disease. Lyme disease is a bacterial infection of Borrellia burgdorferi, a spirochete bacterium that can take many shapes once it infects humans.

The typical sign from a tick bite would be a " bulls eye" rash accompanied with fever and pain. However, this really isn’t the best indicator to prove that you have been bitten by a tick. In fact, most people may not have any visible symptoms at all. This is why Lyme disease can be so difficult to diagnose and treat.

Lyme disease is very complex. It can be categorized as an acute illness to some, but a long term, chronic, debilitating illness for many others. In addition to Lyme disease, these ticks can also transmit other co-infections. These organisms known as Anaplasma, Bartonella, Babesia, Mycoplasma, Rickettsia and Ehrlichia, are often worse than Lyme disease itself and can cause long-term autoimmune disorders if left untreated.
Symptoms of Lyme include:

Joint pain
Extreme chronic fatigue
Autoimmune disorders such as Multiple sclerosis
Neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease
Brain fog or cognitive impairment
Gastrointestinal issues
Food allergies/ sensitivities
Chemical sensitivities

One reason why Lyme is on the rise may be due to climate change. Unusually warm temperatures don't allow ticks to die off in cold winter months. Another reason may be because of an overpopulation of certain infected hosts that are rapidly spreading the bacteria that causes Lyme to other insects and animals. In the past 30 years or so, it is believed that Lyme carrying hosts have become much more aggressive and stronger. This just makes things so much more complicated.

Seeking treatment immediately is extremely important and crucial to the recovery process. Lyme disease can be treated and you can recover fully from it. It's also important to address immune disruptors, as well.
Lyme can be treated with many useful therapies such as:

Antibiotic therapy - short term
Herbal antimicrobials
Nutritional Supplements for immune boosting
IV therapy
Low dose immunotherapy
Diet and lifestyle

I want to stress the importance of diet and lifestyle. Following an alkaline diet is key. Microbes do not like to live in alkaline environments, therefore it's very beneficial to focus on eating foods that are alkalizing. This helps tremendously in recovering from Lyme and co-infections. I find my patients do very well with individualized food plans, based on their specific cases. I incorporate stress reduction programs into treatment plans, as well. Getting proper sleep is critical to recovery, as Lyme disease tends to disrupt the sleep cycle and interferes with the time our bodies need to heal.
After all, it is these lifestyle adjustments that will only encourage beneficial, long-term habits.