If there was one health issue I’ve dealt with personally and sincerely journeyed to overcome, it’s allergies.
I started having hay fever allergies in my sophomore year of high school. I remember I’d show up to class and friends would have already put a box of Kleenex on my desk. I also remember our paper mache face mask project at senior camp. I was filled with anxiety about the process, because it involved covering my entire face and mouth with gluey bandages that would harden into a mask. The only uncovered portion was our nostrils. Because my nose was chronically stuffed, I’d become a mouth-breather. So this art project meant I wouldn’t be able to breathe the whole time my friend made the mask of my face, which was about 30 minutes! I somehow got through it, laboring tiny breaths through my mouth under the stuffy bandages. It was uncomfortable and embarrassing. And so goes the life of an allergy-sufferer. It’s never life-threatening, but it sure is a downer.
I had “chronic perennial allergic rhinitis,” which meant that my immune system was acting up all the time, mast cells were exploding with histamines, and the mucous membranes of my nasal cavity were inflamed – chronically. In my early 30s it began to affect my sinuses. I experienced three sinus infections, occasionally felt sinus headaches, and just felt “stuffed up” all the time. It pretty much sucked (pardon the uber-informal word coming from a PhD, lol).
Over the next twenty years, I suffered from all the symptoms of “allergies:” stuffy, runny nose, outrageously itchy eyes, random bouts of sneezing, itchy throat and ears, sinus congestion, and the malaise that comes from a “bad allergy day” – just totally drained. Only a nap or a good night’s sleep would help re-boot the low energy (which was ultimately adrenal fatigue from the “stress” of this chronically turned-on, inappropriately heightened immune response). And over those twenty years I tried everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, both allopathic and natural:
antihistamines (claritin, seldane, benadryl, zyrtec, etc)sudafedsteroid nasal sprays (i.e. flonase)NAET (Nambrudipad’s Allergy Elimination Technique)ear coningquantum energy healingcrystalshands on healing from an Indian psychic guru healeracupunctureChinese herbal formulas in both pill and raw tea formshomeopathic remediesquercetinfreeze dried stinging nettle leafXclear nasal solutioncromitin nasal spray (a mast cell stabilizer)and essential oils of clove, eucalytpus, oregano, cinnamon bark, and mint
I’d pray for healing ceaselessly. Even with all the failed treatments, I still kept believing that I could be cured of my allergies, but I didn’t know what, how, or when. Acupuncturists, herbalists, homeopathists, physicians, allergists, energy healers – no one could help me. No one had the answer. In fact, my allergist said “there’s no cure. You just have to live with it, or you could try coming in for allergy shots three times a week for a year, and then taper off.” What?? No way. I was young and otherwise vibrantly healthy. There had to be a better alternative. Some colleagues suggested “it’s probably a food that’s triggering your allergies.” But I had already had a complete skin prick test at my allergist’s office, and the results showed no food allergies. Little did I know that my allergies were caused by a completely different immune response, and the test done at the allergist’s office could not detect it.
Many people suffer from allergies to dust (mites), cat dander, pollen, weeds, and other environmental allergens. And some even suffer from food allergies. But the fact is that HIDDEN, DELAYED FOOD SENSITIVITIES are often at the root of your “hay fever” symptoms and sinus congestion?
If you go to an allergist, as I did multiple times in my life, they will check for IgE antibodies using a skin prick test or blood test. IgE antibodies reveal IMMEDIATE reactions to allergens. For me, my IgE tests results were off the charts – I was allergic to over 30 types of pollens, weeds, grasses, and dust mites. But again, no reactions to foods. What was I supposed to do? Take nasal sprays every day for the rest of my life? Avoid parks and the outdoors? No. Absolutely not.
Then one day, after I had done my second detox in which I ate only fruits and vegetables and drank only water, I had two profound realizations:
Some days when my allergy symptoms were horrible, the pollen count was low, and on days the pollen count was high, I could have virtually no symptoms. Likewise, on days when I had vacuumed the carpets, washed all my pillow cases and sheets, covered them in dust-mite-proof fabric encasings, and had my air purifier going strong all night, I could be sneezing like a maniac the whole day. But other times, when I hadn’t vacuumed or cleaned my sheets for two weeks straight, I’d have minimal allergy symptoms. There just wasn’t any rhyme or reason to my allergy symptoms and my exposure to all these environmental allergens that the allergist’s tests said I had allergic reactions to.Whenever I detoxed, my allergy symptoms completely went away! My nasal passages would be refreshingly clear, and nothing was itchy, stuffy, or runny!
So I began to research deeper. I studied the works of Dr. Rau and Dr. Mark Hyman, and began to learn about “HIDDEN” food allergies that can only be determined by testing for IgG antibodies. Remember, the typical allergy test checks for IgE immediate reactions. But IgG tests check for a different type of DELAYED reaction to foods. The delay could be hours to several days after consumption of the offending food. And the reaction could be a wide variety of immune / inflammatory symptoms:
sneezingnasal congestionitchy, water eyes, nose, and/or throatindigestion / stomach upsetgas / bloatingheadaches / migrainesfatiguearthritisskin problemsmental fog
In 2012 I acquired authorization to administer IgG test kits. I decided to be my own first patient and administered an IgG bloodspot test on myself. When the results from the lab came back, it revealed that I had SEVERE delayed reactions to eggs and dairy. Eggs and dairy! How could that be?! I grew up on cow milk and ate eggs all my life without any sort of digestive problems. But once I got those results, I went cold turkey. No more cow milk, no more cheese on pizzas, no more ice cream, no more eggs benedict (my favorite), and no more desserts or anything with milk, cream, cheese, or eggs in it. Within two weeks, I noticed a difference, I wasn’t scratching my eyes out anymore. Within two months, I could actually breathe through my nose freely. After two years, I am virtually 100% cured of my allergies. This is nothing short of an answered prayer. I would’ve spent thousands of dollars on a cure, but all it took was a simple, ACCURATE test, and a change in my diet, and I am now ALLERGY-FREE. My now 6-year old son, Nahoa, suffered from painfully itchy eyes every night, uncontrollable sneezing fits in the morning, and stuffy nose as well (there is a genetic component, indeed.) So I did both the IgG bloodspot test and then the more comprehensive IgG blood serum test for him (he was 4 years old at the time). Both tests revealed that he, too, had severe delayed food allergies to eggs, dairy. We promptly eliminated those foods from his diet, and he has not had itchy eyes since!
Personally, I am beyond grateful to have found this test, and to know with scientific certainty what foods were triggering an unhealthy immune response in my body, so that I could eliminate them from my diet, and my son’s diet. WE ARE HEALED.
Professionally, I offer the IgG food sensitivity test to patients with nasal allergies, sinus problems, headaches, fatigue, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune disorders, and any sort of digestive upset.
If you or your loved one has allergies or any of the above symptoms, you have two options:
IgG Bloodspot30 Test – this test checks for 30 of the most commonly problematic foods. The test can be sent to you in the mail and done at home. It requires a quick blood prick sample to be applied on the test paper. Then you drop it back in the mail to the main lab, Genova Diagnostics. Quick and convenient, accurate testing.
IgG Blood Serum Test Kit – this is a more comprehensive test that checks for 87 foods. This test kit can also be sent to you in the mail. You bring the test kit to a local lab where they do a simple blood draw (most local labs charge about $30 for the blood draw). From there, your local lab will complete the kit and send it to our lab, Genova Diagnostics. Results are ready in 2 weeks. My office will schedule a 15-minute phone consultation during which I review your test results with you.
Click here to purchase (the link should be functional by 10/20/14 – we are working on it)
Or call us at 562-789-1588 to get your allergy test kit today.
Peace & Wellness,
-Jamie Chan-Ortega, Ph.D., L.Ac.