Allergy and Intolerance
The Dove Clinic Approach
The Dove Clinic is dedicated to the treatment of allergy and environmental illness. This type of illness is becoming increasingly common, as the rising incidence of asthma, hay fever and food intolerance attests.
Some people react clearly to foods or environmental substances leading to recurrent and sometimes delayed symptoms. Many illnesses have an environmental component, including:
- Atopic allergy (asthma, hay fever, eczema)
- Autoimmune disease
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Ulcerative Colitis & Crohn's Disease
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Multiple chemical sensitivity, where patients become exquisitely sensitive to a range of substances including food, chemicals and particulate inhalants may also occur.
We provide a holistic approach to treatment. This includes the avoidance of drug therapy where possible. Depending on each individual this may include dietary amendment and supplementation, elimination diet and challenge protocols, measurement and correction of environmentally triggered alterations in gut permeability and intestinal flora, use of proven methods of detoxification, measurement of specific biochemical pathways, and a low-dose desensitising technique (see below).
Low Dose Immunotherapy (“Neutralisation”)
This is a safe and well tolerated treatment that has been used to help more than three million patients world-wide, and is a first-line treatment of allergy by members of the American Academy of Otolaryngology (ear, nose & throat doctors).
It is effective for inhalant allergies, food allergies and intolerances, and chemical sensitivities. The process involves testing and treatment using a series of dilutions that are prepared from the suspected causal factors. It is particularly useful when the provoking substance is hard to avoid (common foods, house dust mite or pollens for example) and helps to prevent the ever increasing limitations to dietary intake and environmental exposure that some people necessitate to remain symptom-free.
It is generally believed that an antigen is a substance that can cause an immune response, resulting in production of an antibody, which neutralises the antigen in the body. The immune system reacts to large or small doses of the offending substance, but somewhere in-between there is a fairly exact dose that is tolerated. This is known as the neutralising dose, or end-point. This often varies from person to person and is different for each substance to which a person is allergic or intolerant.
Please also see our new testimonial from PH on LDI.
First step - Testing Phase
Usually this is done by intradermal skin tests, using a series of small painless injections to the upper arm. Small concentrations of antigen vaccine are injected just under the first few layers of skin. As the body reacts to the initial concentration of antigen vaccine, a bump or ‘wheal’ will appear at the injection site. (With children or others who fear needles, drops may be placed on the back of the hand or under the tongue and the evaluation process is different from the skin tests).
Where the antigen has been injected under the skin, after a few minutes, the wheal will either remain active or it will dissipate. If the wheal is still active after 10 minutes, a sequentially lower concentration of antigen vaccine with then be injected at an adjacent site and after another waiting period, the new wheal will be evaluated for reaction. This process is repeated with the sequentially lower concentrations of antigen vaccine until a satisfactory wheal is obtained. This neutralising concentration of antigen vaccine is termed the ‘endpoint’.
Second step - treatment phase
Treatment involves daily neutralisation of the allergic reactions by injection or oral administration of the selected antigen vaccine. This involves injecting the antigen vaccine at least once per day, sometimes more frequently. Alternately drops of the vaccine may be placed under the tongue two to three times daily. By stimulating the production of antibodies using the antigen vaccines, when the allergen is next encountered, the body is already prepared to deal with it and this often stops any symptoms provoked by the substance.
Initial testing may take a full or half day and is performed by Medical and Nursing staff. This follows consultation to highlight likely causative factors. Once the correct dilutions are found the vaccine is provided for your ongoing use. Re-testing is usually required after 2-3 months or at the onset of any further symptoms.