Sublingual Immune Therapy for Food Allergy & Autoimmune Disease

Author: Dr. Gary Huber, DO

Date: Oct, 2015

Millions of people are adversely affected by exposure to allergens. Environmental allergens such as grass, trees, and molds may occur seasonally but other allergens to cats, dogs, and even dust mites in your home may go on year round. Food allergies are also a significant problem and can affect you

Millions of people are adversely affected by exposure to allergens. Environmental allergens such as grass, trees, and molds may occur seasonally but other allergens to cats, dogs, and even dust mites in your home may go on year round. Food allergies are also a significant problem and can affect you more broadly than you might suspect. They can affect you immediately after eating a food (such as peanut allergy) or they may be more sneaky and cause things such as headache, anxiety, joint pain, or a fuzzy headed feeling days after you have eaten them. All of these issues lead to poor quality of life and often multiple visits to doctor’s offices trying to diagnose the source of the symptoms and to gain relief.

In the past if you had allergies you first had to identify that this was the problem and then seek help from an allergist to give you shots to treat them. The shots used by allergists contain small amounts of the very allergens that you are allergic to but are given in very small doses to encourage “tolerance” on the part of your immune system. The big problem with this type of therapy was the cost, the inconvenience of going to your doctor’s office each week and the pain of getting an injection.

Well I have good news and an effective alternative to injections. I have been using allergy drops that you place under your tongue for many years now with great success. The very same allergens that are injected under the skin by an allergist can be given to you in a liquid drop that is simply placed under the tongue and allowed to absorb. No shots, no weekly visits to the doctor and very inexpensive. This type of therapy is called sub-lingual immune therapy and has been studied for more than 60 years. It has been proven to be safer than shot (injections) therapy and just as effective. In the case of mold it is actually MORE effective than shots. I know of several allergists and ENT specialists that are choosing to make this type of sublingual therapy their primary treatment as they see greater patient compliance and ease of application.

Sublingual immune therapy stimulates your immune system to generate a calming chemical called interleukin-10 that reduces your tendency to react to the allergen. The use of these drops also causes an increase in T-reg cells which have an anti-inflammatory impact on the body and reduce risk for autoimmune disease in the future. Over time as you are exposed to this sublingual allergen on a daily basis your immune system changes and your response to this allergen actually shrinks and in some cases even resolves completely. This means that you have fewer symptoms and can actually return to eating foods that had been a problem in the past. Reactive foods are often able to be reincorporated back into the diet in some capacity allowing for more freedom and less anxiety with food choices. Patients appreciate the ease of taking allergy drops at home rather than having to keep routine office appointments with an allergist. My hope for all allergy sufferers is that sublingual therapy allows the development of long-term tolerance and the freedom of life without allergies, medications or relapses.

Sublingual immune therapy has been shown in multiple studies to be safer than subcutaneous (injections given under the skin) therapy. The risk of any type of immune therapy is the potential of generating an anaphylactic reaction that threatens your breathing. There have only been 6 cases of anaphylaxis (serious allergic reaction) reported in the world literature as a result of sublingual therapy. All of these anaphylaxis cases have occurred using a protocol that is different from the one we follow at HPM. We follow the LaCrosse method of sublingual therapy, and practitioners of the La Crosse method have NEVER reported the occurrence of a single anaphylactic reaction. The protocol we follow has been used in the United States for over 40 years with safety and great success.

The medical literature tells us that food allergies are the primary cause of most cases of asthma yet most asthma sufferers have never had a complete food panel tested. We consistently see tremendous improvement and commonly see complete resolution of asthma when the gut immune system is addressed and sublingual allergy drops are employed. Autoimmune disease of any kind will typically benefit from addressing this common issue. If you suffer with known allergies, autoimmune disease, asthma or unknown illness that doesn't seem to respond to traditional medical treatment that consider exploring food and environmental allergies and the possible use of sublingual therapy.

More information about sublingual allergy treatment can be found at www.allergychoices.com.