My first allergy symptoms appeared during the late 1980's, though at the time I
assumed that the runny nose, sinus congestion, itchy and watery eyes and itchy
throat were due to colds. I didn't realize until several years later that these
symptoms always occurred in the spring and fall. In the meantime I treated myself
with OTC's -- Sudafed, Benadryl, etc. These medicines relieved my symptoms but
left me with undesirable side effects, as I seem to be sensitive to them. I felt "jittery"
or "wiped out" depending on which I took.
Around 1991 or 1992 a friend at work mentioned that my cold symptoms sounded
like allery symptoms to her. She suggested that I see an allergist and referred me to
hers, as she was being treated for seasonal allergies herself. The allergist tested
me an found I was allergic to dust mites, cats, tree pollen, grass pollen, ragweed
and molds. He recommended allergy shots since my sensitivity to some of these
allergens was quite high. I got these shots for at least two years and noticed some
improvement, but after stopping them my sensitivity increased again. Other doctors
and allergists prescribed antihistimines and decongestants including Seldane and
Flonase, but I still had problems with side effects and they didn't seem to help
enough. I couldn't leave my windows open at night without waking up sneezing with
itchy, watery eyes. Being outside was difficult, but I managed OK even during my
first pregnancy in 2000. But during my second pregnancy in 2002 the spring
allergies caused an asthma episode that I had never experienced before. I literally
coughed all night long and couldn't sleep for weeks. When I finally saw a doctor I
was diagnosed with mild asthma and put on a Flovent inhaler and Abuterol rescue
inhaler. That seemed to control the asthma until a cold that winter caused another
worse episode. That time even I could hear the wheezing and I coughed up muscus
plugs. I was very scared. Then I was switched to an Advair Diskus inhaler which
cleared up that episode.
By this time I decided to seek out a doctor that could help me with this
nontraditional approach. The doctor I found (a traditional doctor) said he was open
to non-drug options, but all he did was change my Advair from a daily use to
seasonal use. For me that was not enough -- I wanted to be free of steroids,
Luckily I found Dr. Alomar in a Natural Foods publication and was encouraged by
his stated approach: to treat the cause of my illness, instead of just treating the
symptoms. At my first appointment he did a thorough physical exam as well as
getting a medical history that was more detailed than any I'd ever had before. Dr.
Alomar's goals for me were to decrease and eventually eliminate all medications
including supplements and boost my immunity by changing my diet. He advised me
to drink purified water and include more organic products in my diet, focusing on
dairy, meat and fruits and vegetables that do not contain high pesticide residue. Dr.
Alomar also recommended other things for me to incorporate into my daily diet.
Lastly, to help increase my lung function and boost my immunity I was to start
exercizing for at least 30 minutes three or more times a week.
Since I began following these recommendations I have noticed a dramatic
improvement in my overall health. My cravings for sweets, which used to be very
strong, are gone, though, I allow myself an occasional treat. I didn't need any
asthma medication during the spring/summer or fall allergy seasons this year
(2004), nor did I need any allergy medicine -- amazing! I have two small children
(ages 4 and 2), and before I began seeing Dr. Alomar I would come down with a
cold every time they did, but his year I didn't get their colds.
One symptom I forgot to mention was that I had been having problems with yeast
infections -- through when I was nursing my baby and under one of my arms. With
Dr. Alomar's help the rash cleared up without my having to use any medicine.
When I think about how I would be feeling and all the drugs I would be taking if I had
continued to see a traditional doctor, it makes me mad. No other doctor ever asked
me about my diet, which in retrospect, seems like an obvious plan to start. But I'm
glad that I chose an alternative treatment for my allergies/asthma now, while I'm
young, so I can look forward to a long, drug-free future ahead.
Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended to
be medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of information and knowledge from Dr. Alomar's experience and research. Wael Alomar, M.D. advises you to
make your own health care decisions based upon your own research and consultation with a qualified health care professional.
Copyright 2007: Wael Alomar, M.D. All Rights Reserved. Specific permission to use content is not required when used in a not-for-profit format. Any other
use requires Dr. Alomar's written permission.
by Jill Plunkett, Kenosha, WI
|Wael Alomar, M.D.
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