Total Allergen Load Concept
Have you ever noticed certain foods or outdoor allergens may bother you one day but the next week you appear symptom free? Or why something that’s never caused problems before now seems to make you react? This phenomenon is known as the total allergen load concept. The total load describes the impact that many contributing factors can have on a person’s health. At Allergy Associates of La Crosse, it’s an important part of how we diagnose and treat patients, and why we often find solutions that address contributing issues.
Anyone’s “total load” can vary by day, week, or through the years. When the total load exceeds our capacity to adapt, we may experience erratic allergic reactions. Like a bucket that’s too full, too many factors at once can “spill over” and create allergic reactions.
Several factors contribute to your total allergic load. Many providers focus on just one of the building blocks of allergy—inhalants—and may miss other components of the total load. When other components such as food allergies, chemicals, illness, hormone imbalance, thyroid disorders, nutrition and vitamin deficiency or stress are also present but not addressed, patients may not notice improvement with their allergies.
Using the La Crosse Method™ Protocol, our providers consider your “total load” of health conditions that can be impacted by allergy, and we develop a comprehensive plan to help you identify and treat those that prevent you from being at your best. Our treatment approach includes sublingual immunotherapy to build your allergic tolerance and complementary treatments and lifestyle modifications that address the other contributing factors and reduce the overall load.
A patient with a fluctuating total allergy load of several items will rarely improve if just one allergen is treated.
Dr. George Kroker likes to use the analogy of three slivers in a foot to help explain the total load theory:
If you find one sliver and remove it, it is of no help. You could put the sliver back in your foot, because what good did it do to take it out? It still hurts. You find the next sliver and take it out, but it’s still no help. You put that sliver back too. And on this goes until you have removed all three slivers.
In short, when you have fluctuating reactions to a variety of environmental exposures and foods, and you have tried a number of INDIVIDUAL therapies, stop and consider the total load.