Dr. Andrew Kong & Associates
Asthma & Allergies Asthma is generally characterized by inflammation of the bronchial tubes in your lungs with increased production of sticky secretions inside the tubes resulting in tightened airways, inflammation, or becoming filled with mucus. However, not every person will experience asthma in the same way, you may not have all of these symptoms, or you may have different symptoms at different times. Your asthma symptoms may also vary from one asthma attack to the next, being mild during one and severe during another, sometimes dictated by illness, exercise, the weather or time of year. Some asthma suffers may go for extended periods without having any symptoms, which then becomes interrupted by periodic worsening of their symptoms called asthma attacks.
Feeling tired, easily upset, or moody Decreases or changes in lung function as measured on a peak flow meter Signs of a cold or allergies (sneezing, runny nose, cough, nasal congestion, sore throat, and headache) Trouble Sleeping
Seasonal Allergies Springtime means warmer weather, longer days, greener grass, and blooming plants. For some this also means an increase in allergy and asthma symptoms. Among the most common seasonal allergens are grass, mold, and pollen. April showers do bring May flowers, promoting not only rapid plant growth but also an increase in mold. Those suffering from allergies often experience watery eyes, runny noses, itchy mouths, and sinus headaches. These symptoms are caused by the body’s over-reactive immune system. Allergy sufferers’ immune systems produce antibodies that identify a specific, typically non-harmful allergen as harmful and begin to attack. The body releases histamine, an inflammatory chemical. Histamine causes dilation of small blood vessels such as those found in the nose and the contraction of smooth muscles, muscles that one does not consciously contract such as that of the respiratory tract. People with allergies and those with a family history of allergies and/or asthma are more prone to developing asthma. Natural medicine is very beneficial in the treatment of allergies. Natural holistic medicine looks at the person as a whole, taking the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of each individual into account believing that the whole person is made up of interdependent parts. When one or more of these interdependent parts is not functioning optimally all the other parts will be negatively affected. It works to fix the cause of the condition, not just treat the symptoms. Natural medicine includes therapies such as chiropractic, nutritional counseling, acupuncture, herbs, and supplements. These therapies work together to find and resolve the underlying causes of dysfunction. Both allergies and asthma are the result of the immune system over-reacting to a usually non-harmful trigger. Chiropractic manipulation realigns the spine, reducing stress on the nervous system allowing the immune system to work more efficiently. Nutritional counseling in regards to allergies and asthma works to identify and eliminate possible triggers as well as stress proper nutrition for overall well-being. Acupuncture, an ancient technique in which tiny needles are inserted just under the skin at specific points, helps to improve underlying deficiencies and restore the body’s overall balance resulting in less symptoms. The response to triggers is lessened over time and can be muted to produce long lasting relief. Chinese herbs and supplements are used to resolve individual deficiencies improving the function of the body’s various systems. Not all allergy or asthma sufferers’ have the same symptoms nor the same underlying causes, therefore, each treatment plan is tailored to each patient’s individual needs. The patient is a person, not his/her disease. Food Allergies vs. Food Intolerance's It’s pretty common to have a reaction to a certain food, but in most cases it is an intolerance rather than a true allergy. As you read on, you will learn that while both are uncomfortable, a food allergy can be more serious than an intolerance. Food Allergy Symptoms: Usually comes on suddenly Small amount of food can trigger Happens every time you eat the food Can be life-threatening A food allergy happens when your immune system mistakes something in food as harmful and attacks it. It can affect your whole body, not just your stomach. Symptoms may include: Rash, hives, or itchy skin Shortness of breath Chest pain Sudden drop in blood pressure, trouble swallowing or breathing -- this is life- threatening. Call 911 immediately. Food Intolerance Symptoms: Usually comes on gradually May only happen when you eat a lot of the food May only happen if you eat the food often Is not life-threatening The most common food intolerance is lactose intolerance. It happens when people can’t digest lactose, a sugar found in milk and dairy. Another kind of intolerance is being sensitive to sulfites or other food additives. Sulfites can trigger asthma attacks in some people. A food allergy and an intolerance both can cause: Nausea Stomach pain Diarrhea Vomiting Gas, cramps, or bloating Heartburn Headaches Irritability or nervousness Common Food Allergies and Intolerance's -These Triggers Cause About 90% Of Food Allergies. Peanuts, Tree nuts (such as walnuts, pecans and almonds), Fish, Shellfish, Milk, Eggs, Soy, Wheat. Our doctors can find out if you have an allergy or intolerance. We may ask you to keep a diary of the foods you eat and the symptoms you have. We have different diets that are very effective in reducing the symptoms of intolerance while slowly reintroducing foods back into your diet, testing your sensitivities. We also have a blood allergy test. This panel tests for 180 food sensitivities and a variety of molds. Many of our different approaches help to manage or resolve allergies and asthma. Call (815) 397-8500 to get scheduled today!
Frequent cough, especially at night Losing your breath easily or shortness of breath Feeling very tired or weak when exercising Wheezing or coughing after exercise