Allergies Specialist

What Causes Allergies?

Allergies and asthma are the most common chronic diseases found among children in the United States. The two conditions are also closely related, with 70-80% of children who have asthma also diagnosed with allergies. Edmond Sarraf, MD, at Southern California Integrative Wellness Center, specializes in using natural treatments, herbs, and food as medicine to relieve children’s allergies. To schedule an appointment, call the office in Los Angeles.

Allergies start when your immune system mistakenly identifies a harmless substance as a danger to your health. Every time you encounter that substance, which is now your allergen, the immune system releases a barrage of chemicals that cause an allergic reaction.

Some of the most common allergens include:

  • Airborne allergens: pollen (trees, grass, ragweed), pet dander, dust mites, and mold
  • Contact allergens: poison ivy, soap, latex
  • Insect stings: bees, wasps, and hornets
  • Foods: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish, and shellfish

Most children outgrow their allergies to milk, eggs, wheat, and soy. Other food allergies often remain throughout adulthood.


What Symptoms Develop Due to Allergies?

Airborne allergens generally cause symptoms that affect your child’s eyes and nose, while food allergies can cause symptoms affecting their skin, respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tract, and cardiovascular system.

As a group, allergies cause symptoms such as:

  • Runny or congested nose
  • Sneezing
  • Watery eyes
  • Itchy nose, eyes, or mouth
  • Skin rashes, hives, or eczema
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Abdominal pain, nausea, and diarrhea

Allergic rhinitis (hay fever) is the most common childhood problem associated with allergies. This condition refers to a group of symptoms affecting the nose, which can be triggered by many different allergens.

What is an Anaphylactic Reaction?

Food allergies, latex allergies, and insect stings can cause a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Symptoms of anaphylaxis include:

  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swollen tongue or throat
  • Weak and rapid pulse
  • Dizziness or fainting

An anaphylactic reaction is a life-threatening emergency that requires immediate medical attention.

How are Allergies Treated?

Dr. Ed has years of experience helping children find such significant relief for their allergies, that many can come off their medications. He recommends different types of therapies, depending on each patient’s symptoms and allergies. These are just a few examples of possible treatments:

Natural treatments:
Dr. Ed can recommend one of the many homeopathic remedies to relieve your child’s symptoms. A variety of essential oils, including peppermint, lemon, and eucalyptus, treat allergies by reducing inflammation, improving airflow, and relieving a sore, scratchy throat.

Herbal treatments:
Many different herbs contain active ingredients that can treat allergies and their symptoms. A few examples include butterbur, quercetin, eyebright, Japanese catnip, and magnolia flower buds.

Food as medicine:
Foods can help fight allergies by controlling inflammation, dilating air passages, and generally strengthening your immune system. The list of beneficial foods includes fresh fruits and vegetables, and foods that are high in magnesium and vitamins C and E.

To help your child obtain long-lasting allergy relief, call Southern California Integrative Wellness Center.