Some patients are particularly prone to recurrent infections, including sinusitis, sorethroats, chest infections, cystitis, skin infections.
It is very frustrating for these patients in that all conventional tests, including blood counts and tests of the immune system, are usually normal.
Q. I get 3-4 respiratory infections per year and all my blood counts are normal, could it be due to an allergy?
A. While infections can occur in anybody, respiratory/sinus infections are much more common in patients with allergies. If you have chronic nasal congestion / post nasal drip, this is a suitable medium for any virusus or bacteria present in the atmosphere. Management of the allergy, including history and allergy test will often reduce or eliminate your rate of infection.
Q. I am allergic to house dust mite and have done all measures to reduce levels in my bedroom and in the house in general, what more can I do?
A. Patients often get frustrated that they continue to have signs of dust mite allergy, i.e. nose congestion/discharge, and sneezing in the morning time, despite intensive cleaning. Sub-lingual desensitisation which involves the use of drops or a particular dilution of house dust mite is being increasingly used with success. They are particularly useful when started in late August before the dust mite season and time of maximum infections from September onwards. Similar drops are available for Hay Fever.
Q. I am anxious to avoid further antibiotics as I feel they affect my overall energy and immunity?
A. Antibiotics are obviously very useful in certain infections, particularly streptococcal tonsillitis and chest infection. However, some patients are in a cycle of frequent antibiotics, reduced immunity and increased infections. There is increasing evidence that the gut plays an important part in our immune systems in general. Antibiotics disturb the gut flora and, in some people, may have a negative effect on the immune system. This is particularly true if they have a tendency to yeast/sugar hyper sensitivity. This would be indicated by symptoms such as recurrent thrush, athlete’s foot, sugar craving, irritable bowel syndrome and poor tolerance to alcohol, particularly beer and wine. Treatment of this with diet, good quality probiotics and nutritional supplements can help both overall well being and tendency to infection.
Q. Can Acupuncture be of benefit?
A. Acupuncture use can be considered in two roles:
(a) local treatment of the sinus area to improve drainage and reduce overall level of secretion;
(b) selected Acupuncture points appear to benefit both the immune system and overall energy, thus building up resistance.
Q. I seem to get more infections after times of stress, why is that?
A. It is interesting that many patients do not appear to get infections during the periods of most intense stress. However, many a spouse complains that their partner regularly gets infections at the start of the holiday. It is as if the stress hormones have helped to fight off infection but that the system becomes more vulnerable with the inevitable let down of a holiday. It is particularly important for patients under stress to look after their general health, including proper diet, i.e. reduction of refined sugars, tea and coffee, and use appropriate vitamins, minerals and herbal preparations to help their immune system.
Contact us today at (01) 2000530 for a consultation