Saturday, October 24, 2009
This is how I think every person with an allergic disease should think of their treatment plan, above. Please see the picture to the left. Full credit goes to the USDA. When I saw it, I had a revelation, I thought "YES!!!" that is how we should be treating allergic diseases also. I never liked the older pyramid on the right. Likewise, the traditional treatment pyramid for allergic disease is avoidance, then medications, then immunotherapy on top. I've been struggling with this for fifteen years. This is too simplistic and not valid for many patients.
Here's my labeling of the components:
1. mental attitude: empathy, hope, courage, take an active role in your health;
2. everyone should exercise at least 30 minutes per day, get enough sleep;
3. eat healthy foods: Mediterranean diet;
4. educate yourself about your allergic disease;
5. avoid triggers of your allergic disease and do not use tobacco products;
6. medications: take them as prescribed to prevent disease symptoms;
7. disease modifying anti-allergic treatments: immunotherapy to reduce long-term inflammation;
8. complementary and alternative medical treatments: saline nasal rinses, physiotherapy (daily deep breathing exercises), massages to relieve stress, aroma (menthol, eucalyptus, camphor).
Now the size of the pyramid may vary with severity of disease, but the same treatment options are available for every patient with an allergic disease - mild, or moderate, or severe. Each person's treatment will be an individualized combination of these treatment options.
These are what I think help my patients with any allergic disease. These are what I do for my own family. I hope this helps, the "Allergy Dude."