By Naturopath Carolyn Berghuis, MS, ND, CTN
Perhaps one of the most common recurrent ailments suffered by Americans is allergies. Unfortunately, I have a much greater personal understanding of this medical condition then I would prefer to have. My Mom would tell you I was born with allergies. Actually, I don’t remember a time when I didn’t have the unfortunate experience of wheezing, itchy ears, itchy throat (have you ever tried to itch your throat – it is impossible!), itchy eyes, and even itchy lungs when I was in the presence of anything from a long list of allergens my body reacted to. As a child I had the pleasure of weekly allergy injections, countless refills of prescription Actifed (available over the counter now) which caused me to literally fall asleep in school, sleeping with cool tea bags on my eyes for relief, and countless childhood tears as I experienced decades of endless torment by those offending allergens. As a teenager and through my early adult life I received numerous Kenalog injections (a steroid with a serious list of harmful, even deadly, side effects.) This continued for several years until my medical doctor told me he could no longer offer me the yearly injection due to the dangerous side effects. At this point I progressed to Zyrtec and prescription nasal sprays. While many “outgrow” their allergies, I did not.
My most vivid memory of an allergic attack was the summer afternoon when I experienced, what felt like, my lungs closing up. I now know I was experiencing anaphylactic shock, the result of an allergy shot I had received just an hour before. This shot, which was supposedly designed to desensitize me, was now threatening my 8 year old life. I looked at my Mom with; what must have been, an intense expression of fear as breathing became almost impossible. My Mom, then in a state of frenzy, immediately drove me to the nearest hospital. I remember the panic I saw on the hospital staff as I entered the emergency room in my mother’s arms. Immediately I was given an injection (I presume a steroid of sorts), oxygen and who knows what else. My next memory was waking up in the hospital bed with a set of rather sore lungs and a very exhausted little body.
Needless to say, I have a special place in my heart for allergy sufferers. I have spent much time developing and perfecting a holistic approach to relieve the allergy sufferer. By combining whole food supplements, homeopathic remedies, a healthy diet and L.I.V.E. I am now experiencing a life free of allergies! Something I never dreamed possible.