• Natural and Alternative Treatment Study Report: Sublingual Immunotherapy and Hay Fever

    IMAGE Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) is a method of treating allergies. The method closely resembles conventional "allergy shots." In both of these methods, small amounts of allergenic substances are administered periodically and over a long period of time, and via a route different from that in which the body ordinarily encounters them. For example, although plant pollens ordinarily cause their allergic reactions by being inhaled; in allergy shots, pollen extracts are injected under the skin, while in SLIT they are placed under the tongue. The immune system has many components, and only one of them, the IgE/eosinophil system, produces typical allergic reactions. The intended effect of these alternate routes of administration is to “train” other branches of the immune system to neutralize allergens before the IgE/eosinophil system even "notices" that they are there.
    The great potential advantage of SLIT over allergy shots is that SLIT does not involve needles; this makes it less unpleasant, and also capable of being done at home rather than at a doctor’s office. The absence of needles may also explain why SLIT has long been categorized as a form of alternative rather than conventional medicine. However, since the year 2000, a growing stream of properly designed studies of SLIT has reached publication, and gradually altered the situation. The stream has lately become a flood. In the twelve months prior to the writing of this article, two dozen randomized controlled trials of SLIT have been published, enrolling a total of almost two thousand patients, and running for as long as three years. SLIT has now become a medically accepted approach.
    In June 2007, researchers who were already confident that SLIT works, published a study designed to determine the optimum length of treatment. This double-blind study of 137 people with dust-mite allergies compared the effectiveness of three years of SLIT versus two years of SLIT plus one year of placebo. The results indicated that three years of SLIT was more effective than two, producing a greater and more sustained reduction in symptom frequency and severity.
    In one sense, this was an unsatisfactory result, because, in fact, it failed to establish an optimum duration of treatment. Previous studies had found two years more effective than one, and one year more effective than six months. Put together, these results are consistent with the possibility that SLIT must be used forever. However, in another sense, these “dose-related” findings strengthen the case that SLIT is indeed an effective treatment. It has long been known in medical research that when larger amounts of a treatment produce superior results, the treatment is quite likely effective.
    SLIT has shown benefit for many types of allergies besides reaction to dust mites.
    For more information, see the full articles on sublingual immunotherapy and allergic rhinitis .

    References

    Tahamiler R, Saritzali G, Canakcioglu S. Long-term efficacy of sublingual immunotherapy in patients with perennial rhinitis. Laryngoscope . 2007;117:965-9.

  • Join WellZones today.

    Make a Change For LifeLearn more

    Wellmont LiveWell is creating a new tradition of wellness in the mountains by providing individuals with tools and encouragement to live healthier lifestyles.

  • HeartSHAPE Spotlight

    At risk for a heart attack? Learn more

    Fight heart disease early and prevent heart attacks with HeartSHAPE® - a painless, non-invasive test that takes pictures of your heart to scan for early-stage coronary disease.

  • Calories and Energy Needs

    Calorie NeedsLearn more

    How many calories do you need to eat each day to maintain your weight and fuel your physical activity? Enter a few of your stats into this calculator to find out.

  • Ideal Body Weight

    Ideal Body WeightLearn more

    Using body mass index as a reference, this calculator determines your ideal body weight range. All you need to do is enter your height.

  • Body Mass Index

    Body Mass IndexLearn more

    This tool considers your height and weight to assess your weight status.


  • Can we help answer your questions?

    Wellmont Nurse Connection is your resource for valuable health information any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Speak to a Nurse any time, day or night, at (423) 723-6877 or toll-free at 1-877-230-NURSE.