Anaphylaxis resolved naturally?
Updated: Jul 19, 2019
It's a terrifying situation. Suddenly, out of nowhere, you have an unsettled feeling and a faint metallic taste grows more and more distinct. Next begins the itching and swelling. It gets harder to breathe as your throat begins close up. You are experiencing anaphylaxis - a dangerous, sudden and severe allergic reaction that can quickly result in death without intervention.
That intervention involves intramuscular administration of epinephrine and sometimes breathing treatments, IV fluid therapy, antihistamines, and steroids. What causes this extreme reaction? The body's inappropriate reaction to a substance - launching an immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibody response to the perceived threat which could be as seemingly-benign as a peanut, a bee sting, or the latex in a bandaid.
It is important to know how to react to help someone in the event of anaphylaxis but that is not the purpose of this post. What I'd like to share with you is the resolution of anaphylaxis for someone in my care. We will call this individual Rosie (psuedoname). For more than a decade, Rosie suffered from worsening anaphylaxis. It noticeably began as a metallic taste in the mouth, swelling, itching and slight breathing discomfort with a bee sting. Additional allergens began to crop up through the years with the addition of Red Dye 40 occurring as a teenager. With each exposure, Rosie's reactions grew more and more severe until two epipen administrations were not enough.
I recommended numerous dietary changes and placed Rosie on a regimen of multi-vitamins and probiotics along with these key components:
1. Quercetin - 250 mg/day
2. Resveratrol - 100 mg/day (from Polygonum cuspidatum - Japanese knotwood)
3. Grape seed extract - 100 mg/day
4. Olive leaf extract - 750 mg/day (standardized to 20% oleuropein)
Rosie's diet improved over the years although one would not call her a "health nut." After taking the above supplements for less than a year, even somewhat inconsistently, one day Rosie discovered that she'd had at least three exposures to Red Dye 40, her most severe allergen, actually ingesting it within a full cup of "lavender tea" (actually made from a syrup). With each of these three exposures to Red Dye 40, she had NO DETECTABLE REACTION.
The specific products and brands used were
1) Swanson's Ultra Resveratrol & Quercetin with Grape Seed Extract ($13.49 for 30 capsules)
2) Swanson's Olive Leaf Extract - Extra Strength ($9.99 for 60 capsules - two months' supply).
I do not receive any compensation for using or mentioning their products. I include them just for the sake of thoroughness - not all supplements are created equal. I also list them to demonstrate that the cost for this therapy is less than $20 a month. Additionally, there are numerous other health benefits from taking these supplements, one of which is the reduction of cellular inflammation, a major root cause of many disease processes and degenerative disorders. Yes, you still need to carry that $600 Epipen or $100 generic version. But maybe you'll just need to be refilling those scripts because they've expired, not because you've used them.
Now, I'm not saying take these supplements and then rush out to eat the strawberries (reference to the Jeff Bridges movie "Fearless"). But in case, like Rosie, you have an accidental exposure, these supplements couldn't hurt. Unless, of course, you are allergic to olives or grapes.
Double-blind, placebo-controlled studies need to be conducted to further investigate quercetin, resveratrol, grape seed extract and olive leaf extract and their effect on the prevention of anaphylaxis.
Sharing this article with someone who suffers from anaphylaxis could change or save their life. Be a hero.
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