[UPDATED JANUARY 2023]
This technique involves challenging the patient with a dose of allergen and then working out a therapeutic dose which the patient will use on a regular basis for a period of time (usually 12-24 months) to neutralise reactions to foods and/or chemicals.
Initially the practitioner gives a small injection of the dose of allergen (anything you may be allergic to: foods; dust; mould; chemicals) into the skin. The resultant weal is measured and then checked again after 10 minutes. If in that time it has grown significantly compared to a similar weal in someone with no allergy, this may be evidence of allergy in the patient. Even more importantly, the test dose will often provoke the patient's symptoms, which is very good evidence of an allergy.
Then a series of weaker and weaker doses is injected until the weal produced does not grow and the symptoms experienced by the patient "switch off". This is called the neutralising dose. The patient takes a mixture of neutralising drops based on the neutralising dose under the tongue just before meals or before exposure to something he/she is allergic to. This will enable most allergy foods to be tolerated, and may also be helpful in tolerating environmental allergens, since the technique works against dust, danders, moulds etc.
In a few cases these "antidotes" need to be given by self-administered injection for best effect. This may be more convenient for the patient anyway, and is usually done once or twice a week.
It should not be necessary to test a patient for hundreds of possible allergens (which can be very expensive) - one or two dozen main allergens should be enough, provided the patient is advised on sensible management of their diet, environment and lifestyle.
Will it work?
The single biggest cause of failure amongst patients using the treatment is the expectation that the treatment will cover all possible reactions, however severe. Neutralisation drops will not protect the patient again very severe allergens. For example, foods to which the patient is very allergic will probably have to be avoided altogether, rather than "protected against" using drops.
For those patients who do respond to neutralisation results may be much faster than with EPD treatment, which takes months or years to achieve its maximum effect. Neutralisation works immediately, it has a cumulative effect which continues long after treatment.
I most often refer patients to doctors for neutralisation to identify and protect against allergies to moulds - see Mould Sensitivity for other treatment options.
See also Enzyme Potentiated Desensitisation (EPD).
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