Avatar universal

What really causes allergies?

I have been sick 85% of my life. I hate to post such a basic question, but I have received some conflicting information -- and my own health experience seems to disagree with experts as far as the cause of "allergies".

Most web sites state that allergies are simply an "overreaction" of the body's immune system to foreign agents/particles. Some even state that most people only become allergic to something the second time they are exposed to it, because the first time their body does not know what the agent is. This would imply that allergies are somewhat of a psychological disorder.

If that is true, why is it that:
1) when I take cod liver oil tablets (which boost the immune system), I have no food or pet allergies?
2) a nutritionist told me years ago that allergies are the result of your body not being able to produce enough antibodies (I think she said antibodies). She said allergy medication just fights my body and advised me to take vitamin C instead to boost my immune system, which I did take -- and it worked wonders for my hay fever until I got cold sores.
3) I react immediately the first time I am exposed to a new plant/tree.
4) allergies are sometimes tied to chronic low white blood cell counts

I was tested by an allergist 8 years ago, who found me allergic to everything except latex and medication (aspirin). I have

1) food allergies, so yeast, bread, ketchup, mustard, pepper, dairy, alcohal, and anything preserved (which is almost everything in the grocery store) can trigger a reaction.
2) pet dander allergies
3) house & dust mite allergies
4) mold allergies
5) tree, weed, and grass allergies

After discovering the cod liver oil tablets by chance of treating my high cholesterol --- I now only suffer allergies around hay fever time, when everyone's windshields are yellow from pollen every March, April, July, August, and November. I can now drink a glass of wine and not wake up in the morning feeling like there is a brick on my face, because of my daily dose of cod liver oil tablets. All of my allergies have been cured except for the hay fever.

Anyhow, I am asking "what really causes allergies" because it seems that all allergy medication only treat the symptoms of allergic attacks and not the cause. Allegra, Claritin, Zyrtec have never worked for me. They open up my nose and stop it from running -- but then I start sneezing because my nose is open! They do not help the body to "fight" or to make the body "more healthy". I never feel healthier either while on the medication, just more dizzy and unable to focus.

I was wondering if anyone out there has found an alternative/herbal remedy for hay fever --- because those drugs in my opinion, do not do jack.
9 Responses
Avatar universal
Basically, I'm inclined to believe that allergies are due to a "deficiency" in the body. Allergy medications only target the symptoms of the attack and leave the person dizzy, tired, and unable to focus, because while "drying up" the person, the medications are fighting the body's immune system.

This is just my opinion from being a victim of chronic allergies. I have no medical expertise.
Avatar universal
BTW, how do you edit your post, so I don't have to keep making new posts?
Avatar universal
Okay, atleast part of it is due to a deficiency:

"Recent research suggests that there may be a link between omega 3 deficiency and food allergies.  Food allergies in children may even be due to omega 3 deficiency in the mother’s diet."


That explains why my Cod Liver Oil tablets cured my food, pet, and dust allergies. Omega 3 is fish oil, mainly.

I'd still love to hear someone's herbal/alternative cure for hay fever.
563773 tn?1374246539

Although antihistamines and steroids are the mainstay of treatment of hay fever,but other treatment options include leukotreine inhibitors like Montelukast,Cromolyn sodium and decongestants.Last but not the least,allergy desensitization or immunotherapy can be tried.

You can consult an allergist and discuss the option of immunotherapy with him.

Hope it helps.Take care and pls do keep me posted on how you are doing or if you have any additional queries.Kind regards.

Avatar universal
Hi, I bumped onto your post while searching for benefits of cod liver oil against allergies. I find the information you provided, really exciting.

After suffering for more than 6 years, I got skin prick test done and have been tested positive against dust mites. But I dont think that's all I am allergic to.  I almost always have early morning sneezing fits and runny nose most of the times (irrespective of the season). I am usually more comfortable outdoors, than indoors. I have also observed that I am sensitive to temperature changes (even room to room, sometimes). And I find food/drinks at room temperature more suitable for me.

I got my room cleaned from anti-allergy guys, who used HEPA filter, and got 60% improvement in early morning sneezing. However, I need to get it done every 3-4 months, as the effect only lasts that much long.

Any cure for this problem would be godsend for me. After reading your post, I tried having seven seas cod liver oil capsules, but it gives me headaches, so much that I could not continue (even if I take one a day). I wonder if it could be because I am vegetarian? May be my body is not able to adapt to omega-3, or some other ingredient of that capsule. Can you suggest some other source of omega-3 that I can try?
Avatar universal

The cod liver oil tablets only cured me of my food allergies. It sounds like you might be allergic to house mold as well as dust mites.

Since I originally made this thread, I have been successfully immune to hay fever and animal dander, due to immunology (allergy) shots. I went ahead and got them. The shots really aren't as much of a pain to get as I thought they would be. For only 2.5 months I had to go once or twice a week. Once I got to my maintenance dose, I now go every 4-6 weeks. Up until then, I didn't have the time to get the shots. However, I really regret not having gotten them earlier in life. I am a completely different person now, because of the shots.

I'd stay stick with your allergist, get all of your shots diligently, and use the cod liver oil tablets in conjunction for your food allergies. It might not work for everyone's food allergies, but it did for mine.
Avatar universal

Also, the shots worked for the dust mites and house mold as well. I am now allergy free. I also did not mention that after taking the cod liver oil tablets for 3 months, I no longer needed to take them and was cured of my food allergies. (I wasn't taking the shots back then when I started the cod liver oil.) I still take cod liver oil every once in a while if I feel a cold coming on. But I really am cured of my food allergies.
Avatar universal
Hi Mal1e, I am really happy to know that after all these years of suffering, you are finally allergy-free. It must be a like getting a new life. I am 28, and have been suffering from allergies for more than 6 years. Although my symptoms are not as bad as yours were, but they still make my life miserable at times.

You happened to mention in one of your comments that cod liver oil cured your dust allergy, which got me enthused to try it for my dust mite allergies.

"That explains why my Cod Liver Oil tablets cured my food, pet, and dust allergies. Omega 3 is fish oil, mainly."

Anyways, your analysis suggests that only food allergies might be due to certain deficiencies in the body. And, cod liver oil is still giving me headaches, so I'd rather try other options. Can you explain to me what kind of allergy shots did you take? Do they take care of all identified allergens with one dose of allergy shot, once a week? How long did it take for you to feel tangible improvement?

I am based in Bangalore, India, so need to check whether that kind of treatment is available here or not. I know for sure there an allergy treatment clinic that offers Sublingual swallow Immunotherapy (SLIT). I am not sure if it's the same.
Avatar universal
Sum, I'm sorry for responding to you so late. I initially responded on November 27, immediately after your last post. However, it did not post for some reason.

It turns out that the cod liver oil cured only my allergy to food molds. When I moved to a different part of the country, I needed to take allergy shots to deal with my hay fever. The allergy shots contain small doses of the allergen that I reacted to in the skin-prick tests that my allergist administered on me. Here in the U.S., after determining what you are allergic to with skin-prick tests, the doctors start you off with injections containing extremely low concentrations of the allergens. Every time I went back, they increased the dose. Eventually, they moved me up to high concentrations, which my body is now able to tolerate. I no longer have hay fever. They say after 4 or 5 years of monthly shots, my body should have built up an immunity and most patients no longer need the shots. However, because I am immuno-compromised, I will probably need them for life.
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