Ok, I am officially in the Critical Days of my LDA treatment. This morning I had my ground lamb patty and hash browns cooked in lamb fat (boy that sounds like something from the 1800’s doesn’t it). I am dining on my delicious lamb stew and sipping on sparkling water as I type this post. My books are put away until I can safely read them (about five days after my shots). So I sit here with blank paper, pens, and my computer. In the background is my stereo playing some old songs from the past. Songs that bring back memories of life before illness.
LDA (low dose antigen) therapy is an immunotherapy that takes multiple antigens in extremely low doses and is combined with a mixture of enzymes including beta-glucoronidase. Beta-glucuronidase is an immune modulator found in all cells and activates extremely low amounts of various allergens (extremely small amounts when compared to standard allergy injection materials) and stimulates the production of “T-suppressor cells”. Suppressor cells turn off the “helper cells” that causes the misidentification of normal substances in the body that get mislabeled as allergens or as foreign invaders, which in turn leads to an abnormal immune reaction, causing illness symptoms and problems. T-suppressor cells take a while to mature in the bloodstream allowing LDA to be administered every two-three months in the beginning then less often as time progresses. I started out taking my injections which are given on both forearms every two months and now have progressed to every four-five months (tomorrow’s treatment will have been five months since the last).
Some patients receive immediate benefit from the first shot but the results usually do not last until the next treatment. It takes about six treatments before symptom relief lasts longer and LDA can begin to be spread out. I noticed a sudden relief in my inhalant allergies/sensitivities. Treatments four and five caused my symptoms to be worse and I stayed congested most of those four months. However, treatment six turned everything around and I began to spread out my treatments. I would extend my time by two weeks eventually getting me to where I am at. After the fourth or fifth treatment I was told to try foods that had been a problem for me in the past. I was told to take my pulse, eat the food and wait 15 minutes. I was instructed then to continue to check my pulse every 15 minutes for an hour. If my pulse did not rise over ten points I was safe with the food. My own body was my indicator. If no problem then I could try another food in two days, four days if I had a problem. I ate corn, oatmeal, strawberries, almonds, lettuce, soy and tomatoes. None of these caused any rise in my pulse nor did they give me any symptoms. I bought an organic cantaloupe. I did not even need to check my pulse after eating because I immediately reacted with itching in my mouth and ears, tightness in my throat and sinus congestion.
I have noticed that while my chemical sensitivities are not gone, my tolerance is better than it was. I have not given up my charcoal mask when I have to be in public places like the doctor’s office or a quick trip to the grocery store. My reactions while still apparent, aren’t as disabling as they once were. I still get brain fog and I still cough but I don’t cough until I gag and my recovery is quicker once away from the offending chemical and once I have given myself histamine or Vitamin C. I tried going without my mask once in a public place and found a loss for words, couldn’t hold the pen correctly, my writing was erratic and didn’t make much sense, I was hoarse, had a headache and began coughing.
I mention the critical 3-day period. During this period, patients are asked to avoid printed material, chemicals, pollens and dust (clean house a few days before) and stop all supplements and medications. There is a list of medications that can cause LDA to fail among them Gabapentin, Cytomel, Tylenol. In order for me to start LDA I had to switch my thyroid medications and get myself off Gabapentin. A week before LDA I stop all supplements with the exception of Zinc, Magnesium, Vitamin C (but can only take 500 mg.), a Multi-Vitamin, Probiotic and Gastro Mycin. During the critical 3-days I stop my thyroid treatment but continue my anti-fungal on days 1 and 3. After the third day I resume my thyroid medication and the supplements I started the week before and continue for two weeks before adding any other supplements back in and upping my Vitamin C dose back to 1-2,000. I also must wait two weeks after my LDA dose to add the foods I gained back into my diet like corn and almonds. Two weeks may seem like a long time but I see it as a small price to pay to have those foods in my diet for four months.
I believe LDA has taken me that next step further in my healing. How long will I need to continue? I don’t know. My goal now is to reach every six months. Do I like the rigid 3-day protocol? No, but I have begun to think of it as a vacation (a vacation from printed material, from cleaning, from having any encumbrances on my time). I am free to sit and watch movies, visit with friends on the phone, do some embroidery and just be. In the beginning I dreaded the process but now I embrace it knowing the end result. I find that I truly savor what I eat after having three days of a very restricted diet of lamb stew.
There is a lot of information about LDA if you search for it on the internet. It is not widely known about and most have learned about it through word of mouth. The downside is that it is not covered by medical insurance. The fact that treatments are initially every two months and eventually spread out may make this a more cost-effective treatment. I can’t quote prices because each physician charges different rates for their treatments.