Low-Dose Allergen Immunotherapy
Retraining the immune system, one injection at a time
Many conditions are reflective of a loss of immune tolerance. The Low Dose Allergen Immunotherapy program aims to restore tolerance and balance to your immune system.
Allergies, food sensitivities, and autoimmunity are reflective of a loss of immune ’tolerance
When our immune system loses tolerance we become highly reactive, experiencing reactions to otherwise benign substances such as food, airborne particles, and even our own tissue. Low dose allergen immunotherapy (LDI/LDA) aims to retrain the immune system, restoring tolerance to a hyperactive system.
Applications of LDI/LDA
Many conditions and symptoms are related to a loss of immune tolerance. As a result, there are many cases in which an LDI/LDA treatment plan may be indicated. These include, but are not limited to:
- Seasonal allergies
- Asthma, chronic sinusitis, repeated ear infections
- Food allergies, food intolerances/sensitivities
- Histamine intolerance, anaphylaxis
- Eczema, contact dermatitis, urticaria
- Arthritis of any variety
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Interstitial cystitis
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), fibromyalgia
- Candida, fungal-related illness
- Hyperactivity, ADD, ADHD
- Autoimmune conditions including Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis
Health Benefits of Low Dose Allergen Immunotherapy
Increased Immune Tolerance
The injections of antigens aim to recalibrate the immune system response to the antigens, resulting in reduced reactivity to many substances such as food, bacteria, and airborne allergens.
Reduction of Symptoms
Many symptoms we experience related to antigens – such as food sensitivities, airborne allergies, and chemicals – are due to a lack of immune tolerance. By regulating immune system activity, LDI/LDA therapy may reduce many immune-mediated symptoms.
An Integrative Approach to Low Dose Allergen Immunotherapy
The LDI/LDA program is an integrative approach to immune regulation. Initially, it involves a course of injections, every 7-8 weeks. Depending on your case, your doctor may recommend a course of 3 or 5 injections, in addition to follow-up visits to monitor your response.
Each patient is unique; your doctor will cater the LDI/LDA program to meet your specific needs. Your treatment program may include:
- Dietary changes
- Specific supplements and/or medications
- Intravenous nutrient support
What does your first visit look like?
Your first visit is the opportunity for you to share your health goals, and for your doctor to gather vital health information that will help them to determine the root cause of your health concerns, and the best treatment plan for you.
Complete Medical & Lifestyle History
Your doctor will take a complete history, gathering details regarding your current and past health concerns, lifestyle, as well as current supplements and medications
If needed, your doctor will recommend tests, either at Integrative or with your medical doctor. They may also requisition results from tests you’ve completed in the past.
Within your first visit, your doctor may also perform a physical exam. This may include basic vitals, Applied Kinesiology, or inspection and palpation of specific areas of concern.
Outline of the Program
If your doctor believes you are a good candidate for the LDA/LDI Program, they will review the entire program with you, including scheduling, changes to medications and/or supplements, dietary changes, potential side effects, contraindications, and frequently asked questions. At this time, they will also recommend either a 3-injection or a 5-injection treatment program.
After completion of these steps, and if you decide to go ahead with the LDA/LDI program, your injections and follow-up visits will be booked.
Frequently Asked Questions
View all FAQs
Am I a candidate for low dose antigen immunotherapy (LDA/LDI)?
Only a practitioner trained in low dose antigen immunotherapy (LDA/LDI) can determine your eligibility for LDA/LDI. Within your visit, your Naturopathic Doctor will determine if you are a good candidate and, if applicable, will recommend a preliminary number of injections.
What does low dose antigen immunotherapy (LDA/LDI) treat?
Low dose allergen immunotherapy (LDI/LDA) aims to retrain the immune system, restoring tolerance to a hyperactive system. Many conditions and symptoms are related to a loss of immune tolerance. As a result, there are many cases in which an LDI/LDA treatment plan may be indicated. These include, but are not limited to: seasonal allergies; asthma; chronic sinusitis; repeated ear infections; histamine intolerance; anaphylaxis; migraines; eczema; contact dermatitis; urticaria; arthritis; irritable bowel syndrome (IBS); interstitial cystitis; chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS); fibromyalgia; fungal-related illness such as candida overgrowth; hyperactivity; ADD; ADHD; autoimmune conditions.
Does low dose antigen immunotherapy (LDA/LDI) hurt?
Low dose antigen immunotherapy (LDA/LDI) requires 1-3 injections within a single visit. These injections are given intradermally, typically into the volar surface of the forearm. Due to the location of the injections, and the superficial nature of the injections, patients typically report stinging during and/or shortly after the injection. Typically, this sensation does not linger for more than a few minutes. However, you may experience itching, swelling, or discomfort at the site of injection following the injection; typically, this sensation subsides within 24 hours.
Can children receive low dose antigen immunotherapy (LDA/LDI)?
Yes, children as young as 6 months can receive low dose allergen immunotherapy (LDA/LDI). Due to the discomfort of injections, we typically combine antigens within one injection for children to limit the number of injections given within a single visit.
How much does low dose antigen immunotherapy (LDA/LDI) cost?
The cost of low dose antigen immunotherapy (LDA/LDI) will vary depending on the package purchased. Currently LDA/LDI injections are sold in packages, combining a number of injections with initial and follow-up visits with your Naturopathic Doctor. Our Patient Care Coordinators can provide a quote of each package prior to booking an appointment.
How many low dose antigen immunotherapy (LDA/LDI) injections are typically required?
The average number of low dose antigen immunotherapy (LDA/LDI) injections required varies greatly depending on symptoms, the severity of the symptoms, and compliance to the treatment plan. Generally, after 6-10 treatments, some patients will need 2-3 doses of LDA/LDI each year to maintain improvement; many can decrease to 1 dose of LDA/LDI per year. Once patients are stable with 1 injection per year, we may be able to lengthen the time between doses further.
What are potential side effects of low dose antigen immunotherapy (LDA/LDI)?
A localized skin reaction is expected with low dose antigen immunotherapy (LDA/LDI) injections. Typical reactions consist of a wheal from 1-5cm in diameter, but may be up to 8cm wide. The wheal may last several days, and slight constant or intermittent redness at the injection site may last up to 3 weeks or longer. Many patients report temporary stinging during or shortly after the injection, as well as mild itching at the site of injection. Your Naturopathic Doctor will fully review potential side effects prior to beginning the injection protocol.
Is low dose antigen immunotherapy (LDA/LDI) covered by MSP or Extended Health Plans?
Your low dose antigen immunotherapy (LDA/LDI) visits will be booked as naturopathic visits. If you qualify for Premium Assistance through MSP, you may qualify for a small percentage of your visit cost to be covered by MSP.
Most Extended Health plans have coverage that can be applied to naturopathic visits; however, most plans have a limit to their coverage per year. We recommend contacting your insurance provider directly prior to your visit to determine your coverage.
I’m pregnant or trying to get pregnant – can I receive low dose antigen immunotherapy (LDA/LDI)?
The effects of low dose antigen immunotherapy during pregnancy have not been researched. Until the effects have been fully researched and deemed safe, we are deferring LDI treatment until the post-partum period.
If you are trying to get pregnant, we may be able to begin the treatment protocol; however, once you are pregnant, injections will be deferred until after childbirth.
How often do I need to receive low dose antigen immunotherapy (LDA/LDI) injections?
Low dose antigen immunotherapy (LDA/LDI) injections are typically provided at 7-8 week intervals. However, time between injections may be lengthened following positive response to treatment. Your Naturopathic Doctor will consider your response to previous injections when recommending a schedule for subsequent injections.
Do I need to see a Naturopathic Doctor to receive low dose antigen immunotherapy (LDA/LDI)? Can I see any of the Naturopathic Doctors at Integrative to receive LDA/LDI?
Currently only Dr Kuczma and Dr Leah provide low dose antigen immunotherapy (LDA/LDI) at Integrative.