Topic Overview

Allergies can be frustrating because there is no cure. Many people
try dietary supplements,
acupuncture, or other alternative treatments. You may find some symptom relief from these treatments, but most of them either
have not been studied or have not been proved effective in the treatment of
respiratory allergies. They generally are not harmful, but they can be costly
and time-consuming.

Examples include:

  • Acupuncture. Very thin needles are placed into the
    skin at specific points on the body. Acupuncture has reduced symptoms of
    allergies or asthma in some people in some studies, but many experts do not agree with the
    study results.
  • Homeopathy. Very small quantities of substances
    believed to cause disease are used to treat the disease.
  • Detoxification. Detoxification is a regimen (such as
    for 30 days) of exercise, forced sweating, niacin (a B vitamin), and drinking a
    mixture of water, salt, and polyunsaturated oil. You avoid alcohol and
  • Enzyme potentiated therapy. A low dose of an
    allergen is mixed with a very small quantity of a natural body enzyme,
    beta-glucuronidase, and injected into the skin.
  • Biologically based therapies. Substances found in
    nature are sometimes used to treat illness or promote wellness. They include
    foods, vitamins, and both herbal and nonherbal dietary supplements.

Some alternative remedies have the potential to be harmful:

  • Autogenous urine therapy. Protein is taken from your
    urine and injected into the surface of the skin. There is a danger of harm to
    the kidneys with this procedure.
  • Vitamin and nutrient supplements. You take high
    doses of vitamins and other supplements. High doses of some supplements can
    cause problems. For example, vitamin A poisoning can occur if you take large
    amounts of vitamin A.
  • Environmental chemical avoidance. You avoid contact
    with a long list of environmental chemicals and foods. This treatment can
    seriously disrupt your life and isolate you from others.
  • Diet therapy. You eat only certain types of food and
    take vitamins, minerals, and
    amino acids. There could be a danger of malnutrition
    if the diet is not balanced.

For more information on some of these treatments, see the topic
Complementary Medicine.


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD – Internal Medicine
Adam Husney, MD – Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica, MD – Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Martin J. Gabica, MD – Family Medicine

Current as ofOctober 6, 2017