Low Dose Allergen Therapy

by Dr. Karen Cureton, ND

A Safe, Easy, Effective, and Affordable Way to Treat Chronic Allergies, Asthma, and Food Reactions:
Low Dose Allergen Therapy

Are you sick and tired of your seasonal or year-round allergies? Are they bogging you down and inhibiting you from enjoying your pets, the outdoors, or being in public where you're exposed to smoke, fragrances, and other chemicals?

What about food allergies and intolerances? Would you like to be able to eat some of your favorite foods again without symptoms?

Let me introduce you to a safe, easy, painless way of reducing or eliminating your allergic & hypersensitivity reactions…

Low Dose Allergy Therapy

What is it?

Low dose allergen (LDA) therapy is a safe and effective method used for treating both allergies to food and the environment. Far different from other allergy treatments, LDA utilizes mixes of unique antigens that help restore your body's immune tolerance to the environment outside and inside your body. It is an effective and long-lasting treatment option for many cases of allergy and hypersensitivity.

LDA includes mixtures of over three hundred allergens. This means that patients allergic or intolerant to many substances, and with quite diverse medical conditions, respond well to treatment. Dr. Cureton uses a variety of LDA mixtures, including inhaled pollens, danders, dust and mites, fungi, yeast (including Candida species), molds, foods, many food additives, most common chemicals and perfumes and formaldehyde.

How Does LDA Work?

LDA works to restore your natural active immune tolerance to specific environmental antigens or allergens, which has become deregulated. LDA remedies are extremely low doses of antigens. Following the administration of the LDA, there is an increase in T-regulator cells (Treg). The Treg cells address inappropriate cellular responses to substances promoted by CD4 (helper), CD8 (killer) cells and B Cells (the immune cells that have been trying to protect you from foreign invaders, but accidentally ended up attacking harmless substances). Simply put, this decreases the allergic or inflammatory response.

LDA/LDI is administered as a liquid delivered under the tongue. Initially, LDA is delivered approximately every 7 weeks. As you progress, and your symptoms improve, the interval between doses is gradually extended. Some patients may even be able to stop treatment for extended periods of time without their allergy symptoms returning. Other patients have taken doses 1 to 4 times a year for up to 20 years. Most patients can either go a long time between doses or stop entirely after about 16 to 18 doses. For severe food allergies, 6 to 12 doses or 1 to 2 years of treatment may be necessary before full results are achieved. Most patients notice improvement within the first three doses.

The Difference Between LDA and Conventional Allergy Immunotherapy (Allergy Shots):

Conventional or what is known as "escalating dose" immunotherapy (where the dose is started low and increased over time) is employed in this country by many allergists, primarily to treat hay fever and cat and dust mite allergy, which are primarily IgE mediated. This type of immunotherapy works by creating a type of "blocking antibody" (specific IgG antibody), which inhibits the histamine-releasing ability (which produces the allergy symptoms) of the mast cell.

The higher the level of blocking antibody that can be produced, the more successful the treatment. To produce adequate levels of blocking antibody, studies have shown that administration of very high doses of allergen is required. However, this method of treatment often causes intolerable swelling and other side effects before positive outcomes can be attained, and can be dangerous. Furthermore, only allergies to inhalants can be treated – not foods or chemicals.

Conventional immunotherapy (allergy shots) also have to be administered far more frequently (twice per week). Doses of LDA are given as often as every 7 weeks, and spaced out as symptoms improve.

Many patients who fail conventional immunotherapy (allergy shots), do very well with LDA. Many patients who have gone through LDA treatment report that they need fewer medications, get fewer infections and have more tolerance to foods, pollens, molds, chemicals, their own flora.


LDA is very safe. Unlike conventional immunotherapy (allergy shots), there have never been any life-threatening reactions to this therapy. Even among those being treated with an antigen that has previously caused anaphylaxis, the most severe reaction has been a brief period of itching in the mouth.

Allergy Testing:

There is no allergy or sensitivity testing necessary before the use of LDA because the food, inhalant, and chemical mixtures include over 300 substances each, and tend to cover by far, the vast majority of allergens. For those that are not represented in the mixtures, it seems that there is some cross-reactivity with those in the mix, because these sensitivities/allergies improve as well.

Conditions Treated:

LDA is a safe and effective procedure for relief of immune reactions that may be central or a contributing factor to the following conditions as well as others:

  • Environmental inhalant allergies (dog, dust, hay fever, mold etc.) and chemical sensitivities
  • Food allergies
  • Food and inhalant related conditions
  • Skin allergies/conditions: dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, hives
  • Asthma
  • Chronic ear infections
  • Chronic tonsillar swelling
  • Food triggered headaches and migraines
  • IBS, inflammatory bowel (Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis)
  • Chronic sinus infections
  • Autism spectrum
  • Depression, Anxiety, ADHD, and other mood & behavior issues
  • Auto immune conditions: inflammatory bowel, inflammatory arthritis, reactive arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, ITP, interstitial cystitis, auto immune thyroiditis (Hashimoto's), SLE
  • Endometriosis
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic joint and muscle pain

To get started with treatment, book a naturopathic appointment with Dr. Karen Cureton at Hood to Coast Healthcare Portland location for an initial consultation to determine the most effective remedies for you and to discuss the course of therapy.