What is LDA?
LDA is a new type of immunotherapy invented by Dr. WA Shrader, MD in the early 1990s that has recently started to gain in popularity. LDA, which stands for Low Dose Allergy therapy, involves the injecting of small dose antigen with the addition of a specific enzyme called beta-glucuronidase into the sub-cutaneous tissue of the forarm. The therapy is used primary to treat allergies but has also been expanded to treat autoimmune and other conditions as well.
The specific combination of low dose antigen plus beta-glucuronidase works by increasing the number of TH3 cells or T-regulatory cells (T-reg cells). Studies of healthy non-allergic individuals reveal increased levels of TH3 cells as compared to allergic individuals. These cells act by “calming down” the immune response and create a situation known as “Immune Tolerance”. By increasing the population of TH3 cells and inducing immune tolerance we can train our bodies to no longer “overreact” and create the symptoms of the allergic response.
What types of conditions is LDA good for?
The list of conditions being treated with LDA continues to grow. As of right now the main conditions treated are: Seasonal allergies, Asthma, Food allergies and sensitivities, Mold sensitivities, Anaphylaxis, Autoimmune conditions (psoriasis, RA, Hashimotos, Sjogrens, IBD, UC, Crohn’s, PANDAS), Migraines, Headaches, Eczema, Chemical sensitivity, ADHD, Urticaria, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Raynaud’s, Autism
How is it different from traditional allergy therapy?
LDA differs from standard immunotherapy for allergies in several ways. Traditional immunotherapy (sometimes called SCIT or Sub-Cutaneous Immuno-Therapy) works by using doses in the range of 1-10,000 to as high as 1-100,000 level of dilution. At these levels there is always a potential for an anaphylactic response to the therapy. The mechanism works by switching antibodies from IgE to more IgG and IgA. In LDA the dilution of antigen is much smaller and runs in between 1-1,000,000 to 1-10,000,000. LDA also uses the enzyme beta-glucuronidase which is a specific lymphokine, a substance that attracts lymphocytes.
LDA is primarily works by increasing the populations of T-regulatory cells and not be switching the antibody response. There is some overlap between mechanisms and more studies need to be done in order to determine the exact way in which these therapies work.
What can I expect from my first appointment?
Before starting LDA therapy we like to make sure we consider all the potential causes that could be contributing to a patient’s allergic response. Sometimes underlying heavy metal toxicity, organic solvents, mold exposure or chronic microbial infections can be the primary causes for a patient. In these cases we can work on treating the underlying causes while at the same time addressing the allergic symptoms and have a much better long term result than if we just treated the symptoms alone.
After your initial evaluation you will be scheduled for a follow up to go over any further lab work that was run and to begin the LDA injections. LDA injections are given every 2 months for the first year and then spaced out more after that.
For some people who are highly sensitive a specific LDA diet needs to followed around the time of the injections. This will be discussed during your first appointment. Additionally many medications and supplements can interact with the LDA so these are usually discontinued at the time of the injections.
What kinds of results can I expect?
A large majority of patients see results after the first injection. Others require 2-3 rounds of LDA before they start to see a noticeable result. Still others require a little longer and may not see results for 6 months to a year. Usually if a patient is not seeing any results by a year’s time than there could be confounding factors (toxicity, infections, etc) or the patient may simply not be a responder to the therapy.
How do I make an appointment?
To learn more about LDA click on the link to Dr Shrader’s website.