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Allergy Relief & Prevention: A Practical Encyclopedia, by Jacqueline Krohn and Frances Taylor: Book Review

written by: cra8051 • edited by: Lisa Lambson • updated: 7/25/2010

The subtitle of this book is “A Doctor’s Complete Guide to Treatment & Self Care.” It could equally well be, “Everything You Ever Needed to Know about Allergies.” Going far beyond simple allergies like hay fever, this guide covers environmental, chemical, food, and infection-caused allergies.

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    Arrangement of the Book

    Allergy Relief & Prevention consists of five main sections plus appendices and an extensive index. The authors first go into considerable detail about how allergies affect the body’s systems. These include the immune, endocrine, nervous and digestive systems. This first section also has a chapter on psychoneuroimmunology, a discipline that melds together the fields of immunology, neurology, and psychology. Although fairly new, this multidisciplinary field actually hearkens back to Hippocrates, who urged medical students to include the emotions as an integral part of disease cause. Aristotle believed the same. The authors believe allergies prevention has to consider the whole body including emotional characteristics.

    A following chapter on “Understanding Allergies” deals with testing for allergies, food allergies, how to eat safely, chemical sensitivities and air-borne allergies. After this, the authors discuss the role of infections in allergies (bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungi, yeast and mold). The relation of nutrition to allergies as well as treating allergies with nutrient supplements is covered in a separate unit. Final chapters deal with preventing the development of allergies. Appendices provide a list of suggested reading, a list of sources and organizations, and a bibliography.

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    Focus

    By taking a whole-body and environmental look at allergies, the authors are able to deal with five clinical types of allergies and allergy relief:

    • Patients with only seasonal pollen allergies
    • Individuals with food allergies based solely on specific foods
    • Predominant chemical sensitivities that can include such things as perfume, gasoline, fabric softener, tobacco and other chemicals
    • People with varying combinations of the above
    • Those with severe allergies and sensitivities considered as “universal reactors” and falling into the category of environmental illnesses or disabilities.

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    Specific Areas

    Because the immune system is the primary means of defense against allergies, the book provides a detailed explanation of how the immune system functions and responds to allergic attacks. This includes the skin, mucous membranes, thymus gland, lymphatic system, tonsils and adenoids, spleen, appendix, small intestine, liver and bone marrow.

    Forty pages are devoted to every possible type of food allergy including lengthy lists of sources of specific allergens. The book takes the same type of extensive approach to chemical substances that cause sensitivity reactions in some individuals as well as sources of inhaled allergenic compounds. There is also a great deal of advice on treating allergy symptoms with nutritional supplements.

    Although this book is now nine years old, it is still available through Amazon.com and a great deal of the information is still valid. Hopefully at some point the authors will provide a fourth edition, but for now, it is very well recommended for all.

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    Disclaimer

    Please read this disclaimer regarding the information you have just read.

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    Bibliographic Information

    Krohn, Jacqueline, Taylor, Frances, and Larson, Erla Mae. Allergy Relief & Prevention: A Practical Encyclopedia, rev. & enlarged 3d ed. (Vancouver, B.C., Hartley & Marks Publishers, 2000). 500 pp. incl. biblio. and index. Paperback. ISBN 0-88179-194-6..