Allergies Specialist

Preventive Medical Center of Marin


Integrative Family Medicine located in San Rafael, CA

Allergies are the sixth most common chronic health condition in the United States, affecting more than 50 million people. At Preventive Medical Center of Marin in San Rafael, California, Elson M. Haas, MD, and his team provide a holistic approach to managing your allergies and improving your overall health and wellness. Call the center or schedule a consultation online today.

Allergies Q & A

What are common allergies?

Allergies are a chronic condition in which your body mistakes a benign substance (allergen) as a threat and releases histamines to fight it off, which results in an allergic reaction. There’s a wide range of potential allergies that could impact your health and wellness. Some of the most common allergens include:

  • Pollen
  • Dust
  • Mold
  • Animal dander
  • Insect bites and stings
  • Latex
  • Certain medications, such as penicillin

Food allergies are also increasing in prevalence. For example, dairy products, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy products, fish, and shellfish, often trigger allergic reactions.

What are the signs of an allergic reaction?

Allergies cause a variety of symptoms that range in severity. Allergic symptoms are usually localized to the part of your body that came into contact with an allergen, although that’s not always the case.

For example, food allergies often cause tingling or swelling in your mouth or nausea and vomiting. However, a food allergy can also cause hives or a rash on your skin. Common allergy symptoms include:

  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • A runny or congested nose
  • Itchy eyes, nose, or mouth
  • Watery, red eyes
  • Swelling
  • Skin rashes and hives

Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction which can cause you to go into shock, lose consciousness, or even die. Anaphylaxis causes severe symptoms including:

  • A drop in blood pressure
  • Shortness of breath
  • A rapid, weak pulse
  • Skin rash
  • Lightheadedness

If you or anyone near you goes into anaphylaxis, call 9-1-1 or go to your nearest emergency room immediately. Even if you have an epinephrine auto-injector, you should use it and then seek immediate medical attention to ensure your symptoms don’t return.

When should I talk to a doctor about my allergies?

If you suspect that you have allergies, you should make an appointment with Dr. Haas and the team at Preventive Medical Center of Marin. They offer comprehensive allergy testing services to identify the substances that trigger your reactions. With that list in hand, they create customized allergy management plans that combine the best of conventional, Eastern, and naturopathic medicine to enhance your health and reduce your allergy symptoms.

How are allergies treated?

Dr. Haas and his team consider your overall health when planning treatment to manage your allergies. They help you develop avoidance strategies and may suggest other therapies or treatments including:

  • Neti pots and saline nasal rinses
  • Herbal therapies, such as stinging nettle and quercetin
  • Acupuncture

You may also benefit from following an anti-inflammatory diet and taking supplements such as probiotics and omega-3 fatty acids to restore balance to your digestive tract and reduce inflammation.

Call the office or schedule an appointment online today for expert, customized allergy management services.