Claudia Machado Cooke, MD, FACP, MPH  |  Health Through Understanding

Allergies

The term allergy refers to a hypersensitivity reaction of the body’s immune system in response to a foreign protein.  Substances that trigger allergies can come from several sources. There are environmental allergens and foods allergens, as well as animal or plant allergens (e.g., cats, ragweed). Some people react to inorganic matter such as drugs, nickel, metals, or adhesives to name just a few. Symptoms range from itchy eyes and runny nose, to rashes, wheezing, diarrhea, and even life-threatening conditions such as anaphylaxis – a condition that causes the throat to swell, and challenges the respiratory system.

The conventional evaluation and treatment of allergy involves the use of blood and skin testing, elimination diets, medications (e.g., antihistamines, corticosteroids), and immunotherapy, such as subcutaneous desensitization therapy.

Dr. Cooke has seen a number of patients who, dissatisfied with their response to conventional therapy, were looking for other solutions. At least some of these have found relief from her recommendations, combining allergy elimination diet, nutraceutical therapy, and homeopathics. Incidentally, her grandfather, Dr. Robert Anderson Cooke, graduate of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, Class of 1904, developed the first desensitization therapy, opened the first allergy clinic in the United States, wrote the first textbook of allergy, and went on to found the American Association of Allergy and Immunology. It is her suspicion that he may have been influenced by the extant literature on homeopathy of his era when he developed the desensitization therapy, following the notion of “the law of similars”, as homeopaths would have it.