- While our ability to accurately diagnose and treat allergic disease has benefited from scientific understanding of what happens during an allergic reaction, a number of tests and treatments have been promoted in the absence of any scientific rationale.
- Some non-conventional approaches to disease also claim that various disorders unrelated to allergy have an immune basis. These tests and treatments have been shown to be unreliable when subjected to careful study.
- Children Allergy Center advises against use of these tests for diagnosis or to guide medical treatment.
- Pulse testing
- Hair analysis
- Tests for “dysbiosis”
- Cytotoxic testing (Bryans’ test)
- Oral provocation and neutralisation
- Vega testing (electrodermal testing)
- Radionics (psionic medicine, dowsing)
Inappropriate use of conventional testing
- Food specific IgG, IgG4, IgE
- Lymphocyte subset analysis
- Allergen specific IgE (RAST, ImmunoCap testing)
Inappropriate use of conventional treatments
Treatments used by conventional and unorthodox practitioners
- Buteyko Breathing Technique
- Elimination diets
- Vega MRT (Matrix Regeneration Therapy)
- Clinical Ecology/ Environmental Illness
- Chronic Candidiasis
- Enzyme potentiated immunotherapy
- Insulin resistance / allergy
- Reflexology (zone therapy)
- Autogenous urine therapy
- Physical Therapies: Chiropractic therapy, Osteopathy, Cranial therapy
- Allergy elimination techniques (also known as “Advanced Allergy Elimination”, “Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination”)
Adverse outcomes from unorthodox testing and treatments may arise
The potential for adverse outcomes following some unorthodox diagnostic techniques and treatment is insidious, but potentially more serious than those commonly debated issues surrounding adverse reactions to herbal medicines
- Misleading results may result in advice to undergo major dietary restrictions. These have the potential to impair growth and even cause malnutrition, particularly in more vulnerable groups such as young children. For example, Rona and Chinn found that around one half of parents who thought that their child was food allergic or intolerant altered their child’s diet, but only one third sought medical advice, and that some children were 4cm shorter than controls.
- Access to more effective diagnostic techniques and treatments may be delayed, with lost productivity from inadequately controlled disease.
- Substitution of homoeopathic vaccines for those with proven effectiveness (or even discouragement to undertake vaccination at all), has individual and public health implications.
- Unnecessary environmental and chemical avoidance, creating a perception of allergic or other organic illness when there are other explanations for their symptoms, can impact on employment and social functioning.
- So-called “allergy elimination techniques” have the potential to cause particular harm, if those with a potential dangerous allergy consider themselves protected from exposure.
Unproven diagnostic techniques and treatments are not inexpensive
The costs incurred are not significant, and amount to over $600 million per year in consultations, and over $1.5 billion per year in complimentary medicines in Australia alone, greater than the out of pocket contribution by the community to the PBS system. While it can be argued that this is a cost borne by individuals rather than the public purse, this claims undermined by the cost implications of:
Adverse outcomes with assessment by the conventional medical community, resulting in costs borne by the community,
Lost income and productivity results from inadequately controlled disease,
Private funds are directed into non-productive areas and are not available for more useful activities, and
Private health insurance funds being similarly misdirected into unproven endeavours, diverting resources away from cost-effective medical treatments and indirectly, raising the cost of private and publicly funded health care.
Evidence, claims and counterclaims
There are only two types of therapies for disease; those that have been proven to be effective, and those that are unproven. The plural of anecdote or testimonial is not good clinical evidence. The medical literature is littered with the corpses of treatments previously claimed or thought to be effective on theoretical grounds, later discarded as unproven when subjected to careful study.
Recommends against the use of unproven diagnostic treatments and treatments
A multitude of tests have been proposed to detect “hidden allergies”, based on concepts of disease pathogenesis very different to those underlying Western medicine. These have no scientific rationale, and have not been shown to be reliable or reproducible when subjected to formal study. Not only are such tests unreliable in diagnosing allergic disease, they are also increasingly being promoted for the diagnosis and management of disorders for which no evidence of immune system involvement exists. ASCIA strongly advises against the use of these tests for diagnosis or to guide medical treatment. No Medicare rebate is available in Australia for these tests, and their use is not supported in New Zealand.
- Adverse outcomes from unproven or unorthodox testing and treatments may arise
- Unproven diagnostic techniques and treatments are not inexpensive
- Evidence, claims and counterclaims
source : ascia
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