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Assessing Therapeutic Response in Allergy by Eosinophil Count

Dr. Arup Das, Dr. Subhash Chaudhary and Dr. D. Basu

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Management

Effective management of allergy is based on accurate diagnosis. Allergy testing can help to confirm diagnosis. Correct diagnosis, counseling and avoidance advice based on valid allergy test results, if used side by side with medicines, can help to reduce the incidence of symptoms and improve quality of life.

Homoeopathic medicines have a great role to play to reduce the manifestations as well as the chance of development of further reactions. Constitutional treatment based on the totality of symptoms of the individual can cure this obstinate clinical condition [3]. There are several homoeopathic medicines which can be useful. A search from Kent’s repertory [4] reveals some rubrics which can be useful regarding various manifestations of this clinical entity. Some of those rubrics are mentioned below:

NOSE – CORYZA, annual (hay fever) / flowers / peaches, from the odor of
RESPIRATION – ASTHMATIC, dust, from inhaling / hay asthma / miner’s asthma, from coal dust
STOMACH – NAUSEA, eggs, after / fish, after / meat, after
STOMACH – VOMITING, egg, after / meat, after / urticaria, during
ABDOMEN – PAIN, cherries, after / peaches after
RECTUM – DIARRHOEA, egg, after / meat, from / oyster, after / shell fish, from
SKIN – ERUPTIONS, urticaria

Role of Eosinophil Count in Monitoring of Treatment Response

Patients who suffer from allergy often require a long time period over which treatment has to be administered. During the course of treatment the patient may be clinically better at certain times and worse at certain times. Overall most patients will show a steady improvement. It will be very beneficial if there was any investigations which could help the physician to properly understand the trend in the patient during the course of treatment.

Estimation of serum IgE is an important investigation. IgE Levels are elevated in allergy. This fact is utilized in diagnosis. Responses to individual allergen substances can also be estimated [2]. This is also very useful for diagnosis. But periodical estimation of such IgE levels in a patient of allergy is not a practical approach. A simpler method is needed for monitoring the condition of the patient during treatment. A skin test, which is so useful for diagnosis, is of no use for such monitoring.

Rise of eosinophil is a marker of allergy. The extent of eosinophilia will on the whole reflect the extent of the allergic state. It is true that eosinophil count is not that specific but it is enough to serve the purpose. It is a simple procedure with low cost and can be repeated at short intervals. It can therefore be used to judge whether the process of allergy in the patients is static, increasing or decreasing. Even if the correlation is not total, it is sufficient for use in clinical practice.

Conclusion

Since eosinophil counts have relation with allergy, it is possible for the homoeopathic physician undertaking treatment for allergy to monitor the progress of the patients of allergy by doing eosinophil count from time to time. This simple and cheap procedure will help not just monitoring but also laboratory evidence for documentation of response of allergic diseases to homoeopathic treatment.

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