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Non-sympathetic Doctor

Dear Dr. Kagen,

I visited my general practitioner for allergy problems I have been experiencing for approximately 3 years. The symptoms are:Sinus and head pressure, swollen irritated eyes, sleeping groggy feeling, rundown, some dizziness etc. This occurs all year long and doesn't seem to be triggered by any one particular thing?

I went to the doctor to discuss the possibilities of being referred to an allergist. He basically discounted seeing an allergist and any of the new allergy tests as being ineffective.

We discussed the fact that I live in an old home with a crawl space, he is convinced that this is most likely the cause (mold from the moist crawl). No other members of my family experience these problems.

He gave me a shot of steroid, claritin-d and a nose spray. Basically, he came across as "you'll just have to live with it". Of course, this is unacceptable to me.

I am going to try the medication for approx. a week or two and then demand to be referred to an allergist. Do you have any other advice or recommend anything for the moist crawl space?

Tod J.

Dear Tod,

It sounds as though your doctor does not want to lose you as a patient. Many physicians do not understand the world of allergy very well since in about 40% of U.S. medical schools there is Zero allergy and asthma basic science education!

Allergy is not a mental defect. Allergy is real and you can not "out think it".

The steroid injection you received is like using a hammer to put in a wood screw. It is, simply put, the wrong instrument. Injectable steroids can cause bone loss and possible hip fractures.

The best treatment for an allergic disease is to have an accurate diagnosis of the problem. Guessing that it 'might be' a crawl space is plainly put mindless.

An Allergy Specialist should be able to assist you. Let me know what your new Allergist finds you to be allergic to.

Good luck.

Steve Kagen, M.D.