As one of Rhode Island’s top physicians, Dr. Z gets asked a lot of questions about allergies and asthma on a daily basis. In the past, we’ve shared Dr. Z’s Top 3 FAQs, which looks at some of the most common questions patients ask. Now let’s take a look at some other frequently asked questions (FAQs) with videos straight from Dr. Z! To see all of Dr. Z’s videos, visit and subscribe to Dr. Z’s YouTube channel.
Can you become dependent on medication for allergy and asthma?
According to Dr. Z, patients are often afraid to take allergy and asthma medications because they’re worried they may become “addicted” to them. But the real issue isn’t so much about becoming addicted to the allergy medication as much as the fact that allergy medications only treat symptoms—meaning, they don’t address the root cause of the allergy.
Asthma is different from an infection like bronchitis or sinusitis where you take an antibiotic and the infection gets resolved. The key to treating conditions like asthma and allergy, which are immune system responses in your body, is to figure out why you’re having that response in the first place. Simply taking medication that gets rid of symptoms does not cure the problem, and as soon as you stop taking the medication, the symptoms are likely to return.
In this video, Dr. Z discusses various approaches to treatment of asthma and allergy, including sublingual immunotherapy, which can effectively help send your allergies into remission once and for all.
Is a food allergy different from a food sensitivity?
Another common topic patients often ask about is if there’s a difference between a food allergy and a food sensitivity—and the short answer is Yes.
In this video, Dr. Z explains what the actual medical definition of an allergy is and how what patients may think is a food allergy is actually a food sensitivity. “In real medical terms, a food allergy is an immediate response to the food that’s confirmed by the demonstration of allergy antibodies called IGE,” explains Dr. Z. Watch to learn more about what to do if you think you may have a food allergy or sensitivity.
How is the functional medicine approach different?
As Dr. Z discusses in this video, functional medicine recognizes that we’re not dealing with 90 percent of chronic medical problems in this country as effectively as we could be. This is because traditional medicine does not typically look for the root cause—or why the body is expressing certain symptoms.
Watch this video to hear Dr. Z explain how the goal of functional medicine is to try to identify the root cause of your symptoms, which often can be traced back to the microbiome in your gut because that’s where 70 percent of our immune function starts.
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