Allergies

Doctors First

Internists located in Gaithersburg, MD & Germantown, MD

More than 50 million men, women, and children struggle with allergies, and that number is on the rise. Dr. Rakesh Malik at Doctors First provides thorough diagnosis and treatment of allergies for residents of Germantown and Gaithersburg, Maryland. Get some relief today by calling now or booking your appointment online.

Allergies Q & A

What causes allergies?

Allergies develop when the immune system responds abnormally to something that may be harmless to other people. When you encounter an allergen like food, a bee sting, pollen, pet dander, latex, or mold, your body senses it as a threat and produces a chemical called histamine. That’s when the immune system sets into a motion an allergic reaction.

How do I know if I have allergies?

Depending on the type of allergy you have, symptoms can vary widely. Allergies could be the culprit if you have any of the following:

  • Cold-like symptoms that won’t go away
  • Frequent outbreaks of hives or rashes
  • Recurring headaches
  • Bloating or illness after eating
  • Trouble breathing or tightness in your chest
  • Swelling of the tongue or throat
  • Chronic congestion

If you have a food allergy, even small amounts of certain foods may make you feel sick to your stomach, cause hives or rashes, make your airways swell, or send you into anaphylactic shock. Though you may have clues and suspect that you are allergic to something, the best way to know for sure is to get a comprehensive allergy test.

What are common types of allergies?

Each type of allergy has its own set of triggers and can affect you differently. Common allergy triggers, known as allergens, include:

  • Drugs
  • Foods
  • Pollen
  • Animals
  • Mold
  • Scents or chemicals
  • Latex
  • Insects

What treatment options are available for allergies?

At Doctors First, the expert team helps you identify your allergy triggers so you can recognize and avoid them. Comprehensive blood allergy testing is available in both the Germantown and Gaithersburg, Maryland, offices.

It’s almost impossible to avoid every possible allergy trigger, so Dr. Malik or one of the physician assistants may recommend a medication to help you manage the symptoms of your allergies. Besides medication, immunotherapy is a proactive allergy shot treatment that gradually exposes you to the allergen so that you can build up a tolerance to the allergen over time.

If you need help diagnosing and minimizing the effects of allergies, contact the office or book your appointment below.