Dr Anton Hans de Waard, a well known KwaZulu-Natal Homeopath, has graduated from UKZN with a Masters in Sport Medicine degree (summa cum laude).


De Waard and academic excellence are no strangers! In 1996, whilst studying towards a Masters Degree in Technology: Homeopathy, he achieved top marks and a distinction in Clinical Homeopathy IV.


For his Masters degree in Sport Medicine, he submitted a dissertation titled: “Respiratory Tract Symptoms in Multi-Day Trail Runners - a Focus on Allergy”. The first of two papers emanating from this work has been accepted for publication in the SA Medical Journal.


The study was conducted by examining physiological responses of trail runners during the Three Cranes Challenge - a multi-day, 95km event divided into three stages in Karkloof. The examination included self-reported respiratory tract symptoms (RTS) over a 31-day period (pre, during and post-race), as well as pre-race Phadiatop® status, serum IgE, cortisol, high-sensitivity CRP, full blood counts and salivary IgA concentrations.


The main aim of the study was to relate the incidence of RTS to the general systemic and salivary immunological profile as well as atopic status of the participants. A second aim of the study was to validate the use of the Phadiatop® assay as a predictor of allergy-associated post-race RTS in trail runners. Symptoms of respiratory tract infection occur commonly in athletes during heavy training and after events, resulting in impaired readiness for events and race times.


Over the past few decades numerous studies have investigated the cause of these “infections”, however a large percentage of cases remain unexplained. Continuing the extensive work of Supervisor Professor Edith Peters-Futre in the field of exercise immunology, this study examined the role that allergy has to play in the development of post-race RTS.


Results indicated that RTS in trail runners have a multi-factorial aetiology. A total of 78.6 percent of subjects met the criteri
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