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Food Allergies

 Food Sensitivities, Intolerances, and Allergies

Leave your drugs in the chemist’s pot if you can heal the patient with food.
                                       Hippocrates

            Abnormal biochemical and neurological reactions to foods can come in the form of specific immune system disturbances. Or abnormal reactions can be the result of weak or missing enzymes such as lactase deficiency creating an intolerance to milk sugar. There are numerous biochemical mechanisms that can be involved in these unhealthy reactions such as excess histamine release and blood agglutination. Every organ system in the body can be adversely affected, often without overt symptoms. Food allergies, intolerances and sensitivities are involved and unrecognized as contributors to many of the illnesses that plague us today---asthma, arthritis, cardiac arrhythmia’s, atherosclerosis, attention deficit disorder, colitis, otitis media, dermatitis, depression, emotional disturbances, hyperactivity, dyspepsia (upset stomach), hearing loss, behavioral problems, autism, alcoholism, sinusitis, incontinence, anxiety, kidney disease, obesity, headaches, fatigue, bursitis, seizures, learning disabilities, insomnia, bronchitis, myalgia (muscle ache), neuralgia (nerve pain), cystitis (bladder inflammation), constipation, eczema, gallbladder attacks, psychosis, delusions, hallucinations and others. Some experts feel that 90% of all individuals have some hidden food allergies, intolerances and sensitivities which adversely effect their health.
            Only through testing can we discover how important its role might be in any specific, individual case. If economic considerations are critical, and the individual is diligent at self-care, at-home elimination and reintroduction of foods can reveal many food caused symptoms. Environmed Research Allergy Health Information Center has some of the most thorough information on self care for allergies with a nutritional approach.  They feel it is the most feasible way to identify and treat these problems.  Their only weakness is minimizing the benefits of some of the more advanced blood tests for determining a broad spectrum of hidden allergies such as what is provided by Serammune Labs (800-553-5472) which has the most sophisticated and scientifically valid way of identifying delayed and hidden reactions to food, chemicals, and other environmental substances.   Coping With Your Allergies is another excellent guide for instituting an elimination diet and then healing with a rotary diversified diet.
            Other physicians will use other testing procedures to identify food allergies. Skin testing has been popular amongst allergists for decades but will only identify a certain type of reaction. ELISA-ACT blood tests identify a broader array of reactions and can even identify problem foods which do not provoke symptoms. Applied Kinesiology or any other type of muscle strength testing to determine food allergies has proved unreliable and should not be used.
            Regardless of the type of testing used to find offending foods the most frequently used treatment is avoidance. By avoiding the foods to which we have unhealthy reactions our bodies are given a chance to regain health. Ninety-five percent of offending foods can be reintroduced into a rotary diversified diet after 2-18 months of abstinence. Five percent of foods appear to be permanent and can never be eaten again without posing problems.
            A certain percentage of severe reactions might be helped by a controversially effective but safe treatment called serial dilution desensitization. Doctors of environmental medicine use this technique to slowly introduce allergic substances into the body in very small doses in order to reduce the person’s reaction to the irritating agents. It is sometimes a burdensome process when the necessary treatment protocol requires weekly or monthly intradermal injections for many months. But some cases are easier to resolve and some doctors use tablets rather than shots. Check out the American Academy of Environmental Medicine
 
Further Resources:
     *Coping With Your Allergies by Natalie Golos and Francis Golos
Dr. Doris Rapp  is the foremost pediatric allergist in the world. Her website is a good source of information.
    

Homework:
Omit frequently eaten foods which you suspect may be causing you a problem and see if you feel better. Particularly notice if you crave these foods a lot during the time you are avoiding them. This is often a sign of sensitivity. Milk, wheat, corn, eggs, beef, soy, peanut, and crustaceans are frequently problematic foods.

Research
Treating ear inflammations in children medically and surgically and treating the after-effects such as hearing loss costs Americans $30 million per year.  Ten million children suffer from otits media every year.  Untreated food allergy increases a child's susceptibility to bacterial and viral ear infection.    "Role of Food Allergy in Serous Otitis Media", Annals of Allergy, September 1994;73:215-219.
 
Food allergies will aggravate and perpetuate nasal congestion and inflammation of inhalant allergies.  The Importance of Food Sensitization in Allergic Rhinitis," Piness G, Miller H, J Allergy, January 1931;2(2):73-75.
 
Food allergy in children is a risk factor in developing later inhalant allergies and asthma.  "Atopy and Food Allergy," Moneret- Vautrin DA, Rev Fr Allergol Immunol Clin, 2000;40:466-472.
 
Symptoms of drowsiness, irritability, fatigue, weakness and incorrigibility in children from systemic and nervous system symptoms of food allergy are real and have been documented for decades.  "The Allergic Tension-Fatigue Syndrome," Crook WG, Pediatr Ann, October, 1974. 
 
This is an article on the use of elimination diets for identification and avoidance of food intolerances.  The 8 most common provoking foods in order of frequency included egg, peanut, milk, soy, tree nuts, crustaceans, fish and wheat. "Dietary Treatment of Food Allergy and Intolerance", Carter, C., Clinical and Experimental Allergy, 1995;25(Suppl 1.):34-42.
 
Significant advances were made in the understanding of adverse reactions to food and food additives in the 1980's. "Milestones Marking the Knowledge of Adverse Reactions to Food in the Decade of the 1980s", Anderson, John A., M.D., Annals of Allergy, February 1994;72:143-154.
 
Food allergy is often underestimated as the cause of cardiac symptoms, it is occasionally the main cause of severe cardiac dysfunction. Allergic angina and allergic myocardial infarction might be the result of food allergy. Elimination diets can provide prevention and relief of these conditions. "Allergic Angina and Allergic Myocardial Infarction," Circulation, October 1, 1996;94(7):1789. 
 

 



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