Food allergies and food sensitivities (also referred to as intolerances)
are terms often used interchangeably. Technically, a food allergy
is a measurable immune response to a normally harmless food.
Symptoms include itchy hives, lip swelling, nausea, vomiting,
diarrhea, wheezing, and difficulty breathing. Common food allergies
are to peanuts, wheat, milk, eggs, MSG, and shellfish. Scientists
are not sure what exactly causes food allergies. Since many
allergies tend to run in families, there apparently is a genetic
component. There is also evidence that some allergies are the
result of exposure to a certain food or foods too early in life,
before the immune system is fully developed. Many infants who
are given cow’s milk instead of breast milk in the first
months develop an allergic reaction; the same goes for children
who are fid wheat, eggs, peanut butter, or other products before
they are ready. At any age, the over-consumption of a food is
thought to lead to allergies. Wheat, for example, is a common
allergen in the United States, because most people eat it at
every meal and snack.
Food sensitivities are reactions to food where there is not
necessarily an immune response, as measured by standard lab
tests. These symptoms are not life threatening but are bothersome.
These include, but are not limited to, abdominal cramps, bloating,
headache, mood swings, reoccurring infections, joint pain, runny
nose, skin rashes, dark circles under the eyes, and fatigue.
Symptoms may occur up to thirty-six hours after ingesting the
offending food. Common food sensitivities that we see with patients
are to cow’s milk, wheat, corn, soy, chocolate, citrus
fruit, and artificial sweeteners and preservatives. Most food
sensitivities are acquired throughout life. A lack of variety
in the diet, poor digestion and detoxification, and genetics
are often the underlying causes. Most people who have multiple
food sensitivities have an underlying condition known as leaky
gut syndrome. This means that foods are not being broken down
effectively (especially proteins), and once absorbed, they cause
a heightened immune reaction. The key to these cases is to heal
the gut lining and improve food breakdown, something that natural
medicine is very effective for. Many cases of food sensitivities
can be eliminated or improved with natural therapies.
Food allergies and sensitivities can sometimes be difficult
to identify. Immune responses to food may take hours or days
to develop, and they may be mistaken for seasonal allergies
or for other disease associated with their symptoms: colds,
flu, skin problems, chronic fatigue, and many others. And allergies
aren’t just triggered by the consumption of large quantities
of a problem food: you can have a reaction from a minute quantity
or even from simply touching or inhaling an allergen. Use the
elimination diet to determine which food or foods, if any, you
are allergic to.
Also, specific testing with blood, electrodermal, skin scratch,
or applied kinesiology by a holistic practitioner or a doctor
can help you quickly identify your problem foods. They can then
be avoided or you can desensitize yourself to them.
** All of these prescriptions below have been proven effective;
level of effectiveness depends on the individual. Please consult
your doctor when taking any and all supplements.
Super Prescriptions – Food Sensitivity
Prescription #1 Super
Digestive Enzymes - LifeSource
Take a full-spectrum digestive complex with each meal.
Prescription # 2 Protease
enzymes found in Dophilus Plus - LifeSource
Take 1 to 2 protease enzyme capsules between meals two
to three times daily. When taken on an empty stomach,
protease enzymes are believed to metabolize food antibody
complexes that cause symptoms. Do not use if you have
an ulcer or gastritis.
Prescription #3 Probiotics
– Dophilus Plus - LifeSource
Take a product that contains at least 4 billion active
organisms daily, thirty minutes after a meal. These good
bacteria favorably alter the way the immune system perceives
foods and also helps with their metabolism and digestion.
Prescription #4 Gentian root (Gentiana lutea)
This improves stomach-acid levels and overall digestive
function. Take 300 mg in capsule form or 10 to 20 drops
five to fifteen minutes before meals. It can also be used
as part of a digestive bitters formula.
Prescription #5 Thymus (Thymus vulgaris) extract
Take 1 to 2 capsules or as directed on the container three
times daily on an empty stomach. Thymus extract balances
an overactive immune system.
Prescription #6 Methylsulfonylmethane
(MSM) - LifeSource
Take 1,000 mg twice daily. MSM has a natural anti-allergy
benefit that includes food sensitivities.
allergies can produce a number of symptoms. The most common
are listed as follows:
Red, itchy, or watery eyes
Dark circles or puffiness under the eyes
Hives, rashes, eczema, or other skin eruptions
Swelling of the throat and the tongue
symptoms of food sensitivities:
cramps and bloating
Dark circles under the eyes
of a certain food
Introduction of a food too early in infancy or childhood
Stress, which depresses the immune system
Poor digestion and detoxification
If you experience difficulty breathing of develop hives that
spread rapidly, get emergency help at once. Allergic reactions
like these can be quickly fatal. If you know you have severe
reactions to certain substances, talk to your doctor about emergency
adrenaline kits you can keep on hand.
Obviously, the most important step in treating allergies is
identifying them. Once you’ve identified the offending
substances, adhere to the following suggestions to keep them
out of your diet and to reduce your chances of having a bad
reaction, should you be accidentally exposed. Food sensitivities
can generally be improved or cured by rotating foods in the
diet, improving digestion and detoxification, and using the
desensitization techniques described in this chapter.
Fortify your immune system with a healthful, wholesome diet.
Eat foods that are high in immune-building nutrients: seafood,
beans, and nuts for magnesium; green leafy vegetables and brewer’s
yeast for B vitamins; and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables
for vitamin C.
A varied diet will discourage the development of allergies,
so try to eat different foods every day.
Breast milk is best for infants. If, for some reason, you are
unable to provide your baby with mother’s milk, use a
cow’s milk alternative or a predigested, hypoallergenic
Drink a glass of clean water every two waking hours to flush
allergens out of your body and to encourage overall health.
Foods to Avoid
Of course, you must avoid the foods that trigger a severe allergy
response. In general, it is best to buy whole foods and prepare
them yourself, so that you are aware of their content, but if
you must buy packaged food, learn how to read labels and scrutinize
them carefully. Food preservatives and artificial colorings
or flavorings can be at the root of food reactions.
Food sensitivities can generally be rotated in the diet, until
you become desensitized to the offending food.
If you have recently suffered an allergy attack, go on a short,
twenty-four-hour juice fast to cleanse the body of allergens.
For chronic allergies, undertake a one- to three-day cleanse
every three months.