FOOD SENSITIVITIES & EFFECTS ON THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
Most common allergenic foods:
- Dairy, wheat, soy, corn, eggs, chocolate, oranges (citrus), seafood (especially shellfish), colourings & additives/preservatives, tomatoes, potatoes, strawberries, peanuts, other nuts and seeds.
- Hereditary factors do set up susceptibility, as allergies appear to run in families. For example, if both parents have an allergy/intolerance, then there is a 67% chance that the offspring will be allergic. Therefore, be extra careful when introducing these foods.
Common physical and symptomatic signs of food allergy:Dark circles under the eyes, puffiness under the eyes, chronic swollen glands, runny nose/nasal drips/postnasal drip, itchy nose and throat, fatigue, headache
Canker sores, chronic diarrhea, diarrhea alternating with constipation, gas, gastritis, heart burn/acid reflux, IBS, gastric ulcer, gall bladder disease, bloating
Chronic infections, frequent ear infections
Bed-wetting, chronic bladder infections, kidney disorders
Asthma, chronic bronchitis, wheezing
Acne, eczema, hives, itching, skin rash, red (burning) ears
Bursitis, joint pain, low back pain, arthritis and arthritic disorders
Hyperactivity, anxiety, depression, inability to concentrate, insomnia, irritability, mental confusion, seizures
- through food elimination and subsequent challenges
- IgG/IgA testing
- IgE testing: scratch test/ RAST test
- Pulse testing
- Applied kinesiology (AK) – muscle testing for strength/weakness in the presence of the food being tested
- There are two types of allergic responses: IgE-mediated (anaphylactic fast onset – such as with a peanut allergy) and IgG (cell-mediated – often delayed reactions with a multitude of, often vague, symptoms.) It is the IgG reaction that we’re interested in – the ‘non-classic’ food allergy.
- Repetitive exposure to the allergen(s) ultimately leads to improper digestion and poor integrity of intestinal walls; these are key factors in the development and maintenance of food allergy. Partially digested dietary proteins can cross from the intestine to the blood stream, causing a response at distant sites throughout the body. Factors contributing to an increase in macromolecular absorption include immaturity of the GI system (infants), abnormal gut bacteria/an imbalance of good and bad bacteria, decreased stomach acid, intestinal inflammation/ulceration, and insufficient pancreatic enzyme secretion.
- For these reasons, weaning infants to solid foods should be done ideally around 6 months of age, slowly and carefully.
- Once the body has reached its toxic load limit (due to overexposure to toxins) malfunctions set in and the body is less able to differentiate between substances that are harmful and those that aren’t. The immune system is seriously overworked dealing with a daily onslaught of environmental toxins; these include: antibiotics, pharmaceuticals/vaccines, fluoride, chlorine, mercury amalgam dental fillings, environmental estrogens (from plastics), synthetic fragrances, cleaning products, exhaust fumes…
To minimize reactivity & enhance your immune system:
- Identify and eliminate the foods that you are reacting to.
- Be conscious of increasing the variety in your diet and rotating foods – do not get stuck eating the same ingredients or foods every day.
- Eat organic foods! Emphasize those fruits and vegetables that can’t be peeled and especially any animal products – such as cheese, yoghurt, butter, eggs, and flesh foods. Minimize the amount of seafood eaten due to the toxicity of our oceans. For example, no more than 1 can of tuna per week due to the high amounts of mercury contained.
- Drink water! Choose filtered water or water NOT sold in plastic if possible. Reverse osmosis-treated water is the cleanest resource to eliminate fluoride, chlorine, and other pharmaceutical chemicals that are present.
- Supplement with antioxidants: vitamins A, C, E, and the minerals zinc and selenium.
- Once or twice a year take a course of probiotics (especially if you have just completed a course of antibiotics) – these are the good bacteria that your intestines and your immune system need to function optimally. You need a probiotic that provides both Lactobacillus and Bifidus bacteria.
- Don’t suppress stomach acid production with prescription drugs/heart burn-relief aids – instead, identify the triggers and eliminate them. You need that acid to act as a barrier against bacteria, viruses and fungi in our environment.