A Natural Approach To Health
Living With Food Allergies
I had a question the other day about food allergies.
Food allergies or food intolerances affect nearly everyone at some point.
You may have an unpleasant reaction to something you ate and wonder if you have a food allergy.
One out of three people either say they have a food allergy or they modify the family diet because a family member has a food allergy.
But only about 5% of children have true allergic reactions to foods.
In teens and adults, food allergies occur in about 4% of the total population.
The difference between a true food allergy and the common perception of the problem is due to “food intolerances” rather than food allergies.
A food allergy is an abnormal response to a food triggered by your immune system.
Your immune system isn’t responsible for a food intolerance, even though the symptoms can resemble those of a food allergy.
It’s very important for people who have true food allergies to identify them because the reactions can cause devastating illness and, in some cases, be fatal.
Food allergies involve 2 features of your immune response.
One is the production of immunoglobulin (IgE), an antibody circulating through your blood.
The other is the mast cell, a specific cell in all body tissues, but very common in typical sites of allergic reactions, like your nose and throat, lungs, skin, and gastrointestinal tract.
Before an allergic reaction can occur, a person who’s predisposed to form IgE to foods first has to be exposed to the food.
As this food is digested, it triggers certain cells to produce IgE in large amounts.
The IgE is then released and attaches to the surface of mast cells.
The next time you eat that food, it interacts with the IgE on the surface of the mast cells and triggers the cells to release chemicals like histamine.
These chemicals will cause various food allergy symptoms.
To deal with food allergies it’s beneficial to:
*Drink 6-8 cups of purified water.
*Herbs have the potential to create allergic effects, so introduce them slowly and systematically in the beginning.
*Boswellia works at the cellular level to reduce inflammatory and allergic responses.
*Eucalyptus and/or thyme leaves can be used to ease congestion. Soak an ounce of either one in a cup of boiling water and inhale the steam.
*Nettle reduces inflammation in your sinus cavities. It’s also a powerful antioxidant helping prevent free radical damage and allergy attacks.
*Rotate your foods. Eat a different group of foods for each of 4 days and then repeat the cycle. You can select as many of the foods allowed on a specific day as you like, but it’s essential no type of be eaten more often than every 4 days. (Email me if you need more info on this.)
*Omit any suspected food from your diet for 30 days.
*Adults may follow a fasting program. After a fast, you can try adding back the foods to avoid in very small amounts, like 1 teaspoonful at a time. Record your reactions after eating. If you feel bloated or have a slight headache, an upset stomach, gas, diarrhea, a rapid pulse, or heart palpitations after eating certain foods, eliminate them from your diet for 60 days and try introducing them again in small amounts. If you experience a reaction again, eliminate them from your diet permanently.
*Avoid the following foods until it’s determined you aren’t allergic to them: bananas, beef products, caffeine, chocolate, citrus fruits, corn, dairy products, eggs, oats, oysters, peanuts, processed and refined foods, salmon, strawberries, tomatoes, wheat, and white rice.
*Avoid mucus-producing foods, like dairy products, sugar, wheat, and food additives.
*Avoid any food products containing artificial color, especially FD&C Yellow #5 dye. Many people are allergic to food colorings. Other food additives to avoid include vanillin, benzaldehyde, eucalyptol, monosodium glutamate (MSG), BHT-BHA, benzoates, and annatto. Read labels carefully.
*If you’re allergic to ragweed, don’t eat cantaloupe. It contains some of the same proteins as ragweed.
*Have your thyroid levels checked.
*Be sure to take only hypoallergenic supplements, as these don’t contain potentially irritating substances.
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