Food allergies and sensitivities
Naturopathic medical doctors often see themselves as “medical detectives.” One of the six powerful principles of naturopathic medical doctors is to identify and treat the underlying causes of illness and to help patients remove the obstacles to cure, rather than merely treating symptoms.
Because we all have to eat, and nutritional therapy is one of the primary foundations for a healthy life, I often talk to patients about hidden and delayed IgG food allergies – especially because most people are unfamiliar with this form of allergy. Patients will often tell me: “I don’t have any food allergies” or “I have already been tested by my doctor.” The knowledge in the popular culture and conventional medical system is of only one form of food allergy – the immediate reaction. An example of this is the well-publicized story several years ago of the teenage girl who died immediately after kissing her boyfriend – merely because he had eaten peanut butter before the fatal kiss.
This tragic story is an extreme example of a “hypersensitive” reaction, called IgE. Fortunately, these fatal encounters with food are fairly uncommon, as our current medical system and much of the public are very aware of these types of allergies. IgE reactions are “immediate,” and potentially life-threatening.
However, the emphasis of this article is about the less obvious, hidden and delayed IgG food allergies/sensitivities that do not exhibit an immediate obvious reaction, but, nevertheless, are often very serious, and more chronic in nature, such as ulcerative colitis.
IgG reactions are often delayed for hours, days or even many weeks after the foods have been eaten which makes it difficult to track what foods are causing problems – especially if a person doesn’t know these type of allergies even exist. Some experts estimate one-half or more of the American population may have multiple food allergies. Every child I have tested, with a chronic condition, with one exception, has had multiple food allergies.
In my own practice, I have witnessed approximately 50 people dramatically transform their health and vitality because of the identification of IgG food allergies. For example, one patient gave this testimonial:
“To be free from suffering after 40 years of arthritic-caused severe lower back pain, simply from eliminating food allergens and gluten for only two weeks is absolutely wonderful! I am now planting gardens and have a new lease on life and attitude at age 80.”
What this patient didn’t say was that he was so impressed with how he felt after abstaining from the offending foods that he bought food allergy tests for all 13 of his family members.
The popular saying of “let your food be your medicine and your medicine your food,” is sound advice, but often people, because they are not aware of IgG food allergies, will make food choices that, instead of leading to health, are derailing it – all without their awareness.
Hidden and delayed food/allergies contribute or cause hundreds of health conditions and symptoms, that tend to be chronic and recurrent, and affect multiple bodily systems, such as: Cardio/Respiratory (asthma, high blood pressure, nasal congestion, rhinitis, sinusitis); Digestive (bloating, constipation, cramping, Crohn’s, colic, diarrhea, IBS, nausea/vomiting); Immune System (autoimmune, chronic infections, recurrent ear infections); Musculoskeletal (arthritis, feeling “below par,” weakness, joint and muscle pain); Neurovascular (Meniere’s, migraines); Nervous system (ADHD, children’s mood and behavioral problems, depression, headache, learning difficulties, mood swings); Skin (acne, canker sores, eczema, hives, itching, psoriasis, rashes); and systemic symptoms and conditions (bed-wetting, chronic fatigue, insomnia, multiple chemical sensitivity, obesity, PMS, water retention, weight gain/loss) and many others symptoms and conditions are caused or worsened by delayed and hidden food allergies/sensitivities!
Allergies may promote inflammation and can significantly impact the quality of life! As Chris Meletis, ND, emphasizes, ‘basically, anywhere the blood flows, inflammation from food allergies follows, and symptoms may result.”
One-half of all food allergies come from just 8 foods: peanuts, eggs, milk, wheat, soy, citrus, corn and shellfish, also chocolate and artificial colorings and preservative can be triggers.
Most food allergies/sensitivities are acquired throughout life due to: a lack of variety in the diet (the average American eats only 19 foods on an ongoing basis), poor digestion and poor detoxification; genetics also plays a role. Many people with multiple food allergies have “leaky gut syndrome,” which means that foods (especially proteins), are not being broken down effectively, and once absorbed, an increased immune reaction results. Healing the gut lining is the priority