By J. J. Gregor
Food allergies or more accurately, sensitivities, are the current buzz words in healthcare. Reactions to foods may range from mild to very severe. Once you have a reaction, it’s important to understand what you’re actually allergic to and how to address it.
A food allergy is an irritant to the immune system in the digestive system where about 80% of your immune system is located. This inflammation occurs when the digestive system is unable to break down the food completely and you absorb larger proteins that your body sees as foreign invaders. The assimilation of these large proteins, through the normally tight gaps in you intestine, is called leaky-gut and causes a huge increase in a myriad of other symptoms.
When these proteins are presented to your immune system the first time, it produces antibodies called Immunoglobulin’s (Ig), which have different letters to designate what they fight off in the body. The problem with this system is that it is almost too efficient because the second time you’re exposed to the protein invader you will have a much faster response to the insult. Each time you’re exposed you produce more Ig’s, faster and more efficiently. This is why allergies usually get worse overtime.
There are many symptoms you may experience when your body is unable to properly tolerate a problem food. Some less severe symptoms can include gas and bloating, nausea, vomiting, heartburn, constipation, diarrhea, headaches, even nervousness, brain fog, rapid heart rate, ulcers in the mouth or throat, just to name a few.
While still rare but on the rise, one of the most dangerous symptom of a severe allergic reaction is anaphylaxis, which can be life-threatening. Blood vessels dilate and blood pressure drops. This can lead to shortness of breath, chest pain, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and weakness. If this were to occur, emergency treatment would be essential. This is your pathological type of allergy, like nut or shellfish allergens, and you may be required to carry an epi-pin with you, just in case anything slips in your meals.
The pathological allergens aside, a common cause of this is an inadequate production of hydrochloric acid and digestive enzymes. There are two easy ways to determine if your body is properly producing hydrochloric acid, digestive enzymes, and Ig imbalances: An Applied Kinesiology examination, and a simple blood test. Both of these diagnostic techniques can tell if there are particular foods that you are intolerant to and that must be avoided altogether, such as wheat, corn, dairy or soy. You would be surprised to learn how many people are intolerant to at least most of these.
Once properly diagnosed, a plan can be made to avoid the offending foods. Also, differing nutritional and homeopathic interventions may be useful in dealing with the symptoms of the food allergen.