by Andrew Pacholyk, MS, L.Ac.
By removing specific foods from our diet, we have a better sense of what the culprit is and what it is that is triggering the reaction.
Excessive protein may irritate the immune system and keep it in a state of overreactivity. The protein in cow’s milk, specifically, is a frequent offender, and for people with a genetic predisposition to allergy it may be a hidden cause. One general treatment strategy, therefore, is to follow a low-protein diet and try to eliminate milk and milk products.
Food allergies can play a major role during childhood. They are related before age 6. You can manipulate an infant’s diet and do well in helping their skin. Eggs, orange juice, peanuts, corn and milk have been implicated as aggravators in children. Parents should consult with their physicians about trying elimination diets. In general, these are foods that should not be eliminated. It is only after testing them by, first eliminating them and then re-introducing them back into the diet. Such diets seem to work best in infants less than 2 years old. After age 6, it is believed by experts that food plays a minimal role in most people.
For adults, diet manipulation should be undergone by each individual. If you think there’s any food you eat that has an adverse effect on your body, avoid it and see what happens, If your problem clears up,you may have a food allergy.
First, eliminate the food you feel is causing trouble for a two week period.
Second, re-introduce the food (one at a time only) back into your diet for a week. If symptoms start to recur (itchy throat, phlegm, digestive upset, nasal congestion…) you are most likely allergic or have some type of sensitivity to that particular food.
Natural, accurate ways to test for food allergies and food sensitivities that are non-invasive.
1. Take your resting pulse rate for a full 60 seconds.
2. Hold a bit of food that you are testing in your mouth. Do not chew or swallow it, just hold it there.
3. While you have the food in your mouth, take your pulse rate again. If it remains the same, you are most likely not allergic or sensitive to it. If it goes up 3 beats or more, you most likely are either sensitive and/or allergic.and you should follow up with your healthcare provider.
Managing Your Allergies
Antihistamines interfere with brain activity, causing drowsiness and depression. Never use antihistamines if you have a tendency toward depression or mental dullness. Even when these drugs do not depress mental activity, they merely suppress allergy rather than cure it. As a result the pattern of immune overresponsiveness is strengthened rather than weakened, meaning that more treatment will be required in the future.
This is even more so with steroid drugs (cortisone and related compounds). Never use cortisone, prednisone, or other steroid drugs to treat allergic reactions unless they are very severe or life-threatening. If you must take these powerful hormones, limit your use of them to two weeks. Steroids perpetuate allergy through their suppressive action. They also lower immunity.
Air-conditioning your house is probably the single most important thing you can do to alleviate pollen problems, and it can help with two other chief inhalants: mold and dust mites.
Vitamin C has antihistamine activity. Vitamin C supplementation has been reported to help people with hay fever in preliminary research. Consider 3,000 – 6,000 mg of Vitamin C in divided doses, per day.
Bioflavonoids such as Quercetin, might act synergistically with Vitamin C as both have antihistaminic activity. Although some doctors of natural medicine advise people with hay fever to take 400 mg of Quercetin two to three times per day, only limited preliminary clinical research has yet suggested that Quercetin benefits people with this condition.
There is an emotional aspect to every illness. Often times, it is the emotional thoughts or “excess emotions” that will lead to illness.
According to metaphysical expert Louise Hay, allergies relate to the fact that we deny our own power! I find this so interesting. Who are you allergic to? Emotional congestion, fear of the calendar or a belief in self-persecution or guilt are other issues that tend to come up very often with those who have allergies.
Again this emotional aspect is, indeed, part of the elimination diet that must be addressed as well, in order to heal.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) also looks at allergies in an energetic way. Acupuncturist Heidi M. Hawkins, L.Ac explains allergies in TCM, which is an energetic medical system, meaning it affects a person’s health via their energy systems. “Energy (Qi) courses through the body in pathways called meridians. TCM seeks to address any imbalance in health by affecting this energy. All symptoms, including allergies, are indicative of an energy imbalance.
An allergy, by energetic definition, is the body’s signal that something isn’t right. Allergies call attention through a reaction to anything that a person is not in “right relationship” with. This could be virtually anything: things found in nature, man-made chemicals, even another person! All “sensitivities” and “intolerances” are included in this, a very broad definition of allergy. Energetic definition of allergy does not require immune response to an allergen, only a reaction of some kind: something which disrupts the balance of a person’s qi in any way.
Allergies make sense. The body responds with an allergic reaction as a way of communicating to you that you have had too much of something. The body tells you to stay away from something for a good reason, such as toxic overload. Something as simple as a food can become toxic if too much of it is eaten, especially if it is not properly metabolized. Many people have compromised digestive metabolism because of poor diet, medications such as antibiotics, and the presence of parasitic organisms or Lingering Pathogenic Factors. To address the allergy properly, it is important to treat these underlying reasons, and not just the allergy itself.”
These are all musts, that I always suggest a patient do in case of allergies. The Allergy Elimination Diet is the best way to balance all aspects of your mind, body and emotional spirit.