What You Don't Know Can Hurt You
It has been said, "Let your food be your medicine and your medicine your food." But what if your food, instead of nourishing you, was making you sick, significantly impacting your health and vitality - all without your awareness?
Attention deficit, abdominal cramping, anxiety, arthritis and asthma have more in common than merely starting with the letter A? All of these health conditions, plus hundreds of other symptoms, like headaches, obesity, recurrent ear infections, chronic fatigue, PMS and insomnia may be associated with food allergies/sensitivities!
Allergies may promote inflammation and can significantly impact the quality of life! As Chris Meletis, ND (Naturopathic Doctor), emphasizes, 'basically, anywhere the blood flows, inflammation from food allergies follows, and symptoms may result." Unfortunately, this form of food allergy, called IgG is not well known.
The story of the teenager in Toronto who died after kissing her boyfriend - merely because he had eaten peanut butter - is an example of a "hypersensitive" reaction called IgE. Fortunately, these fatal encounters with food are fairly uncommon, as most people who have this type of allergy are aware of it, and avoid the allergenic food.
The emphasis of this article, however, is about hidden food allergies, where the response by the body to the offending food is delayed for hours, days or even many weeks after the food has been eaten, so it is nearly impossible to know which food is causing the problems. Most people, including conventional medical professionals, are unaware of this form of food allergy, or at least to the magnitude of the problem. Some estimate one-half or more of the American population may have multiple food allergies.
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. Most people who have multiple food allergies have an underlying condition known as "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.
To determine if you have a food allergy, you can eliminate the most common offenders, listed above, for at least a month - and see if symptoms improve, or you can be tested by a natural medicine practitioner.
Dr. Dennis Godby, Doctor of Naturopathy, Sutter Medical Foundation.
He may be reached online or at his Sacramento Office (916) 446-2591.
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