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FOOD AND ENVIRONMENTAL ALLERGIES

By: Dr. Sushma Shah - Naturopathic Doctor

INTRODUCTION

  • Runny nose, itchy eyes and skin, unexplained rashes, teary red eyes are some of the symptoms that some of us can relate to in this weather. Some of the other allergy symptoms, which most of us have had in one form or another includes: indigestion, gastritis, celiac disease, and arthritis! Just to mention a few

  • Food and environmental allergies have been implicated in a wide range of medical conditions affecting virtually every part of the body, and can manifest as either the symptoms above among other more serious ones such as disorders of the central nervous system, including depression, anxiety and chronic fatigue

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

  • GI
  • GU
  • IMMUNE
  • MENTAL / EMOTIONAL
  • MUSSCULOSKELETAL
  • RESPIRATORY
  • SKIN
  • MISCELLANEOUS

HISTORY OF FOOD ALLERGY

  • First recorded by Hippocrates
  • In 200 AD, Galen described a case of allergy to goat’s milk
  • In 1679, Willis observed that the ingestion of wine could precipitate asthma
  • In 1930, Rinkel first described food sensitivities that differed from the classic immediate anaphylactic reactions. The symptoms he described occurred hours or even days subsequent to ingestion and could be masked or unmasked by the offending food

ALLERGIES TODAY

  • The numbers of incidences of allergies have increased dramatically in the recent times. Hypersensitivities involving bronchial symptoms and asthma, for example, have nearly doubled in the last decade. It is estimated that atopic dermatitis (skin eczema that can be caused by irritants) now affects between 10 - 15% of the population at some time during their lives, and food antigens often directly provoke this condition

  • Adverse reactions to food are now reported in about 25% of younger children

  • The primary causes for increased incidence of allergy appears to be excessive, regular consumption of a limited number of foods (often hidden as ingredients in commercially prepared foods) and a high level of preservatives, stabilizers, artificial colourings and flavourings, as well as medicinal drugs such as penicillin, now added to foods

  • Some researchers believe that the increased chemical pollution in our air, water, and food is to blame. Foods can easily become contaminated following the use of insecticides in farming

Other reasons include:

  • Early weaning off and early introduction to food
  • GMO foods
  • Impaired digestion
  • Less diversity in foods

WHAT IS THE UNDERLYING PROCESS?

  • Food allergy causes the immune system to synthesize and release reactive chemical agents, called cytokines, lymphokines and interferons. These are hormone like substances can dramatically influence cellular physiology, producing far-reaching effects on the immune, endocrine and nervous functions

  • An allergic response to food and environmental inhalants may be the culprit lurking behind a “mysterious set” of symptoms, which are not readily diagnosable using the conventional methods of testing. Hence testing for specific allergic is one of the ways to uncover foundation causes of illness

WHAT CAUSES ALLERGENIC SYMPTOMS IN OUR BODY?

  • Inherited genetic predisposition - study was done and concluded that if both parents are allergic, 67% of children are allergic as well

  • Indigestion of hypochlorhydia and / or pancreatic enzyme deficiency leading to protein indigestion – which retains their antigenic properties eventually leading to a chronic state of immune hypersensitivity

THE ROLE OF THE IMMUNE SYSTEM

  • There are two types of immunity the body develops to protect itself: innate immunity and acquired immunity

  • Innate immunity: when functioning properly, the immune system has the ability to resist almost all types of organisms and toxins that damage human tissue

  • Acquired immunity - is the human body’s ability to develop extremely powerful specific immunity against individual invading agents such as lethal bacteria, viruses, toxins, etc. Two basic types include:
    • Humoral or B-cell

    • Cell mediated or T-cell

WHICH TYPE OF IMMUNITY IS INVOLVED?

  • Acquired immunity is extensively involved in allergic reactions. Substances that initiate immune responses are known as antigens

  • Food represents the largest antigenic challenge confronting the human immune system

TESTING FOR ALLERGIES

  • Skin testing, RAST, IgG test

  • Related tests: Intestinal permeability, Comprehensive digestive stool analysis, fecal s1G A, Adrenocortex stress and melatonin profiles

THERAPEUTIC INTERVENTIONS

  • DIET - re-establishing a healthy bowel micro flora, healing the damaged gut, decreasing the gut inflammation reaction, re-establishing normal digestion

  • Allergy testing is also valuable as a preventative measure for people who are not currently experiencing over symptoms related to allergic reactions. It can reveal unsuspected food sensitivities, which, if ignored, could result in cumulative stress on the immune and other systems over time - a condition that may eventually lead to severe illnesses

HOW CAN WE HELP YOU?

If you are suffering from allergies that were present since birth or came back all of a sudden, or suspect that you may be suffering from allergies to the environment or certain foods, we can help you identify what caused the allergy to come about in the first place and help you treat the cause, we can also help you to decrease allergenic reactions to the enviroment and foods using natural supplements, along with other naturopathic modalities. If you are looking to find out more about allergies that you suffer from and are looking to prevent a recurrence of another bout of allergic symptoms, do not hesitate to call us and book an appointment with us.

The information on this handout is the property of SUSHMA SHAH N.D., and is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure any disease. For any questions, or concerns, please contact me at 416 913 4325 (HEAL) or email me at info@naturesintentionsnaturopathy.com



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