WHAT ARE ALLERGIES?
Allergies are an overreaction of the immune system to an allergen - such as food or something in the environment! Most children or adults who have been diagnosed with allergies have a hyper-alert immune system that tends to overreact to certain substances - called "allergens". In people and Children who suffer from allergies, the exposure to what is normally a harmless substance, such as pollen, dust or nuts causes the immune system to react as if the substance is harmful.
1. Food Allergies
2. Environmental Allergies
Allergies are a very common problem, affecting at least 2 out of every 10 Americans.
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 - 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. 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.