THE NATUROPATHIC APPROACH TO INDIGESTION CAUSED BY FOOD INTOLERANCE / FOOD ALLERGIES
The naturopathic approach to indigestion caused by food allergies or food intolerances is to identify why the individual has the food allergy ⁄ intolerance, and then treat the root cause of the problem.
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 environment and foods using natural supplements, along with other naturopathic modalities.
Alternative therapies help to reduce inflammation, minimize hypersensitivity reactions, modulate the immune system and heal the digestive tract. At the clinic we offer various naturopathic modalities such as nutrition, acupuncture, hydrotherapy, physical medicine, herbs and homeopathic medicine for the treatment of food and environmental allergies.
An elimination/challenge trial may help uncover sensitivities. Remove suspected foods from the diet for two weeks. Reintroduce one at a time and watch for reactions. Do not perform a challenge with peanuts if there is history of anaphylactic shock.
A rotation diet, in which the same food is not eaten more than once every four days, may be helpful in minimizing allergic reactions.
Reduce pro-inflammatory foods in the diet including saturated fats (meats, especially poultry, and dairy), refined foods, and sugar. If you are sensitive to antibiotics, eat only organic meats. Increase intake of vegetables, whole grains, and essential fatty acids (cold-water fish, nuts [unless allergic to them], and seeds).
Omega 3 and certain Omega 6 essential fatty acids, such as flaxseed, borage, or evening primrose oil can be anti-inflammatory. Children should be supplemented with cod liver oil (1/2 to 1 tsp. per day).
Use a nasal rinse made with water and salt to taste like tears. Rinse each nostril and, with your head over a sink, hold your head sideways and let the water run from your upper nostril to your lower nostril. Keep your nostrils lower than your throat to prevent the salt water from draining into the back of your throat. This rinse shrinks your sinus membranes and increases drainage.
Evidence suggests that acupuncture is a useful complementary or alternative treatment option for people with allergic rhinitis. In one study that included 45 people with hay fever, acupuncture was as effective as antihistamine therapy in improving symptoms and the beneficial effects appeared to last longer. Acupuncturists treat people with allergic rhinitis based on an individualized assessment of the excesses and deficiencies of qi located in various meridians.
Allergic conditions often result from a liver or lung meridian deficiency. Treatment for this condition may include needling and moxibustion (a technique in which the herb mugwort is burned over specific acupuncture points). At our naturopathic clinic, once we have identified the cause of your allergies, our naturopath will provide you with acupuncture sessions and any other naturopathic therapies necessary for the treatment of your symptoms.
HERBS AND HOMEOPATHY
Various herbs and homeopathic medicines have been quite helpful to reducing allergy symptoms and can also improve the body’s immune reaction to allergies. Once our Toronto naturopath identifies why you have the allergies, she will provide you with the specific herbs and homeopathic supplements in addition to a customized diet plan for your individual symptoms.
TIPS TO IMPROVE DIGESTION
- Eat in a relaxed environment
- Eat slowly and chew your food properly
- Avoid drinking large quantities of fluids while eating
- Combine your foods correctly
- Identify foods that you are sensitive and allergic to; avoid them for a while to see how your health improves by doing so
- Avoid over- eating
- If possible, avoid smoking as this increases stomach acidity
- Eat wholesome, unprocessed foods
- Eat smaller meals
- ENJOY YOUR FOOD
* DISCLAIMER: The information on this article is the property of Dr. Sushma Shah, Naturopathic Doctor, and is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure any diseases or promote any services or products mentioned on the website.