Allergies, Intolerances and sensitivities
What is it?
Allergies, intolerances and sensitivities are immune responses that can be to anything such as food substances, colourings, preservatives, or additives, environment toxins, pollens or insects, chemicals, moulds, and even medications. In fact, a negative immune reaction can become a reactant for you at any time to absolutely anything. Allergies or intolerances can be immune responses passed on from birth, or can develop over your life through periods of stress, compromised immune responses, or gut disease processes such as infection or inflammation. In some cases the symptoms are acute, and quite severe, making it quite obvious that you’re having an allergic response, though mostly, the symptoms are chronic and cause low grade inflammation, which lead to disease processes in your body that you consider are normal signs of aging, though are not. More severe cases may result in anaphylactic reactions which can be life threatening. Most people believe, if they don’t suffer these types of symptoms, they don’t have allergies, though after having tested over 2000 people for food allergies, every one of them has come back with at least a few, with more than 90% have a hefty list, so don’t assume this doesn’t affect you, and it could be the reason behind you just not feeling 100%.
What might you be experiencing?
Typically initially you’ll have signs of fluid retention, weight gain, mood problems such as irritability, depression or anxiety, fatigue, lack of happiness, or motivation, lack of focus and concentration, poor memory, or chronic stress. Allergic responses also present themselves as hives, rashes or other skin conditions, asthma or digestive problems, bloating, pain or nausea after eating food, sinus and hayfever.
Allergies can also be the underlying cause or at least contribute to symptoms of ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and other more severe mood or behavioural problems. Allergies have also been found to be one of the biggest causes, due to its inflammatory nature, of dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease, narcolepsy, cataplexy, fluid retention, severe fatigue conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome, thyroid conditions, heart disease, stroke, type II diabetes, circulation problems, auto-immune diseases, hormonal imbalances, infertility, stress, toxicity, nutrient deficiencies, it leads to further allergies, and much more.
Remove your current allergens to reduce the risk of new sensitivities developing, breaking the cycle. The most valuable thing you can do for your health is to find out what food suits you and what to avoid. Be aware that not all food allergy tests are created equal, there are some tests that can produce false negatives, being a generic assessment looking for foods you’ve already had reactions to, rather than all foods you could be reactant to. Comprehensive food allergy testing is available that is highly specific, covering all types of allergy responses rather than just one type at a time, is only available in two laboratories in the world, and we’re lucky enough to have one right here in Australia. Food allergy immediately affects your fluid levels, and can have a delayed response lasting days, which in turn affects your electrolytes, causing cellular energy to diminish. Keeping off your allergens will keep your energy levels and brain functioning optimal, keep your body at your correct metabolic weight, reduces oedema, puffiness and cellulite, and reduces muscle or joint aches and pains. Continuing to eat foods that are allergens will keep your gut wall inflamed, allowing more foods, currently not allergens to pass through the gut wall and become new allergens, forever compromising your immune system, leading to chronic disease and early aging.
Check your gut flora. Bacterial or fungal infections, which are picked up through traveling or passed on from other people through contact or through colds and flu, release toxins, causing inflammation of the gut wall, compromising the cells known as gap junctions, allowing for food particles to slip into the blood stream. This activates the immune system, alerting it to the presence of foreign particles, which then signals immune complexes to mark that food particle as danger, which results in the beginning of a food sensitivity. You then not only have the immune response to deal with, but the added symptoms associated with bacterial infection such as chronic recurring colds and viruses, depression, mood disorders, chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia. A health gut bacterial balance is a crucial step to building strong foundations in your health, and protecting you from food sensitivity.
Check your hormones. Food allergy responses can cause hormonal disruption, as the immune system and the endocrine system are closely linked. Not only can you cause hormonal imbalances such as infertility, miscarriage, PCOS, menopausal symptoms, PMS, migraine or hormonal acne from food sensitivities, but the response can be a two way street. Hormone disruption caused by other factors, such as taking the oral contraceptive pill, Implanon, HRT, hormonal creams, Depo-provera injection, Mirena, or suffering with stress, can all lower your DHEA, which increases your sensitivity to food allergens. It can become a vicious cycle leading to depression, anxiety, insomnia, memory loss, fatigue, weight gain, osteoporosis, and some hormonal cancers.
Reduce stress. Whether it be emotional, physical, or biochemical, stress will cause your body to produce the hormone cortisol, producing inflammation. With long term cortisol production comes gut inflammation, leading to food particles being able to penetrate the gut wall, into the blood stream, producing new food sensitivities. Cortisol production also causes inflammation of the joints, and the eventual irreversible breakdown of the cartilage in the joints, leading to osteoarthritis. Deal with emotional stressors and take measures to reduce your stress load. Keep physical stressors such as excessive workloads, excessive exercise, or anything that causes inflammation to your physical body to a minimum. Finally, keep your nutrient levels up, with a healthy diet, to maintain all the necessary nutrients for your biochemical pathways to function properly, reducing stress on your internal organs and systems.
Exercise. Exercise not only releases endorphins making you happy, and reducing stress, but moderate exercise also keeps your muscles pumping, and your lymphatic system functioning, moving excess fluid retention out through your kidneys and flushing out toxins. Exercise is also a great way to keep your bowel functioning normally, helping to rid your body of toxins from allergens in the gut. Allergy can for some people cause constipation, where for others may cause diarrhoea. For those having trouble moving their bowel, exercise is a great way to stay regular, and keep fluid retention at bay.