When I was trying to heal myself, I had a very clean lifestyle, but my health still did not improve. That’s because I had multiple hidden food sensitivities.
Food allergies are uncommon, but it has been estimated that 75% of the population has hidden food sensitivities.
A food allergy produces an immediate, sometimes life threatening reaction, such as anaphylactic shock, which suddenly cuts off the wind pipe when an allergic food is ingested. Doctors seem to know all about these and what to do about them, but they know little about food sensitivities. That is because food sensitivities are not life-threatening, can be subtle and have no immediate effect for up to five days after the offending food is eaten. Most of my symptoms of food sensitivity do not show up for at least twenty-four hours after I’ve eaten the offensive food. Since I eat dozens of different foods in a day, this can make it very difficult to figure out what food is causing the problem.
Instead of being life-threatening, most symptoms of food sensitivity are just plain annoying, causing endless pain and suffering over the long haul, especially if one ingests the offending food on a daily basis.
Food sensitivity can also masquerade as almost any other common problem, as well as some very serious and/or life threatening problems, such as lupus, arthritis, or autism.
In fact, the symptoms are so varied as to be easily misdiagnosed as a common illness that we are told has no known cause. A great example of this are migraine headaches. Although there can be multiple causes for migraines, I've read that they are caused by food intolerance 80% of the time. With migraines, the link is often with the gut, which must be healed before the problem will be completely erradicated. The toxic conditions most commonly associated with food sensitivity are skin rashes and hives, bad breath, constipation, sinus congestion, runny nose, itchy eyes and ears, chronic cough, stiff neck, joint pain, sore throat, headache, back ache, atherosclerosis, asthma, and angina pectoris.
Additional symptoms of food sensitivity are:
|Dark circles under eyes
||Sensitivity to light
||Temporary refractive changes
||Post nasal drainage
||Pains or cramps
||High/low blood pressure
||Irritability and mood swings
||Irregular heart beat
||Arthritis joint pains
||Abnormal body odor
||Muscle cramps and spasms
If you find that you have many of these symptoms, you may want to get tested for food sensitivity. You can do this in several different ways. You can have a blood test, do electro dermal screening, or through what’s called an elimination diet.
To do an elimination diet, you temporarily eliminate from your diet all the most common causes of food sensitivity, which, unfortunately, are also the most common foods we eat.
If any of your symptoms are caused by food, they will disappear by the 5th day as they will be completely out of your system by then. While you are abstaining from these common symptom causing foods, it is now time to eat foods you rarely eat, and are therefore unlikely to be causing any of your symptoms. Since blood testing is expensive, (but well worth it) this is a good route to go if you aren’t sure if food sensitivity is the cause of your symptoms or if you just want to save money on lab work you aren‘t certain is necessary. It is something you can do on your own at no cost, and though a little inconvenient, you never have to go hungry.
You can also do an elimination diet in stages. The first five days, remove the first set of the most commonly reacted to foods. They are: dairy products, wheat, corn, eggs, soy, peanuts, and sugar. If your symptoms disappear by the fifth day, you need go no further. However, if you still aren't symptom free, in addition to the first set, you will then need to eliminate the second set of foods that are commonly reacted to. They are: anything containing gluten (wheat, rye, barley, oats, kamut, spelt), shrimp, crab and other shell fish, citrus fruits, chocolate, yeast, tomatoes, potatoes, aspartame, and coffee. Numerous food additives are also offensive to many people. They are MSG, food dyes, sulfites and other preservatives, beer, wine, and cocktail mixes.
Foods that are occassionlly reactive are bacon and other pork products, cinnamon, mustard, grapes, raisins, berries, especially strawberries, onions, nuts, beef, peas, coconut, vinegars, bananas, celery, various spices including cloves, tumeric, curry, green and red pepper, quinoa, pineapple, cherries, mushrooms, plums, mellon, chicken, kidney beans, and black pepper.
Foods that few people react to and that most people can eat during an elimination diet are rice, pears, lamb, kale, deep water fish, trout, rabbit, sweet potatoes, honey, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, beets, apricots, cranberries, squash, olive oil and olives, herb teas and tapioca. However, anyone can be allergic to anything, so just because people rarely react to these foods, you may be one of the few who do. Therefore, if you still have symptoms after taking out the first three groups of food, you may have to do a five water day fast, which is not an easy thing to do. However, if it is food that is causing your problem you will know it with certainty if your symptoms clear up.
If food sensitivity is the cause of your symptoms, after five days you will be symptom free.
The next step is to figure out which ones of all the many foods you have eliminated are the culprits. It is then a process of adding them back one at a time, waiting the prerequisite five days in between each new addition so that you won't get confused. For people with numerous food sensitivities, such as myself, this is far too confusing and complicated. Far better, and at this point simpler, is to do a blood test. The best company that I know of for this is Immuno Labs, for they not only guarantee the results of their test, they also help you through the rehabilitation process when it comes to changing your diet. They will also put you in touch with a physician near you who uses their services. This physician will know and understand the value of food sensitivity testing in creating optimall health.
A third method for checking for food sensitivity is electro dermal screening, which is a unique biofeedback machine that can tell through your skin conduction whether or not you are allergic or sensitive to specific foods.
In addition to being very accurate, you get to find out what, if any foods you are sensitive to immediately. However, practitioners of this method are few and far between, at least in the rural area where I live. Check in your phone book under allergy specialists to see if you can find a practitioner near you or do a google search on-line.
Sometimes, people will discover one or two foods they are sensitive to and eliminate them, but their symptoms don't go away. This happened to me. The problem was that I had not fully found all the foods that were offending me. Only taking out some of your reactive foods is a frustrating act of futility. Once every single offensive food is removed, if your symptoms are caused by food sensitivity, they will disappear.
Once you have discovered which foods you are sensitive to, you then have to either abstain from the foods or heal your sensitivity.
In time, you may become less sensitive, which means you can rotate the offending food back into your diet once every four or five days, but for all intents and purposes, if you want to be symptom free for the rest of your life, daily ingestion will be over forever, especially for the foods you are highly sensitive to, which must be abstained from completely. To end your sensitivity forever, however, you must heal your gut, for food intolerance is caused by leaky gut syndrome. To learn more about leaky gut syndrome I recommend watching the YouTube Video of Dr. Mercola interviewing Dr. Natasha McBride, which you can find on my blog post called Gut and Psychology Syndrome at SeekingEnlightement.net. Dr. Natasha McBride also has a website explaining her ideas about how to heal leaky gut at GAPSdiet.com.
Edgar Cayce also discusses leaky gut syndrome and its relationship to skin disorders like eczema and psoriasis. He says that leaky gut, which is actually a thinning of the lining of the small intestine, causes undigested food particles to leak into the blood stream. In an attempt to remove these toxins they are taken up by the lymph system and then sweated onto the skin, which causes the allergic skin reactions common in food sensitiviey. Edgar Cayce's cure for leaky gut is to drink slippery elm bark tea before each meal. Slippery elm bark tea coats the digestive tract, making it less likely to leak foods. Another tea he recommends drinking is American Safron, which should be drunk in the evening. You can find out more about Edgar Cayce by going to http://www.edgarcayce.org/are/holistic_health/data/prpsor6d.html. Here is a great article by David Icke on how he healed his psyoriasis and eczema using Edgar Cayce's protocol plus fasting: http://www.davidicke.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-54.html. Although Dr. McBride does not recommend fasting, she does say that drinking only bone broth for as long as you are able is the fastest way to a cure. Once the gut is healed your allergies will disappear forever.
Because foods we are sensitive to are toxic to us, even when they are considered “good for you” by standards that don’t fit our particular body, we tend to crave them.
When we eat, drink, or inhale toxic substances, at first the body reacts violently as it attempts to release the substance. Anyone who has ever smoked cigarettes probably can remember what happened to them the first few times they lit up. The same is true when alcohol is taken for the first time. The body lets us know in no uncertain terms that it doesn’t like it. After awhile, however, the body acclimates to the substance, and instead of reacting negatively to it, it actually begins to crave it. This happens when it goes through withdrawal. Because we no longer feel the negative effect of the toxin immediately but only as a chronic symptom we might believe is arthritis or some other illness that we’ve been told has no known cause or cure, we may not recognize the connection. Therefore, a major clue of food sensitivity is craving.
The movie Super Size Me, which can be seen on You Tube, illustrates this concept presicely.
Few people understand that the obesity that results from the daily ingestion of processed, devitalized food, laced with toxins and preservatives, is caused by food sensitivity for, though these foods taste good and one might crave them, no one's body actually likes these foods.
They are filled with transfats, which are man-made fats that the body cannot metabolize. These fats were designed by the food industry to create an unlimited shelf life, which means they never break down. Though they can now last forever on the shelves of supermarkets, they do the same on your hips, thighs and belly. Are you enjoying the way these fats are displayed on your body? If not, you must make a decision to change your eating habits, and also demand that these life-destroying fats by banned forever.
Have you ever wondered why some people react to pharmaceuticals? What is a side-effect anyway? It is a food sensitivity. The body does not think in terms of drugs. Whatever is put into the mouth, rubbed onto your skin, is injected, inhaled, or imbibed into the body is a food. Did you ever wonder how drugs are made? Many drugs are created out of natural products, usually herbs with so called "medicinal qualities". These qualities have a known track record for supporting specific organs in the healing process. When used with cleansing techniques and good nutrition, herbs simply support specific organs with natural chemicals while the body heals itself. There is also no one size fits all with herbs, just as there is no one size fits all with drugs or diet. Each must be carefully chosen to fit your specific genetic blueprint and biochemistry for it to be effective.
Foxglove is an example of a plant that contains digitalis, which is extracted from the plant and is used as a heart medication. But here's the problem. Natural substances can't be patented. In order to patent a drug so as to make lots of money, these natural substances must be altered.
A side-effect is merely the result of the body's inability to deal with something unnatural that has made its way into your body.
The body simply doesn't know what to do with it. It can't metabolize it. So where do you think these unnatural substances go? Into your joints, kidneys, liver, brain, and all your other organs where they remain and wreck havoc with every aspect of your health. The disturbed flesh attracts parasites, bacteria, and other microorganisms, as well as heavy metals, which all live together as a community in what's called a biofilm.
This inner corruption reflects and magnifies whatever outer corruption exists within the mind. For most of us, this corruption takes the form of ignorance and/or denial. For whatever reason, many of us have chosen to ignore the obvious consequences of going against the laws of nature by ingesting, inhaling, injecting, and imbibing toxic substances, and then we pretend we don't know why we are sick. This law of nature, simply stated, is that when we do self-destructive things, we will self-destruct. Of course, the converse is true, as well. When we do health-promoting things, our health will improve. By ignoring the laws of nature, the pharmaceutical companies thrive, while the rest of us get sicker quicker.
When you crave a food, you are almost certainly sensitive to it.
Since foods we crave are often foods we love, we can easily feel deprived if we have to eliminate it altogether. But what one must remember is that once it has been eliminated for awhile, the craving goes away. Except for heavy metals and chemical pollutants, (drugs, cigarettes, and alcohol fall into this category), toxic foods are eliminated within five days. The rest must be released through conscious techniques of cleansing and purification.
The next step is to replace the poorly tolerated food with another delicious food that can take it’s place that doesn’t cause the symptoms. This can be challenging if one is allergic to multiple foods, as I was, or if the one or two foods that cause the problem seem to be in practically everything, as is the case with wheat, corn, or sugar. This is when dealing with food sensitivity becomes quite challenging.
Unfortunately, some people are allergic to multiple foods, especially if they are chemically sensitive due to pollution overload or heavy metal poisoning. Some heavy metals are known to deteriorate the digestive tract by destroying enzymes. Enzymes are the body's spark plugs that generate metabolic activity. Also, food sensitivity tends to run in families, which indicate a genetic component. Such is the case with celiac's disease, lactose intollerance, and histadelia (intollerance to fermented foods like wine and cheese). All of these diseases are caused by a lack of enzymes. If one can't metabolize these foods but continue to eat them anyway, they will eventually deteriorate their own digestive tract, and then become allergic to multiple foods. This is called leaky gut syndrome.
Once you know you've got food sensitivities, you can either feel sorry for yourself, decide to deal with the symptoms by taking pharmaceuticals to suppress them, or you can decide to:
1. Heal them.
2. Roll up your sleeves and figure out how to change your diet so that when you avoid your toxic foods, you won't feel deprived.
If you decide to take the latter option, you must focus your attention on finding new tasty recipes that satisfy your need for delicious food. This may require you to develop new skills and will take some time and effort to achieve, especially if the majority of food you ate before was processed and already prepared, for now you will have to learn to cook and bake. But never fear, the Internet is here.
There are websites you can go to that will teach you about food substitutions for people with allergies.
Did you know that if you are allergic to eggs, you can substitute a tablespoon of ground flax seed and three tablespoons of water for each egg in your recipe? I learned this by doing a quick search on the Internet by simply asking for the substitution on the search engine. There are also numerous cookbooks you can buy for people who have common food allergies.
Another tip is to always take delicious food with you wherever you go. That way when the staff meeting comes around and everyone is eating doughnuts, which is something you are sensitive to, you can simply whip out your healthy, non-reactive substitute. Not only will you not feel deprived, you will feel sorry for all those people around you who are still eating such unhealthy food. Did you know that the leading cause of obesity is food sensitivity? Obesity is often a whole body reaction to an allergic food, which mobilizes an immune system response that causes the body to bloat with excess fluid. It is not unusual for someone to drop 15 to 20 pounds in two or three weeks when they avoid food their body reacts to, which simply drops off the body without effort. That is exactly what happened to me when I eliminated foods my body did not tolerate.
In addition to obesity, food sensitivities are also a primary cause of emotional problems. It is a well documented fact that some people with schizophrenic symptoms can be completely cured simply by eliminating wheat or other alergens if they are sensitive to it. There are some heavy metals that can cause schizophrenia, too, so don't forget to eliminate them, as well. Many children with ADHD or autism spectrum disorders have food sensitivity. Because your brain is an organ in the body, it is subject to all the same insults that all the rest of your organs are subject to. Only when it is effected, sometimes the symptoms aren’t experienced as physical pain, but as emotional instability, depression, anxiety, obsessions, compulsions, fuzzy thinking, inability to concentrate, bad behavior, and/or hallucinations. As undigested food particles leak through the intestinal wall they become toxins that poison the blood. Eventually the toxic blood will circulate in the brain causing mental illness. If food sensitivities can cause arthritis-like symptoms, why couldn’t they also irritate the brain, causing it to malfunction? Well, they can, and many books have been written about it. A great one is The Ultramind Solution, by Dr. Mark Hyman. If the cause of your mental or emotional problem is long-standing and have no apparent reason other than the regular ups and down’s of life, suspect leaky gut syndrome, food sensitivities, heavy metals, or all three.
As a psychotherapist, it is my experience that few people are free of limiting beliefs that need to be changed. When your mental and/or emotional problems are caused by food sensitivities and/or heavy metals, all the affirmations and positive thinking in the world won’t change your mood. That is because, underneath it all, you simply don’t feel good, which has been at least part of the problem all along. Eliminate your leaky gut syndrome and heavy metals and suddenly your mood will lift and your affirmations will truly begin to lift you up as well.
Also, it is important to note that if your emotional problems are caused by reactive foods or heavy metals, taking toxic psychotropic drugs won't do anything to solve your problems either. Although they may eliminate symptoms temporarily, they will eventually return.
The only thing that will make a difference is healing your leaky gut and eliminating the heavy metals that create the symptoms. However, let me stress, never go off your psychotropic drugs without your doctor or psychiatrist’s help. Some medications are tricky to go off of and you need to be under a doctor’s care to accomplish it. Also, I want to stress that until you find true healing, the only way to control symptoms may be through drug therapy. As I had migraine headaches for years before I figured out how to heal them, I was very greatful for the medications I took, even though they gave me stomach ulcers and deteriorated my digestive tract. Though those side-effects were unpleasant, they did not compare to the devastaing symptoms of the migraines I had, which caused me to feel as though my head was going to explode as I threw my guts up for twenty-four hours straight, day after day. Eliminating toxic foods and heavy metals can be done while taking psychotropic drugs, but check with your holistic doctor or natuopath first for further instruction.
Another tip for streamlining the process of elimination is to type the list of foods you are sensitive to on a piece of paper and keep it in your wallet.
That way, if you go to a restaurant, you can simply give the list to the waitress. It will then be the cooks responsibility to prepare you a tasty meal you can eat. I’ve done this before and have experienced some pretty nice surprises as I have eaten many tasty meals this way that were completely unexpected.
Besides healing your leaky gut, there are two other ways to heal food sensitivity. One way is through laser treatments. As stated earlier, electro-dermal screening is a unique biofeedback machine that can tell through your skin conduction whether or not you are allergic or sensitive to specific foods. By using a special laser attached to the machine, it is possible to relax the autonomic nervous system when it is confronted with a "stressful stimulus". The "stressful stimulus" is the vibrational frequency of the offending food you are reacting to, which is programmed into the machine. For the most part, the laser runs down your spine, stimulating numerous acupuncture points as it goes. In this way, the body is reeducated to accept foods it formerly rejected. This technique works well for any disease that may have food sensitivity at its core. Common diseases that are often associated with food sensitivities are migraines, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic skin conditions, IBS, and childhood neurological disorders such as autism spectrum disorders and AD/HD. One must have a series of treatments to do the job, anywhere from ten to twenty-two, depending on how severe your allergies/sensitivities are, before you are healed. Treatments are done in your doctor's or chiropractor’s office and only take ten minutes to do. You can do one treatment a day, or spread them out over a longer period of time if you want to. Read the full story about laser treatments for allergies by clicking here. To find a practitioner near you, click here. Though I used this treatment with great success for two years, my symptoms slowly began to return though not as extreme as before.
There is a 92 % success rate using laser treatments, even for the severest cases of allergy, which is amazing. The treatments are completely non-invasive and pain free. You don't even have to take your clothes off. However, when I did them, I was surprised at my body’s reaction. By the 4th session, I began having all the symptoms of cleansing reactions, which included swollen lymph glands, headaches, dizziness, nausea, and fatigue. Though unpleasant, they were short lived and a good sign that my body was doing what it needed to do to heal. Many people spread out their sessions for this reason, but because I had to travel quite a distance for my treatments, I did mine all in row. By the end of the twenty-second session, I achieved a 98% reduction in my food sensitivities. Out of twenty-five different foods I had been sensitive to, I only reacted to two after the laser treatments. However, because my symptoms eventually came back, I am wondering if the laser treatment actually desensitived me to food, or simply killed parasites that were living along my spine, which caused the intense cleansing reaction. How can I know?
The other way to work with food sensitivities is through enzyme therapy, which I also practice. One of the causes of allergy is low enzymes. The body needs enzymes to digest its food. If you don't have enough enzymes, your partially digested food will create toxic conditions in the body. It is these toxic conditions that will produce your allergies/sensitivities. Enzyme deficiency can be caused by many factors, but genes are a big one. We can not only be born without the enzymes to digest lactose, gluten, fat, protein, and/or histamine, we can also be born without all the enzymes we need to fully detoxify the body of common pollutants and pharmaceutical drugs. In addition, heavy metals kill enzymes, as does fluoridated water, which poisons hundreds of different enzymes. As we age, we produce less enzymes, as well. Some researchers believe that enzyme deficiency is one of the causes of aging. When food is inadequately digested, the endocrine system lacks nourishment, which causes it to malfunction. Since your endocrine system orchestrates all the functions in your body, it is important to keep it in peek condition. Therefore, enzyme therapy not only improves digestion, it will ultimately improve how your entire body functions. In fact, it can alleviate most of the symptoms of food sensitivity. However, since enzymes are expensive and you have to take a lot of them, this can be a major drawback.
Since I began taking the enzymes my body lacked, every aspect of my health has improved. I was even able to improve the symptoms that weren't abated by the laser treatments. After my third surgery related to a very bad hand injury in which I broke three fingers in the knuckle joint (ouch!), I took high doses of pancreatic enzymes to deal with the pain and inflammation. I could not believe how quickly the swelling went down and the pain went away compared to the first two surgeries when I wasn't taking enzymes. The quick healing was a graphic example of the power of enzymes to reduce pain and swelling. Because I also noticed improvement in digestion and regularity, I decided to do a 24 hour urinalysis to measure my enzyme capacity. From that I discovered that I did not have sufficient enzymes to digest carbohydrates. Since all grain and starchy vegetables turn into sugar, one needs plenty of enzymes to digest them. As I have had my food sensitivity problems all my life, I suspect I was probably born without adequate enzymes to perform this function, which have gotten worse as I have aged. By taking the exact enzymes I needed to deal with my specific problems, I have been able to end the migraines that tortured me since adolescence and radically improve how my entire body functions. Enzymes are life! When you don't have enough of them your body degenerates. You can find out more about the twenty-four hour urinalysis for enzyme deficiency at http://www.litalee.com/. Lita Lee also sells the high quality enzymes that can only be purchased from a practitioner who specializes in enzymatic therapy.
Eniva® Digest-EZ ® has been formulated to aid the body’s natural process of digestion. Its combination of broad spectrum digestive enzymes, herbal components, activating alfalfa nutrients and the metabolic enzyme Catalase provide a scientifically balanced formula that promotes healthy digestion and overall body health. In order to get the best results from this product, you would need to take 2-4 capsules with every meal. Though this is a good all around digestive supplement, if you have food sensitivities, rather than guessing, I suggest doing the 24-hour uninalysis first to target your exact needs. By discovering the enzymes your body actually needs, you can take a formulation that is specifically geared toward addressing those needs.
The last way is recommended by Dr. Klinghardt who helps people heal Lyme's disease and autism naturally. It is a homeopathic method. Here is the link if you want to know more about it: http://allergie-immun.de/Englisch/. This may be something you might like to try as well.
In addition, anyone with food sensitivities should be very cautious about the supplements they take, for most of them have additives and fillers that not only aren't good for you, can actually cause food reactions.
If you choose to do electro-dermal screening to test for food sensitivities, you can take your supplements with you to have them tested, as well. When I did this, I was surpirsed to discover I was sensitive to two thirds of the supplements I was taking to improve my health. Since then I have become very cautious about supplements and only take the ones that are completely pure. This is why I love the Eniva products so much. They are not only nanonized to produce almost instant absorption and complete bio-availability, they are 100% pure. They simply do not contain any fillers or additives that might cause a reaction. I use them for all my vitamin and mineral needs.
To discover exactly what supplements (besides enzymes) you might be needing, check out the CRON-O-Meter. CRON stands for calorie restricted optimal nutrition. This is a free nutrition calculation download that can tell you what your real nutrition is without guesswork. By inputting your dietary data in grams (or estimating via their 8000 food data base), you will get to know within a few days what you may be lacking. The CRON-O-Meter calculates your diets overall calories, protein, fats, vitamin and mineral content. Since most of us eat the same foods over and over, within a week of using it, you will become very much aware of what nutrients you are not getting from diet alone. You can either then improve your diet or take the exact supplement you need to improve it.
If food sensitivity is the cause of your physical or emotional discomfort, you will never regret doing the work to heal yourself, for life-long pain will simply evaporate when you do.
Yes, it will be a growth process, and one that you will have to spend time and effort on when it comes to self-healing, but once you’ve done it, things get easy again. I believe that by evolving our consciousness and by doing a few simple techniques, there is nothing that we can’t accomplish if we put our minds to it, and that includes healing the body, mind and soul. All it takes is insight, awareness, and the will to overcome whatever stops us and then do what it takes to create personal, and ultimately global change.
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