Did you know that the right food may actually be wrong for you and make you sick?
Allergic reactions imbalance the body by placing stress on the immune system. Our response to allergies is mediated by inflammation somewhere in the body. However, note that inflammation is an attempt by the body to heal itself, and simply taking an anti-inflammatory medication is not addressing the cause.
Do you always know when/if you have food allergies?
No. Allergies can be involved in a variety of conditions including most, if not all, chronic conditions. Most of us think of seasonal allergies when we hear the word “allergy”. However, did you know that the following disorders may be associated with food and inhalant allergies?
Skin: Atopic Dermatitis, Urticaria, Contact Dermatitis, and Psoriasis.
Digestive System: Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Irritable Bowel Disease (Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis), Peptic Ulcers, and GERD (Reflux).
Muscle and Jionts: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, and Arthritis.
Head and Neck: Chronic Otitis Media (ear infections), Recurrent Aphtous Stomatitis, and Spinal/Vertebral Adjustments not “Holding”.
Respiratory System: Rhinitis, Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis, Asthma, and COPD.
Cognitive and Psychological: ADD/ADHD (Attention Deficit & Hyperactivity Disorder), Depression, Migraines, Autism, and Schizophrenia.
Cardiovascular System: Palpitations, Atherosclerosis, High Blood Pressure and High Cholesterol, and Angina.
Endocrine System: Hypothyroidism, Hyperthyroidism, Menopause, and PMS.
What are the two main types of allergies?
Food and environmental allergies (including allergies to pollen, mold and specific chemicals)
Do I need to completely avoid my food allergies?
For development and maintenance of optimal health, the answer would be yes. However, if you decide not to entirely avoid your food allergies/sensitivities, you can make smarter dietary choices. For example, if you know you are allergic or sensitive to dairy, and if you feel like you are coming down with a cold or the flu, you may want to avoid eating dairy entirely or at least reduce the amount of dairy consumption on that day or the next. Therefore, you do not have to necessarily always avoid your food allergies unless you are severely allergic to some food or environmental agent.
What can I do? How can I find out about my allergies?
There are different methods of testing for food/environmental allergies. Allergists do the classical skin test. Dr. Sharif can also perform the skin scratch test at his office. Most naturopaths order a blood test, through the ELISA method, testing for elevated antibodies (IgG) to foods and inhalant allergens. There are various laboratories that run such tests. Dr. Sharif is currently using US BioTek Laboratories, located in Seattle. This test appears to be precise and accurate, and has been helpful to many of his patients so far.
The gold standard for allergy testing is the “Elimination Diet”. Consult with your naturopathic physician on the details of this method of testing for food allergies.