Food and environmental allergies have been implicated in a wide range of medical conditions affecting virtually every part of the body – from mildly uncomfortable symptoms such as indigestion and gastritis, to severe illnesses such as celiac disease, arthritis, and chronic infection. Allergies have also been linked to numerous disorders of the central nervous system, including depression, anxiety, and chronic fatigue.
Food allergy causes the immune system to synthesize and release reactive chemical agents, such as cytokines, lymphokines, and interferons. These hormone-like substances can dramatically influence cellular physiology, producing far-reaching effects on the immune, endocrine and nervous systems. Because toxins can initiate a very similar set of reactions, food allergy and toxicity are considered intimately connected in a clinical sense
An allergic response to food or environmental inhalants may be the culprit lurking behind a “mysterious” set of symptoms which are not readily diagnosable using conventional methods of testing. Not being able to effectively pinpoint the cause of these symptoms can create profound frustration for the physician and the patient alike.
Testing for specific allergies is one of the ways to uncover foundation causes of illness. Armed with the knowledge provided by approach, the physician can design a specific treatment program to reduce or eliminate exposure to antigenic substances, and thus effectively help to alleviate the patient’s symptoms.
Allergy testing is also valuable as a preventive measure for patients who are not currently experiencing overt symptoms related to allergic reactions. It can reveal unsuspected food sensitivities which, if ignored, could result in cumulative stress on the immune and other systems over time – a condition that may eventually lead to severe illnesses.
It is well documented that food allergy is an expression of an inherited genetic predisposition. Hence allergic histories can often be found in both parents and siblings. One study discovered that when both parents are allergic, 67% of the children are also allergic. When only one parent is allergic, 33% are allergic.
Inadequate digestion of food products due to hypochlorhydria and/or pancreatic enzyme deficiency is also thought to be a significant cause of food allergies. When proteins are not digested to amino acids, dipeptides, or short-chain polypeptides, they retain their antigenic properties. These antigenic molecules are then exposed to the immune system, or absorbed through a “leaky gut”, creating a state of chronic immune hypersensitivity.
Symptoms vary widely. The immediate, obvious IgE-mediated food reactions include hives, wheezing, rhinorrhea, vomiting and anaphylaxis. Delayed or IgG-mediated reactions include non-obvious, chronic symptoms such as headache, digestive complaints, musculoskeletal symptoms and skin disorders such as eczema and psoriasis. Food and environmental allergies have been linked to a wide range of medical conditions affecting virtually every part of the body. They have been shown to cause
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