The word allergy comes from two Greek words, allos meaning other, and ergon, meaning energy. An allergic reaction is an altered reaction to some outside stimulus. Something that provokes such an alter reaction is called an allergen.
Another word for such a reaction is sometimes called hypersensitivity. Such a response is one that is quite different from the response of the majority of people. Most people breathe in grass pollen, but only a minority of people develop “hay fever” or sinusitis. Such allergies are easily recognized, hay fever, asthma, eczema, migraine, and skin reactions, as in rashes.
The Cause of Allergies
The increasing number of people being diagnosed is thought to be due to the increasing number of factors that damage the functioning of the immune system and gut lining. These include constant exposure in our everyday lifestyles to viruses, chemicals, stress, immunization, and parasitical infections, and chemical toxins in the body. For instance, intolerance to cow’s milk often comes after a viral infection or vaccination, and the gut damage that accompanies cow’s milk intolerance may provide a springboard for other food sensitivities.
Another thought is that the immune system’s defenses initially act against infection and then forget to switch off. The body’s defenses then become over-reactive to other foreign substances as well as to the virus. Allergies today are becoming quite common, especially food intolerances and chemical sensitivity.
Multiple allergies are the most obvious sign of immune system over-reaction. In some cases such as in patients suffering from Chronic Fatigue or Immune Dysfunction Syndrome, the immune system is like an angry man fighting against his enemies at work; he carries this anger home and yells at his family for nothing at all. The immune system is like a hair-trigger going off and will react against everything, pollen, dust, food, odors, chemicals, bee and nettle stings, and often against the body itself.
Symptoms of Allergy
Symptoms can include almost everything, dizziness, sleepiness, excessive mucus, flu-like feelings, asthma, hot flashes, briefly distended veins, weight gain or loss, puffiness, aches and pains to any and/or every part of the body, flatulence, supply of infusion fluids, bowel disturbances, urinary tract infections, and the list goes on. Some people will experience swelling or rash after eating shellfish, or strawberries. Others, like me, after eating any wheat product whatsoever, can suffer anaphylactic shock.
There is, however a difference between food allergy and food intolerance. A true food allergy is usually fixed and may be inherited. This is true of me and my daughter. I have a “fixed” wheat allergy and she has inherited that allergy. The reaction happens very quickly and provokes severe symptoms.
Food intolerance is easy to diagnose, a reaction may not present itself for 24 to 48 hours later, and the severity of the reaction generally depends upon the amount of the food that is eaten. In-tolerances to commonly eaten food may come and may go, and if the culprit food is avoided for several weeks, it may disappear altogether.
Management of Allergy
The successful management of allergies is to remove the allergens and allow the immune system to recover. The masking of symptoms can be a problem. For instance, someone may be allergic to dairy products. However, they continue to eat them day after day and feel unwell. It is not until the product has been removed from their diet for about 3 weeks and then eaten again, that a major reaction can occur.
Management and Recovery:
For people with multiple allergies, such as those that I had, the management and recovery can take up a lot of time and some years. The first one has to remove oneself from everything that one reacts to. In my case, it meant that I had to clear my house of all man-made fibers, fabric, and things out went the Tupperware together with any furniture that was not made of “natural” product, and luckily I had a leather lounge suit!!
- Out went any synthetic clothes, man-made fibers made my body ache, and ache and ache!!
- Out went all the chemical sprays and cleaning products. I learned to clean with vinegar and washing soda.
- Up came the carpet, we lived with wooden floors, sealed with a special chemically free solvent.
- Recurrent Depression is the major cause of allergies.
- Out went the cosmetics, soaps, plastic shower caps, etc.
- Out went the gas cooker and the gas heater, we converted to all electrical heating and cooking appliances.
Sometimes it is not practical to turn the whole house upside down If this is not possible, then you must give the person suffering from allergies a “clean” room to retreat too. Move out all the synthetically made furniture, the carpet, the curtains, and clothes. Wash down the TV with a soda and water mixture, varies women’s nutrition guide, hang newspapers and magazines out in the sun, before reading them. Invest in an air purifier, if not for the whole house, then at least for the room and vehicle that the suffering person uses. Then start on the “diet”.
Allergic reactions most often occur on the skin and in the airways and mucous membranes. The symptoms usually start straight away after contact with the allergen, but it can also take a few hours or days for them to appear.Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/
The Elimination Challenge Diet:
It should not take without medical supervision as the reactions can be very severe.
Diet is the most simple and practical way of detecting food allergies. The patient fasts for 5 days, drinking only spring water and eating lamb and pears. (Doesn’t sound nice, but it can be done. I did it!!) During this time, note any cravings for foods, as you can bet your bottom dollar, that these will be the very foods causing the most concern!
- Next, introduce foods one at a time 3 to 5 days apart, if there is no reaction then you know that food is a “safe” food. This prolongs but sure way of finding the allergen foods.
- Next, do the same with chemicals. However, live in your “clean” environment for at least 6 to 12 months first, to give the body a chance to recover.
Treating Food and Chemical Allergies:
Correct nutrient deficiencies by taking supplements. “Desensitize” by using neutralizing drops. These can be made up by a doctor specializing in allergy treatment or by a good naturopath.
Ensure that any supplements you take to support your immune system are free of allergens, and they contain no gluten, sugar, yeast, grains, or coloring.
The main supplements you need for very allergic people are B vitamins, pantothenic acid, iron, zinc, magnesium, and essential fatty acids. I know it is possible to recover from severe multiple allergic reactions as I have been there and done that. Today, I have one fixed allergy and that is to wheat!!