Allergy

An allergy is an unnatural state, it should not exist.

Our bodies absorb food through the gut, inhaled substances through the nose and lungs, other substances through the skin. The linings/coverings of these organs should prevent large molecules from being absorbed. It is only when large molecules enter the body that they are recognised as foreign (allergens or antigens), then the body will react by making special proteins (antibodies) to fight these allergens. This is the body’s natural defence to infection when a bacteria or virus enters the body; the body recognises it as a foreign protein (antigen) and develops an antibody to destroy it. An allergic reaction is the same mechanism but the immune system has over reacted, got it wrong.

The following maybe the reasons why:

  • The linings/coverings maybe damaged in some way, due to nutritional deficiency, presence of long standing infection (very common in the gut). The larger protein can therefore invade, when an intact lining would prevent entry. Omega fatty acids are important constituents of the cell wall, creating integrity and preventing dehydration.
  • The enzymes that digest food (break it up into tiny molecules) may not be working effectively, again due to nutritional deficiencies. Large proteins should not enter the small intestine they should be broken up into smaller particles by the stomach and then into even smaller particles by the digestive enzymes of the small intestine. The gut lining should only allow these minute particles that are amino acids, not protein, to pass through. Amino acids do not produce an allergic reaction.
  • The immune system is not working effectively, due to: emotional stress, long term infection, and nutritional deficiency. Many now believe that this is also caused by the immune system not having been used in infancy because there are too few infections, too little exposure to bacteria, we are just too clean. Conversely others believe that it is because the immune system is taxed too early by immunisation; too many vaccinations against too many organisms, too quickly, too early, before the immune system is fully established. Some of the white blood cells are initially made by the thymus gland, which then migrate to the bone marrow. If the white cells are too busy managing the vaccinations not enough may be available to migrate. The thymus gland shrinks after about age 5 by which time all white cell multiplication should occur in the bone marrow; if insufficient cells have migrated this could impede multiplication.

An allergic reaction can present in a number of ways with the degree of symptoms varying from annoying to life threatening. Sometimes the organ that is most affected will tell you how the allergen is entering the body, e.g. a skin rash from contact with metal; washing powder/liquid; toiletries. However this is not always the case as a skin rash or eczema is a common symptom resulting from food allergy, especially milk. Breathing difficulties, asthma, allergic rhinitis, hayfever, may suggest that the allergen is inhaled and absorbed through the membranes of the sinuses, bronchi or lungs. The allergen being pollen, car fumes, perfumes, fungal spores; but again, this is not always so, as allergic rhinitis or asthma can result from food allergy. Food allergy may present with some gut symptoms such as indigestion, distension, altered bowel patterns, but these are more commonly associated with a food intolerance that reacts locally. This difference, whether the reaction is a local or a whole body reaction reflects the difference between allergy and intolerance. Intolerance is a local level reaction, whereas allergy is an all over, or systemic reaction, because the allergen has caused a special antibody to be produced in the blood. This means that the antigen has already entered the blood. Once the antibody has been produced and survives it will attack the antigen each time they come into contact. The antibody is specific to an antigen, so that the antibody to pollen will only attack pollen, it will not attack toiletries.

Some antibodies once produced last for life but many, especially those to food, only last 8 weeks after each contact. When they last for life it means that any contact with the specific antigen will result in an allergic response, if they last for 8 weeks after contact and you do not have further contact with the particular food for 8 weeks the antibody should have disappeared and eating the food should not result in an allergic reaction. However, it does appear that once an allergic reaction to a specific food has occurred it appears that reproduction of the antibody is easier and the allergic reaction to that food is then reinstated. For this reason it is recommended that when reintroducing a food to do so infrequently, having that specific food only once every 4th day.

The most severe form of allergic reaction is anaphylactic shock which is life threatening. The symptoms are sudden onset swelling, breathing difficulty, rash and faintness; with eventual potential loss of consciousness. Treatment is adrenalin by injection. The reaction can occur from nuts, injections, medicines, and rarely from exercise after food.

Each individual has a unique biochemistry, with a unique requirement of nutrients. The daily allowances created years ago have been found to be totally inadequate for many people. Our diets are becoming more deficient in nutrients. Our need of nutrients is increasing as more additives are put into food, as we are exposed to more and more environmental chemicals.

If you have an allergy now, it does not mean that you will always to have it. Equally, if you are not having an allergic reaction to a given substance now, it does not mean that you will not at some future time. It is best to avoid all those substances you are allergic to, but it is also best to find out why. In that way you will protect yourself from further allergies and enable yourself to live, without having to avoid those things that you are currently allergic to, for life.

Allergy is a symptom of something else, for your health you need to find out why. I strongly recommend that you see somebody who can help you regain full health. If you are at risk of an anaphylactic reaction you should see your doctor who can advise on treatment in an emergency; though they may not always be the best at informing you as to what you are allergic to or why. The patch tests most frequently used by the medical profession can sometimes show up false positives and negatives.

Case Study 1

A man in his 40’s came to see me because he got a severe allergic response when he exercised after food. This could happen after a pub lunch or a picnic followed by a walk or some other exercise. The reaction was severe with a rash, breathlessness and palpitations and a feeling of faintness. He had never lost consciousness but it was very frightening. I found he was allergic to a number of toiletries, especially anti dandruff shampoo and after shave. Although the long standing redness and soreness on his face disappeared, once he stopped using these items, the problems after walking did not. Eventually I found that he was reacting adversely to the preservatives in alcohol and food and by giving him a mineral supplement of molybdenum he was able to break these chemicals down more quickly and his reaction to the preservatives reduced.

Case Study 2

I had a phone call from an anxious Mum who was about to go on holiday with her teenage daughter. Daughter was refusing to go because she had a leaking sore on her stomach which would be revealed by her bikini on the beach in Corfu. Could I see her as an emergency? Today, Saturday.

As testing revealed that she was allergic to nickel I asked if the stomach sore could be linked in anyway. It transpired that she had recently had a naval piercing into which had been placed a temporary nickel ornament. She was going to have to either take it out or have an early birthday present of a silver ornament. The daughter suggested gold; Mum said silver, after all she had already paid for the piercing and now the allergy testing!

Case Study 3

James was underachieving at school; he really seemed to only manage if he had one to one help. When I first saw him his speech was muffled and his pronunciation very unclear. I did a hearing test to ascertain his level of hearing which was significantly reduced, hence his speech and school problems; he couldn’t hear the teacher unless she was very close. His problem was an allergic reaction to cow’s milk resulting in inflammation within the middle ear, which was stopping the ear drum from vibrating sufficiently. In removing cow’s milk and all cow’s milk products from his diet his hearing significantly improved, demonstrated by a repeat hearing test, by his improved speech, and by his greater ability at school. In fact he was able to not just catch up in maths but show a real flair for the subject, leaping from bottom to top of the class.

Case Study 4

Oliver was an irritable, unhappy, baby; covered in eczema and the only way to stop him scratching was to tape gloves onto his hands. Even so there were many scratches and raw areas that were bleeding. Allergy testing revealed a presentation of a cow’s milk allergy.

Eczema specifically localised to the ears is usually caused by shampoo, earrings, or dust mite in the pillow.

Case Study 5

Mark had childhood asthma, made worse when he moved to a village with an industrial grass drying facility. In fact the incidence of asthma was very high in the village. Although the asthma improved as he aged it never really went and he developed a greenish discharge from his sinuses. This was eventually found to be caused by dust mite allergy. Treatment was to build up his immune system with a variety of nutrients, and to use a variety of anti-dust mite technologies. Anti-dust mite mattress and pillow protectors didn’t work, but a little machine which emitted a high pitched noise, undetectable to the human ear, and a special magnetised mattress did.