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The Repercussions of Allergies

by June Butlin(more info)

listed in allergies, originally published in issue 37 - February 1999

An allergy is caused by the body's adverse reaction to normal stimuli such as foods, chemicals, animals, clothing, pollen and dust. The effects of an allergy can be obvious, whereby a reaction occurs immediately after contact with the allergen, or hidden, whereby the reaction can take place between one hour and three days.

The delayed allergies are very difficult to detect, often involve foods, and can be a serious threat to health. They usually arise when a person is stressed, eats a nutrient depleted diet, lives in a chemically polluted environment or has a hereditary disposition. Food allergies exert their initial effect through the digestive system's inability to break down and absorb foods efficiently, and prevent large quantities of partially digested food from entering the blood stream. Once in the blood stream these partially digested food particles produce an immune response involving antibodies to fight the offending allergen. These antibody/allergen complexes cause inflammation of the tissues with symptoms ranging from dark circles under the eyes, runny nose, inflammatory bowel disease, skin conditions, chronic fatigue, rapid heart rate, and headaches to anxiety and depression.

The allergen can affect any of the tissues in the body, but will most likely target the genetically determined, weaker tissues. For example, a person allergic to cow's milk may respond with diarrhoea, eczema, hyperactivity or rheumatoid arthritis. If the allergies go undetected for a long time the immune system becomes more and more depleted as it fights off the regular intake of allergens. The consequences will be an impaired immune system with an inability to fight infections and an increased susceptibility to other diseases.

Food allergies are frequent common reactions, and as long as the allergens remain in the diet the damage is progressive. But, once the allergens are identified, symptoms can heal by initially avoiding the allergen, and by giving support to the digestive and immune systems.

Rebecca, my client had suffered for five years from many non-specific physical and emotional complaints of unknown origin.

Eventually, she was diagnosed by her specialist as having an allergy to artificial sweeteners and sugars. The major culprits were "Nutrasweet", and its components of phenylalanine and aspartame, along with sucrose and dextrose. She was advised to avoid these allergens and immediately received some alleviation of her symptoms. However, four months later she still did not feel well, and it was at this point that she came to see me.

She arrived with a long list of complaints including: severe tiredness, low energy, headaches, indigestion, water retention, mood swings, memory loss, aching joints, thrush, bloating, constipation, diarrhoea, frequent colds, night sweats, loss of self esteem and libido. Her feelings were that she sounded like a hypochondriac and mine were that most of her symptoms could be explained through years of cumulative food allergy damage.

Further research into her case history revealed high stress levels, PMS symptoms, hypoglycaemia, digestive problems, macro-mineral imbalance and low immunity.

Her diet consisted of large amounts of tea, coffee, fruit, some processed foods and very few vegetables. She tried to avoid additives and preservatives, and although she was careful with the artificial sweeteners and sugars, some were creeping back into the diet, albeit unknowingly. Careful reading of all food labels was recommended!

She smoked 25 cigarettes each day in an attempt to relieve her stress levels. I explained that smoking was contributing to her existing health problems as it increased acid production in the stomach, lowered blood glucose levels, disrupted the macro-mineral imbalance, lowered immunity and depleted Vitamins A, C, and B complex in the body. She jokingly said that if she had an allergy to cigarettes it would be an incentive to give them up.

Using Kinesiology, I tested Rebecca to detect any other substances that could be causing her problems. I identified the body's weaknesses to tea, coffee, alcohol, monosodium glutamate, tomatoes and cadmium. All these substances can be toxic to the body and as a group they were taking their toll on her liver function. Interestingly, Rebecca was taking in large amounts of cadmium in the cigarettes that she was smoking, and it was this realisation that provided her with the incentive to finally stop smoking. Other findings included a build up of yeast in the colon and a leaky gut wall.

The treatment strategy included eating quality wholefoods and avoiding the toxic substances, providing specific strategies to cleanse and support the liver and colon, and a supplement programme to help to maintain homeostasis.

Rebecca followed a vegetarian plus fish diet, high in soluble and insoluble fibre, which help to bind toxins. The highly mucous forming dairy products were avoided, as well as gluten grains. Five small meals, spaced out evenly, were taken throughout the day to regulate her blood glucose levels. Lots of filtered water was drunk as well as 2 x 8 fluid ounces of organic carrot juice daily. Amongst the combined herbal formula taken for the colon and liver were Cascara sagrada, Barberry Bark, Milk thistle, Dandelion, Ginger Root, Goldenseal Root, Garlic, Cloves, Black Walnut Husks, Psyllium Husks and Bentonite Clay. Supplements included 3 grams of Vitamin C, taken at regular intervals throughout the day, and a multi vitamin and mineral emphasising the B vitamins.

The cleansing process took six weeks to complete. At this point we added Butyric Acid to heal the gut wall and Bio-Acidophilus to repopulate the beneficial bacteria in the gut. Rebecca's symptoms started to decrease, and her elevated energy level allowed her to start exercising for twenty minutes three or four times each week.

After twelve weeks she felt fit and healthy. The Kinesiology re-test revealed improvement in her liver, digestive and immune functioning.

She was also able to tolerate most foods, except for artificial sweeteners, sugar and wheat. Rebecca chose to follow her dietary guidelines long term, in order to continue her quality lifestyle, and to put the past years of ill health behind her. But, as in all areas of a balanced lifestyle she allowed herself food treats on occasions!

* Next Month – Allergies and Eczema

Further Reading

Dr. Braly's Food Allergy and Nutrition Revolution James Braly M.D. Keats Publishing 1992 ISBN 0-87983-590-7
Diet Related Diseases – The Modern Epidemic Stephen Seely, David LJ Freed Gerald A Silverstone and Vicky Rippere The Avi Publishing Company 1985 ISBN 0-7099-3365-7
Better Health through Natural Healing Ross Trattler N.D. D.O. Thorson Publishing Group 1985 ISBN 0-7225-1382-8.

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About June Butlin

June M Butlin PhD is a trained teacher, nutritionist, kinesiologist, aromatherapist, fitness trainer and sports therapist. She is a writer, health researcher and lecturer and is committed to helping people achieve their optimum level of health and runs a private practice in Wiltshire. June can be contacted on 01225 869 284;  junebutlin@btinternet.com

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