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Natural Treatment Approaches for Resolving Food and Environmental Allergies

by Stephen MacAllan(more info)

listed in allergies, originally published in issue 177 - December 2010


Almost everyone you meet, these days has an allergy to something - a foodstuff, a household cleaning product, a perfume or some other common chemical. The most important thing to understand about having an allergy is that it is not just a case of bad luck, bad genes, bad thinking, or bad whatever. Being allergic is a symptom; if it is a food allergy then it is a symptom of a disordered digestive system, if it is an environmental allergy then it is a symptom of a disordered immune system, and it is worth remembering that the digestive system is a part of the immune system. There are allergies and there are intolerances, and they are different, although for all practical purposes we can lump them all in together because the bottom line is that if you have an allergy or an intolerance to something, then that substance is best avoided until that allergy / intolerance is resolved.

Vega Test
The author in consultation with a client

I have been seeing folk with allergy-related problems for more than 20 years and I believe that I now have a good understanding of the causes of 'allergicness' and the path to resolution of that problem. One of my early encounters with a patient suffering allergy related problems was just over 18 years ago - she was in her early sixties, retired, very thin and had lived on 5 food and drink items for many years. Orthodox medicine had been unable to help, apart from providing vitamin and mineral supplements (to which she rapidly became allergic) and occasional injections of vitamins and minerals. She lived, subsisted really, on water, white rice flour, white rice, beef, lard and carrots. I tried the strategies that I knew, to no avail, and eventually referred her to a colleague in London for a comprehensive Vega-test. The report came back to me and the key problems were:
  1. Huge toxic burden of petro-chemicals;
  2. Severe Dysbiosis (gut flora disorder) of her small and large intestine;
  3. Malnutrition;
  4. Permeable gut wall, now known as leaky gut syndrome (probably as a consequence of issues 1, 2, and 3).
The strategy I used to help her was acupuncture, homeopathic detoxification medication and Probiotics. After nearly a year and I was close to giving up, she suddenly became able to tolerate avocado and then a couple of weeks later, broccoli, and then potatoes and over the next few months her nutritional repertoire expanded to 30 or 40 foodstuffs. She was delighted.

Soon after that I acquired a Vega-Basic machine and a few years later upgraded to a Vega-Expert system, which I now use. I have two, in fact, one in London for my London practice and one in Cheshire for my home-based practice. I have now seen several hundred people with allergy-related disorder and to be succinct about it, 'allergicness' seems to arise from the presence of a significant amount of toxins in the system, gut dysfunction / disturbance and poor nutritional status. The inevitable corollary to that is that to resolve 'allergicness'; one simply needs to detoxify, fix / repair the gut disturbance and improve nutritional status. It is simple, relatively speaking, to describe, but it can be very difficult, time-consuming and expensive to achieve.

Toxic Burden

The toxicity problem is vast - I have read reports that estimate that the average teenager has eaten his / her own weight in food additives, and if we just think about the colourings,  that's an awful lot of 'paint' that has been swallowed. I am aware, of course, that food additives have been assessed for safety etc., but nobody has considered the effect of the vast amount that can be consumed over a lifetime of unaware consumption. I am also aware that our bodies have detoxification pathways fully capable of eliminating a certain amount of inadvertently consumed toxins. It has been estimated that there are more than 7 million man-made toxins floating around in our environment, albeit some in very small measure. I believe that we are so over-exposed to chemicals, that it is now impossible for our detoxification pathways to eliminate everything we ingest. As a consequence, over the years we take in some toxins and eliminate some, but it appears to me that we don't eliminate all of them, and so the toxic burden slowly becomes larger. I regard most of these sorts of environmental toxins as lesser toxins, because my experience suggests that there are two families of toxins of greater significance - one being the Heavy Metals! Or, perhaps, just metals generally. The most frequently occurring metals in my patients are mercury, cadmium, lead, and aluminium. And the other family of toxins of importance and which are frequently found is the Organo-phosphates.

A Heavy Metal or an Organo-phosphate toxic burden plays havoc with the gut flora, causing Dysbiosis and depletion of gut bacteria, which, in turn, makes one vulnerable to other pathogenic organisms, commonly Candida albicans and occasionally one of the other candida species, but also moulds and fungi generally and parasites. Our gut bacteria are under assault from the day we are conceived; our mothers may have been on the contraceptive pill at one time, which disturbs gut flora, sometimes to the point of candida overgrowth, may already have some Dysbiosis/candida disturbance, may have some toxic Heavy Metals in their system from dentistry (source of Mercury and other metals), all of which disturbs our mother's gut flora, from which we develop our own gut flora, after birth. Then come the immunizations loaded with Mercury and aluminium (as preservative and adjuvant), and a couple of courses of antibiotics for tonsillitis or an ear infection;  we are going to hit our teenage years with a gut function less than 50% as good as Nature intended it to be.

Detoxification Protocols

Heavy Metal Detox
my own herbal detox formula - Bugle Weed, Lobelia, Chapparal, Burdock, Yellow Dock, Poke Root, Sarsaparilla, Mullein. A reliable detox product that seems to be effective for almost everybody;
Selenium binds with Mercury and helps excretion;
Saunas great all round detox assist;
Chlorella / Spirulina not effective for everybody, but can be very helpful;
Colonic Hydrotherapy always helpful;
Cranio-sacral Therapy improves the body's natural detoxification processes;
Essential Fatty Acids vital to shift heavy metals out of the brain;
Liver and Gall Bladder Tonic improves liver function, particularly if combined with liver cleanse protocol;
Kidney/Bladder Tonic improves kidney function, particularly if combined with kidney cleanse protocol;
Patience because, if we are dealing with heavy metal poisoning it can easily take 6 - 12 months.


Gut Function

Poor gut function, even if nutrition is good, will lead to a malnutritive state eventually and then the biological terrain is primed and ready to develop allergies. A diet of corn flakes, cheese sandwiches and sausage and chips washed down with a diet coke and 5 cups of tea just won't provide the nourishment we need. A few years ago The World Health Organisation recommended that in order to maintain basic health every person should consume at least 10 servings of fresh fruit and vegetables every day. The UK government decided that the UK population had zero chance of attaining or even aspiring to that, and watered down the recommendation to 5 servings a day, believing, probably correctly, that the people would regard that as attainable and would make the effort to achieve that, and it seems that many folk have done so. Unfortunately it just ain't enough.... even 10 servings isn't enough, though it may have been enough 60 years ago when foodstuffs contained as much as 5 times the vitamin and mineral content of foodstuffs today. Wheat, a hundred years ago, comprised 92% protein; these days, on account of hybridization of wheat species, wheat comprises 7% protein and this hybridization of wheat, I believe, means that wheat is now really a 'new food' and is thus a food to which our species is not particularly adapted,  hence the high prevalence of wheat allergy in the UK population. There are folk who work at their nutrition, eating lots of fruit and vegetables and even taking vitamin and mineral supplements, but if their digestion is not working properly, all that good food may simply be coming out the other end.

Resolving the Problem

There's the background to the problem. Now I want to talk about how one can resolve the symptom of 'allergicness'. In my own practice, the first step is always a comprehensive Vega-Expert analysis, looking particularly at the toxins and their levels and gut function together with the primary stressed organs. The digestive system is the 'engine' which powers the body; the digestive system provides the nutrition to keep all the bits and pieces working, and it is also a major detoxification route. Thus, I always work to get the digestive system working properly; commonly there is a candida overgrowth problem and more often than you might imagine, a parasite burden also. My patients will then start on a strict anti-candida (no sugar or yeast in any form whatsoever) regime together with an effective anti-fungal (effectiveness of a particular product varies from individual to individual) and if needed anti-parasitic medication, with a good quality gut bacteria supplement (at least 6 billion beneficial micro-organisms daily). I also test for the food allergies and I am frequently surprised how often folk know, more or less, what they are allergic to; these have to be eliminated from the diet too. Wheat, yeast and dairy are far and away the commonest foods that are problematic. Over the years I have noticed that those folk with many food allergies are often sensitive to those foods with the  highest trace levels of mercury. One of my colleagues has a mercury vapour detector and he has tested many foodstuffs for mercury vapour; to our dismay it is in most of our foodstuffs - we suspect that the source of this trace contamination is from Thimerosol, a mercury compound used in animal feed, animal  pharmaceuticals and plant fertilisers as a preservative. Our whole environment is contaminated with mercury; even the ecological light bulbs have mercury in them! If we factor in that mercury is the second most toxic mineral on the planet, exceeded only by uranium, we must begin to wonder whether we are trying to commit species suicide!

Before I discuss the detoxification process, I must add that I frequently find liver and or kidney function to be compromised, so I will use supplements, herbs and naturopathic protocols to address these problems as well, and last but by no means least I ensure that my patients have 2-3 satisfactory bowel motions per day and again, if needed, I will provide herbs to ensure that this happens.

The toxin situation is perhaps the most difficult problem to resolve. We have 7 million chemicals floating around in our environment and more every year. The average house has 5000 toxic chemicals in it (look at your cleaning products, paints, polishes, fly sprays, cosmetics, etc.). I know that they have been tested for safety BUT they have only been tested for safety 1 at a time - no one has tested for safety the effects of being exposed to 100 in one day, and no one has  tested for the consequences of being exposed to 100 (at least) in one day and only detoxifying 95% of them from your body, leaving a small residual amount which builds up over time and becomes a larger amount. That is what appears to happen. The organo-phosphates are everywhere - used extensively in the food chain, as pesticides on our crops and our animals, and also used extensively in the construction industry. But the biggest problem continues to be the heavy metals, chief among them, mercury, which continuously vaporizes from amalgam fillings entering the environment and people's bodies.

Referring again to my colleague with the mercury vapour detector, a few years ago, I referred one of my patients to him (he is a dentist) for amalgam replacement. and when his vaporization rate was assessed, it was unusually high. We were able to roughly calculate that he needed to spend only 4 hours in an average sized unventilated bedroom before he contaminated the room with mercury vapour sufficiently that were Environmental Health called in, they would declare that room unfit for human habitation and order an immediate evacuation! Cadmium, lead and aluminium are also commonly found. Some of my colleagues believe candida only occurs in the presence of heavy metals; I am not so sure, although certainly it is rare to find a candida problem without a concomitant heavy metal burden.  After gut function has improved, then it is detox time, which frequently involves a trip to the dentist, but not an ordinary dentist. It is very important to see a skilled and experienced amalgam-free dentist; there are many and complex reasons for this, but this article does not have the space for that topic. After amalgam replacement or if that is not needed, then comes a regime of heavy metal detoxification, for which I have developed a herbal formula based on that of Dr Christopher. To speed things along a bit I often recommend: colonic hydrotherapy, 400mcg Selenium daily, cranio-sacral therapy (improves a body's ability to detoxify), and saunas.

In most cases reducing the toxic burden and improving gut function is sufficient to enable the system to repair the digestive system tissues; occasionally I need to provide other supplements to persuade the body to fully repair the tissues. Once that has been achieved then the symptom of 'allergicness' simply goes away.


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About Stephen MacAllan

Stephen MacAllan Lic Ac BAc MAc MH Cert BERM MAM/H MBAcC  is a qualified practitioner of Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine, Naturopathy, Vega-testing, Kosmed, Angelic Reiki and Rife technology. He trained and worked in Humanistic Psychotherapy and Neo-Reichian Bodywork from 1975-1979. In 1979 Traditional Acupuncture resolved some of his own health issues and he seized an opportunity to train with Professor Worsley at the College of Traditional Chinese Acupuncture, receiving his Lic Ac in 1982, my BAc in 1986, and his MAc in 1990. Through the 1990s he trained with Kitty Campion and the College of Herbal Medicine and Naturopathy and studied Bio-Energetic Regulatory Medicine. In recent years he became interested in Energy/Frequency Medicine, hence his Rife machine and training in Angelic Reiki; he will be doing the Master training shortly. He works in two practices, in Harley Street London and in Crewe, Cheshire and may be contacted on Tel: 01270 650336; Mob: 07985 585718;

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