by Amber Currie
Do you find meals challenging because it’s hard to know what is going to agree with you? Well, you are not alone.
Food sensitivities affect as many as 90 percent of people according to Theron Randolph, known as the father of environmental medicine. Most of these people don’t realize that their symptoms are related to the food they eat daily. Are you one of them?
I am a classically trained homeopath who works with people with digestive disorders, food sensitivities and related chronic issues. People are more aware that food sensitivities exist, though there is still confusion about what they are.
So what is a food sensitivity? It means you have an unpleasant reaction to certain foods. Common reactions are heartburn, gas or nausea. Surprisingly, symptoms such as headaches, coughing, acne, mood swings, trouble focusing on mental work, and pronounced sleepiness are also associated with food sensitivities.
To make things trickier, food sensitivities can be inconsistent. Maybe you have heartburn every time you eat tomato sauce, or maybe it only bothers you when eaten with cheese, or if your stress is high, or if you’re wearing silver jewelry (because you might have a slight sensitivity to silver, too). That is the nature of food sensitivity. It’s variable.
This differs from food allergy, which is defined as a consistent immune system response to a particular protein found in food. Usually these are classified as either IgG or IgE responses. Rashes, swelling, or breathing difficulties can result within minutes or hours after the protein was eaten.
Food sensitivity, on the other hand, triggers white blood cells in the body to release pro-inflammatory mediators. Besides making you feel bad, the resulting inflammation is suspected to contribute to many serious health problems.
In my clinical work I always consider the role of food sensitivity in health problems. Then I work to help the person’s body resolve those sensitivities, which is possible for most people.
Why are there so many people with food sensitivities now? There are a few theories. One observation is that genetically modified foods (GMOs) started making their way into the food chain at the same time food allergies began rising in the 1990’s.
In 2009, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine stated that, “Several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with genetically modified food,” including infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, faulty insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal tract. (http://www.aaemonline.org/gmo.php).
The U.S. Department of Agriculture prohibits use of genetically modified organisms in organic products. So it makes sense to make organic products your first choice of food.
Another theory is that our fixation with anti-bacterial everything and a lack of exposure to what were previously normal childhood illnesses contribute to immune systems that don’t develop the way they could.
Have a pet if you can. Let kids get dirty, and spend some time getting dirty yourself. Working an organic garden is great way to do that and provides multiple benefits for health.
Then there’s leaky gut syndrome. Many in integrative medicine tag this as a major cause of food allergies. The working theory is that leaky gut is caused by: The standard American diet (SAD).
Unnecessary antibiotics, which destroy the beneficial microbes in our bodies, freeing up space for pathogens, which damage our digestive tract and make it “leaky”
Chronic stress, which weakens the immune system as a whole
Environmental toxins such as pesticides, smog, fluoride in our water, and pain killers, which overwhelm our bodies’ native detoxification abilities
Choosing nutritious, organic foods and natural medicine that does not damage beneficial microbes in your body, reducing stress, and avoiding toxins can all help your body function as it should
Amber Currie is a classically trained homeopath, and a certified homeoprophylaxis supervisor, and a certified professional BioSET practitioner at Rocky Mountain Homeopathy LLC in Loveland. 970-412-7777 http://rocky-mountain-homeopathy.com/