Dr. Laurie Marzell N.D., N.C.M.P.

 Naturopathic physician
Certified Menopause Practitioner



Food Allergies: An Old Concept that Won’t Go Away

How can you possibly be allergic to a food?  It is a nourishing substance that benefits your body, right?  Unfortunately, food allergies are quite common, and can be responsible for many health problems, particularly the ones that don’t seem to have clear diagnosis..  Factors that raise the level of suspicion for the presence of a food allergy may be environmental allergies, blood sugar problems; such as cravings, or drop in blood sugar, any autoimmune disease (rheumatoid arthritis, colitis, pernicious anemia), eczema.  If someone eats a food they are sensitive to, a stimulus to the white blood cells occurs, and antibodies specific for that food are released, along with a variety of other chemical “bombs” to destroy the invading protein.  This can cause headaches, stuffy nose and postnasal drainage, joint pains, gut pains, diarrhea, rashes not to mention several emotional reactions.  Moods that occur as reactions to food allergies, and may involve depression, anxiety, or somnolence.  These are called “cerebral allergies”.

Allergies are also involved in addictive behaviors, and can actually stimulate production of endorphins (happy hormones), so the sufferer can be drawn to eating exactly what they need to avoid.  This creates feelings of joy,  as they consume their allergenic food, but then may experience withdrawal reactions and cravings for that substance.  These reactions will resolve in the 3-5 days it takes to get a food entirely out of the human system, but will recur again as the person consumes the offending food again.

Lastly, weight loss is almost impossible if the person is eating foods they are allergic to.  In addition to driving blood sugar up and down, causing cravings and instability, food allergens cause swelling, which sometimes manifests in an organ and sometimes throughout the body.  This can be responsible for 5 pounds of added weight.

Common culprits causing food reactions are dairy, nuts, corn, wheat/gluten.  Food allergens are best tested for by antibody level in the blood.  They may be modified with change in exposure to the offending food, but do not really “go away”.

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