You mention you have an allergy and most people think of hay fever or other types of seasonal reactions. If you are the one who suffers from the watery eyes and does most of the sneezing your immune system is not running as efficiently as others. You are in good company; allergies are so common that almost everyone has them to one degree or another. In fact, nearly 90% of people have some allergy with the most common associated with food.
Many folks can judge that spring is in the air not by the calendar but by their allergies. Hay fever is a common seasonal condition that also hits in late summer with the blooming of trees, grass, and ragweed. Their microscopic particles fill the air and as we breathe them in they mix with our immune cells and this chemical reaction triggers the release of histamine. Leaving us sneezing, itching, along with watery eyes, or a runny nose or a combination of all of them.
The response can occur whether we inhale or ingest the aggravating substance, or with the culprit making contact with our skin. When the allergen rubs over our exposed body, it leaves clear evidence of rashes, redness, which is often accompanied by inflammation. Your respiratory system may also be challenged leaving you wheezing or with shortness of breath, even asthma or bronchitis. Seasonal allergies are predictable and easy to pinpoint.
The tougher allergy to figure out is the sensitivity to certain foods. Of course, there are exceptions; there is no question if you have an allergy to shellfish or peanuts, often the reaction can be life-threatening. I’m going to focus on minor sensitivities, some which are obvious and others that are much more difficult to determine. For instances with strawberries, you have a few berries and you break out in hives. This is considered Type 1, or a fixed allergy response because is occurs each time strawberries are eaten. Other food allergies are more difficult to diagnose, as symptoms don’t usually appear right after eating but rather hours or days later. And our reactions can change with such things as our age, the season, and our stress level.
If you suspect you have been reacting to certain foods, there are many suspects in your cupboard and refrigerator, and the list is long. The most common allergy producers are sugar, wheat, dairy foods, beef, potatoes, shellfish, eggs, tomatoes, coffee, peanuts, soy, corn, yeast, and citrus fruit. Or any other food that you eat daily should also be considered. A diet consisting of a small menu with a repetition of certain foods can produce an allergic response. Remember many of these triggers may not make themselves known in your body for days.
Begin with the elimination test. If you suspect wheat sensitivity, remove the substance from your diet for four days and on the fifth day add it back and see if you react. At the end of the test eat the single ingredient, such as a bowl of cracked wheat and see if your symptoms reappear. Be careful how you eliminate food, for instance, bread should not be used because you could be reacting to yeast, sugar, or additives. As you, might love M & Ms and thinking sugar (which it probably is, also) as the culprit if could very well be the food dyes used in the candy coating.
Another at home test that is extremely helpful is taking your pulse before eating and for every 30 minutes for at least two hours. An average person’s pulse is between 70 and 80 beats per minute. If you are allergic to a particular food, your pulse can increase significantly to a count that’s 20 or even 40 beats above the reasonable level. If you experience a rise in your heart rate, it is a clear sign that you should not be eating that food. And the most intriguing part it is probably a food you often crave.
Keep in mind food allergies are sometimes loud and clear causing such gastrointestinal symptoms as burping, flatulence, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal pain. But others are often not associated with a food allergy as headaches, tiredness, muscles pains, and even depression.
Many people mask their symptoms with medications instead of addressing the cause of their problems. Ultimately, the tough part is changing your diet and your behavior. Think of your symptoms, as warning signs from your body trying to tell you that this particular food is not life-enhancing. Many minor food sensitivities can be avoided with a broad mixture of foods. Not only is this variety of nutrients fabulous for optimum health it minimizes allergic reactions. Left unchecked or masked, allergies can create much worse health problems such as asthma, migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, and type 2 diabetes.
Many allergies can be traced to an impaired digestive system, resulting in a toxic buildup in the intestines. I recommend taking a digestive enzyme with every meal. This will help nearly immediately with bloating and indigestion and eventually with constipation. Also, add Vitamin A to your routine it is an excellent supporter of the immune system and Vitamin C for its ability to reduce histamine levels, detoxifies and strengthens the immune system. Note especially with Vitamin C a loose stool may occur when your body has reached capacity for the nutrient.
Give your body a break and remember, you don’t pay the price by giving up bad habits you enjoy the benefits of doing such.
(Information for this blog post is supported by, Gary Null, Ph.D.)