Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!

Hope For Allergy Sufferers

Hope For Allergy Sufferers
By  Dr. Joe Esposito

    Over the years, many of you have come to me asking about allergies. Most of you having suffered with chronic allergies for most of your lives, everything from seasonal pollen, animal dander, chemicals, fragrances, and even foods.
    I have found that, when it comes to allergies, you need to look at the digestive system. If you are not breaking down your proteins properly into tiny amino acids, you might be absorbing large chunks of protein into your blood stream. The body recognizes these foreign invaders, attacks them, and tries to get them out of the body the quickest way possible, which is through the mucus membranes in your sinuses, throat, lungs, colon, and sex organs. My first thought is to check the nerves that come from the spine and into the organs. If they are being pinched, the organs cannot work properly and this can be the start of what we call an allergic reaction. Also we want to be sure your digestive system is working the best that it can. I might suggest you try two tablespoons of raw, organic apple cider vinegar every day. Mix it with water, juice, natural sweetener like stevia or raw honey, or use in as part of your salad dressing every day. This can help you digest your food more efficiently. There are certain supplements that can help, but l would rather try to get to the cause first, then use supplements if we still need a little boost. Your diet can also play a critical role, so it might be something that you are eating, or not eating, that is making this worse.
    Many people suffer from food related allergies. One of the most common allergies is to gluten, which is found in wheat, barley, rye, and oats. Symptoms of a gluten allergy include runny nose, gas, diarrhea, and bloating. In children, it can also cause ear infections. The best way to test if you have a gluten or other food allergy is to totally avoid the suspected food for five days. On the fifth day, eat a serving or two of that food, and if you get a reaction, you will know which food to avoid.
    Dairy is one thing that all humans are allergic to at some level. Contrary to the ads for dairy digestive aids, lactose intolerance isn’t something that happens to just a few of us. It’s estimated that at least 75% of human beings are lactose intolerant. If that isn’t a loud and clear, neon-signed message that we should be avoiding dairy, I don’t know what is. Think about it. A long time ago, someone decided that we were going to consume the milk of another animal. Then, they built a whole industry around it and convinced us that the milk made for the young of that species (i.e., calves) was one of the best sources for the nutrients that we humans – a totally different species – needed to build strong bodies. Human beings don’t even have the enzyme necessary to digest cows’ milk. What a surprise since…hey, we’re not cows! Not to mention that the hormone and antibiotic level in processed milk can also lead to allergic reactions. Sort of bizarre, isn’t it? So, the moral of the story is to avoid dairy products. And again, I understand that it’s probably not going to happen overnight. At least be thinking about phasing it out, one item at a time. And ok, you may never cut it out completely, but the less you have, the better off you’ll be. In my book, Eating Right…For The Health Of It, you will find several replacements for cows’ milk such as almond, rice, oat, and cashew milk. I think they taste better than cow’s milk and certainly do not cause the negative reactions of cow’s milk.
    Alcohol is another hyper-allergenic item. If you’re like many people, your sinuses will get nice and stopped up after a few drinks, especially beer and wine. Mild to severe sinus problems are common side effects of drinking alcohol. Aspartame and other artificial sweeteners can cause over 92 reactions including headaches, nausea, muscle spasms, blindness, depression, fatigue, memory loss, and anxiety, to name a few. Do you drink a lot of diet sodas? Do you also get pretty regular headaches? Since aspartame is a vaso-constrictor, meaning it tightens the blood vessels, headaches are a pretty predictable reaction. Steer clear of this poison.
    Let’s not forget MSG (Monosodium Glutamate), the staple seasoning in Chinese food, among other things. Some of the most common reactions from MSG are headaches, difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting, irregular heartbeat, and depression. The tough part about avoiding MSG is that it’s often found in many foods, but not listed in the ingredients, or even worse, referred to as “natural flavor.” Your own tolerance to MSG can vary widely from the next guy. While it might take a pile of it for you to feel the effect, the smallest amount could trigger a reaction for someone else as much as 48 hours later. Just look how many ways the industry hides this stuff! Hidden MSG is not limited to foods. MSG-sensitive people have reported reactions to soaps, shampoos, hair conditioners, and cosmetics that contain MSG. The most common hiding places are the ingredients  “Hydrolyzed Protein” and “Amino Acids” – although not all amino acids contain MSG. Drinks, candy and chewing gum are also potential sources of MSG. Also, Aspartic Acid (found in aspartame) has been reported to cause MSG-type reactions in MSG- sensitive people. Aspartame is also found in some medications, so it is a good idea to check with your pharmacist. Binders and fillers for medication, nutrients, and supplements, including some food formulas and some fluids administered intravenously in hospitals, may contain MSG.
    Even good food can often cause adverse reactions in certain people. Strawberries, pineapples, tomatoes, grapefruits, and oranges are common culprits in causing hives, skin rashes, and more often, pimples on the tongue and “cold sores” on the lips.
    As a side note, sometimes suspected food allergies or sensitivities turn out to be merely reactions to fabric softeners, deodorant soaps, or detergents touching the skin. If you have a reaction to a certain food or product, such as a rash, simply avoid it.
    Also, in the 26 years I have been in practice, I have never had a patient with allergy related asthma who did not have a pinched nerve in the upper part of their neck. This is the direct nerve supply to the lungs. This needs to be corrected, regardless of what other therapies are used. If the patient has bad gas and/or is ticklish, they are most likely having a digestive problem. Almost all allergy reactions can be traced back to the digestive system. It might be a  pinched nerve to the digestive system or a spasm in the digestive system. Either way, mechanically correcting the problem would be necessary. It is a physical problem, not a chemical one, so it needs to corrected physically.

If you would like to set up a no-charge, private consultation with Dr. Joe in his office to discuss your specific health needs, please call the Marietta, GA office at 770-427-7387.

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