Food allergies can be sudden. Most patients who come to me complaining of allergies have never experienced them before. They come in disbelief, thinking it must be something more serious. But in reality, food allergies are one of the most common causes of many health problems.
Symptoms can range from fuzzy thinking, fatigue, upset stomach, neck pain, headaches, pains in the stomach area, diarrhea, burning pains, skin rashes, eczema, asthma, difficult breathing and even fainting. Testing for food allergies can be expensive; many patients believe they have severe Candida, or parasites, which may in fact be the case. But the least expensive way of dealing with the problem is to choose to just eliminate the more common foods which can cause an allergy.
The most common foods which cause the symptoms are nuts, and especially peanuts, eggs, milk and milk products, shellfish, wheat, gluten containing products, soy, chocolate, and some fish.
Eliminating these foods for about 60 days and adding specific, targeted nutritional supplements, will often take care of the problems. Often the patient can eat the problem foods, once the allergy symptoms are gone. What we have found is that adding in the problem foods on a rotational basis will usually be fine, and not re-create the symptoms. But first you must eliminate the food completely, for about 60 days, in order to re-build your digestive and immune systems.
Some of the supplements which work well are herbal anti-histamines, digestive enzymes, pro-biotics, Chinese herbs to build and strengthen digestion, and other herbs and supplements targeted to increase overall health and energy.
We have found that it’s important for patients to ask questions when eating out, to determine the ingredients in the foods. Also it’s important to read food labels carefully, and to learn “code” words for certain ingredients, which may contain harmful derivatives of the problem food. In any case, it’s a great idea to start reading labels of the foods you eat, and to ask to see the packaging list of ingredients used in fast foods.
Testing is available for those who like the more scientific approach, including saliva tests, blood tests, and stool tests, but these are expensive and often unnecessary, if the patient is willing to just stop eating the problem foods without testing. But the good thing about testing is that you can really see, in black and white, the changes in the tests over time, as your body recovers.