==== ==== Serious about restoring your health? Search for ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE- KERRI RYAN on www.Amazon.com or visit our website www.AlternativeMedicine.co.cc www.Amazon.com/author/KerriRyan ==== ==== Food Allergies and their Source There are a number of controversial areas in medicine when it comes to ADHD. Food allergy is certainly one of them. The classic allergic reaction, which is classified as the type-1 hypersensitivity reaction, can be elicited by food, but this is fairly uncommon. When we discuss food sensitivities in ADHD we are discussing a different, not well-defined, mechanism. One of the main progenitors of the food allergy/ADHD connection is Dr. Doris Rapp. Dr. Rapp was a pediatric allergist who noticed that many children in her practice had significant physical and behavioral changes when exposed to certain foods. They may have red ear lobes, dark circles under their eyes, or glazed eyes after eating certain foods. These children could have tremendous swings in behavior. They can be calm one minute and wildly hyperactive a few minutes later. To make it more interesting, children with food allergies usually crave the food that affects them negatively. That means a child who is allergic to peanuts will demand peanut butter and jelly for lunch every day, and for the rest of the afternoon you have to peel him off of the ceiling. There are certain foods that will have more than one negative effect, so there is more than 1 issue to look for when discussing food allergies. What is Food Allergy? The classic allergic reaction operates through a very specific mechanism. The reaction is caused when a specific type of antibody, called IgE, reacts with a specific provoking substance called an allergen. The result of this interaction is an allergic response and the person is deemed allergic to that allergen. The specific type of antibody involved in classic allergy is called IgE. The proposed antibody mechanism for this type of food allergy does not involve IgE, but a different antibody called IgG. This is significant because standard allergy testing tests only for IgE antibodies. If your child has IgG mediated sensitivity, his allergy test is going to miss it. That means that your child may have a severe allergy to a specific food, but your allergist will tell you he is not allergic to it. Why So Much Controversy? Reason 1: Diagnosis I said this was a very controversial area of medicine and here is one of the reasons why. Food allergies are very difficult to diagnose. One reason is that the symptoms wax and wane. When a child has a classic allergy, for example to bee stings, then every time a bee stings him, he will have a reaction. Allergies other than food affect the bodys ability to deal with a specific allergen, while food allergies are more often reactions to a variety of foods such as sugar or salt. Both allergies have a very different reaction, and should probably be broken apart into 2 separate conditions, and not under the general term allergies. So when we are talking about food allergies, the whole body chemistry needs to be taken into consideration, not just the particular allergen or food that caused the overall reaction. There seems to be a threshold that must be exceeded before there are any symptoms. In addition, this threshold seems to vary from day to day. On some days a food will affect the child, and on other days it won't. This is why the focus should be on making the body strong and healthy, rather than limiting so many substances trying to find one that is causing the issues. Dr.
Rapp explains this phenomenon using the analogy of a barrel. We can view each allergic child as if he has a barrel. As long as the barrel is empty or only partially full, your child will have no problems. The child won't become hyperactive until his barrel is overflowing. If the body is strong, and all systems are doing a complete job of digestion, irritants will simply be processed out of the body allowing the barrel to gradually maintain an even keel. What we do know about allergies is that they are muted or stopped with antihistamines. Ideally, it would be best to get the liver to produce its own antihistamines. When this is not working, synthetic ones are often used to provide temporary relief, however these can be hard on a person, and will eventually leave the liver unable to produce any on its own. When the adrenal glands are strong, they will produce the cortisone the liver needs to manufacture its own antihistamine, and thus effect the chain reaction needed to process allergens. This is why when addressing allergies; we need to look at the whole body, and not just one small part of it. Reason 2: Method of Diagnosis The next problem is the way in which you test for food allergies. Dr. Rapp describes a technique called provocation-neutralization testing. This method works as follows: Say that a child frequently has headaches after eating eggs. The practitioner will give an intradermal injection of egg extract. If this elicits the child's headache, then the child tests positive for egg allergy. Other signs of a positive test include an increase in pulse rate of 20 points, a large skin reaction (this indicates a classic IgE reaction), a change in the child's handwriting, or some other physical or emotional complaint. This last criterion "some other physical or emotional complaint" is problematic. It is too vague. The result is that when studies compared how several physicians evaluated the same group of patients, their results didn't agree. For each patient if there were twenty different doctors with twenty different sets of findings. None of their diagnoses matched. This is largely due to the fact that each individual has a varying degree of both adrenal and liver function, as we have stated before, both need to be working well, and working together in order for the body to balance its chemistry. Reason 3: The Mechanism As I mentioned before, the proposed mechanism is an IgG mediated response. Some food allergists diagnose specific food allergies by measuring IgG levels. This runs counter to all of modern allergy practice. Allergists give allergy shots to treat allergy. The way this works is they give a low level of allergen, which is not enough to elicit an IgE reaction. The dose is slowly increased until eventually the patient can tolerate a significant exposure to the allergen. This is popular among children because as they grow, their appetite increases, and they begin to eat a wider variety of food, and more of it. This increase in nutrition strengthens the body, and allows the organ systems to improve in form and function so that they can process allergens out of the body like they were designed to do. This method of treatment doesnt work for everyone. If the individual has poor eating habits, or eats little to begin with, injecting allergens will only aggravate the condition, and make them more prone to avoiding food. The attention then should be placed on building up good health, and eating supplements if not food, so that the adrenal glands and liver can improve their function, work together, and give the body what it needs to properly defend itself against any allergen, no matter its source. Do Food Allergies Really Exist? Allergies are defined as the bodys inability to process an allergen. When the body is under stress, it can also break down tissue protein, another process known to produce histamine. This is why some people can actually have allergic reactions to things like the sun, extreme heat or bitter cold. These conditions can be so physically stressful to some people that they will actually trigger a reaction that will break down the protein in the tissues of their body. This is something that many
people simply dont understand. The majority of people walking around in society will hear of someone claiming to be allergic to the sun, heat or cold, and immediately consider these claims absurd, or made just to get attention. In Truth, these seemingly everyday occurrences can cause some undernourished people enough physical stress that their body will automatically begin to start this allergic reaction process by breaking down tissue protein that will in turn, produce histamine, and cause an allergic reaction. It is not a sign of emotional instability, but a simply physical reaction from an undernourished body trying to adjust to a sharp change in the environment.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Anthony_Kane,_MD with contributions from Kerri Ryan
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