Wisdom Magazine's Monthly Webzine Skip Navigation Links
Wisdom Magazine, a bi-monthly compendium of information and resources related to holistic health, spirituality and metaphysics, is the largest free holistic publication serving New England with 50,000 copies printed and distributed to over 2,000 locations throughout Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Connecticut.
Home  About  This Month's Articles  Calendar of Events  Classified Listings  Holistic Resource Directory
 Educational Programs  Sacred Journeys & Retreats  Reiki Healing
 Article Archives  What's New in Books, CD's & DVD's  Wisdom Marketplace
 Where to Find Wisdom Near You  Subscriptions  Web Partner Links
 Advertising Information  Contact Us
Denali Institute of Northern Traditions
Ellie Pechet
Margaret Ann Lembo
Wisdom Magazine
Bach Flower Education
Wisdom Magazine
Circles of Wisdom
Light Healing
Wisdom Magazine
Alternatives For Healing

Excerpt From "The Power of Self-Healing: Unlock Your Natural Healing Potential in 21 Days"

Food Allergens and Sensitivities

by Dr. Fabrizio Mancini

The following excerpt is taken from the book The Power of Self-Healing: Unlock Your Natural Healing Potential in 21 Days by Dr. Fabrizio Mancini. It is published by Hay House (January 2012) and is available at all bookstores or online at: www.hayhouse.com .

Food Allergens and Sensitivities

Our clever immune system is designed to differentiate between healthy compounds and potentially harmful substances. When it encounters one of these bad guys, it reacts by making protective antibodies or releasing certain chemicals. For some of us, our body overreacts, responding inappropriately to ordinarily benign substances, like wheat or milk. The body’s protective antibodies attach to perceived invaders, releasing histamine. This triggers inflammatory reaction that can affect the skin, mucous membranes, respiratory system, and/or gastrointestinal tract.

The most common symptoms of an allergic response are rashes, hives, itchy and watery eyes, runny nose, congestion, diarrhea, vomiting, and rapid heart rate, along with less obvious symptoms like fatigue, headache, bloating, and mood swings.

Some foods are allergens. The more common are wheat, milk, eggs, corn, soy, yeast, and chocolate. Certain food additives can provoke an allergic response, too. But no food or additive is exempt from scrutiny.

Healing a Food Allergy

Genevieve, a student at Parker University, told me that she had lived with food allergies her entire life, especially an allergy to nuts. In the last few years, she’d been experiencing mild reactions to even raw fruits and vegetables – the very foods that are supposed to keep us well.

On the advice of her father (who is a chiropractor) and a food allergy expert, Genevieve eliminated foods containing gluten from her diet. Gluten is a combination of complex proteins found in wheat, barley, rye, spelt and some other grains, Normally, it is easy to digest. But, for people with celiac disease, the body perceives gluten as a foreign substance and responds with a full-blown immune response. Immediate symptoms of celiac disease include bloating, diarrhea, abdominal swelling and pain. Longer-term symptoms include gastrointestinal disturbances, skin disorders, weight loss, anemia, muscle pain, fatigue and behavior changes. Over time, untreated celiac disease can substantially increase the risk of serious disease, such as gastrointestinal cancer.

Within two months of eating a gluten-free diet, Genevieve eased raw fruits and vegetables back into her diet. Her face looked less puffy, especially underneath her eyes. Most striking was the diet’s positive effect on her digestion and energy levels. If she cheated and ate something with gluten, her symptoms returned with a vengeance.

“I thought I’d have a difficult time giving up gluten because I craved pasta. I bought rice pasta as a substitute, and it fills the bill. This has definitely been a life-changing diet plan for me. I’m now gluten free not because someone told me I should be, but because my body is literally begging me to be. I’m finally in tune with what my body wants and needs in order to function to its optimal innate health.”

Food allergy pops up in only one to two percent of Americans, whereas food intolerance occurs in up to a whopping 70 percent of the population! Food allergy is an abnormal reaction to certain food proteins, usually triggered by the body’s immune system, that can cause serious illness and, in some cases, death. By contrast, a food intolerance is a delayed, negative reaction to a food, beverage or food additive usually due to insufficient levels of a specific enzyme.

The four primary types of known food intolerance are in response to: lactose, gluten, fructose, and histamine. In lactose intolerance, often misidentified as a food allergy, a deficiency in the enzyme lactase leaves some lactose undigested and allows it to enter the intestines. Bacteria processes the sugar and releases gas. This leads to the bloating, abdominal pain, and diarrhea characteristic of a food intolerance.

Gluten intolerance is the inability to digest or break down gluten. The condition can range from a mild sensitivity to gluten to full-blown celiac disease (which is recognized as a true food allergy). Fructose intolerance is a sensitivity to fructose, a natural sugar found in fruits, nuts, and honey. It’s frequently added to sweetened beverages such as sodas, sports and fruit drinks, bottled tea and coffee drinks, and flavored waters.

This intolerance can be mild or serious. The more serious form is “hereditary fructose intolerance,” a rare genetic disorder. People with this condition lack an enzyme needed to break down fructose during digestion, and this can result in liver and kidney damage. Typically, hereditary fructose intolerance is identified and diagnosed at young age.

The mild form of fructose intolerance is called “fructose malabsorption.” It means you have trouble digesting fructose. Symptoms include bloating, abdominal cramps, gas and diarrhea, but not kidney or liver damage.

Yet one of the most prevalent yet virtually unknown types of food intolerances is histamine intolerance. This means your body can’t degrade the histamine found in many foods due to inadequate activity of the enzyme diamine oxidase (DAO).

Histamine levels are very high in popular “guilty pleasure” foods such as pizza, beer, red wine, cured and smoked meats and fish, and many types of cheeses and nuts. As foods lose their freshness, histamine builds up in them. Unfortunately, millions of Americans have insufficient levels of DAO to process the high levels of histamine in many of the foods they love.

So how can you tell the difference between a food allergy and a food intolerance? Ask yourself: When do symptoms occur? If they are present within five minutes, it’s probably allergy. If they pop up after half an hour or later, it’s probably a food intolerance.

Allergy or Intolerance?

Could you have a food allergy or food intolerance? Ask yourself whether you experience any of these reactions soon after eating certain foods:

? Itching or tingling in and around your mouth

? Swelling in the mouth or in the “narrowing” or “closing” feeling in your throat

? Rashes, blotches or redness on the skin anywhere on your body

? Irritated or crying eyes, or runny nose

? Wheezing or difficulty breathing

? Feeling acutely sick or even ending up vomiting

If you answered even one “yes” to these questions, you may well have a food allergy.

Next, ask yourself whether you experience any of these reactions a while after eating certain foods:

? Bloating or pain in your stomach or abdomen

? A rumbling abdomen – perhaps accompanies by gas

? Constipation or diarrhea

? Tiredness and lethargy

? Headache or migraine

One or more “yeses” may – but only may – indicate food intolerance. However, understand that occasional reactions to your diet are natural, if only because you may have eaten too much (which may lead to indigestion, which is often confused with food intolerance) or if something simply hasn’t agreed with you. This is unlikely to be a food intolerance. But obviously, if you’re in great discomfort or are very worried about your health, see your doctor at once.

Your doctor may refer you to an allergist. If so, you’ll be asked to keep a food diary, in which you write down everything you eat and how you respond to it. You have to be very specific. Saying “Caesar Salad” is not good enough. You have to write down what’s in the Caesar Salad, croutons and all.

Next, you’ll probably undergo an allergy test. If you have sensitivities, you’ll have to eliminate the offenders, and add in certain self-healing foods and supplements. You cannot be cured of a food allergy. If you have a true food allergy, you must avoid that food.

Every so often, take time to look at your diet – what’ve you’ve added, what you’ve subtracted. You’re learning where you need to make self-healing changes in your life. Feel great about it!

Add Comment

Article Archives  This Month's Articles  Click Here for more articles by Dr. Fabrizio Mancini
Bach Flower Education
Wisdom Magazine
Light Healing
Circles of Wisdom
Wisdom Magazine
Alternatives For Healing
Wisdom Magazine
Ellie Pechet
Denali Institute
Margaret Ann Lembo

Call Us Toll Free: 888-577-8091 or  |  Email Us  | About Us  | Privacy Policy  | Site Map  | © 2021 Wisdom Magazine