What Are Food Allergies?

One man’s food is another man’s poison. This is especially true of food allergy or sensitivity. Food allergy or sensitivity is one of the most confusing and frustrating causes of illness. The symptoms it produces are so different from one person to another.

Allergies tend to run in families. If one parent is allergic, their children have a fifty- percent chance of developing food allergies. If both parents have allergies, a child has a 75% probability of having food allergies.

But what is an allergy? It is an abnormal reaction to a generally harmless substance, which occurs, in a predisposed person. It is caused by an antigen (allergen) or substance, which produces an allergic reaction. When a person with an allergy is exposed to an allergen the body responds by producing antibodies. In order for an allergic reaction to occur, the body must produce enough antibodies. An allergic reaction results in the release of histamine and other chemicals causing the various allergic symptoms. The same allergen may produce diverse symptoms in different people. For example, a milk allergy may produce constipation, nasal congestion, in another, diarrhea, in another, headache and yet in another abdominal bloating and gas. Even in the same individual the reactions may vary greatly from time to time.

Some allergies depend on the amount of exposure to a food, beverage, inhalant or chemical. In addition to the amount of the offending food or substance if an inhalant allergen is also extremely high, the total load on the body is increased. Due to the increased total load, many times the body is less capable of handling the other offending food. For example, if you have a wheat allergy and you rotate your diet so you are only eating wheat in any form every four to five days, you may not have any reaction to it. But if you eat a wheat bran muffin for breakfast, whole wheat sandwich with chicken noodle soup for lunch and lasagna/ stuffy nose, hay fever, sinus problems, excessive mucus formation, headache.

Symptoms of Food Allergy:

Mental & Emotions: Mood swings, anxiety, fear, anger, nervousness, irritability, aggressive behavior, depression, hyperactivity, panic attacks, listlessness, confusion, stuttering, poor memory/ concentration, lethargy, speech problems and learning disorders, “binge” eating or drinking, food cravings.

Throat & Mouth: Coughing, sore throat, hoarseness, swelling/pain, sores on for dinner, you may cause a whooping reaction. Recall that most noodles and pastas are made with flour which comes from wheat.

Digestion: Belching, indigestion, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, cramps, heartburn, bloating, passing gas, feeling of fullness long after eating.

Activity & Energy: Fatigue, sluggishness, drowsiness, lethargy, lack of energy, apathy, hyperactivity, restlessness, agitation.

Eyes, Ears & Nose: Watery, itchy eyes, blurred vision (excluding vision disorders- far or near sightedness), ear infections, hearing loss, sneezing attacks, runnyongue, gums and lips, increased sinus drainage.

Heart & Lungs: Rapid heart beat or increase > 10-15 beats, irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, chest pain, congestion, asthma, bronchitis, difficulty in breathing.

Muscle & Joints: General weakness, muscle/joint aches and pains, arthritis, stiffness.

Skin: Hives rashes, dry skin, excessive sweating, acne, hair loss, and irritation around eyes.

Other: Excess weight, inability to lose weight, chronic fatigue, dizziness, water retention, insomnia, headaches, genital itch, frequent urination.

Note: Many health conditions may cause some of the above symptoms. Professionals’ medical evaluation is recommended to establish if causes other than food allergy sensitivities are the cause.

Surprisingly, the foods that you are allergic to are the foods that you crave, want and eat the most frequently. This type of allergy is called an addictive allergy. Most people with food allergies or addictions are completely unaware that this process is taking place in their body. If an addicted person misses a meal that would normally include the food to which is allergic, allergic-addictive withdrawal symptoms appear. In order not to experience the discomfort of a withdrawal reaction, a person will continue to eat the food to prevent withdrawal symptoms. There is a third type of allergy in which you have a fixed reaction to a food. Every time you eat it, you react no matter if the food is eaten with another food or if you only eat a small portion.

The five most common foods, which cause food sensitivities, are: eggs, wheat, corn, citrus (oranges) and milk. Other common foods include: peanuts, sugar, chocolate, tomatoes, chicken, beef, coffee, pork and soy.

If you suspect food allergies, keep a food diary and journal of how you feel. Note: any symptoms. If there is any pattern or if you are constantly craving or eating the same foods or food families.

Other methods to help you detect your food allergies include the ELISA food allergy panel (blood testing) and an elimination diet. Some allergy doctors use skin or scratch testing for foods. This method is only about twenty percent accurate. Some physicians do not believe that food can cause various symptoms, but they can.

Once your food allergies are determined, often the suspect foods need to be eliminated from your diet totally in any form for a month or two. Then the foods are slowly reintroduced one at a time. If you continue to get an allergic reaction, eliminate the food altogether. If you do not get a reaction, rotate the food so it is not eaten in any form except every fourth or fifth day. For example, if you drink milk on Sunday, you would not use any dairy products until Thursday or Friday of that week. This gives the body a chance to eliminate and prevent any build-up in your system.

Please beware some foods that do not cause a reaction alone, but may cause a reaction when combined. If you do get a food reaction, according to Doris Rapp, M.D., a good way to help reduce or stop a food reaction is by using Alka-Seltzer Gold Antacid Formula without aspirin (gold foil box) or Alka- Aid. Buffered Vitamin C or esterified Vitamin C in powdered form taken in water helps with a food reaction.

Keep in mind, a deficiency of magnesium causes the mast cells (cells which release histamine) to release more histamine. It is important to keep your level of magnesium up in the body.

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Long-Term Effects Of Vaccines

Immediate dangers associated with mandatory vaccines are well documented in medical literature. Reactions range from soreness at the injection site to brain damage and death. However, few serious attempts have been made to discover the long-term effects of injecting foreign proteins and toxic substances into the healthy bodies of innocent infants. In fact, research focusing on possible correlation between vaccines and autoimmune diseases, and neurological-based disorders- multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, Gullain-Barre syndrome, cancer, SIDS- is just the beginning. For example, one medical researcher, Dr. Richard Moskowitz, recently concluded that the unnatural process of vaccination could lead to slow viruses developing in the body. These may bring about the far less curable chronic diseases of the present.” He also noted that “these illnesses may be considerably more serious than the original disease, involving deeper structures and more vital organs.” Other researchers have identified an actual “lowering of the body’s resistance resulting from vaccinations.” They warn us about the “probability of wide-spread and unrecognized vaccine-induced immune system malfunction.” They also note that this effect is often delayed, indirect, and masked, its true nature seldom recognized.

The immune System: Several researchers have noted that vaccines nearly “trick” the body into focusing on only one aspect (antibody production) of the many complex and integrated strategies normally available to the immune system. Diseases contracted naturally are ordinarily filtered through a series of immune system defenses. But when the vaccine is injected directly into the child’s blood stream, it gains access to all of the major tissues and organs of the body without the body’s normal advantage of a total immune response. Antibodies (T-lymphocytes) that do respond to the invading vaccine germs become committed to those germs and are unable to react to other challenges to the health of the child.

Genetic Mutation: The polio vaccine contains monkey kidney cell culture and calf serum. The MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine is prepared in chick embryo. Monkey kidney, calf serum, and chick embryo are foreign proteins- biological matter composed of animal cells. Because they are injected directly into the bloodstream, they are able to change our genetic structure.

No one knows the long-term effects of tampering with the genetic codes and delicate structure of the human organism. However, the physical invasion of the human body by foreign genetic material may have the immediate effects of permanently weakening the immune system, setting in motion a new era of autoimmune diseases. The incidence of schizophrenia is on the rise compared to earlier times, and studies now indicate that about one-third of all cases are autoimmune in nature. Some authorities implicate the childhood vaccine programs.

Developmental Disabilities: According to the medical historian, Harris L. Coulter, Ph.D., ” the family and society are both victims of vaccination programs forced on them by the state legislatures that are entirely too responsive to medical opinion and medical organizations.” The entire postwar American generation is suffering from what he call “post-encephalitic syndrome” (PES)-The name he gives to define a variety of vaccine-induced disabilities. To support his assertions, Coulter presented evidence showing that the long-term effects of vaccinations may be more pervasive than suspected. However, disabilities caused by the vaccines are often “disguised” under different names: autism, dyslexia, learning disability, epilepsy, mental retardation, hyperactivity, and minimal brain dysfunction, to name a few. Juvenile delinquency, an unprecedented rise in violent crime, drug abuse, and the collapse of the American school system unable to contend with the estimated 20 to 25 percent of students mentally and emotionally deficient, represent other conditions that may be attributed to the vaccines.

The Hazards Of Drinking Coffee

The average American coffee drinker consumes about 3 cups a day. Most adults begin their day with a cup of coffee or tea. Even children get their morning buzz from a can of soda. And unfortunately, most of these beverages, especially coffee, contain caffeine.

Caffeine is a mind-altering drug- possibly the most popular drug in the world. Caffeine obtained from cola nuts, is the main ingredient in coffee, some teas, cocoa, and colas. In addition, more than 1,000 over-the-counter and several hundred prescription drugs contain caffeine. Humans have consumed and abused the use of caffeine for centuries- archaeologist have found evidence of caffeine consumption as early as 2700 BC.

Caffeine directly stimulates the central nervous system. It is absorbed rapidly from the stomach and small intestines and crosses the blood/brain barrier quite readily. (Maximum concentration in the blood occurs within 3o to 60 minutes.) This in turn effects the rest of the body.

Most researchers agree that caffeine can counteract slight changes in performance brought about by boredom, fatigue, or lack of sleep- for a period of time. Caffeine is a drug and, in most cases it acts like an amphetamine, pepping the system up temporarily, and then letting it down.

Caffeine effects most of the organs of the body – it constricts the blood vessels, speed up the heart, and stimulates the brains, stomach, kidneys, ovaries and testes.

Symptoms of excessive caffeine consumption include nervousness, headaches, restlessness, insomnia, nervous tremors, anxiety, heart palpitations, stomachaches, heartburn, diarrhea, frequent urination and depression.

A recent study also found that frequent consumption of cola drinks by children might impair brain and central nervous system development. Another study found that people, who drank as little as two cups of coffee per day, doubled their chances of contracting cancer of pancreas; three cups a day nearly tripled it. Cases of pancreatic cancer have nearly tripled in the past thirty years!

Studies have also linked caffeine consumption with increased heart attacks, cancer of the bladder and urinary tract, ulcers, and other diseases.

Even decaffeinated coffee has unhealthy side effects- most are usually treated with methylene chloride, a cancer-causing substance.

Withdrawal symptoms are common among those who try to quit. Common symptoms include headaches, drowsiness, an inability to concentrate, lethargy, nervousness, and depression. These symptoms can last for up to two weeks or more.

For those who want to kick the caffeine habit altogether, the herb Alfalfa Leaf may be of help. Alfalfa has been proven effective in cases of recuperative drug addiction.

Aromatherapy 101

Aromatherapy has long been a craze in America. But do you know what products really work and where to find them?

Sharleen Andrews-Miller, a botanical medicine teacher at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon, says aromatherapy products can be used to help against everything from stressful days to sleepless nights. But you must find the right product.

Andrews-Miller says the key is to use pure essential oils, Most companies dilute essential oils with carrier oils, such as almond oil, she says. If these carrier oils are of poor quality, they will diminish the shelf life of the essential oil. Andrews-Miller admits that pure essential oils are expensive and hard to find. “But you need a true essential oil if you want to do therapy and not a perfume,” she says.

Odors from essential oils can modify your brain reactions by affecting the release of certain neurotransmitters (a.k.a. “brain chemicals”) or hormones.

Oils that raise endorphin levels — like rosemary, peppermint, and bergamot — can help you get your energy back. “Oils in the citrus family — like orange, lemon, and grapefruit are also good,” Andrews-Miller adds. These oils tend to give people a feeling similar to a runner’s high. But oils affect different people in different ways. “I have a friend who will smell peppermint and fall asleep,” she says .

The oils that can help you rest include lavender, chamomile, sandalwood, ylang ylang, and neroli (orange blossom). These oils raise serotonin levels, which tend to induce sleep, Andrews-Miller says. The same thing happens after drinking milk (This is why mom gave you a cup of warm milk before bed).

If you’re looking for an oil that will help you deal with stress, Andrews-Miler recommends the same relaxing oils — especially lavender. “It’s relaxing but not sedating,” she says. So you can use this oil to de-stress at work without worrying about falling asleep at your desk.

Lavender is Andrews-Miller’s favorite oil. “If I only had one essential oil, that would be the one,” she says. Aside from being able to help with stress and insomnia, lavender is also affordable and easy to ?find, unlike most essential oils. Rose oil, for example, which is also a good stress reliever, can cost up to $1 per drop.

Andrews-Miller says the cost of essential oils varies depending on the quality and the source of the plant material. Most citrus oils are relatively inexpensive. Sweet orange, for example, has a retail price of about $4 per ounce.

Lavender runs about $12 per ounce. Neroli (orange blossom), which is considered one of the “gourmet” essential oils, can cost up to $600 per ounce!

“Organic essential oils will be about three times more expensive but are worth it,” she says. Essential oils can be purchased at cheaper, wholesale prices. Andews-Miller recommends The Essential Oil company

After you purchase essential oils, you should know how to use them properly. Andrews-Miller says never use an essential oil directly on your skin without diluting it first. The safest oils to use on the skin are lavender and tea tree. Some oils, like lemon, cedar, and thyme, can cause a burning sensation when applied.

Here are a few guidelines from Andrews-Miller on how to use essential oils:

* If you want to use the oil topically, add about 15 drops for every ounce of oil, lotion, or salve (or whatever you use to dilute the oil). Add less when using more irritating oils.
* If you want to use the oil in your bath, add about 5-10 drops. Add less when using more irritating oils.
* If using a diffuser, add 4 to 6 drops.
* For inhalation, add 3 to 5 drops to a bowl of hot water.

Source: Health.com

Are You Grilling Salmonella For Your Guests?

Summer is the perfect time for a barbecue. Who can resist the smell of food cooking on the grill? Did you know that a barbecue could be hazardous to your health?

Earlier this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced an outbreak of Salmonella, a bacterium that causes food poisoning. Each year, approximately 40,000 salmonella- infection cases are reported. Because many milder cases are not diagnosed or disclosed, the CDC estimates that the actual number of infections may be twenty or more times greater. About 1,00 people die every year from salmonella poisoning.

Salmonella contamination often occurs in beef and poultry, especially when served during a barbecue when the weather’s warm. Here are a few tips to help you enjoy healthy outdoor eating:

Shopping for meat
If you’re buying a lot of groceries, make sure that you purchase meat and poultry last. Place packages of raw meat and poultry in plastic bags to prevent them from contaminating other food. When you get home, any meat or poultry that will not be used in a day or two should go immediately into the freezer.

Carrying food
If you’re going to take your food to another location to barbecue, keep it cold while traveling to prevent bacteria from growing. Immediately before leaving put the food into a cooler filled with ice or ice packs. Once you arrive at your destination, keep the cooler in a shady spot. Avoid opening the cooler lid too often so that it stays cold.

Cooking
Although some people prefer rare meat, all meat and poultry should be cooked thoroughly to destroy harmful bacteria. Use food thermometer to make sure that food has reached a safe internal temperature and be sure that your food thermometer touches the center of the meat, The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service advises cooking food to the following internal temperatures:

* Whole poultry 180 degrees
* Poultry breast 170 degrees
* Beef hamburger 160 degrees
* Ground poultry 165 degrees
* Beef, veal and lamb steaks, roast and chops 145 degrees
* All cuts of pork 160 degrees

Serving food
After you’ve handled raw meat or poultry, always thoroughly wash your hands before handling cooked meat. Dr. Bob Bogosian, president of Global Biotechnologies and renowned microbiologist and epidemiologist, advises, wash your hands often as you cook because your hands transfer 85% of all infectious organisms. When taking food off the grill, use clean platter and clean utensils to prevent a food-borne illness. Dr. Bogosian explains, washing and sanitizing items like cutting boards, knives and other food-prep surfaces prevents cross contamination with items that are not cooked, like salads. Don’t pour marinades used for raw meat over cooked food unless you boil it first to kill harmful bacteria.

Make sure your next summer barbecue is an enjoyable experience for your whole family. Take these simple precautions, then relax and enjoy dining alfresco!