Article by guest author Mike Geary, Certified Nutrition Specialist, Certified Personal Trainer, Author of best-sellers: The Fat Burning Kitchen , The Top 101 Foods that FIGHT Aging & Diabetes Fix

WHAT ARE ALLERGIES?

An “allergy” can be described as sensitiveness of the body to a substance which does not normally affect other persons. There are innumerable substances in the environment which can cause mild to violent reactions in many people.

These reactions range from true allergies due to intolerance of certain foods and substances, to those resulting from pollution.

Allergic reactions may occur within a few minutes of the patient coming in contact with the allergen, or they may be delayed for several hours or even several days. Almost any part of the body can be affected by allergies.

The portion of the body which is affected is called a shock organ. Common sites are the nose and eyes, the skin, chest, intestines and ears.

Allergic reactions are caused by a wide range of substances and conditions. These include pollen, dust, cosmetics and animal hair; poisonous plants, serums, vaccines and drugs; physical agents such as heat, cold and sunlight; as well as a variety of foods.

SYMPTOMS

The symptoms of allergy are as varied as the substances causing the reaction.

Allergy Symptoms

These include recurring headache, migraine, dizziness, irritability, nervousness, depression, neuralgia, sneezing, conjunctivitis, diabetes, eczema, heart-burn, hay fever, indigestion, constipation, diarrhoea, gastric ulcer, asthma, overweight, high blood pressure, chest pain, heart attacks, a stuffy or runny nose, shortness of breath, swelling of the face and eyes, etc.

The same food can cause different symptoms in different people. Many allergies are multiple and may be caused by multiple allergens.

CAUSES

Allergy is an indication of lowered resistance and internal disharmony caused by dietetic errors and faulty style of living.

1. It is believed that the major cause of allergy is feeding babies such foods as cereals, meat, corns, whole milk, etc. before they reach the age of 10 to 12 months.

These foods cause allergic reactions as babies lack the proper enzymes needed for their digestion before that age. Babies should be breast-fed for at least eight months as this is nature’s way of providing all the required nutrients during this period.

2. Another important cause if allergy is today’s processed foods loaded worth numerous chemical additives, many of which loaded with cause powerful reactions.

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3. An allergic condition can result from diet imbalances.  There can be a breakdown in the body’s ability to handle sugar due to excessive intake of refined sugar and consequent blood sugar irregularities, or mineral and vitamin imbalances due to defective dietary patterns.

4. Emotional and psychological stress can also lead to allergies. According to Dr. Hans Selye, the world’s premier researcher on stress, allergic symptoms are often nothing more than body’s reaction to stress. A person can through chronic stress, become sensitive to common foods or commonplace substance like petrol fumes.

TREATMENT

There are various ways to tackle many of the allergic disturbances.

First, the sources must be identified.This is a difficult but not impossible task.

Second, once the sources are discovered, they should be avoided.

Third, and most important, general health and resistance should be built up to establish immunity to them.

There are two methods to detect disturbing foods.

The first method is the trial-and-error elimination diet. This automatically eliminates many hazards and foods. Keep to organic, untreated, unprocessed foods as far as possible, and you will eliminate another set of hazards such as pesticides, various sprays and other poisons.

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After having eliminated as many disturbing factors as possible, a self-search should be carried out to ascertain any suspicious symptoms from foods.

It is advisable to try an eliminatory diet, excluding suspected foods for two weeks until the cause is detected. Occasionally, by changing the brand or the type, you can find a food substitute that does not upset you.

Another way to detect the cause of allergy is by Dr Coca’s “pulse test”. The method is as follows:

Check your pulse before a meal. Then limiting that meal to one food only, wait for half an hour after eating and take your pulse again. A slight increase is considered normal, even up to 16 extra beats. If your pulse does not rise above 84, you may be allergy-free.

  • But if your pulse rises beyond that point, and remains high an hour after the meal, you have found your food allergy.

The best way, however, to prevent or overcome allergies is to strengthen the overall physical resistance so as not to fall an easy prey to every allergen that comes along.

To start with, the patient should fast on fresh fruit juices for four or five days. Repeated short juice fasts are likely to result in better tolerance to previous allergies.

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After the fruit juice fast, the patient can take a mono diet of vegetables or fruits such as carrots, grapes or apples, for one week.

A week later the third food is added and so on. After four weeks, the protein foods can be introduced, one at a time.

In case an allergic reaction to a newly introduced food is noticed, it should be discontinued and new food tried. In this way all real allergens can be eventually eliminated from the diet.

The foods which should be excluded from the diet are tea, coffee, chocolate, cola drinks, alcohol, sugar, sweets and foods containing sugar, refined cereals, meats, fish, chicken, tobacco, milk, cheese, butter, pickled foods and foods containing any chemical additives, preservatives and flavouring.

These foods cause either toxic accumulations or over-stimulation of adrenal glands or strain on pancreatic enzyme production or disturb the blood sugar balance.

For preventive purposes, the entire C complex vitamins – known as the bio flavonoids, are recommended.

They gradually strengthen cell permeability to help immunise the body from various allergies, especially hay fever.

Often the addition B5 or pantothenic acid brings great relief to allergy sufferers. Multiple allergies may result from poor adrenal gland functioning.

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In such cases liberal amounts of pantothenic acids help cure them, although the recovery will take several weeks.

An adequate intake of vitamin E is also beneficial as this vitamin possesses effective anti-allergic properties, as some studies have shown.

An exciting remedy for allergy has been has been discovered by an Indian physician, Dr. Hement Pathak.

He found that the use of five drops of castor oil in a little or water taken on an empty stomach in the morning, is highly beneficial for allergies in the intestinal tract, skin and nasal passages.

Dr. Pathak, who is an expert in Chinese medicine, has reported numerous cases of allergic protection by this method.

For allergic conditions in which an element of stress is present, it is essential to employ such methods as relaxation, exercise, meditation and mind control.

These methods will reduce or remove stress and mind control. These methods will reduce or remove stress and thereby contribute towards the treatment of allergies.

Yogic asanas like Yoga mudraArdha Matsyendrasana (half fish pose)Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand), Savasana and Anuloma VilomaPranayamaare also beneficial.

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OVERCOMING SEASONAL ALLERGIES NATURALLY

FOOD TO AVOID

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Conventional Dairy
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    Chocolate
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    Peanuts
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    Sugar
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    Artificial Sweetners
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    Processed Foods
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    Melons
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    Bananas
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    Cucumbers
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    Sunflower Seeds
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    Shellfish
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    Bottled Citrus Juice
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    Echiacea
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    Chamomile
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    Wheal
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    Soy

FOODS TO ENJOY

  • Raw Local Honey - Relieves symptoms because it contains local pollen that is causing your allergies. Take a Couple of tablespoons each day.
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    Hot and Spicy Foods - This the mucus and allow it to be more easily expressed. Try adding garlic, onion, ginger, cinnamon and cayenne pepper to your recipes.
  • Bone Broth -  Bone broth, from chicken, beef or lamb, helps to ease respiratory problems, and help to expel excess nasal mucus.
  • Probiotic-Rich Foods  - Support a stronger immune system, improve digestion, increase energy levels, and so much more. Eat Kefir, sauerkraut or kimchi, kombucha, natto, yogurt and raw cheese. 
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    Pineapple -  The enzymes Bromelain found in pineapple in addition to high levels of vitamins B, C and other essential nutrients can help to reduce your reactions to seasonal allergies.
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    Apple Cider Vinegar - Helps to boost the immune system, helps to break up mucus and supports lymphatic drainage. Three times per day, mix 1 tablespoon of fresh-squeezed lemon juice, and 1/2 tablespoon of local raw honey and drink.
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    Fresh Organic Vegetables - Include swiss chard (that is high in quercetin), cabbage, beets, carrots and yams to help you fight seasonal allergies. 
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    Clean Proteins - Consume grass-fed meats, free-range poultry and wild-caught fish to provide the right vitamins, omega-3s, essential minerals and protein to boost your immunity. 

SUPPLEMENTS TO HELP IN THE ALLERGY FIGHT

1. SPIRULINA - 1 teaspoon per day

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Stops the release of histamine that causes symptoms. 

2. Quercetin - 100 mg per day

The flavonoid that gives fruits and vegetables their rich color, quercetin stops the production and release of histamine. 

3. Butterbur - 500 mg per day

Traditionally used to treat bronchitis, excess mucus and asthma, it was found to be as effective as zyrtec/Allerga for treating hay fever. (However, young children, pregnant or breastfeeding women should not take butterbur suplements.) 

4. Probiotics - 50 billion IU (2-6 capsules) per day

Modifies the intestinal flora in the gut improving immune system and shows promise in the treatment and prevention of allergies. 

5. Vitamin A - 2000 mg per day

Boosts the immune system, fights inflammation and has antihistamine properties. 

6. Bromelain - 1000 mg per day

The enzyme in pineapple helps to reduce swelling in the nose and sinuses, helping to relieve hay fever symptoms. 

7. Zinc - 30 mg per day

Helps to heal adrenal fatigue caused by chronic stress, as stress worsens the symptoms of seasonal allergies. 

8. Stinging Nettle - 300-500 mg twice per day

Contains antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce the body's production of symptom causing histamine.

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ALLERGY INFOGRAPHICS AROUND THE WEB

How to Allergy Proof Your Home

5 Mistakes People Make When Trying to Prevent Allergies

Infographic Source: Swansonvitamins

Allergies 101 - Identifying and Preventing Allergies