There was a report that came out last year that people with a food allergy are more likely to be murdered than to die from a severe allergic reaction. The chances of dying from an allergic reaction is 1.8 in a million and the chance of being murdered in Europe is 11 in a million. So what they are saying with this rather sensationalised comparison is that although severe reactions do happen, they are not nearly as common as you might think.
What is more and more common however is the fact that people, and especially children, have food allergies. Hospital admissions for children with food allergies have risen 500% in the last 20 years. Common food allergies including eggs, fish, milk, peanuts, shellfish, soya and wheat are now so common place that the fact no longer surprises many people. It's almost like a natural part of life - like being left-handed or having one foot bigger than the other.
Is it any wonder that allergies have been increasing when our main food sources are becomes less and less natural. We consume chemicals, preservatives, artificial colouring, artificial flavouring, emulsifiers, pesticides, antibiotics in meat. We eat ready-cooked, processed, packaged foods which are only a little bit more nutritious than the cardboard packaging around them. With this lack of quality of foods in our diets, maybe the surprising thing is that there are not even more allergies.
So what’s the solution to food allergies?
The logical way to combat them is to remove the food causing the reaction from the diet. If we avoid the food, then there won’t be any more symptoms. Our focus is on the offending food and maybe the person can have an allergy test to find out what they are allergic to. If you’re allergic to peanuts, then you don’t eat peanuts anymore. It’s a simple solution.
But hang on! What if a person is allergic to a whole range of different foods. Surely they can’t stop eating everything. Which brings me onto whether this focus on the food itself is the right way of looking at food allergies. Could there be another way? One that looks at allergies from a different direction.
Let me suggest that maybe the food isn’t the problem. Maybe the problem is inside the person.
Maybe the solution lies in making it possible for the body to respond normally to these foods instead of removing them from your diet.
In order to do this you need to see your body not as a collection of biological parts but as an interconnected complex neuro-electrical system. If you have a weakness in this system, it may affect how your body deals with food.
If you have a weakness in your digestive organs, for example, they might not be able to digest certain foods properly and the body responds with symptoms such as nausea, diarrhoea, tiredness, symptoms on the lips and tongue. Perhaps the weakness is in the lungs too and you might have a skin rash, a cough or breathing problems.
These suggest that there is a weakness in the functions of certain organs in the body - in this case the pancreas/stomach and lung. If you can then support these organs and attempt to re-establish blood, oxygen and nutrient supply to them, you can continue to eat the problem foods without the reactions you normally have. This is because the problem was never the food but it was your reaction to it. The idea is to reduce the body's negative reaction to foods, support the functioning of the internal organs and improve the immune system.
So how do you reboot your body if you have food allergies?
Well the human body is a very complicated organism. All kinds of things can cause imbalance. But a very common problem connected to digestive weakness is:
eating too many processed, fatty foods
not doing exercise
having too much stress
taking antibiotics and some other medication
Everyone is different so it’s difficult to generalise but the best place to start with allergies is to look at your own body and make changes in your life to help it rebalance.