Avoiding foods that harm the body is a great way to find good health, and get one’s digestive system back into shape. Given that over 70% of our immune system is related to our gut, we understand why taking care of your nutrition can significantly reduce dysfunction and chronic diseases that make daily life difficult. Think of dermatological, respiratory, gynecological problems, or autoimmune diseases – even generalised pain can be related to digestion.
Allergies and food intolerances disrupt digestion, which can create inflammatory attacks, consuming much energy. In the case of intolerances, foods which are supposed to give vitality, actually slow the body down. Nutrients are not absorbed properly, so deficiencies in vitamins and minerals appear. The intestine no longer fulfils its role of acting as a protective barrier, letting undigested particles, proteins, viruses and toxins to enter the bloodstream, when they would normally be kept out. One’s entire system is weakened by what are actually beneficial foods, but which when eaten, the brain perceives as threats and treats as enemies.
The difference between food intolerances and allergies
It is important to establish the difference between an allergy and an intolerance. A food allergy is a reaction to a food that involves the immune system, such as an allergy to peanuts or shellfish. A food intolerance is a reaction to a food that does not involve the immune system, but can be the result of insufficient production of a particular enzyme such as lactase in those who are lactose intolerant. One exception to this rule is gluten intolerance, which may involve the immune system. An allergy often triggers an immediate and significant reaction, whereas an intolerance may go unnoticed, the symptoms being delayed (for as much as 72 hours, sometimes more) or mild in their intensity, and often difficult to spot. Having an intolerance or sensitivity to food is much more common than having a food allergy.
Our nutrition today
On the scale of human history, a food revolution has occurred in the historic space of a few seconds of human evolution. Moreover, other changes have completely reshaped our daily environment as well. We bathe in a sea of chemicals, electromagnetic waves and radiation, to which our body have not had time to adapt, in evolutionary terms.
From the time humans lived by hunting and gathering, the food supply was diversified very slowly, allowing the human organism time to adapt to change. A major shift in human diet occurred only a few hundred years ago – very recently in evolutionary terms – brought about by ever more intensive farming, by conquests (introducing spices and exotic foods from other locales) and by the diversification of diet by means of preservation and cooking. More recently, in the last fifty years, the blink of an eye in human history, food has changed dramatically, even unrecognisably: much of the food that’s sold commercially now is refined (deprived of part of its nutrients), polluted (pesticides, radiation), manipulated (GMOs), reaching our plates from all parts of the world in all seasons. Aside from the environmental impact, this food revolution is brutal for our systems, forced to adapt too quickly.
One may wonder why our grandparents were not sensitive to the bread they ate, as we are. Take the example of wheat. Originally, it was a long fiber cereal that contained 7 chromosomes. Since then, many changes occurred in its DNA. Farmers and consumers wanted wheat that would not bend to the wind, we wanted it more resistant, we wanted the flour to be more substantial, so we added gluten (the word comes from glue), which made it more abrasive to the intestinal lining. Today wheat contains 21 chromosomes, a typical batch of flour is bleached chemically, with additives to make it smooth (our grandparents had to sift by hand!). In the end, it has become almost a dead food, with very little nutrition, quite similar to plastic in fact!
My own experience
I myself have suffered intolerances. From one day to the next, at 43, I started to gain weight, to feel bloated, experience headaches, joint pain (especially in the wrists), and to be tired for no reason. I was tested and discovered I had an intolerance to 28 foods, some of them among my favourites, like eggs and tomatoes. After an elimination period of eight weeks, I was able reintroduce a few substances. For the rest, I stayed with the idea that I could never eat them again. It was hard but I felt really good. My friends were asking what I had done, what detox miracle I had followed to have such a clear face, such a good form and such vitality.
Why wait to be sick?
Food intolerances can cause long-term serious health consequences. An allergy can lead right to the hospital, while intolerance is more a kind of “slow path to death”. Food intolerances are related to irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease, asthma and chronic sinusitis, rheumatoid arthritis (if you have pain in the joints, it may be a sign), and they accelerate degenerative diseases (Multiple sclerosis, Fibromyalgia, etc).
Food intolerance symptoms:
Any symptoms may be related to food intolerance, but more particularly:
- Eczema, rashes, acne, itching, psoriasis
- Gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, acid reflux, colitis
- Headaches, migraines
- Lack of energy, unexplained fatigue, excessive sleepiness, insomnia
- Seasonal allergies, sinusitis, asthma
- Brain fog, lack of clarity, difficulty concentrating
- Muscle and/ or joint pain
- Difficulty to gain or lose weight
- Anxiety, depression, negative, obsessive thoughts
- In children: ADD/ ADHD (attention deficit, hyperactivity disorder)
Top food allergy substances
- Dairy products
- Wheat gluten, grains
- Fish and shellfish
- Peanuts and other nuts
- Nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants …)
- Sugar and sweeteners
Kinesiological test for food intolerances and NAET® desensitization
In my practice I check for food allergies and intolerances through muscle testing. I go through about 200 substances with this painless and non-invasive method. The test lasts a little over an hour.At the end of this test, the patient receives the full list of tested foods. Several scenarios are then possible:
– There’s no intolerance (which is rare!)
– The patient manages his sensibilities, deciding to eat or avoid the substances
– The patient does an 8 week elimination, checks again for the problematic foods to see if they can be reintroduced into the diet
– The patient gets treated by kinesiology (the focus is on the endocrine system), or a desensitization with NAET®