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 Integrative Medicine: Modern Allergies? 

It is usually possible by careful use of supplements and/or homoeopathic medicines to minimise these withdrawal symptoms.

While symptoms of masked allergy in an adult usually disappear after a week or so of avoiding the food in question it can take some weeks for the symptoms to ease in a child with masked allergy.

Rotation of Foods
A food is identified as an allergen when symptoms disappear following removal of the food from diet. It is possible to confirm this link between it and the symptoms by `challenging` the body once more (i.e. eating or drinking the suspected food) ideally within a few weeks of its elimination while the system is still sensitive.

To perform this test the suspect food should be consumed in reasonable amounts, twice in one day, after not having consumed it for some weeks. If symptoms reappear the test is positive and that food should not be consumed again for many months.

The longer it is kept out of the diet the more likely will it be that at a later stage it will be safe to reintroduce without problems, once the sensitivity to it has vanished (months and sometimes years need to pass for this to happen in some cases).

On the other hand it may be possible to resume eating particular foods fairly soon after its elimination as a regular part of the diet but no more often than once in five days. This is the so-called `rotation` pattern of eating.

Other Factors in Dietary Allergy/Intolerance
Many experts believe that it is largely due to an incomplete breakdown of foods that allergies occur. They point out for example that almost all children with asthma have a marked lack of digestive (stomach) acids and that supplementation with Betaine Hydrochloride with meals can have a great effect on reducing symptoms of the condition.

In addition the use of suitable enzyme supplements can improve digestion and minimise allergic symptoms.

Candida and Allergy
The increased use of refined sugars, and the widespread (over)use of antibiotics along with a number of other factors such as the use of the contraceptive pill have allowed a yeast, living in all of us, to escape from its usual limited habitat and to spread to areas previously inhabited by our friendly bowel flora, notably bifidobacteria in the colon and lactobacillus acidophilus in the small intestine.

Once the yeast spreads into these regions and the friendly bacteria no longer produce adequate quantities of the B vitamin biotin the yeast alters into a more aggressive mycelial form which can actually produce rootlets which damage the mucous lining of the bowel. This allows for a degree of malabsorption from the intestines of partially digested food particles and yeast waste products, triggering a defensive reaction in the bloodstream and other tissues affected.

Such Candida albicans activity can be a major contributing factor in many allergy conditions, and requires a specific dietary effort to control the yeast and to repopulate the bowel with strong and healthy micro-organisms. This yeast involvement is more probable if allergic symptoms started soon after a course of antibiotics (the infection for which it was given often gets the blame rather than the treatment).

William Crook's book `The Yeast connection` and my shorter description of a similar non-drug treatment programme `Candida Albicans - Could Yeast be your problem? (both available from most health food stores) outline the best way of dealing with this insidious and widespread problem naturally and effectively.

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 About The Author
Leon Chaitow ND, DO, MROA practicing naturopath, osteopath, and acupuncturist in the United Kingdom, with over forty years clinical experience, Chaitow is Editor-in-Chief, of the ...more
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