Printer Friendly

From the archives of Jack Kessinger DC, ND, DABCI.

Editor's note:

I don't believe I ever attended one of Dr. Kessinger's lectures that he did not stress the importance of food sensitivity testing. He would tell his students "If I only had one test to choose for My patients, it would be food allergies."

It always made perfect sense to me. Food to our body is like gas to our car. If you Jill your automobile with kerosene, you will not get peak performance. Why would we expect different results with our food consumption.

The following is reprinted from The Original Internist Vol. 8. NO. 3, Sept. 2001

Allergies: The Controversy

The nearly limitless health conditions that can be triggered by allergies may be the most overlooked and misunderstood area of medical science. Confusion about the significance of allergic reactions has no doubt been fostered through the ongoing bombardment of advertisements in practically every news media proclaiming the superior benefits for one of the numerous allergy medications on the market. The advertisements for these allergy medications always target an inhalant (grasses, weeds, flowers, pollens, cat dander, mold, house dust, etc.) for contributing to sniffles, sneezes, runny nose, itchy and watery eyes, and hives. The ads are always aimed at the lay public so that potential customers can advise their doctors about which specific medication sounds like the very one that will make their life once again bearable.

Food reaction problems remain perhaps one of the least recognized allergies and are not nearly as prevalent as environmental allergies to such things as grasses, weeds and trees. It has long been commonly thought that a food sensitivity would at most cause diarrhea, vomiting, or occasionally a rash or hives, and is considered much less a threat than environmental allergens.

Many studies are now reporting that food allergies often pose equally serious health complications that can be as life-threatening as inhalants. The difference in reactions between environmental and food allergies is time. While reaction from environmental allergens are commonly immediate, (within a few minutes) reactions from food allergens do not manifest for several hours (possibly up to 72 hours) after ingestion.

The unbroken skin and hydrochloric acid in the stomach are the first lines of defense our bodies have against invading microorganisms. immunoglobulins protect our bodies from those opportunistic microorganisms that manage to dodge the first line of defense. Immunoglobulins are derived from globulins and abbreviated Ig. According to Guyton's Textbook of Medicinal Physiology, there are five general classes of antibodies: IgG, IgA, IgM, IgE, and IgD. The two immunoglobulins that are especially involved in allergies are IgG and IgE. IgG comprises about 75% of the total antibodies in the normal person, and IgE constitutes only a small portion. However, the IgE antibodies continue to be of special interest among traditional allergists while IgG continues to be ignored.

Our immune system can only go awry in two different ways. It either becomes compromised and does not do enough, or it overreacts and does too much. When it overreacts, it causes an autoimmune disorder. Several conditions (such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, juvenile onset diabetes mellitus, etc.) are now reported to be caused by an overactive immune system, an autoimmune disorder.

There are many theories as to the cause of an overly aggressive response by the immune system. One is that protein is a major part of our bodies, and immunoglobulins, food, bacteria, viruses, and fungi are all made of protein, so our immune system has to differentiate among these and only attack enemy proteins. With the countless number of chemical preservatives put into our processed foods, in addition to the numerous toxicities found in our drinking water and the air we have to breathe, it is not difficult to see how our immune systems can become overly sensitized.

In addition, numerous drugs decrease the selective ability of the intestine, causing "leaky gut" syndrome, which allows undigested and unwanted food particles to enter the blood stream, leading to reactions by the immune system.

While the jury is still out on bio-engineered (genetically altered) foods, their possible allergenicity is certainly a current topic of controversy.

The IgE-mediated allergy is the one responsible for anaphylactic shock and even death. Response to such allergens is immediate, or at least occurs within a few minutes. Therefore, IgE allergies are often not difficult to identify, especially if they are from food or a bee sting. Also, laboratory analysis of a blood sample can identify a high total IgE, provided the individual has been exposed to the sensitizing agent within the last six weeks.

Even though the intradermal injection (skin scratch test) of extracts of the suspected allergen has long been reported to lack scientific validity because it is often not reproducible, it continues to be a popular testing procedure among traditional allergists.

House dust, cat dander, dog dander, house mites and mold tested by intradermal methods are commonly reported IgE allergens. A diagnosis of allergy to that specific substance is confirmed if a welt occurs around the injection site. If we think about it, though, the first line of defense is broken as something completely foreign to the body is placed under the skin. Some would say that if a reaction does not occur under those circumstances, we should consider a faulty immune response.

IgE reactions are often caused by inhalants (less often by foods), produce an immediate reaction, and can be fatal. IgG reactions are always from foods (never inhalants) and can be delayed. In fact, a reaction caused by IgG antibodies rarely occurs in less than 12 hours and more commonly 24-48 hours later. In fact, some reports state the IgG reaction may be delayed for up to 72 hours. This makes it a little tougher to track down.

During the 1940s, the field of allergy was advanced by Dr. Theron Randolph, who first advanced the IgG theory. By placing arthritic patients on a hospitalized fast, he found that 80% of the time their improvement was not due to not eating, but rather to not eating the foods that triggered the symptoms. After their symptoms cleared, he began reintroducing foods, one by one, until the allergens were identified. It seems after the body is cleared, and the offending food is reintroduced, the symptoms occur in several minutes, rather than after many hours. The pulse rate would increase significantly within 30 minutes to 2 hours.

I have appreciated Dr. Randolph's early work with food allergens for about 20 years. Recently, I was giving a report of findings for a food allergy test and explaining the rotational diet to a older patient when he remarked that another doctor, a Dr. Randolph, had recommended the same type of program many years earlier. I asked if the doctor's first name was Theron and he immediately said, "Yes."

We find that nearly every health problem can be caused or exacerbated by food allergies. Ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, cardiac arrhythmias, arthritis, migraine headaches, chronic fatigue syndrome, and fibromyalgia are just a few of the conditions in which we have seen significant improvement when we identify, then eliminate offending foods.

There are now several excellent laboratories capable of testing for IgG food allergens. After the suspected food allergens have been identified, the patient is placed on a rotational dietary program for the foods they are not supposedly sensitive to. We ask them to not consume a food, or any of its food group, more often than every four days. As with Dr. Randolph's reports, once the patient's system has cleared and they again consume the food, the reaction will occur much sooner. We ask the patient to follow the program fairly rigorously for at least three months. By that time, with or without our permission, they will have experimented and often can then tell the doctor which foods cause their symptoms.

Also, after their system has cleared and the immune system has quieted down, they can often consume the food on a limited basis. We had one patient who was on three different medications, plus an inhaler for asthma. Her main allergy turned out to be beef, which was reported to be among her favorite foods. After following the program for a few months she required no medication, including her inhaler. She reports that she can now eat beef once a week without any respiratory difficulty, but if she eats it twice in one week, she again experiences respiratory symptoms.
COPYRIGHT 2013 Original Internist, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2013 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:food sensitivity testing
Publication:Original Internist
Article Type:Reprint
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2013
Previous Article:Calendar of events.
Next Article:The legacy continues.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters