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The ways that an allergy manifests are unique to you. It could be hives, wheezing, eczema, red eyes, or a stuffy nose.
If you are hypersensitive to certain foods (rather than a certain season), an allergy could show up in the lungs—for example, asthma or a runny nose.
More often though, food allergies cause abdominal pain, bloating, and itchy skin.
Allergies are even more prevalent in today's society because of diet, vaccinations, antibiotic use, and over-cleanliness. Supporting the gut with beneficial bacteria found in fermented foods, like cultured vegetables made from the Veggie Culture Starter, can restore a wounded inner ecosystem that leaves the door open to Candida overgrowth and food allergies.
Unfortunately, most allergies still receive the Band-Aid approach: Symptoms of an allergy are treated without ever addressing the cause. Allergy shots, steroids, decongestants, and anti-histamines all provide temporary relief—they are a quick fix to a deeply rooted imbalance.
Over the past several decades, the numbers of those affected by allergies have been climbing. One study found that 20%-30% of the Western population is affected by one allergy or another. (1)
Another study in Pediatrics found that one out of 12 children in the United States has a food allergy. (2) This translates into 6 million children.
Like a juggler with three balls in the air, the immune system relies on balance and timing—rather than strength. When one aspect of the immune system overreacts or underperforms, disease develops.
According to the hygiene hypothesis, our cleanliness may be one way that allergies develop.
The hygiene hypothesis—originally described in 1989—asserts that the less time children spend on the farm, in the mud, with siblings, and out of the city, the less contact they have with microbial bugs. (3)(4) As it turns out, coming into contact with a diverse crowd of bacteria is extremely important to the developing immune system of a young child. A variety of these bugs turn “on” regulatory T cells. This is a good thing. Later in life, regulatory T cells can turn “off” the inflammatory signaling of an allergic response or an autoimmune disease. (5)
These days, we see fewer microbes and more allergies because of:
The experts tell us that these five factors have manipulated the gut beyond the point of checks-and-balances. (6)
In other words, without plenty of different microbes populating the gut and interacting with the immune system, opportunistic bugs like Candida yeast or Clostridium difficile bacterium (common bug than can give you a lethal case of diarrhea) can quickly take over.
Pathogenic bacteria and yeast, like Candida and Clostridium difficile, damage the lining of the intestines and are often the root causes of “leaky gut”. When the body suffers from “leaky gut”, undigested particles leak into the bloodstream, causing an inflammatory response and even an autoimmune response. Many functional medicine doctors point to this gut permeability as the culprit in ever-changing food allergy diagnoses.
The gut is home to as many as one thousand billion microbes. In a healthy person, there are at least 1,000 different strains. (7) The thing to remember about all these microbes is that they play a vital role in your health and wellbeing. They help you:
Studies have found that probiotics can protect against the development of allergies. They can also help manage allergies once they have shown up. So far, we know that the benefit of probiotics in the body is three-fold:
1. Crowd Control. Good bacteria are able to change the pH (or acidity) of the inner ecosystem. By manipulating the pH, they make the gut an ideal place to thrive (while it is the worst for disease-causing bugs). (8)
With enough good bacteria populating the digestive tract, the bad guys do not have the resources to take over. (9) And the opportunistic bugs, like Candida yeast, are kept under control.
When infants are given probiotics early in life, this stimulates the growth of other beneficial bacteria—ensuring a hearty inner ecosystem in spite of external circumstances. (10)
2. Protect the Gut Lining. Studies have found that good bacteria guard against leaky gut. They do this by protecting the tight junctions between cells. Good bacteria also supporting the production of clear, nourishing mucus that soothes away intestinal irritation. (11)
Probiotics produce special fats as they help to break down food in the gut. These fats are protective. They prevent and calm irritation along the lining of the gut. (12)
3. Anti-Inflammatory. Probiotics work with the immune system. They can shut down the inflammatory cascade at the root—preventing inflammatory signaling that can lead to the pesky signs of allergies. (13)(14)(15)
When it comes to preventing allergies, gut health is pivotal. And it begins in utero.
For example, one study found that when an expecting mother is exposed to a rich microbial environment (like a farm), her child is less likely to develop asthma and other allergies. (16)
Another study published in Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics points out that mothers on prescription antacid medications while pregnant are more likely to give birth to children that develop childhood asthma. (17) In fact, use of antacid medication while pregnant is associated with a 1.4 times higher incidence of childhood asthma.
The development of your inner ecosystem begins with your mother. (18) This inner ecosystem plays an important role in regulating the immune system. And this influences how you respond to your environment or to you food.
So what can you do if you began life with a wounded inner ecosystem?
Begin by introducing fermented foods into your diet. Eat these foods every day.
Next, help seal a leaky gut by following the Principles of the Body Ecology Diet. The Body Ecology Diet is gluten-free, sugar-free, and casein-free. Its Principles are designed to enhance digestion, optimize digestive enzymes, and eliminate the root of inflammation.
In addition to taking proper enzymes designed for those with impaired inner ecosystems—such as Assist Full Spectrum, Assist SI, and Assist Dairy and Protein—we recommend that two action steps happen before food ever hits your stomach.
An allergy can manifest in your body in a number of ways, in wheezing, hives, red eyes, or eczema. Unfortunately, most allergies today are addressed by their symptoms without treating the root cause of the issue.
In many cases, allergies may be related to the hygiene hypothesis, linking over-cleanliness to the development of allergies. Without diverse microbes in the gut to support the immune system, opportunistic bugs will soon take over.
You can nourish your inner ecosystem and control allergies with daily doses of fermented foods, by following the Principles of the Body Ecology Diet, and by taking digestive enzymes like Assist Full Spectrum, Assist SI, and Assist Dairy and Protein.
Kefir has many benefits, including better digestion of fats, proteins and carbohydrates. It has been known for thousands of years for its anti-aging and immune-enhancing properties.
Kefir is an ancient cultured food, rich in amino acids, enzymes, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and B vitamins. Kefir means "feel good" in Turkish, and that's just how you'll feel after drinking a glass in the morning! Easy and fun to make at home, it is superior to commercial yogurt. An absolute must after antibiotic use!
Unlike yogurt, kefir can actually colonize the intestinal tract and is simple and fun to make at home. To make kefir: Mix one packet with 1 quart of warm milk, cover and set at room temperature for 18-24 hours. Refrigerate and enjoy!
Each packet yields 1 quart of kefir, and can be reused up to 7 times. This means you can create 10 ½ gallons of kefir from one box!
Unable to fully digest your food? Add more wood to the fire.
Assist SI bolsters your digestion by delivering more enzymes to where you need them most—in your small intestine. This is where tiny finger-like villi reach out and seize nutrients, pulling them into your bloodstream.
But if you don’t have enough enzymes to break apart large molecules of food, the villi can’t do their job. And unabsorbed food ferments in the small intestine, creating painful gas and irregular bowel movements.
Assist SI delivers the same enzymes that your pancreas releases into the opening of the small intestine, ensuring your villi have something to grab on to and that you get the nutrition you need.
Information and statements regarding dietary supplements/products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Information on this website is provided for informational purposes only and is a result of years of practice and experience by the author. This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing medication or other treatment. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal, or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your healthcare provider promptly. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read on this website.