Your fluctuating sense of wellbeing could very easily be caused by something in you diet causing an allergic reaction.
People say, “I thought everybody got diarrhea after they drank milk.” Or they say, “I always loosen my belt after I eat. Doesn’t everybody?” ‘
If you answer yes to any of the following questions, your problems may be food related:
- Did you have colic as an infant?
- Do you have frequent attacks of indigestion, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea or gas?
- Are there foods that you can eat freely in one season (winter, for example), yet they bother you during other times of the year?
- Do you feel tired after you eat?
- Do you feel better if you skip a meal?
- Do you have to loosen your belt after meals?
- Are there any specific foods that you particularly dislike?
- Are there any foods that you crave, or eat frequently?
Allergic shiners are caused by swelling of tissues around the nose, due to longstanding allergic reactions.
Facial grimaces like nose wrinkling momentarily relieve itching for those with nasal allergies.
A nasal crease forms after two years or more of pushing the nose upward and backward to relieve itching and free a clogged nose.
This gesture is known as the allergic salute.
Another sign often associated with (but not limited to) food allergy is a patchy tongue. Little round or oval smooth patches appear on the back, edges and tips of the tongue. They tend to come and go.
. . . Or is it something in the air?
Chemical allergy is another problem that can sneak up on you. Billions of pounds of chemicals are produced each year, to say nothing of the fumes given off by cars, industry and even home appliances.
Ultimately, chemicals and fumes end up in our bodies. And invariably, some people can’t tolerate them. Maybe you, too, are chemically sensitive — but don’t know it.
`You may have a gas stove, yet never suspect you’re allergic to gas when you’re home every day,’
‘Yet when you take a vacation — say, up to the mountains where the air is good —you may come home only to become sick within minutes after walking through the door.
But when you were living with the same stove every day, you never suspected it.’
Petroleum-derived chemicals, by virtue of their infinitesimal size, find their way into the most sensitive parts of .the body —like the brain.
The following questions will help you evaluate whether or not you’re sensitive to chemicals.
- Are you more aware of smells and odours than other people seem to be?
- Do the odors of perfumes, marking pens, correction fluid, freshly printed newspaper, car exhaust, fresh paint or new car interiors make you ill?
- Do you (or your child) do well in school one day and poorly the next?
- If your behavior unpredictable, turning from Dr Jekyll to Mr Hyde (and back again) at the drop of a hat?
- Are you cranky, listless, impatient and ill-tempered more often than not?
Any health problems may begin shortly after exposure to the people around them — especially parents — don’t smoke. Following this principle of ‘early avoidance’ with all highly allergenic materials — such as dust, pollen, pets, moulds and toxic chemicals — may prevent allergies even in highly allergy-prone families.
Scientific research bears that statement out. In one experiment, for instance, doctors focused on the health of fifty newborns who, based on family history and blood levels of IgE, were bound to become allergic.
A few simple preventive steps were taken with twenty-five of these children: they were breastfed for at least six months and ate no other food except hypoallergenic milk substitutes; their bedrooms were kept as free as possible of dust and moulds; and no pets were allowed in their homes. By the time the toddlers were two years old, only six had any sign of allergy, even though all twenty-five were allergy prone. In contrast, no preventive steps were taken to safeguard the other twenty-five infants. Consequently, sixteen of the unprotected children — nearly three times as many as the protected group — developed allergy within the first two years .
That doesn’t, however, imply that opportunities for allergy control cease at age two. Many allergies don’t show up until early school age — or even adulthood, if anything, the need for avoidance tactics increases throughout life.
Infections, exposure to industrial pollution, degenerative diseases (such as diabetes d atherosclerosis) and the ageing process all play a role in ‘lightening an inherited tendency towards allergy.
Above all, though, exposure stokes the fires. Fortunately, there are hundreds of avoidance tactics, major and minor, at your disposal. You may need to make just a few simple changes in your routine to get your allergies under control. Highly sensitive people may need to make more or bigger adjustments.
Regardless of your degree of sensitivity, though, the sooner you begin your natural allergy relief programme, the better.