Chemical-Soaked Industrial Food: Tough Questions, Real Answers

Why are chemicals so pervasive in industrial foods?

The increased usage of chemicals in food production means more money for agribusinesses. With each new protein or hormone, the agribusiness is able to patent and gain exclusive sales rights. There is more money to be made off of engineered foods than foods that grow and reproduce naturally. 

Don't these chemicals protect the crop from pests and create a more stable food system?

Though this is certainly a selling point from agribusinesses, the usage of pesticides, herbicides, and genetically engineered crops has not created a more stable food system. The long-term effects of these chemicals on humans have not been adequately studied. Additionally, the increasing crop homogenization and decrease in species diversification leaves us vulnerable to a pest, virus or bacteria that could wipe out an entire crop. Though the chemicals do prevent pests in the short-term, the long-term public health effects are much more detrimental.

How does chemical exposure in food consumption effect our children's bodies?

Since 70% of our immune system is located in our digestive tracts, the foods we eat along with the chemicals they contain significantly impact our health. As these foods travel down the intestines, they can corrode the “pipes” much in the same way that chemical toxins corrode plumbing. The damage inflicted can leave a child vulnerable to a long list of autoimmune disorders such as food allergies, asthma, and ADD/ADHD, among many others.

What can I do to help protect my family? 5 Steps Towards A More Secure Diet:

  1. Educate yourself and others about industrial food.
  2. Eat a healthy, unprocessed diet.
  3. Buy local, organic fruits and vegetables.
  4. Avoid meat and dairy products that have been treated with hormones or antibiotics.
  5. Get a food allergy test for family members that display signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction.

Detecting Food Allergies: What Every Parent Needs to Know

12 Signs and Symptoms of a Food Allergy

  1. hives
  2. itching
  3. rash (eczema)
  4. behavioral/temper changes
  5. swelling of the face, lips, tongue and/or eyes
  6. diarrhea
  7. vomiting
  8. cramps
  9. itching and tightness of throat
  10. difficulty breathing (asthma)
  11. wheezing
  12. in extreme cases, anaphylactic shock.

What is a food allergy?

A food allergy is an immune reaction to a protein usually found in food that the body perceives as a foreign invader.

Can Children Outgrow Food Allergies?

Some children may outgrow their food allergy, though evidence increasingly suggests that autoimmune disorders such as asthma, Crohn's disease, and ulcerative colitis, among others, may result.

What Can I do to Keep My Family Safe?

  1. Cut “frankenfoods”

Manufactured by agribusinesses with suspect synthetic proteins, preservatives and dyes, these processed foods are built with foreign additives that our bodies often reject, resulting in allergic reactions and many other health issues.

  1. Eat real food

Local, organic fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy products are usually the cleanest and safest nutrient sources. Support these alternatives by shopping at farmer's markets.

  1. Food Allergy Blood Test

Simple, reliable, and cost-effective, these food allergy tests can quickly detect up to 96 possible food allergens particular to any one person. If a loved one is displaying the signs and symptoms of a potential food allergy, this is the quickest and easiest detection method.

Support Children: Discover the Truth Behind our Nation's Agribusinesses

Wealthy Nation, Sick Citizens

Though the United States is one of the wealthiest countries, our citizens are not exempt from chronic health issues. How can a country with such an impressive list of accomplishments still struggle to maintain it's health? Most alarming for parents are mounting public health epidemics among children, such as Type II diabetes, obesity, and asthma. Our nation is increasingly burdened by healthcare costs and children suffering from chronic illness. The security of our families and our nation depends on building our strengths, not managing our weaknesses. We must demand our health back.

Frankenfoods: What Agribusiness Isn't Telling Us

Robyn O'Brien, a new champion of food reform, learned how powerful and insidious the industrial food complex truly is when her youngest daughter suffered an acute reaction to a food allergen. Desperate to help her child in any way she could, she armed herself with as much information as possible in order to uncover what could be causing such devastating health changes in her infant daughter. O'Brien was horrified to learn that our food system provides subsidies for genetically modified (GM) crops, or foods that have synthetic proteins genetically hardwired into their DNA. No clinical human trials have ever been published. Our children are ther test subjects, and our very own home is the laboratory.

Milk: It Doesn't Do Your Body Good

According to CNN and the Wall Street Journal, milk is the most common of all food allergens. This seems unsurprising when examined alongside the chemical make-over the dairy industry received 15 years ago. In 1994, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new synthetic growth hormone (alternately called recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) or recombinant bovine somatropine (rBST)) to help cows produce more milk. Unfortunately, it also made the cows sick. Besides growing at a monstrous rate and falling under the weight of their own udders, dairy cows also developed ovarian cysts, skin disorders, and udder infections. To get a few more years out of a chronically ill cow's life, industrial dairy farmers feed the cows a steady diet of antibiotics, too.

Monsanto Bullies the FDA, dairies in Maine, and Fox News Investigative Reporters

With all these horrendous side effects, how did the FDA ever allow it to pass inspection? Apparently the effects of rBGH were never properly studied. The FDA relied solely on one study administered by Monsanto, the very company that produced the growth hormone in the first place. The study was never published. Instead of pushing for more analysis, the FDA accepted the results, stating that they showed no significant problems.

Cancer and dairy allergies are increasingly linked to rBGH, and the consumer public now demands answers. Monsanto, however, did and does not want to relinquish their grip on the dairy industry. Investigative journalists from a Fox News station in Tampa, Florida were fired for producing an unflattering story about the hormones after ensuing pressure from Monsanto.

Oakhurt Dairy, one of the largest dairy operations in Maine, was forced to change it's labels from “rGBH-free” to adding the statement “FDA States: No significant difference in milk from cows treated with artificial growth hormone.” It has even been proven that there is a so-called revolving door between Monsanto and the FDA. Many former Monsanto employees now work for the FDA, and vice versa. Who is working for the American public?

“How Many Cereal Bowls Have I Filled With This Milk?!”

Governments around the world no longer except meat or dairy products from the United States. They say these new proteins and hormones have yet to be proven safe. Our government, on the other hand, says they have yet to be proven dangerous. Robyn O'Brien, and many others, disagree with them.

Take A Stand for Your Family

Agriculture is greatly influenced by enormous corporations bent on squeezing every last cent out of the consuming public, even if it means putting families at risk. It is up to us to educate each other and take a stand against large corporations. The strength of our nation's children depends on it.

Dramatic Rise in Hospitalizations: Children with Food Allergies Dramatic Rise in Hospitalizations: Children with Food Allergies Dramatic Rise in Hospitalizations: Children with Food Allergies

A 265% Increase in the Past 10 Years

Since 1998, there has been a 265% increase in hospitalizations related to food allergies among children under 18, according to a 2008 CDC report. In ten short years, the number of children in grave danger due to consumption of a food allergen has nearly tripled. What is causing this unprecedented increase, and what is being done to prevent the unimaginable from happening to our nations' children?

A “Typical” Breakfast Sends a Child to the Emergency Room

Unfortunately, not much can be done. Robyn O'Brien, a former food analyst and mother of four, found this out the hard way. One morning over breakfast, her life changed forever. Her youngest daughter suffered an acute allergic reaction to her standard breakfast of Eggo waffles and was rushed to the hospital. Fortunately, O'Brien's daughter survived, but the mother's confidence in the nation's food system did not.

Over 3 Million Child Sufferers

To O'Brien's astonishment, she learned that an unbelievable 3 million children now suffer from food allergies. Unfortunately, these trends are not merely related to a general population increase. It is the very food we feed our families that is turning their immune systems against them.

3 Shocking Discoveries

In her search for answers, O'Brien made three surprising discoveries:

  1. Many food allergies are caused by synthetic proteins manufactured and inserted into our crops – proteins which were never tested for possible side effects.
  2. An allergic reaction to food is not only related to possible genetic predisposition, but an industry that willingly experiments on it's unsuspecting consumers.
  3. Our government's response to the food industry's frankenfoods is “safe until proven dangerous.”

How Many Children Sacrificed?

How many more children will be sent to the hospital before we realize the food is not safe? As more and more money is spent on disease management instead of economic growth, our international competitiveness dwindles.

Defending Our Nation's Children

Though never a foodie herself, Robyn O'Brien has become what many call “Erin Brokovich” of the healthy food movement. She recognizes that this is an issue that bridges the gap between progressive and conservative. Democrats, Republicans and independents alike all have children that they love and for whom they want the best. As an economist, she reminds us that we must ensure the future of our nation is in strong, healthy hands. 

Ritalin, Concerta and Adderall: Dangerous, Expensive and Ineffective

CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) was founded in 1987 by Ciba-Ceigy (now Novartis), the original maker of Ritalin. Not surprisingly, drugs like Ritalin have been pushed by supposedly unbiased health organizations, such as CHADD, as the only viable method to ameliorate the symptoms of ADHD. However, these drugs are dangerous, expensive, and often ineffective.

How effective are common treatment methods like Ritalin, Concerta and Adderall?

Currently, the amphetamines Ritalin and Concerta or an amphetamines “cocktail” (Adderall) is used to treat ADHD. Though Dr. Braly, author of The Essential Guide to Uncovering Food Allergies: And Achieving Permanent Relief  (2008), confirms that the “short-term effectiveness of these medications in reducing hyperactivity and improving concentration and learning is about 60 to 70 percent,” (57) these medications have very common and detrimental side effects.

Common Side Effects of Ritalin

  • Addiction
  • Nervousness including agitation, anxiety and irritability
  • Trouble sleeping (insomnia)
  • Decreased appetite
  • Headache
  • Stomach ache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Heart palpitations

Other Serious Side Effects of Ritalin Include

  • Slowing of growth (height and weight) in children
  • Seizures, mainly in patients with a history of seizures
  • Eyesight changes or blurred vision
Less Common Side Effects of Ritalin
  • High blood pressure
  • Rapid pulse rate (and other heart problems)
  • Tolerance (constant need to raise the dose)
  • Feelings of suspicion and paranoia
  • Visual hallucinations (seeing things that are not there)
  • Depression  
  • Dermatoses (infected or diseased skin)
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Infection or viral infection
  • Elevated ALT enzyme levels in the blood (signaling liver damage)

Overdose Side Effects of Ritalin

Since methylphenidate drugs are highly addictive, overdose side effects may result. Here are some of the more common symptoms of an overdose:

  • Restlessness
  • Tremor
  • Aggression
  • Hallucinations
  • Panic states
  • Hyperreflexia (overactive reflexes, which can include twitching or spasms)
  • Personality changes
  • Symptoms of depression
  • Seizures or abnormal EEGs
  • High blood pressure
  • Rapid heart beat
  • Swelling of hands/feet/ankles (for example, numbing of the fingertips)
  • Delusions
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting
  • Dehydration
  • Unexplained muscle pain
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Rhabdomyolysis and kidney damage

Chronic abuse can manifest itself as psychosis, often indistinguishable from schizophrenia 

A Call to Action

If you or a loved one suffers from ADD or ADHD, take your health into your own hands. Visit an appropriate health practitioner who will talk about the most simple and least invasive methods of healing. Throwing dangerous drugs at the problem is clearly not the solution.

ADHD and Big Business: What the Drug Companies Don't Want You to Know

In 1985, A Respected Doctor Discovers Food Can Cause ADHD

Dr. Joseph Egger, head of the Pediatric University Hospital in Munich, Germany, could not believe his results. Of 76 children with severe ADHD put on the strict hypoallergenic diet for a month, 82% got better. These were children with severe epilepsy, antisocial behavior, who were sometimes even prone to violence. Yet, in little over a month's time, it was as if they were entirely new people.

Dr. Egger's 1985 study created an uproar. Scientists scrambled to conduct their own research to see if these staggering results were true. Over the years, peer review corroborated Dr. Egger's findings repeatedly - removing artificial food colors, preservatives, and common food allergens such as gluten, dairy, soy, peanuts and eggs, lead to drastic improvements in some of the worst cases of ADHD in both children and adults.

Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD)

Despite mounting evidence that food allergies correlate directly with the onset of ADHD, organizations such as CHADD do not even mention food allergies and diet as a potential cause for Attention Deficit Disorders. Why would they disregard these studies, which could lead to complete improvements for many patients?

CHADD: Brought to You By the Makers of Ritalin

CHADD was founded in 1987 by Ciba-Ceigy (now Novartis), the original maker of Ritalin, the popular ADD drug. A 1995 PBS Merrow Report found that CHADD consistently distributed misleading information to hundreds of thousands of parents and teachers which exaggerated the benefits of ADD drugs, such as Ritalin. In response to this report, the Drug Enforcement Administration put a stop to CHADD's efforts to relax controls on Ritalin, and the US Department of Education withdrew videos which were created by CHADD as educational tools for teachers and parents.

Take Your Health Out of Corporate Hands

It's time to start listening to scientists that are not backed by a multi-million dollar drug company agenda. Disorders such as ADHD are big business for pharmaceutical companies feeding off the distress of uninformed parents. You have the power to educate yourself and take your family's health into your own hands. Talk to an appropriate health practitioner today.

The ADHD Epidemic: Food Allergies and Children

Children Suffer Most for Changes in American Diet

James Braly, M.D., graduated from St. Louis University School of Medicine in 1970 and pushed for a deeper understanding of food as an integral element of optimal performance for Olympians and as a mechanism for illness, particularly among children. In his book The Essential Guide to Uncovering Food Allergies: And Achieving Permanent Relief  (2008) Braly writes that “of all people, children show most clearly that our twenty-first-century diets and lifestyles are resulting in more and more food allergies and sensitivities. And along with those allergies go a wide range of childhood illnesses and other conditions...” (56) One of which is ADHD.

3 Surprising statistics about ADHD

  • 1990: around 750,000 American children were diagnosed with ADHD.
  • 2008: an estimated 3 million children were diagnosed with ADHD.
  • 1/3 or more ADHD children will grow up to be ADHD adults

*statistics from “The Essential Guide to Uncovering Food Allergies: And Achieving Permanent Relief” by Dr. James Braly, 2008

13 Symptoms Watch

1. inattention, easily distracted

2. antisocial behavior and emotional problems (depression, anxiety, irritability etc.)

3. hyperactivity

4. chronic insomnia

5. headaches

6. seizures/fits

7. abdominal pain or discomfort

8. chronic rhinitis (nonseasonal)

9. frequent sinus and middle ear infections

10. leg aches (“growing pains”), joint pain

11. skin rashes

12. mouth ulcers

13. dark circles under eyes

How is ADHD most commonly diagnosed?

Dr. Braly points out in his book that “There is no laboratory or clinical test available yet that definitively diagnoses the condition; a diagnosis is based on observations of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity so serious they impair a child's ability to function.” (56) For all the talk of the importance of biochemical testing in determining diagnosis, it seems surprising that a mere observation is information enough to throw additional chemicals (Ritalin, Concerta, Adderall) at the problem. Of course, diagnosing ADHD and prescribing medications means more money in the doctors pocket, and an ADHD epidemic means dollar signs for pharmaceutical companies. For plenty of reasons, the role of food allergies and chemical-food-additive sensitivities in children with ADHD remains, in Dr. Braly's words, “largely ignored.” (57)

Food Allergy testing and ADHD: A Simple, Cost-Effective, and Scientific Solution

The most comprehensive food allergy diagnostic tool is the ELISA blood test, which examines the bodies reaction to 96 different potential food allergens, including gluten, dairy, eggs, soy and peanuts. This simple test also allows health professionals to efficiently check for the severity of allergies, ranging from IgE (most severe), IgA (moderate) and IgG (least severe). This test can quickly and precisely point to exactly which foods may be causing such a severe reaction in a child.

A Call to Action

If your child has ADHD, speak to the appropriate health practitioner about a food allergy test. ADHD medications are potentially harmful, and usually only effective in the short-term. Don't be another tally in the pharmaceutical companies profit margin. Take control of your health today.

4-Step Method for Curing Digestive Disorders

While the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America purports the idea that digestive disorders should be treated with medications and surgery, there are many noninvasive and inexpensive methods for dealing with these issues.

  1. Removal of Food Allergens

Often the culprit of a digestive disorder is something we have ingested. A simple food allergy test can determine quickly, and inexpensively, what these foods may be.

  1. Removal of Antibiotics and Sugars

Antibiotics kill all bacteria indiscriminately, meaning they annihilate both good and bad bacteria. While antibiotics may help digestive infections and disorders initially, they set us up for future digestive failure. Sugars feed harmful bacteria and yeasts. Removing them from our diets starves out these harmful bacteria, allowing helpful bacteria to flourish.

  1. Probiotics

One of the major contributors to proper digestion and absorption are probiotics, healthful bacteria that live throughout our intestines. When our probiotic numbers are low, or harmful bacteria numbers are high, this imbalance can lead to digestive malfunction. Consult a medical practitioner about which supplements and foods will suit your particular needs.

  1. Other Supplements

Besides probiotics, there are many other supplements that help calm and ease an over-stressed digestive tract. Speak with an appropriate health practitioner for more information on what supplements are right for you.

Pregnant Mothers and Biological Therapy: The Shocking Truth Behind IBD Medications

Negligent Medical Community Supports Drugs with Little Evidence

Pregnant women and children with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) should receive biological therapy, according to an article posted in the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America website. This article supposes that “the greatest risk to mother and fetus during pregnancy is active IBD and not the medication used to treat it.” (Boggs, American Journal of Gastroenterology 2010). However, the same paragraph continues to admit that “there are no safety data for adalimumab [one of the forerunning biological therapy drugs currently on the market] with breastfeeding.” Additionally, the article states that infliximab and certolizumab only “appear” to be safe during breastfeeding. Didn't our parents always admonish us not to be fooled by appearances?

Drug Close-Up: Infliximab

Common Side Effects:

-        Back pain

-        headache

-        mild to strong stomach pain

-        runny or stuffy nose

-        exhaustion

Rare Side Effects:

-        severe allergic reaction

-        bloody, black, or tarry stools

-        chest pain

-        dizziness, fainting

-        fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat

-        nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea

-        red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin

-        seizures

-        migraines

-        sudden, unexplained weight gain or loss

-        suicidal thoughts or attempts

Prenatal Medical Disasters of the Past: The Case of Thalidomide

Infliximab and other biological drugs are brand-new, which means long-term, longitudinal studies have not been completed. How can medical professionals advertise their efficacy and safety when no research has been conducted on potential latent effects? In cases where new drugs are heavily marketed to expecting mothers, it can be educational to reflect on past public health pregnancy disasters. One such disaster was the use of thalidomide. The drug, among other things, was used extensively by women to help combat morning sickness. Unfortunately it was only years later that the horrific consequences of thalidomide bubbled to the surface- children born with an improper formation or absence of the anus, partial or total loss of sight, even paralysis. It has been said that had there been more extensive testing on animals before the drug was released, it would have been obvious that the drug was dangerous.

Don't Take Chances with Your Family

The drug companies don't have the best record when it comes to producing and selling helpful medications. While new regulatory agencies, such as the Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.), now exist, it is still imperative that we question drug safety and look, first and foremost, for alternate routes of healing. Often times medicines produce more problems than they solve. Infants and unborn children are especially at risk. Their delicate nature predisposes them to stronger reactions to powerful drugs. Our past should teach us to be wary of the present, or at least to think more critically about it.

3 Reasons to Get a Second Opinion about Crohn's and Colitis Treatments

1. One in ten Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBD) patients are under the age of 18.

IBD and other disorders such as Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis are growing among children. Dealing with these diseases immediately can change your child's life.

2. The Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) has entirely “ruled out” diet as a contributing factor

Instead, the CCFA recommends drugs such as corticosteroids like prednisone, aminosalicylates, immunomodulators, antibiotics, and surgery. These medications have many side effects ranging from diarrhea to seizures. Surgery is invasive and dangerous.

3. The CCFA claims there is no known cure for Crohn's and Colitis

The CCFA is a business, funded by pharmaceutical corporate sponsors. There is a lot of money to be made in research, development and sales of medication and surgery techniques.

Another Way to Heal

There is hope. If you or a loved one suffers from Crohn's or Colitis, a simple food allergy test can quickly and easily determine what allergens may be triggers. Once the offending foods are removed the digestive tract will begin to heal. Let's change the conversation when it comes to our health. 

Children and Food Allergies: What Every Parent Must Know

Children and Food Allergies: What Every Parent Must Know
 

In a world where chicken McNuggets and smart phones often trump leafy greens and hopscotch, it can difficult to raise a healthy child. Mom’s and Dad’s today face a complex set of challenges that parents of the past never experienced. Americans are barraged by a constant stream of contradictory health advice and information. Scientists warn of an ominous rise in environmental toxins that severely affect human health. Two trillion dollars a year are spent on health care, yet our health as a nation is deteriorating. Parenting has never been an easy task, but these factors can make it feel extremely overwhelming. Fortunately, if we fully educate ourselves about health issues, there is hope for our families and ourselves.
 
Difficult. Manipulative. Emotionally impaired. “It's amazing my husband and I are still together,” says Laura. Laura's son, Brian, had a long history of violence at school and at home and was labeled by teachers and social workers with the above adjectives. The class bully by day, he would sob in his room at night, pleading his mother to help him. Laura knew there must be something contributing to Brian's behavior because he would say to her “I don't want to be like this.” The enormous stress of Brian's behavior spread from the classroom to their family life. A particularly violent episode forced Brian's family to move to a new city. Brian even attempted suicide. 
 
After exhausting all other avenues, Laura called Dr. Rapp, Pediatric Allergist and Mother of Environmental Medicine, to undergo some simple food allergy testing. Brian was diagnosed with severe and violent reactions to peanuts, ethyl alcohol, phenol, wheat, soy and milk. When the offending substances were removed from his diet, Brian’s behavior changed. He is no longer violent and is well-liked at school. His behavior is that of a normal boy.
 
This month’s newsletter will focus on the work of Dr. Rapp, Pediatric Allergist and the Mother of Environmental Medicine. Dr. Rapp's interview on the Phil Donahue show in 1989 catapulted food allergies and environmental toxins to the forefront of health debates in the United States. So many children are branded as lost causes.  What can we do to ensure our children do not fall through the cracks?
 
Step#1: Awareness

To protect our families from food allergies we have to pay close attention to these warning signs.
Symptoms of Food Allergies in Infants
1. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and/or constipation, bloody stools
2. Hives, eczema, asthma
3. Prolonged colic, crying, inability to sleep at night
4. Poor growth, failure to thrive, inability to properly absorb nutrients
5. Acid reflux
6. Congestion of nose or chest, excessive spitting
7. Head banging, crib rocking
 
Symptoms of Food Allergies in Children

1. Red earlobes, cheeks
2. Dark eye circles
3. Bags or wrinkles under the eyes
4. “Spaced out” look
5. Wiggly, restless legs
6. Dislike of being touched or cuddled
7. Bedwetting after the age of five
8. Asthma, hay fever
9. Diagnosed with ADHD, inability to focus
10. Headaches
11. Depression, anxiety, irritability, mood swings
12. Violent behavior, temper tantrums, aggression
13. “Allergic Salute”- particular way of wiping nose as shown at 17:15 in Phil Donahue interview from 1989: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRDpcWZUEiU.
 
Step#2: Understanding

Once we recognize the signs of food allergies, we must comprehend how they affect us physiologically.
 
What is a food allergy?

An allergy is the immune systems response to a protein usually found in a food, such as peanuts, eggs, wheat or milk that it perceives as a foreign body. Most food allergies are acquired, not inherited. Some people develop sensitivities due to repeated exposure especially in large quantities, and others react to pesticides and herbicides combining with the natural chemicals in food. Whatever the cause, the result is the same- a compromised immune system and discomfort.
 
IgE and Non-IgE Allergies
•Allergies are not just immediate reactions to things like peanuts and bee stings.
•There are two main food allergy distinctions- IgE, and non IgE (IgA and IgG).
•Food allergies are generally acquired due to exposure, not genetics.
 
The table below is extremely helpful in understanding food allergy basics: 
Allergies aren't just to peanuts and bee stings-there are many different kinds. The two main differentiations are between IgE, and non-IgE (IgA and IgG). Most people do not have IgE allergies, though the majority of doctors test only for IgE. This is why understanding symptoms and the implications of all food allergies is extremely important for your family's health.
 
 

IgE IgA and IgG (Non-IgE)
Fast response (few minutes) Slower response (2 hours-72 hours), can take years to manifest
Strong response Weaker response
Similar physiological response in most people Varied physiological response in most people
“Fixed”- do not change during our lifetime Can evolve at any age
Analogous to immune system “blow-torch”: instant, acute, powerful Analogous to immune system “sand paper”: delayed, slowly damaging
Immune system response to a protein found in digestive system that is perceived as foreign object Immune system response to a protein found in digestive system that is perceived as foreign object
Least Common Most Common
Most doctors test only for IgE allergies Most people's IgA/IgG allergies remain undiagnosed since common blood tests cannot detect them
 
 
Step #3: Take Action

Now we must take action and help our family members heal.
 
A Pathway to Healing

Though the detriments of undetected food allergies sound severe, there is hope.Removing trigger foods and healing with appropriate vitamins and supplements will lead to amazing results.
 
ELISA: 
The Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay panel (ELISA) is a blood test that examines 96 of the most common food allergies such as dairy, meat and fowl, grains, gluten, nuts, vegetables, seafood and fruits. The ELISA test measures both IgE, IgA and IgG immune responses. This food allergy test is available at Digestive Health Ann Arbor.
RAST: Most physicians utilize an IgE blood test called RAST (short for radioallergosorbent test). Though this method accurately determines IgE allergies, it cannot detect IgG or IgA allergies at all. At Ann Arbor Holistic Health, this exam is completed in conjunction with the ELISA.
Skin Prick Tests: are a common testing method for IgE immune responses, but the exam is painful, inaccurate, and does not detect non-IgE food allergies.


Conclusion
It can be complicated to raise healthy children. To help them achieve true wellness it is critical that we first understand the importance of nutrition. “We are putting toxic dumpsites in our bodies and this is leading to problems in children, adults and even infants,” says Dr. Rapp, Pediatric Allergist and Mother of Environmental Medicine. Let's change the conversation when it comes to your child's well-being and remove the issue at the source. Your child can live a healthy, normal life and you can help.
 
Please call 734-222-8210 to schedule a free consultation and evaluation.
At Digestive Health Ann Arbor we are known for providing professional and compassionate care. We strive to guide people towards a comprehensive and holistic healing strategy. Restoring your body to health will restore the quality of your life. Please visit our website at www.digestivehealth-annarbor.com.
 
How can I Find Out More?
For more information, come to a workshop! Upcoming workshop dates in September:
 
Health Your Digestive System – Health Your Life
 

A healthy digestive system is essential to a health life. The saying “you are what you eat” is not true. You are what you absorb. Sixty percent of our body’s immune system lives in our digestive tract.  It is estimated that as many as 1 in 4 people has a food allergy or sensitivity.  The number of children and infants with food allergies is increasing. Sixty percent of people with food allergies do not have digestive problems. Problems like Autism, ADD, inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, Ulcerative Colitis, allergies, Gluten intolerance, psoriasis and eczema, sinus conditions, acid reflux, allergies and asthma are directly influenced by a comprised digestive system.
 
This workshop will explore the basic strategies of healing our digestive and immune systems. Topics of discussion will include the use of food allergy testing, testing for Gluten sensitivities, elimination diets, repairing a leaky gut, the use of digestive enzymes, healthy eating life styles, probiotics, essential fatty acids and vitamin D. Come and learn how.
 
Dates, Times & Locations:
 
September 21st- 7 to 9 pm at Brighton Community Education (810) 299-3818

850 Spencer Road, Brighton, MI 48116
September 29th  - 7 to 9 pm at Chelsea Community Education (734) 633-2208, ext. 6001
500 Washington Street, Chelsea, MI 48118.
September 28th- 7 to 9 pm at Ann Arbor Rec & Ed Department (734) 994-2300, ext. 53203
1515 S. Seventh, Ann Arbor, MI  48103
October 5th  - 7 to 9pm at Dexter Community Services and Athletics (734) 426-9515
7714 Ann Arbor St., Dexter, MI 48130
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Two Zero-Cost Tips: Potential Food Allergies Revealed

Dr. Doris Rapp, Pediatric Allergist and Mother of Environmental Medicine, mentions some simple ways to check for potential food allergies at home. The first question we must ask ourselves is: “My child was fine until they ate, touched or smelled what?” The sooner we think critically about our environments, the sooner we can help our children.

Food Allergy Test #1: Infants

• Food allergies tend to appear in infants when they switch to solid foods.

• If you notice food allergy symptoms, remove any common food allergens from the infant’s diet.

• Then add each food separately in a 4-day interval.

• Note any changes in your child's behavior.

• Infants that arch their bodies and toss their heads back are often displaying signs of an allergic reaction.

 

Food Allergy Test #2: Children

• Have your child write or draw before they eat.

• If your child suffers from asthma, have them blow into a peak flow meter.

• Wait twenty minutes after food is eaten.

• Have your child write, draw or blow into the peak flow meter again.

• Notice any changes.

• Observe their behavior.

• Repeat test with different foods and locations.

• If significant behavioral or physical changes are noted, your child should have an official food allergy test.

The True Cost of Undetected Food Allergies

“We are putting toxic dumpsites in our bodies and this is leading to problems in children, adults and even infants,” says Dr. Rapp, Pediatric Allergist and Mother of Environmental Medicine.

Why aren't more doctors talking about this? If food allergies and environmental hazards are so detrimental, why is it so difficult to find medical professionals who know about them? Dr. Rapp believes that “although we have many scientific studies to prove [the existence of food allergies], individuals or business with vested interests have managed to influence the insurance companies” to make it more difficult for sufferers to receive treatment. Those with life-altering food allergies continue to suffer while these businesses make more money.

Today the healthcare system in the United States is the most expensive in the world, yet the U.S. often ranks last in comparative healthcare studies. In terms of quality, access, efficiency and equity, we are lagging far behind other developed nations.

Ever since she was an infant, Marsha behaved strangely. She had diarrhea and was irritable all day long. Her mother was constantly in and out of hospitals. At one point Marsha spent 57 days interned at the hospital, costing her family $750 per day. Marsha eventually had a consultation with Dr. Rapp, who diagnosed her with strong allergies to fluoride. Marsha's IQ jumped from 56 to 128. Says Dr. Rapp: “It's a shame that more people don't understand that chemicals can have strange affects on some children and the mothers are smarter than you think. Many times they can give you answers when no one else can.”

Don't let the true cost of food allergies overwhelm your bank account. Change the conversation and get tested for food allergies as soon as possible. 

Food Allergies Tear Families Apart

“It's amazing my husband and I are still together,” says Laura. Laura's son, Brian, attempted suicide a few years ago with a leather belt. Brian had a long history of violence at school and at home. The class bully by day, he would sob in his room at night, pleading his mother to help him. Laura knew there must be something contributing to Brian's behavior because he would say to her “I don't want to be like this.”

The enormous stress of Brian's behavior spread from the classroom to their family life. A particularly violent episode forced Brian's family to move to a new city. After exhausting all other avenues, Laura called Dr. Rapp, Pediatric Allergist, to undergo some simple food allergy testing. Brian was diagnosed with severe and violent reactions to peanuts, ethyl alcohol, phenol, wheat, soy and milk. When the offending substances were removed from his diet, Brian morphed into a different child. He is no longer violent and is well-liked at school. His behavior is that of a normal boy.

Dr. Rapp's interview on the Phil Donahue show in 1989 catapulted food allergies and environmental toxins to the forefront of health debates in the Unite States. So many children, as in this video, were and are branded as “difficult,” “manipulative,” and “emotionally impaired.” Because of Dr. Rapp and the brave children willing to be interviewed on the show, families were able to find solutions.

We need to change the conversation when it comes to our families’ health. It's time to move from harsh and uninformed labels to educated, scientific diagnosis of what truly ails our children.

“I'm glad my Mom knows about allergies because other Mom's would just get angry at me and think I was bad,” says Darryl, another child interviewed in the video clip. We owe it to our children to discover the truth. 

Shocking Symptoms: What Every Parent Should Know

This month’s blogs will center around an eye-opening and informative interview of pediatric allergist Dr. Doris Rapp on the Phil Donahue show. The 45-minute long show can be viewed at this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRDpcWZUEiU

Dr. Doris Rapp is considered the Mother of Environmental Medicine. She has received numerous awards for her work on the affects of environmental toxins and food allergies on the human body. More about her work can be found at her website.

A Word from Dr. Doris Rapp, Pediatric Allergist:

“We have managed to pollute our air, our water, our foods, our clothing, our homes, our schools and our work areas and the youngsters you are seeing today. Many of them can't go to school anymore because of all the chemicals. They can't go shopping. They can't go to a movie. There are many things they can't do. Everyone knows about allergies affecting the nose, and the eyes, and the lungs, but allergies and environmental factors can affect the way we think.”

 

Dr. Rapp, Pediatric Allergist and the Mother of Environmental Medicine hasmany tips if you suspect your infant has food allergies. Here is a comprehensive list:
Symptoms of Food Allergies in Infants
1. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and/or constipation, bloody stools
2. Hives, eczema, asthma
3. Prolonged colic, crying, inability to sleep at night
4. Poor growth, failure to thrive, inability to properly absorb nutrients
5. Acid reflux
6. Congestion of nose or chest, excessive spitting
7. Head banging, crib rocking
• Symptoms of Food Allergies in Children 
1. Red earlobes, cheeks
2. Dark eye circles
3. Bags or wrinkles under the eyes
4. “Spaced out” look
5. Wiggly, restless legs
6. Dislike of being touched or cuddled
7. Bedwetting after the age of five
8. Asthma, hay fever
9. Diagnosed with ADHD, inability to focus
10. Headaches
11. Depression, anxiety, irritability, mood swings
12. Violent behavior, temper tantrums, aggression
13. “Allergic Salute”- particular way of wiping nose as shown at 17:15 in Phil Donahue interview from 1989: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRDpcWZUEiU.

 

Cheeseburger Child Blues: How Diet Affects Mood in Children

During the early 1990s in the USA and Canada, children were prescribed an ever-growing barrage of antidepressants without sufficient evidence of results or safety. In 2003 paroxetine (Paxil) and venlafaxine (Serotax) were put to the test. In three different trials, two groups of children took either pharmaceuticals or placebos. The results indicated no benefit in taking the pharmaceuticals. In fact, according to unfavorable tests hidden by Paxil's maker, GlaxoSmithKline PLC, suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts actually increased among children who took these drugs. When these trials surfaced, the U.S. public was outraged. How could a treatment for depression actually worsen this disease, and why would the maker of this treatment lie about its negative side effects?

Unfortunately, antidepressants are often mindlessly tossed at an already complicated problem. These psychotropic drugs are swirled into an already dysfunctional chemical stew. Food allergies, food additives, airborne neurotoxins and other environmental factors are rarely addressed. It seems these antidepressants perplex the problem at best, and exacerbate it at worst.

GlaxoSmithKline PLC was sued in 2004 for allegedly concealing negative side effects of Paxil on children. While they have followed through on their subsequent promise to post all trial results online,  GlaxoSmithKline PLC is one of many pharmaceutical corporations peddling antidepressants for children. Not all follow these guidelines, nor is it certain that all trials are honestly represented. If these corporations were willing to hide the truth and risk the health of our nation's children once, what is stopping them from doing it again?

If your child suffers from depression, the best course of action is to remove the cause. By assessing food allergies, food additives, airborne neurotoxins and environmental factors, optimal health can be attained without the use of potentially dangerous drugs. 

Children & Food Allergies: Achieving Optimal Health

Will and Claire
After months of trying, Will and Claire were finally pregnant. Like most first-time parents, the couple was initially ecstatic then terrified when the pregnancy test showed positive results. Raising a child is a huge responsibility and the couple wants to do everything they can to foster a positive, healthy environment. They resolved to read as many prenatal care books they could get their hands on and pay greater attention to their diets.
 
Among the standard diet and exercise tips, Will and Claire uncovered truly startling information. Many of their friends had infants or young children with eczema, asthma, skin rashes and food allergies. The couple thought food allergies were just acute and immediate reactions to bee stings and peanuts. However, they soon learned from a friend with a gluten food allergy that allergies can develop slowly over time, and the symptoms can manifest themselves all over the body. How did certain foods, such as gluten, dairy, peanuts, eggs, and soy, become so physiologically destructive? These foods supposedly have many health benefits - why do some individuals develop such strong aversions to them, and how have these aversions developed over human history? Also, why was infant health so varied, even among parents that seemed relatively healthy? Will and Claire began to dig deeper.
 
A Brief History of the Human Diet
Humans began eating grains, legumes and potatoes about 10,000 years ago when we discovered the joy of cooking. Julia Child would have been repulsed by early man's unimaginative diet consisting of meat, fish, poultry, leaves, roots and fruits. Fortunately for French cuisine aficionados and unfortunately for some digestive systems, grains, legumes and potatoes became dietary staples. Humans learned to grow and store their own food. They learned to raise animals and produce cheese and yogurt. It was no longer necessary to constantly hunt and gather- there was now time for art, science, music, and gastrointestinal disorders. Modern civilization was born.
 
Why do Dietary Staples Cause Allergies? 
What can disable effective digestion of grains, legumes and potatoes? Lectins. Lectins are proteins found in most plants, and all foods. They serve a variety of beneficial functions from controlling the blood's protein levels to targeting and eliminating pathogens. The problem with lectins is that some of them trigger immune reactions in sensitive digestive systems. The issue lies less with the lectins and more with the digestive tract's inability to fully break down the proteins found in food. Soy, peanut and gluten lectins have proven to be the most difficult for the human body to digest. The body’s inability to completely digest these foods creates stress in the intestines.  This continued stress is what creates the environment that ultimately gives way to a food allergy.
 
Too Many Lectins Spring a Leaky Gut
Detrimental lectins and food allergens trigger inflammation in the digestive tract. Leaky gut syndrome refers to digestive disturbances and infections caused by severe inflammation of the intestine. This inflammation creates increased permeability in the walls of the intestines. Partially digested food enters into the blood stream through small openings between the cells in the intestinal lining where it is met by a hostile immune system. The body produces an increasing amount of antibodies to fight the food we eat, and the food bound with the antibody continually pass from the intestine to the blood stream. By removing the allergen(s), we can heal our “leaky” guts and begin the process of improved health.
 
Though these lectins may be causing damage to our digestive system, we may not realize until days, weeks or years later. The symptoms can be confusing. One might think that an upset stomach would be the obvious result of a “leaky gut,” however symptoms can actually manifest throughout the body.  From depression to migraines to acne to Crohn's disease, the symptoms are extremely varied. This is surprising to some. However, when we remember that 70% of our immune system is located in our digestive tract, the appearance of wide-spread symptoms no longer seems so shocking. Will and Claire were startled by how common food allergies and “leaky guts” are in the United States. Even more startling was how easily these digestive disorders can be passed from generation to generation.
 
7 Symptoms of an Infant with Food Allergies: What Every Parent Should Know 
1. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and/or constipation, bloody stools
2. Hives, eczema, asthma
3. Prolonged colic, crying, inability to sleep at night
4. Poor growth, failure to thrive, inability to properly absorb nutrients
5. Acid reflux
6. Congestion of nose or chest, excessive spitting
7. Head banging, crib rocking
 
How Infants Develop Food Allergies
After exhaustively researching food allergies, Will and Claire turned their energy towards uncovering how children develop them. Three findings were particularly astonishing.
1. Infants born through Cesarian section may have added risk of food allergy development.
According to the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, mothers with food allergies are seven times more likely to transmit their food allergies to their children when they have Cesarean sections. Dr. Merete Eggesbo, of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health in Oslo, notes that Cesarian sections may delay the growth of normal intestinal flora- bacteria that lines the intestine- in new born infants.
2. When a mother does not have any food allergies, her breast milk may protect her child from developing a food allergy themselves. However...
3. Infants may develop food allergies through breast milk from a mother with a food allergy.
There are numerous cases of breast-fed children who exhibit failure-to-thrive symptoms such as diarrhea, constant irritability, etc. When the allergen is removed from the mother's diet, the infant's symptoms often disappear.
4. For the most part allergies are acquired, however a gluten food allergy can beinherited. It is particularly important to test yourself and your child for gluten allergies. A case that remains undetected by the age of 10 leads to a one in four chance of developing an autoimmune disease like diabetes.
5. Children do not outgrow allergies to gluten. This is why getting tested prior to giving birth is important, especially for mothers. Discovering your own gluten allergy may prevent it from spreading to your infant.
 
How Can we Protect Our Children, and Ourselves?
Suddenly, the removal of an entire food group no longer seemed so extreme. Claire and Will decided they should get tested for food allergies. The following are some of the most common food allergy tests currently available.