Biologist David Schubert of the Salk Institute alerts us that “children are the most likely to be adversely affected by toxins and other dietary problems.” The lack of clinical human trials for almost all synthetic chemicals means our nation's children are in fact “experimental animals.” We can help our children by removing environmental toxin exposures and taking a food allergy test to eliminate potential allergens. At Digestive Health Ann Arbor we use an Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay panel (ELISA) blood test to examine 96 of the most common food allergens such as dairy and grains. Discovering and eliminating trigger foods, avoiding industrial chemicals, and healing with appropriate vitamins and supplements will lead to amazing results. If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of ADHD/ADD, make an appointment with one of the experts at Digestive Health Ann Arbor. Call (734) 222-8210 today.
- Tiredness, drowsiness, no energy.
- Frequent headache or migraines.
- Stomach bloating, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, flatulence
- IBS, Crohn's Disease & Ulcerative Colisits
- Mouth Ulcers.
- Chronic cough, bronchitis, asthma, sinus condtions, colds and 'flu'.
- Eczema, psoriasis, and chronic skin problems.
- Aching joints, backache.
- Gradual weight change.
- Tinea or Yeast (Candida) infections.
- Clumsiness, lack of coordination.
- Miscarriage, infertility.
- Hemorrhoids and Ear pain.
- Cravings, addictions.
- ADD & ADHA
- Acid Reflux (GERD)
• What Do Some Medical Doctors Say about the Cause and Cures of IBS? While some medical doctors concede that IBS is affected by diet, most do not test for food allergies. They allege that the true cause is unknown, and the best course of action is to numb symptoms with prescribed medication.
• Is there a Second Opinion? Yes. Thankfully, some doctors realize the direct correlation between diet and IBS. The American Journal of Gastroenterology, says that “more than 50% of IBS patients were found sensitized to some food or inhalant.”
• Why is there a discrepancy in opinion about IBS causes and cures? Michael Pollan, investigative journalist and author of the new book Food Rules explains that “there's a lot of money in the Western diet...The healthcare industry makes more money treating chronic diseases (which account for three quarters of the $2 trillion plus we spend each year on heath care in this country) than preventing them.” (Pollan, 2009, p. xiv) It is more profitable to prescribe medications to patients than to remove the cause of their illness.
It is important to think critically about our health. Once we see the sociopolitical factors that surround our healthcare system we can understand how to advocate for our own well-being. Stay tuned for IBS Eradication Step #3: Find Solutions that Work for You.
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?
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
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.
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.
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 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
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.
7714 Ann Arbor St., Dexter, MI 48130
In previous articles we have defined food allergies, discussed how they develop, and given a general overview of symptoms. In this article we will cover the process of digestion in greater depth, and talk more specifically about IBS symptoms.
Digestion Basics: What Everyone Should Know
Our digestive tract is a 30 foot long muscular tube that begins at our mouth and ends at our anus. Its 3 main functions are:
1. Transform food into absorbable nourishment.
2. Fend off invading organisms and toxins.
3. Expel waste products.
Ingested food travels down the digestive tract through a process called peristalsis, a wave-like muscle contraction. During peristalsis different enzymes, bacteria and acids critical to digestion are secreted in a highly specialized and coordinated process. Only when the food is completely broken down should it pass through the digestive tract's tissue wall to be absorbed by our bodies’ cells.
The Immune System in our Digestive Tract
Around 70% of our immune system is located in our digestive tract. Its primary role is to decide whether to “ok” or attack a food we ingest. When our immune system doesn't like something in our tube, it fights with inflammation and excess mucus. If the immune system is constantly on the offensive, these reactions can damage our digestive tract. Inflammation deteriorates the intestinal lining, resulting in something called “Leaky Gut syndrome.”
IBS Symptoms: A Closer Look
Constipation: Indicates a traffic back-up in your small intestine and colon. When bowel movements are difficult to pass, extremely firm, pellet-like, include bloating, distension, abdominal pain or a sense of incomplete evacuation, you may be constipated. There are three major side effects of constipation:
1. Malabsorption of nutrients, leading to many health problems.
2. Delayed waste removal, which sometimes causes the reabsorption of waste products.
3. Painful passing because of drier and harder stools.
Diarrhea: Indicates that too much water is being retained, and not absorbed, in the digestive tract.
There are three potential causes:
1. Food may be moving through the tube too quickly for the formation of solid stools. This happens when the peristalsis speeds up in order to expel a perceived threat. Either the food goes up (vomit) or comes down (diarrhea)
2. An immune response which causes irritation or inflammation of the intestines.
3. Toxins in the digestive tract can force the water flow into the tube rather than being absorbed.
Regardless of the cause, a loss of water that should be absorbed leads to dehydration and poor absorption of nutrients.
Gas & Bloating: A natural and normal by-product of food processing, excessive or odorous gas indicates faulty digestion. This is most likely because of a food allergy or a bacterial imbalance in your digestive tract.
Why Medication Fails
If you suffer from IBS or IBD, you have probably been introduced to a long and ever-growing list of medications. Unfortunately, drugs treat individual symptoms and not the cause. Additionally, many of the drugs have detrimental side effects.
6 types of drugs to treat IBS symptoms:
1. Bowel movement speed modifiers (Zelnorm, Lotronex, Calmactin)
2. Laxatives for constipation (MiraLax, Perdiem, Ex-Lax, Milk of Magnesia)
3. Antidiarrheal (Imodium, Lomotil)
4. Abdominal cramp pain relievers (Donnatal, Levsin, Levbid, NuLev, Bentyl, Pro-Banthine)
5. Antidepressants (Prozac, Celexa, Zoloft, Paxil, Elavil)
6. Narcotic analgesics (Vicodin, Demerol, Xanax)
As you can see, none of these is an IBS “cure” because no such medical cure exists. You may feel relief temporarily, but this is because of a forced biochemical modification, not a permanent resolution. Once you stop using the medications, the symptoms will return. With over 20 million Americans diagnosed with IBS currently, it is time to address this disease with honesty and transparency. Many doctors and scientists agree- we must assess food allergies and digestion in order to transform our health once and for all.
What can we do if we suspect we have an allergy?
There is good news. We can successfully eliminate the symptoms by discovering what foods serve as our triggers. By excluding the trigger food from our diet, the intestinal inflammation quickly recedes and the symptoms disappear.
The Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay panel (ELISA) is a blood test that examines 96 of the most common foods. The food categories tested include: animal products, dairy, meat and fowl, grains, nuts, vegetable, seafood and fruits By undergoing the ELISA test, patients are able to measure both IgE, IgA and IgG immune responses. Ann Arbor Holistic Health provides a simple means that combines both tests.
2. Supplements and Vitamins
Vitamin D, essential fatty acids, and probiotics are recommended supplements that help speed up our recovery process. Supplements such as quercetin and curcumin are plant-based herbs that lessen inflammation and ease our symptoms. Once we know what food is causing us problems, we can jump start our healing with some of these natural remedies.
Most doctors offer a IgE blood test called RAST (short for radioallergosorbent test). Though this method is extremely accurate in determining IgE based food allergies, it does not address the issue of non-IgE allergies at all. The ELISA food allergy food allergy test offered at Ann Arbor Holistic Health also tests for IgE food allergies.
4. Elimination Diets
Though elimination diets are accurate and cost-effective, they involve a long and arduous process. Most food intolerances are caused by the following foods: Dairy, wheat, egg, soy, peanuts, shellfish, and tree nuts. Removing one of the above from your diet can theoretically indicate the allergen, but as we have seen with Leaky Gut Syndrome, we often have more than one allergen due to years and years of damaging inflammation. Testing for multiple-allergens is very difficult to do with this method.
5. Stool Samples
Stool samples are excellent barometers of human health. Since the majority of the body's immune cells are present in the intestinal tract, a stool sample is the best place to search for evidence of food allergies. However, stool samples are messy and unpleasant.
6. Skin Prick Tests
Skin prick tests, one of the most common methods for IgE immune responses, can be painful and do not detect non-IgE food allergies. They can also be inaccurate with a high level of false positives.
“You are what you eat. Or, even more accurately, you are what you absorb,” says Dr. John Wycoff, an osteopath based out of East Lansing who believes hormonal balance, allergies and diet are integral to health. As reactionary medicine and over-usage of prescribed chemicals fail to alleviate our pain and discomfort, more and more physicians are embracing holistic approaches to healing. Through a deeper understanding of what our bodies do and do not absorb, and how these physiological responses affect us, we can take charge of our wellness and move towards a brighter, more fulfilling future. If you are experiencing any of the listed symptoms, please give us a call today.