Almost every patient that walks into my office experiences some form of a food allergy. When people think of a food allergy, they think of a child eating peanuts and going into anaphylaxis. Yes, this is a very real and very scary reality for those who are allergic to peanuts but there is also a silent allergic reaction. This silent allergic reaction to certain foods usually manifests as gas, bloating, intestinal cramping, skin irritations and chronic sinus congestion. The problem is, that most people cannot identify the culinary culprit.
In Chinese Medicine, we look at the root cause of these silent allergic reaction symptoms. We look at the function of certain organs that are responsible for assimilating the food we eat into nutrients that our body uses for energy and repair. This is the physiological function of the Spleen and Stomach. The relationship between the Spleen and Stomach is a delicate balance of energy exchange between the two and the rest of the internal organs in the body. They also work together to give us energy (Qi) after eating a meal. If you are tired, bloated, gassy, or have sinus congestion within a few hours after eating, this could be caused by 1 of 3 things;
- You have overeaten.
- You have an allergic reaction to something in your meal.
- You have a weakened Spleen and Stomach.
As I have explained above, I look at the root cause of these reactions. Often it is due to a weakened Spleen and Stomach.
What causes the Spleen and Stomach to become weakened?
The main cause of this is over-eating foods that are in the Standard American Diet. White flour, sugar, trans-fats etc. When a person constantly over-eats these foods, they weaken the function of their Spleen and Stomach by not allowing it some time to rest in between meal times. These organs must work extra hard to keep digesting until the next meal, if this is continuous then these organs become taxed (essentially tired) and thus not able to perform the assimilation and transportation of nutrients.
What happens when the food is not assimilated?
It is rejected by the body in the form of gas, bloating, diarrhea, and sinus congestion. This is how an allergic reaction to a food substance can occur.
Another way that a food allergy occurs is through an emotional event, I know this sounds a little off the beaten path, but let me explain how this happens.
Allergic food reactions can also be caused by an emotional or traumatic event in one's life. For example, you find out that your best friend is suffering from Bulemia, you are dealing with your best friends' serious illness and you are saddened and emotional about this situation. During this time you happen to eat some crackers, then your body rejects it from that point on and you suddenly feel as though you are gluten intolerant. The reality is your central nervous system was too busy maintaining homeostasis during this traumatic event, so anything that you had put into your body at that time is automatically rejected for fear of disrupting the homeostasis. Which is how the exaggerated immune response to the crackers begins.
The good news is you are not doomed, we can fix this! We use certain tools like muscle testing to find out exactly which foods your body is rejecting and then we strengthen the Spleen and Stomach with Acupuncture treatments and Chinese Herbs so that it can metabolize that food properly. We also prescribe certain lifestyle changes such as eating 5-6 small meals of mostly cooked vegetables, lean protein and whole grains per day, and 30 minutes of exercise 3-5 times per week. By treating the root cause with these small yet impactful changes you will be sure to strengthen your digestion and immune system thereby eliminating your allergies. If you want to find out more please visit our website www.acublissboulder.com and call for a free consultation.
Yours in health,
Dr. Amorette LaFranchi, L.Ac., DACM