Can you be “cured” from nut and other food allergies?
Before I get into the different studies and theories about overcoming nut allergies, I want to share my experience with becoming and then overcoming my own food allergy. Growing up I had no allergies that I knew of. That was until I had to get a penicillin shot for a suspected bout of pneumonia. As the story goes, my mom brought me to the doctor for some pain in my chest. As it turned out it was just what the doctor called “growing pains”. During the routine visit he took x-rays of my chest and said he thought I might have pneumonia and gave me penicillin. After going home my mom said I blew up like a balloon and took me straight back to the doctor where they took care of the allergic reaction. From that day on I thought that was the only thing I was allergic to. Until . . . .
Growing up I liked peanuts, pistachios, and especially cashews. In my 20’s I developed a condition called geographic tongue. It was a transient condition where the top and sides of my tongue would look like a topographic map. I couldn’t figure out what brought it on until I sat and ate a whole can of cashews one day. After that my tongue looked like the Himalayas and I could barely talk. From that day forward I couldn’t even eat a few cashews without my tongue really getting bad. Until . . . . 28 Days to Health Cleanse
About five years ago I did a cleanse introduced to me by Kendra Cannoy which would later be the 28 Days to Health Weight Loss Cleanse. At the time I didn’t realize all the health benefits from the cleanse, but one great side affect was that I don’t get geographic tongue anymore, even after eating many, many cashews! So can cleansing help a person get rid of a deadly peanut allergy? I’m not sure but I found two different approaches where studies were done concerning these issues.
OIT – Oral Immunization Therapy
One approach is introducing very small amounts of peanut into a diet under clinical supervision over a long period of time. This is referred to as oral immunization therapy or OIT. In some cases, patients have been able to build a resistance to the allergen, but success has been limited. The therapy seems to desensitize people to the effects of the allergic reaction, but it does not actually switch off the underlying allergy. And once patients stop their daily OIT dose, they tend to revert back to having reactions.
Researchers at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute in Australia wondered if they could achieve a more permanent result if they tried oral immunization therapy, but introduced a strain of bacteria called Lactobacillus rhamnosus, which had previously shown promise in helping with food allergies.
The team fed a group of 28 children a daily dose of the probiotic bacteria mixed with peanut flour for 18 months. They gave a fixed dose of the probiotic, but began with a tiny amount of peanut flour, and gradually increased the dose over time—the common OIT approach. More than 80 percent of children who received the bacteria treatment were able to tolerate peanuts well at the end of the trial, compared with less than 4 percent of the control group. The team published its findings in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
Eliminating yeast promoting foods
Another form of treatment that is showing promise uses the elimination of yeast promoting foods, specifically Candida Albicans. The theory is that the overgrowth of Candida causes chronic allergies. This is a type of yeast that thrives in the gastrointestinal tract. There will always be some of this yeast in every human being, but it is ideally balanced by beneficial bacteria. The beneficial bacteria is commonly referred to as intestinal flora. Intestinal flora helps in the digestion process, and it furthermore aids in removing toxic materials. Conversely, candida is a parasitic yeast, which robs the body of nutrients, and it increases the toxic waste products that a body must eliminate. These two groups of organisms are two warring armies.
Candida usually undergoes a massive growth spurt following antibiotic use. This is partly due to antibiotics being more fatal to the good bacteria, which would normally keep candida in check. It has been known for over seventy years that antibiotics are more harmful to the beneficial bacteria than to harmful pathogens, and this rule generally includes even the all-natural antibiotics, such as colloidal silver. Whenever antibiotics are discontinued, the immune system remains weakened for a lengthy period (sometimes years for pharmaceuticals), which places candida in a position of advantage.
To help tip the scales in the favor of the good bacteria two things should be done. First, you can eat yogurt which contains probiotics or good bacteria. If you want to avoid dairy you can find probiotic capsules. Secondly, you need to eliminate foods that promote the growth of Candida Albicans. These include foods based on yeast and refined simple carbohydrates, such as white flour, white rice, processed “white” sugars, and beer.
Eat plenty of protein, with an emphasis on white meats (preferably free-range and organic), nuts, and beans. Find a good source of omega-3 fatty acids such as fish oil or flax seed oil. As always, include as many vegetables in the diet as possible. They provide core nutrients that are needed by the body in order to fully recover, and vitamins are not a substitute for vegetables. Vitamins can sometimes make things worse, because many of the vitamins are now being extracted using genetically-engineered yeasts, or they contain impurities.
“Over time, candida grows from a yeast form into a fungal form and starts creating waste products known as mycotoxins. Among the mycotoxins produced is acetaldehyde, a poison that is converted by the liver into alcohol. As alcohol builds up in the system, symptoms associated with alcohol intoxication develop. This is why one of the most common symptoms of candida is brain fog… In its fungal form, candida also grows long roots called rhizoids that puncture the intestinal lining, leading to a condition called leaky gut syndrome. This creates holes in the digestive tract, allowing candida to pass through into the bloodstream.”
— Brenda Watson, N.D.
Two different approaches, One common factor
The thing common to both approaches is the inclusion of good bacteria. The first approach didn’t produce good results until the inclusion of good bacteria. My situation resolved after eliminating yeast (Candida) promoting foods. I also take a product called Juice Plus which includes the good bacteria our bodies need. All I know is that I am glad I can eat cashews again.
Cashew Date Balls
Now that I can eat cashews I can make the easiest snack desert one can make. Take a cup of raw cashews and a cup of pitted raw dates and put them in a food processor and blend them up good. You can add a little coconut oil and salt if you like. Once blended you just roll them into balls, put in fridge and enjoy for a quick snack. Sometimes I through in some carob chips for added flavor.
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