Have you ever eaten something - a bowl of
ice cream, a piece of cheese, an orange - and felt hungrier than before? Do you
have urges for a particular food and find it hard to satisfy your craving
unless you eat that particular food?
If the answer is "yes" to either of these
questions, then you have a food allergy. If you are also fat, then chances are
your food allergy is making you fat.
Food sensitivities may cause allergic
people to crave those foods to which they are allergic. Just as a drug addict
suffers withdrawal symptoms when the drug is withdrawn, allergic people
experience discomfort when they lose access to a particular food.
Obese people can testify to the
overwhelming power of food allergy addiction. Compulsive eaters crave and
continue to eat those allergenic foods to which they are addicted day after
day. The obese person has no idea that his daily food cravings or eating habits
are based on a physiological need to stop withdrawal symptoms caused by food
The phenomenon of simultaneous allergy and
addiction to both foods and chemicals is now well accepted by doctors
specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of allergies. These specialists,
known as clinical ecologists, believe that many chronic health problems, such
as migraine, fatigue, depression, and arthritis are caused by allergies to
foods and chemicals and affect approximately one-third of the population living
in industrialized countries.
It is commonly observed that the same food
may cause different reactions among different people. An individuals
genetic predisposition to allergies will determine which part of his body will
become the vulnerable target organ or tissue. Any major organ may become
involved: the symptoms of cerebral allergies include hyperactivity, depression,
irritability, headaches and some forms of schizophrenia; hypoglycemia is a
manifestation of pancreatic malfunction, frequently caused by allergy; while in
other cases, the blood vessels may be the target organ with the resulting signs
of vasculitis and edema. The symptoms are compounded and are generally more
severe following frequent contact with an allergy-provoking food.
Water retention, or edema, is particularly
common among allergic individuals and is an important contributing factor to
obesity. The removal of an offending food will often result in a rapid water
loss of five to ten pounds within a weeks time, all without the use of a
Michael Rosenbaum, M.D., who practices
preventive medicine in Mill Valley, California, has observed this water
retention phenomenon frequently among patients in his allergy clinic. He found
that following the initial water loss, the person tends to lose fat more
easily, even without dieting. Rosenbaum states: "food sensitivities can cause
the body to retain both water and fat." Often, Rosenbaum believes, the big
weight loss that occurs when someone follows a low-allergen diet has nothing to
do with the quantity of calories in the diet.
The following scenarios by Dr. Rosenbaum
illustrate the dramatic weight loss achieved among patients following the
elimination of allergy-provoking foods from their diet: "One of my patients who
was found to be sensitive to dairy products decided to substitute bread and
beer to make up for the removal of milk and cheese from his diet. He was
probably consuming even more calories and still managed to lose ten pounds in
the first month without even trying. The next time I saw him, his pants were
"Another one of my patients, a woman in
her early thirties, was undergoing a stressful period when she came to my
office. She had sensitivities to wheat and dairy products and adopted a
what-the-hell type attitude, continuing to eat those foods
regularly. Besides seeing her weight balloon from 140 to 180 pounds, she
developed a gnawing depression and irritability."
"Finally, after several months of
self-abuse, she stopped eating wheat and dairy products. After a few months on
the allergen-free diet, she is back to 140 pounds. Her friends have remarked
about her wonderful transformation and were amazed at the way the weight had
just come off by itself."
Dr. Rosenbaum believes that food
sensitivity exerts its most profound effect on the limbic portion of the brain.
This section of the brain houses the control centers of our emotions as well as
memory and vegetative functions, including body temperature, sexuality, blood
pressure, sleep, hunger and thirst. Food allergies seem to affect most of these
This neurophysiological analysis is shared
by William Philpott, M.D., a clinical ecologist from Oklahoma City, who has
written extensively on the subject. Dr. Philpott speculates the frequent
contact with allergenic foods triggers a rise in the brain opioid
enkephalin. The enkephalin is a narcotic produced by the body that is as
addictive as externally supplied narcotics.
The primary food allergens are coffee,
dairy products, wheat, eggs and corn. In Oriental countries, rice is a
prominent allergen. Among vegetables, white potatoes and lettuce are potent
allergens. Marshall Mandell, M.D. of Norwalk, Connecticut and author of "Dr.
Mandells 5 Day Allergy Relief System", found that 92.2 percent of
hospitalized schizophrenic patients were allergic to one or more common
substances. When Dr. Mandell tested a group of patients diagnosed as
hard-to-treat neurotics, he found that 88 percent of them were allergic go
wheat, 50 percent to corn and 60 percent to milk.
Charles McGee, M.D., who practices
clinical ecology in Coeur DAlene, Idaho, and is the author of
"How To Survive Modern Technology", was asked whether in his opinion,
food and chemical allergies could be a major cause of obesity, he replied:
"There are many people who are addicted to all sorts of foods. The ones who are
addicted to coffee, do not necessarily get fat. If they are addicted to sugar
or wheat, they may end up running around with candies or wheat-containing
crackers in their pockets to satisfy the craving. Whats most important is
that its extremely difficult for these allergic individuals to lose
weight unless they ultimately gain control of their food allergies. They must
identify the particular allergens, break the craving and then eliminate the
chemical or food."
To understand both allergic and associated
addictive phenomenon we can look at the two conditions, both as aspects of food
intolerance. In allergy-addiction, there are three principle stages: the first
stage is characterized by an acute allergic reaction to a toxic substance.
Recall the first time that you, or someone whom you know, smoked a
Most frequently, the individual will find
the smoke distasteful and may even have clinical symptoms such as coughing,
sore throat and dizziness.
This acute reaction can be taken as
evidence that the cigarette smoke has some toxic effects on the body. After
smoking becomes a habit, the symptoms are no longer noticeable. Your body gets
used to the smoke and the symptoms are said to be "masked," or hidden. The
masking can be considered an adaptation by the body to tolerate the poison with
which it comes in frequent contact. Even though there are overt symptoms, the
adaptation to this obvious toxin takes its toll in terms of chronic body
During this period, the adaptation is so
strong that you become dependent on cigarettes, or in other words, "hooked."
You must smoke at regular intervals to avoid withdrawal symptoms. When you try
to quit, your body craves the cigarettes: you are addicted in the truest sense
of the word, and you will experience the addictive aspect of the
It is significant that all addictions are
similar in this regard - whether cigarettes, coffee, heroin, wheat or milk
products. The final stage occurs when the body fails to maintain adaptation and
experiences the allergic and addicted symptomatology simultaneously. This is
the stage in which chronic symptoms of disease emerge.
Now just about any clinical symptom can
result from the allergy-addiction syndrome. Dr. Ellen Grant reported in the
medical journal, Lancet, that 85 percent of migraine sufferers could be
rendered symptom-free when the followed a diet excluding the ten most common
food allergens. Some of the most provocative agents were cigarettes, coffee,
and birth control pills. The evidence is also strong for the allergic causation
of arthritis, asthma and diabetes.
The allergic reaction itself can result in
a drastic reduction in blood sugar with the accompanying symptomatology:
weakness, hunger and irritability. Allergic hunger is pathological in that it
does not respond to the normal satiety control center in the brain when food is
consumed in normal amounts, so both the addictive and allergic responses to
allergy can cause uncontrollable eating behavior.
In one case history of a 37 year old woman
who had trouble with many different weight reduction programs, including the
HCG (human chorionic gonadotrophin) diet, the drinking mans diet, the
Stillman diet, it became evident that after each partially successful episode
of weight reduction she would regain her weight.
The reason for this ladys
difficulties was later found to be food allergies. In the 6-hour oral glucose
tolerance test, we found a marked hypoglycemic curve: the blood sugar dropped
from 220 at 1 hour to 45 mg percent at 3 1/2 hours. At this time she
experienced severe shakiness, giddiness, nausea and shortness of breath as well
as other symptoms. She was assured that once the food allergen was determined
and eliminated from her system, the symptoms of hypoglycemia would disappear.
People who are allergic to sugar
experience a craving for sweets. One patient ate 50 twinkies a day and although
her stomach would hurt, she would keep on eating. When her husband left for
work in the morning she would take a tablespoon of sugar as soon as he was out
the door, because it would make her feel good.
She would actually get high on sugar.
Three or four hours later she would go into a depression and had attempted
suicide several times. Her suicide attempts were prompted by withdrawal
symptoms. The woman didnt get well until a conscientious physician
wrestled with the etiology of her problem, namely a food allergy. Now she
realizes that she must read all food labels for ingredients.
Patients afflicted with allergy-addictions
will usually experience a sense of well being after a month on an allergen-free
diet. Many individuals lose excess water from their tissues and achieve a
weight loss of from 10 to 15 pounds.
Dr. Rosenbaum, as well as other
nutritionally oriented allergists rely on other methods besides avoidance of
the allergenic foods. Vitamin C and mineral bicarbonates are used extensively
in allergy clinics throughout the country. The mineral buffers should not
include sodium, which is a hypertensive agent and can make a person more prone
to edema, but instead the minerals calcium, magnesium and potassium. These
buffers will neutralize the acidity caused by the allergic reaction and
alleviate stress, thereby inducing symptomatic relief.
As little as tone teaspoon of this
combination of nutrients can totally knock out hunger cravings caused by food
allergies as well as eliminate the withdrawal symptoms caused by exclusion of
the addictive foods.
This is symptomatic relief, but works
dramatically and also gives a clear indication that the symptoms were caused by
allergic phenomenon. If the nutrient combination eliminates your hunger then
you can be sure that your hunger was induced by some aspect of the
Functional food and chemical allergies
have been largely ignored by most medical doctors. One reasons for this is that
there has been no miracle drug that can be heavily promoted by the drug
companies, so the doctors would not be encouraged to diagnose the disease and
then treat it. Until now there has been no simple, easy cure for allergies.
Nutritional treatment in the form of vitamin, mineral, amino acid and glandular
supplements accompanied by avoidance of allergenic foods offer the critical
answer to this problem.
Certain aspects of nutritional medicine
can fall under the heading of, what the author calls. "Nutritional
Pharmacology." The most striking example of this in regard to food allergies
and weight reduction is the success achieved in combining buffers of mineral
bicarbonate and vitamin C. Through readjustment of the normal pH balance in the
body, you can eliminate many of the symptoms of food allergy, especially
hunger. This simple test, using a highly buffered Vitamin C solution and
observing whether it controls your appetite is an excellent diagnostic
procedure for the determination of food allergies. Patients with multiple and
severe allergies are well advised to visit a clinical ecologist or
nutritionally oriented allergist.