Wheat, soy, dairy and corn are four of the most common food allergies. When the body becomes allergic to a specific substance it causes an immune response. The body then attacks the allergen as if it were a foreign invader. Allergies are becoming more prevalent in young children and society as a whole. It should be of no surprise as our food supply is becoming more nutrient deficient and children at a young age are raised on processed food with additives, artificial colouring/flavouring and genetically modified food.
Throughout my practice it is quite common for many of my clients to suffer from constipation. Going to the washroom every 2-3 days and having to “push hard” to achieve a bowel movement. As someone who suffered with bloating and constipation for years, before I found out I was allergic to cows milk, I understand the frustration with digestive distress. Why does this happen? We have to understand, we are what we digest, absorb, assimilate, and DON’T ELIMINATE! We have to be intuitive and listen to our body’s signs and symptoms. Symptoms are yours body’s way of telling you something is out of balance.
Having an underactive stomach which means low stomach acid (Hydrochloric acid) can impair digestion and cause the enzyme pepsin not to be activated. When this occurs this can cause the pancreas, which provides the body with large amounts of digestive enzymes to be overworked. HCl is integral for the digestion process to occur. Unfortunately as we age, our body’s natural production of HCl starts to deplete. Not to worry, we can add a surplus of HCl to the stomach by taking apple cider vinegar diluted in water or adding fresh squeezed lemon to our water. Both of these should be taken on an empty stomach preferably in the morning to stimulate peristalsis (smooth muscle contraction)
When food is fully digested (broken down into its smallest particles) when it enters into the bloodstream it is rendered as non-allergenic. This is because when food is completely digested the immune system recognizes it and does not treat it as a foreign invader. To prevent or help food allergies, an elimination diet is a must, but also focusing on strengthening the digestive system is very beneficial.
Other factors besides allergies should be considered when the digestive system is not functioning at an optimal level. This includes water and fibre intake (soluble/insoluble), food combining, food quality, and stress levels. Supplementing with digestive enzymes as well as a good quality probiotic (preferably human strain) is necessary. I truly believe bringing a spiritual discipline into your life, (yoga/meditation) even if its just once a week can assist with any imbalance in the body. We should all learn not to take our health for granted and nourish our mind-body and soul on a daily basis!