Highly effective treatments for pain and fatigue; eliminating food allergies
I have found that most of my patients’ food and other sensitivities resolve when I treat their underlying yeast overgrowth, parasitic infections, and underactive adrenal glands. Sometimes food sensitivities persist, however, and are often hard to isolate or verify because of the diversity of reactions that people display. Many of these reactions are extremely subtle or are also symptoms of other conditions. In addition, most people suffer their own unique combination of symptoms. To further complicate matters, many people are sensitive to food additives.
Unfortunately, I have found that most IgG, Rast, and other blood tests used to detect food allergies are not reliable or helpful. They are more expensive than elimination diets, and leave people with the often-incorrect belief that they are sensitive to everything. I have found that most food allergy blood tests are better at making people crazy than at distinguishing true allergies. A recent study done at Bastyr University, an excellent naturopathic school, found that when a single person’s blood was sent to a number of laboratories doing food allergy testing, the labs gave very different results on the same blood sample. The patient was found to be allergic to 22% versus 76% of foods tested, depending on which lab did the test! Even when several tubes of blood from one person – but labeled with different names–were sent to the same lab, they still got very different results! If you tell everybody that they are allergic to the 30 to 50 most common foods, you are likely to pick up some food allergies simply by guessing. The patient may indeed feel better because they have eliminated the one or two foods they are allergic to. Unfortunately, they will also have eliminated 40 other foods they are not sensitive to! This is a good way to make them malnourished and neurotic. It is not good to make people feel like everything they are eating is bad for them. If you’re not convinced, randomly pick any patient’s food allergy test results and give it to the next three patients you would do food allergy testing on.
Another blood test called an IGE immuno-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) (not the IgG or IgG ELISA) screens for common foods and is more likely to give a false-negative than a false-positive result. Although this will pick up IgE mediated food allergies, and patients will have true allergy to this food if it is positive, it will miss the vast majority of food sensitivities and is therefore not very useful clinically.
ELISA-ACT allergy testing at ELISAACT Biotechnologies (800-553-5472-previously known as Serammune) is more reliable and is the only food allergy blood testing that I will use. Run by a brilliant researcher in this area (Russell Jaffe MD, PhD), this testing has been found to show good internal consistency. It does not tell people they are allergic to everything, and seems to correspond well with what patients find they are sensitive to clinically. It also gives them useful and detailed information on how to structure a diet that can help them feel much better. Although some other labs may have improved the reliability of food allergy testing, I would need to see independent data on their reliability before I would be comfortable using them.
However, the best approaches that I have found for determining what food allergies, if any, are present are elimination diets and/or a superb allergy test–an elimination technique called NAET. Other techniques (e.g.–sublingual neutralization) can also be very helpful. (See below)
In an elimination diet, the most common problem foods are eliminated from the diet for two weeks. The foods that seem to cause problems for the most people are milk, wheat, eggs, citrus, monosodium glutamate (MSG), sugar, alcohol, chocolate, and coffee. People with food allergies usually go through withdrawal when they cut out the foods to which they are allergic. They feel worse for the first seven to ten days. But once they get over the hump, they often feel dramatically better. The eliminated food groups are then reintroduced, one every few days, to isolate the specific problem foods. These problem foods are left out of the diet for a few months and then are slowly reintroduced, since the sensitivity will often have decreased. Once reintroduced, the problem foods are initially used only every three to seven days to see how they are tolerated. An excellent information sheet that teaches patients how to do a relatively simple elimination diet was developed by Doris Rapp and can be found on my web site (www.Vitality101.com–Click on the “useful articles” link–left side).
Many physicians who practice what is called environmental medicine use sublingual neutralization, among other approaches, and are very skilled at treating food allergies. Although I am not trained in these approaches, I have seen them work wonders for many people. Another excellent technique is the Nambudripad allergy elimination technique (NAET), named after Dr. Devi S. Nambudripad, who developed it. It combines acupressure and Applied Kinesiology (muscle-testing) to look for and treat underlying sensitivities. The wonderful thing about sublingual neutralization and NAET is that there is no need to use an elimination diet and they often eliminate patients’ sensitivity to these foods (and other allergens). They can also be used for severe cases where patients have multiple chemical sensitivity.
What is NAET?
The treatment known as Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Techniques, NAET, is a blending of the noninvasive procedures from Western and Eastern healing practices that can help to eliminate allergies of all kinds, permanently. It is a specific treatment procedure formulated by combining chiropractic and Chinese Medicine principles applied through spinal manipulation, acupuncture, kinesiology, acupressure and nutrition. This powerful process was discovered quite accidentally in November of 1983 by Dr. Devi S. Nambudripad, who is an MD, Doctor of Oriental Medical, Doctor of the Chiropractic Arts, Licensed Acupuncturist, RN, and PhD. Through the years she has ceaselessly developed her technique while studying the effect of this technique on thousands of patients.
NAET uses Muscle Response Testing/Applied Kinesiology (MRT/AK) to confirm the presence of allergic reactivity. Once identified, Dr. Nambudripad uses spinal manipulation, acupressure and/or acupuncture procedures to eliminate the allergy. The treatment is geared to re-program the brain’s negative responses towards the allergen(s) to a positive response whenever these substances are contacted in the future. In practice, muscle testing is done to see if the person is strong or weak to a specific substance (or its energetic/homeopathic energy signature). If muscle testing shows them to be weak, this suggests a sensitivity/allergy. By stimulating the acupressure points along both sides of the spine (this can be done with simple pressure as in acupressure) while the patient is breathing and holding the offending substance, the sensitivity is cleared. The patient usually needs to then avoid the offending substance for 24 hours. The entire procedure takes around 20 minutes and one allergy can usually be cleared at a time.
When I first heard of this procedure it sounded fairly hokey to me, and I teased the woman who was doing it. When autumn came around each year, however, I generally suffered from my lifelong history of horrible ragweed allergies (hay fever). One year was especially severe, and the NAET practitioner told me to stop being an idiot and to let her treat me. I did, and the ragweed allergy immediately went away. The symptoms have continued to be gone now–four years later! This caught my attention, and I flew to California to meet Dr. Nambudripad, and learn the technique. (In fact, I was so impressed that I married the woman in Annapolis who had treated me!) Since then, I have continued to be more and more impressed with the power of this technique. It can be helpful for many problems including autism, and my foundation has recently offered a $100,000 challenge grant to have a study done on treating autism with NAET. I suspect that this, and other related approaches, will be the direction that medicine takes in the future.
Over the last fifteen years, Dr. Nambudripad has taught NAET to over 1,300 licensed doctors of chiropractic, acupuncture and traditional medicine. That means this innovative allergy treatment is now available in many parts of the US and other countries as well. Practitioners, and information about the technique and how to become an NAET practitioner can be found on her web site at www.NAET.com. As is the case with any healing technique, the effectiveness can a considerably from practitioner to practitioner–so find someone in your area who gets good results, or take the time to learn it properly yourself.
We have moved beyond the time where people need to be neurotic about and worry about everything that they eat. Telling people to avoid 30 foods for the rest of their life or to rotate them on a regular basis forever (realizing that five other doctors probably gave them another 80 foods to avoid as well!) is no longer necessary.
To effectively eliminate most food allergies:
1. Treat the poor digestion so that food is completely broken down before it gets into the bloodstream, thus preventing large strings of incompletely digested amino acids from causing reactions. Do this by:
A. eliminating yeast and other bowel infections. If patients have spastic colon or sinus congestion, or score over 140 points on Dr. William Crook’s yeast questionnaire, they probably have fungal overgrowth. Although there are many tests for fungal overgrowth, I do not find them to be especially reliable and I suspect that the approach noted above is much more effective and certainly less expensive. Treat fungal overgrowth by having patients avoid sugar (Stevia is okay), take Acidophilus Pearls, two twice a day for five months (the only brands I use are Acidophilus or Probiotic Pearls as many other forms do not have the amount claimed on the label and are destroyed by stomach acid–these and many of the other natural products I mention below are available from Enzymatic Therapy or Integrative Therapeutics-ITI), and using nystatin plus Diflucan or Sporanox. This will be discussed at length (as will other natural remedies for treating yeast) in an upcoming column. Parasite testing should be done at a lab that specializes in this (e.g.–Great Smoky Mountain Lab or the Parasitology Center).
B. Taking plant-based digestive enzymes (I prefer CompleteGest or Similase) can result in food being digested down to its smallest components, markedly decreasing food allergies.
C. Treating inadequate adrenal function also markedly diminishes the symptoms of food allergies. This was discussed in previous columns. To summarize, nutritional support (e.g.–the Energy Revitalization System Powder), glandular and herbal support (my favorite is “Adrenal Stress Free”).
D. Use an allergy/sensitivity elimination technique to eliminate any sensitivities that persist. I find NAET (see www.NAET.com) to be extraordinarily powerful and effective in doing this.
by Jacob Teitelbaum, MD
Jacob Teitelbaum MD is director of the Annapolis Research Center for Effective CFS/Fibromyalgia Therapies, which sees patients with CFS/FMS from all over the world (410-573-5389; www.EndFatigue.com) and author of the best selling book From Fatigued to Fantastic! His newest book Three Steps To Happiness! Healing Through Joy has just been released. He gives 2-day workshops on effective CFS/Fibromyalgia therapies for both prescribing and non-prescribing practitioners (see www.EndFatigue.com). Although very picky about what brands he uses, he accepts no money from any company whose products he recommends and 100% of his royalty for products he makes is donated to charity.
COPYRIGHT 2004 The Townsend Letter Group
COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group