Do you have an allergy? What is an allergy?
The term allergy was first used nearly a hundred years ago by Baron Clemens von Pirquet. He defined allergy as being any altered response to the environment. In this context the environment means the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breath and anything to which we come in physical contact. To put it another way, an allergy is an overreaction, by the body, to an ordinarily harmless substance. These substances he termed allergens.
Nowadays we tend to talk about allergies, food intolerances and chemical sensitivities, but the same basic definition is a useful one; they all involve the body over-reacting in some way. Increasingly it is being found that there is no easy way to differentiate between allergies and intolerances – both involve the immune system but in slightly different ways. Whilst intolerances, or delayed allergies, used to be thought by most doctors to be all in the mind, they are now increasingly recognised as causing many different health problems. Some 70 percent of the population are thought to have one or more food intolerance.
Many common foods contain anti-nutrients and toxins that can lead to malabsorption of minerals, irritation of the gut, leading to leaky gut syndrome and various immune reactions (in addition to allergies). An overgrowth of ‘bad bugs’, called a dysbiosis, can also cause significant health problems.
Allergy testing with kinesiology.
Kinesiology is the technical term for testing the body by measuring the strength of certain muscles, as explained below.
Muscle testing is a safe and non-invasive method for evaluating food and environmental sensitivities. With the patient lying, and fully clothed, small samples are placed over the patient’s navel. If the patient is sensitive (i.e. allergic or intolerant) to the sample then their test muscle will go weak. Young children, infants and debilitated patients can be tested via a surrogate. As with many tests, some people test better than others. If necessary an elimination diet will be suggested to get to the bottom of what you are reacting to. A certain amount of trial and error is always needed to find your optimal diet.
Many people are affected by their diet and the mechanism for this isn’t always that of allergies or food intolerance. I can help, for example, migraine sufferers to comprehensively avoid migraine food triggers, or help people with IBS assess if they have a FODMAP intolerance. A patient with urticaria may benefit from a low histamine diet.
What happens on my first visit for allergy testing?
At your first visit I will ask you about your symptoms, general health and lifestyle and medical history. Following muscle testing we will discuss which foods or chemicals seem to be causing your problem. A plan of action will be agreed and remedies prescribed if needed. In addition to testing various dietary changes may be suggested based on your current diet and health problems.
Will I be able to eat normally?
Whilst you may have heard stories of people being allergic to everything, this is, in fact, highly unusual. I find that most people only test weak to a small number of foods or chemicals. Only patients with very significant health problems tend to have extensive food allergies. On the other hand, it may well be that it is your current diet and lifestyle that have led to your current health problems. The modern processed diet leads to the so called ‘diseases of civilization”. Everyone can benefit from returning to a diet of fresh unprocessed foods. Our genes are expressed most healthily when we eat in tune with the way we evolved to eat.