Relieve Allergies the Natural Way
Acupuncture has been used to treat a number of allergy symptoms, from sneezing and runny nose to puffy eyes.
People suffering from food allergies aren’t always aware that their symptoms are caused by the food they are eating. It often can be more difficult to discover that a person is allergic to a certain type of food, as opposed to discovering that a person is allergic to a bee sting, for example. Some people suffering from food allergies continue their day-to-day life with symptoms such as headaches or fatigue and have no idea that their symptoms could be from food allergies.
What is a food allergy?
A food allergy is a reaction of the body’s immune system to otherwise harmless substances in certain foods. This is different from a food intolerance, which does not necessarily involve the immune system. Although 25% of people believe they are allergic to certain foods, only 4 to 8% of children and 2% of adults have diagnosed food allergies. While most food allergies are mild, in some cases they can cause anaphylactic shock, a serious, sometimes life-threatening reaction. Food allergies affect mostly young children, and about 90% of these allergies are caused by 8 foods: cow’s milk, eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, fish, and shellfish. With the exception of peanut allergy, the majority of children outgrow their food allergies by early adolescence.
Symptoms of food allergies include:
- abdominal pain
- nasal congestion
- cough and asthma
More severe symptoms:
- difficulty breathing
- decreased blood pressure
- increased heart rate
- mental confusion
- slurred speech
- anxiety attack
- cardiovascular collapse
Food allergy causes:
In most cases, allergies occur when an individual who has a genetic sensitivity to certain allergens is exposed to the substance. Foods frequently responsible for food allergies include:
- Shellfish, such as shrimp, crab, and lobster
- Tree nuts, including walnuts, almonds, and pecans
- Fruits, particularly strawberries, but also melons, pineapple, and other tropical fruits
- Food additives such as dyes, thickeners, and preservatives, (monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a common food allergy in this category).
Foods that may cause intolerance include:
- Wheat and other gluten-containing grains
- Cow’s milk and other dairy products
- Corn products
Food allergy natural treatment options
Many herbalists consider two major systems when dealing with allergies – the immune system and adrenal-stress handling system. These two systems are under great pressure due to environmental changes. The fast pace of modern living and working may have an adverse effect on these systems, as well.
There are many natural ways to nourish the immune system and lessen the impact of stress on the body’s systems: meditation, walking, breathing exercises, a diet of whole, organic foods and a network of loving relationships.
The most obvious way to avoid an allergic reaction to food would be to take that type of food out of a person’s diet. But, if a person is allergic to many different kinds of foods, it can be impossible to stop eating everything he or she is allergic to.
The American Academy of Medical Acupuncture endorses the use of acupuncture for allergies such as food allergies. Acupuncture can help restore normal immune function. A Chinese medicine practitioner will select acupuncture points and herbal formulas that support the functioning of the organs, dispersing unhealthy excess patterns and nourishing deficiencies. Chinese medicine is a safe and effective way of treating food allergies.
A study published in 2002 reported a 95 percent effective rate when using Chinese medicine to treat 20 patients suffering from food allergies. The patients, all between six and 67 years old, complained of food allergy gastritis after eating certain food. They were each given a daily formula consisting of prepared Chinese herbs. In result, 14 patients were considered cured, and five patients improved. The Chinese medicine approach for some in the study, helped the body respond normal to certain foods instead of having to completely cut these foods out of a person’s diet.
For more information about how acupuncture and other treatments can help you, please contact Board Certified Licensed Acupuncturist, Steve Drugan,B.S., L.Ac., at 614.218.6287 or click here. Taking new patients in and around Columbus, Ohio.
References: Zhang Xin-Cheng, et al. Xin Zhong Yi. #9 pp. 59-60. 2002