For the Sensitized, It’s not all about food.

 

We can all remember a time when we could eat just about any food we liked without any consequence. For those of us who were in elementary school in the 60's, cannot recall one other child with food allergies, much less life-threatening allergic reactions. Food sensitivities are a much more recent phenomenon. 

 

The food industry certainly has much to answer for regarding added ingredients that have unintended consequences all the way from antibiotics fed to beef, poultry, and pork to the use of chemical additives to maintain color and "freshness."  However, we believe that the underlying cause of many of the so-called allergies are in fact reactions to specific chemicals in our environment. Some people, on exposure, become sensitized to these chemicals and then react strongly to all similar substances both synthetic and natural. 

 

For some people, there is a moment when foods start to be a problem. It was not the food that suddenly became toxic to them; it is just that they became sensitized to a chemical in the environment and then reacted to a chemically similar substance in that particular food. The sensitizing chemical, in most cases, was not in food. However, their sensitized state made them sensitive to similar substances that occur naturally in many foods.  For example, some chemicals in personal care products will trigger a histamine reaction with just with skin contact. The histamine reaction may express as elevated heart rate, flushing/heat or severe anxiety attack. On rare occasions does the reaction appear as a skin reaction, but it can.

 

 It is sometimes hard to see the connections between some environmental pollutant and our food sensitivities, but it is there. Managing our own "personal environment" by controlling the things we eat and the personal care products we apply to our skin. This is one of the ways to limit or eliminate these reactions for the chemically sensitive. To do exactly that requires several steps:                                                                      

Remove all household products that contain fragrances.

 

1.    Replace personal care products with those that are genuinely fragrance- free, amine free and salicylate free.

2.    Wash personal garments and bedding using fragrance-free and enzyme-free detergents.

3.    Replace strongly flavored toothpaste with baking soda.

4.    Replace mouthwash with a 2% peroxide solution