To boost health and happiness, eat REAL food. But sometimes, a lot of times, it’s not enough to eat REAL food, we need to eat the right REAL food. Why? Because even REAL food can be bad for you! What?!?!? Yes. It’s true. The most common foods I see stressing children’s health are gluten, dairy, and sugar. Let’s start with gluten and dairy, we’ll cover sugar later (wah wah).
Gluten and Dairy Can Be a REAL Problem
Gluten and dairy can be REAL (grown as nature intended); they can also be highly packaged and processed. But swallow this, even the highest quality gluten and dairy can cause your child problems in 2 ways:
- His immune system overreacts to gluten and/or dairy and/or
- His digestive system can’t break down gluten and/or dairy
Let’s examine how the immune system overreacts to gluten and/or dairy. I cover how the digestive system can’t break down gluten and/or dairy in Gluten and Dairy Can Be a REAL Problem, Part 2
Foods that Inflame: Allergies and Intolerances
When the immune system overreacts to gluten and/or dairy, we call it a food allergy (when it raises the antibody IgE) or a food intolerance (when it raises the antibody IgG). Technical details I know, but there’s an important difference.
Food allergies can be life threatening, whereas food intolerances are life disturbing. Both can severely impact a person’s health and happiness, but only food allergies can pose an immediate threat to your child’s life. Scary stuff. So it’s important to know which your child has (many have both)!
With food allergies, the immune system reaction is immediate within minutes of exposure and circulating IgE antibodies can take days to clear from the body. 90% of all food allergic reactions are caused by 8 foods: gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish. Symptoms can involve the skin (hives, eczema), digestive system (vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain), and be life threatening (trouble swallowing or breathing, chest pain, passing out).
With food intolerances, the immune system reaction is delayed from 4 to 72 hours after exposure and circulating IgG antibodies may take months to clear from the body. Gluten and dairy are the most common food intolerances, and gluten is well known for causing an autoimmune disease called celiac disease. Food intolerance symptoms vary among affected individuals. For example, those with gluten intolerance can experience bloating, diarrhea, constipation, mouth sores, itchy rashes and/or headaches – just to name a few!
Inflammation, The Culprit in Common Dis-eases
Bottom line: BOTH food allergies and intolerances imbalance the immune system creating too much inflammation. Inflammation can be protective or destructive (like a protective vs. an overprotective parent). There’s a balance. Antibodies protect us – they’re our army tagging the bad guys, but with food allergies and intolerances their tagging innocent food! So instead of helping us, these antibodies “hurt” us, inflame us. Think of a friendly game of playground tag turned “ugly” by overzealous taggers, ending with a heaping pile of crying kids! Not good.
When your immune system spins out of control, you become imbalanced and inflamed.
Inflammation is a root problem in most chronic disease, including diabetes, heart disease, cancer and obesity. Asthma is inflammation of the lower airways; Eczema is inflammation of the skin; Inflammatory Bowel Disease is inflammation of the digestive tract. Get the picture? Inflammation is a REAL problem we need to address if we want to be happy and healthy!
Eliminating foods that inflame will help re-balance your child’s immune system, slowing down this out-of-control game of tag. As a result, her symptoms improve (or resolve), and she rebalances on her REAL health teeter-totter.
Discovering IgE and IgG reactive foods through testing (see below) is ideal to tailor your child’s diet, but it’s not always possible due to cost and practitioner accessibility. We’re working on building a practitioner database for you, so stay tuned! In the meantime…
- Move from packaged, processed food to REAL food that grows as nature intended.
- Grab a FREE copy of our Menu Plan Program by entering your name and email below
Our Menu Plan Program will walk you through a 1, 2, 3 phased approach to tailoring your child’s diet, including how to eliminate gluten and dairy!
It’s a lot of information to digest – I know.
Take a breather.
A.C.T. (Action Changes Things):
You can blood test your child to see if she has food allergies and/or food intolerances. My favorite lab is Alletess Medical Laboratory. Their Food Sensitivity and Allergy Panel tests 96 foods for IgG reactions, and 12 foods for IgE reactions. Contact them to find a practitioner in your area who uses their lab.
So, if your child is stuck in unhappy places, with wheezing, constipation, headaches, inattention or (you fill in the blank) – what’s your greatest obstacle to picking up the phone and calling Alletess Medical Laboratory today?
I’d love to know…
If you’re feeling brave, leave a comment and share your greatest obstacle.
Sometimes we think we’re all alone, but in reality we’re swimming in an ocean of people who can help.
Your share may be just what someone else needs to hear today.
Let her hear your voice.
Next Up: Gluten and Dairy Can Be a REAL Problem, Part 2