The Allergy/Addiction Syndrome: Are Your Favorite Foods Draining Your Vitality?

Is there any food you just can’t seem to get enough of? If you know it’s in the house, you keep getting pulled back into the kitchen for a little bit more – until you’ve polished it off. And even then, you may be left with a craving for more.

The thyroid gland keeps our body temperature at 98.6, the perfect temperature for optimal cell metabolism. The adrenal glands help us cope with emotional and physical stress, and become “burnt out” by too much stress. In my practice, I find that low thyroid and low adrenal function can often return to normal when the patient eliminates (or is treated for) the foods and other substances that their bodies are having chronic, low-grade reactions to. (The testing and treatment technique that I use is called NAET.)

For many years, alternative doctors have come to realize that almost all addictions have (using the term loosely) an “allergic” component. We find that alcoholics are allergic to any or a combination of the following: the grain, fruit, yeast or alcohol of their preferred alcoholic beverage. The most dedicated coffee drinkers are found to be allergic to the coffee bean, or man-made chemicals used in commercial coffee production. Smokers are found to be allergic to one or more components of cigarette smoke.

Cigarette smoking is a good example of allergy/addiction syndrome. The first cigarette ever smoked produces dizziness, nausea and a sore throat feeling. If one continues to smoke, these symptoms reduce and finally disappear. What marvelous mechanisms the body has, that it can adjust to tolerate an obvious poison if it needs to.

However, there is a toll in overall stress. The symptoms become “masked” or delayed – rather than reacting to the poison, our glands help the body adjust to live with it. However, the physiological compensation for the chronic assault of daily ingestion/use results in addiction. To prevent the delayed symptoms from coming on full force, the body produces cravings that influence us to re-ingest the allergen. Having more of the substance temporarily relieves the symptoms of withdrawal – a common symptom being fatigue.

For example, if someone is allergic to grapefruit, they might feel that they must have it every morning, and a headache or any of the possible withdrawal symptoms listed below may come on if they don’t have their morning grapefruit.

As the adrenals become more and more stressed from the offending food(s), they eventually weaken. So does the immune system, which makes us vulnerable to developing even more sensitivities over time, as well as physical problems (some of which are listed below).

Certain foods that you are reacting to may actually whip the adrenals to give you the same kind of temporary energy lift that coffee or sugar kicks the adrenals into giving. Immunoglobulin- bound molecules of the offending food also have direct degenerative effects in the gut, brain, joints and other organs and glands.

Symptoms of food sensitivity (or temporary withdrawal symptoms if eliminating the food) include:

Head

Headaches, dizziness, feeling faint, runny nose, stuffed sinuses, watering eyes, excess mucus production, earache, congested ear passages, throbbing or ringing in ears, sore throat, tendency for ear, eye or throat infections, bleeding gums, itchy eyes and ears, canker sores.

Chest and Stomach

Feeling of fullness in chest, chest pain, asthma, congested lungs, persistent coughs, hoarseness, heart palpitations, rapid heart rate, nausea, vomiting, stomach or abdominal cramps, gas, bloated abdomen, diarrhea, constipation, heaviness in stomach long after meals, pain in gallbladder area.

Brain

Confusion, lethargy, irritability, hyperactivity, inability to concentrate, anxiety, depression, crying easily, trouble sleeping.

Other

Skin rashes, itching, hives, acne, weakness in limbs, sore muscles, muscular aches and pains, joint pains, calcium dysmetabolism (osteoporosis with spurs or other abnormal calcium deposits), urinary urgency, excessive hunger, craving for sweets and starches, inability to normalize weight, a “hangover” type feeling, water retention. Food sensitivities contribute to blood sugar imbalances, diabetes and arthritis.