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Have food intolerances kept you from living your best life? The good news is that the latest research tells us that we can actually reverse this problem, and it is even easier than you think to heal food intolerances naturally. Let’s get back to enjoying a wide range of healthy foods again today.
Allergies and Intolerances
First, it is important that we have a good understanding of the difference between an allergy and an intolerance. Even though they might be used interchangeably at times, they are certainly different. An allergy is a specific response that your immune system makes, based on antibodies, to something foreign in your body.
An intolerance or a sensitivity can include allergies, but they can also include other mediating factors – it is not just about allergies. These different parts of your body can also spur reactions, and they too constitute an intolerance. These might include reactions mediated by your:
- Other neurological factors
It is also important to note that, as far as reversing these reactions is concerned, there might be some that we have to deal with on a long-term basis. This would be something like peanut or shellfish allergies, which might be reversible in the future, but are – for the time being – more long-term allergies that you might have to deal with.
Key Insight: So many of the intolerances that we feel we are “stuck with” do not have to be that way. We need to address them, understand them, and treat them, but we can certainly be well on our way to reversing them – starting today, even.
Food and General Health
The way foods affect us can have a huge effect on our general health. Not only are there numerous symptoms that we might have to deal with, such as (1):
There are also more serious things that can come out of food intolerances. This is because of the fact that when your immune system is heightened or aggravated, it can actually attack things mistakenly. Ultimately, it could trigger changes in gut function that can lead to autoimmune thyroid disease (2).
It might also create chronic inflammation in the body, which could lead to adrenal dysregulation causing fatigue and easy weight gain.
Key Insight: The more stress that you take off your immune system, the healthier you will feel.
Here are the five steps that you can take to start healing your food intolerances and reversing them completely, naturally!
Step 1: Identify and Avoid
The first big step in healing food intolerances naturally is figuring out what you are reactive to in the first place. If you have things triggering your immune system, which you are ingesting on a daily basis, you are never going to give your body the chance to calm down so that it can heal itself. So, figuring out the culprits of your food intolerance issues is going to be step number one.
The first thing you want to know is that identifying food intolerance culprits is not going to be an intuitive process. Someone with celiac disease might be totally fine eating wheat, in the sense that they do not notice any symptoms, but that does not mean that it is not increasing their risk for:
- Colorectal cancer
- Immune distress
You might have heard that keeping a symptom diary is effective. The problem with this is that symptoms might take days, or even weeks, before you feel them – and you might not even notice them at all. It would also have to include staving off certain foods, or keeping off large groups of foods all at once, so that you can really get a good idea of what exactly you are reacting to. It is just not practical.
Bottom Line: We simply cannot rely on our subjective sense of how well we feel after we eat a food. This is definitely not a way to find out more about our food intolerances.
Some of the reactions we might face from different foods could take days or weeks before they do anything at all. So, you could have symptoms that are not related to digestion well after the fact – that is why it is going to be more important than ever to test and not to guess.
The best tests to help identify food intolerances are going to include IgG and IgG4 antibodies (3). From my experience, some of the most accurate labs are:
- KBMO – a food inflammation test
- Meridian Valley
- US Biotek
In order to reset and move past your reaction, I would have to say that full avoidance and commitment to avoiding the foods you are intolerant towards is going to be so important. It is definitely not easy, but it is the best way to help heal your food intolerances naturally.
Bottom Line: Once you know what you are reactive to, through testing, you are going to want to do your best to avoid those foods entirely. This means no quantity at all for a known block of time (3 – 6 months). It might seem like a long time, but it is important when you are looking to get better long-term – not just “feeling better” in the short-term.
Step 2: Treat Chronic Infections
As you are staying away from any potentially triggering foods, it’s also important to learn more about your flora. Now is your chance to make sense of any “bad bugs” that you might be carrying in your system, and treat them effectively.
I am always a fan of knowing more about what you are dealing with, so testing is almost always a good idea. This way, you can really get a good sense of what is going on in your body and how you can optimize your health.
Some of the common infections that you might be dealing with could be:
- H.pylori – you can find out more with breath tests, blood tests, stool tests – all of these can work for initial diagnosis
- Yeast – a stool culture or a skin test
- Other pathogens – stool cultures, Doctor’s Data Stool Micro and other good tests are available to learn more about other pathogens your body might be carrying
You can also presumptively cleanse yourself of any of the bad stuff with antimicrobial treatments. There are both conventional and natural versions, which prevent against parasites, viruses, fungi and bacteria.
Bottom Line: Whether presumptively or selectively, either of these options work when it comes to treating any chronic infections you might have going on in your body.
Step 3: Rebuild Flora
If you have been following the first two steps, you are already going to be well on track to rebuilding your flora. Getting those reactive foods out of your system and treating any chronic infections will benefit your flora tremendously.
That is not enough for us, though, we want our flora to become even stronger than before. There are three facets that we can think about when it comes to rebuilding our gut flora:
- Prebiotic foods
- Fermented foods
In this category, prebiotic foods are going to move the needle the most for our gut flora. Of those, resistant starch is going to be the largest (4).
More than anything, resistant starch is going to act as the fuel to get the good bugs in you again.
Fermented foods act as really nice adjuncts to helping rebuild and preserving your good gut flora. Some examples are:
- Fermented vegetables
This is where we want to think about adding things in to help repair the intestinal tract. Polysaccharides are a great way of helping rebuild our gut flora and you can easily think about them as slimy foods. You can find them in:
- Aloe gel
The ingredients you might want to be looking for from supplements are:
- Glutamine (5)
- NAG (6)
- Quercetin (7)
- DGL (8)
When we think about getting all of these foods into our system, the problem is that it is far too easy to not take enough of them – or to not take them regularly enough, or to not take them for long enough.
The effective doses are higher than people typically take, and can appear costly at first glance. I can promise, though, that the benefits of better digestion and less infection through the whole body are so worth it.
The full therapeutic doses, for supplements specifically, are as follows:
- 1200 + mg of glutamine
- 800 + mg of NAG
- 100 + mg of quercetin
- 300 + mg of DGL
Key Insight: Consistent use of these doses for 3 months, while avoiding reactive foods, is going to go so far in helping to rebuild your good gut flora.
Step 4: Desensitize
What does it mean to desensitize? Sublingual immunotherapy for foods has been shown to work even for the most dangerous allergies like peanut allergies (9) (10). This should become commercially available within the coming years, but it is not available for the public just yet.
This is a system that works by exposing your immune system to tiny, controlled doses of the reactive item. So, here’s a technique that I have guided countless amounts of people through to help them safely reverse their food intolerances at home.
Healing Your Food Intolerance Naturally
As always, make sure you check with your own health care provider before trying anything new – and know that you cannot use this technique for any anaphylactic reactions like nuts, shrimp or other shellfish. Also, many foods cause reactions for reasons that are not based on your immune system – these other types of reactions may not improve through desensitizing.
Basically, what you are going to be doing is making an oral sublingual dilution at home with every food that is reactive for you. This is not going to be helpful for things that are inherently hard on your body, like processed sugars, preservatives or flavorings. We also have no reason to think this would work for those with long-standing wheat reactions such as celiac disease.
The steps are simple:
- Choose your top 3 reactive foods (dairy, eggs, almonds, for example)
- Measure 1 gram of a cooked version of each food, with a food scale (for under $10 you can find a great scale that can measure to 0.1 grams (11))
- Add 1 liter of purified water
- Blend in a high-powered blender for 2 minutes. This is now a 1/1000 dilution of your allergen and it contains 0.001 grams of it
- Place in glass container and store in refrigerator for 3 days
- Buy glass milliliter measuring dropper (12)
- Take 1 milliliter of mixture twice daily and hold under tongue for 1 minute
- Make a fresh batch every 3 days
After 1 month: repeat same process with 100 ml of water (roughly 3 ounces). This is now a 1/100 dilution of your allergen and it contains 0.01 grams of it.
After 2 months: repeat same process with 10 ml of water (roughly 1/3 ounce). This is now a 1/10 dilution of your allergen and it contains 0.1 grams of it.
Finally, you will want to start testing 1/2 servings of your reactive foods (on alternating days). If no obvious symptoms emerge, reintroduce gradually and keep monitoring symptoms.
Heal Your Food Intolerances Today
Food intolerances are really serious. They can have a major impact on your health and on your life. The last thing we want to do is worsen our overall health based on the things we eat, because it is so easy to control what we eat and to get the healthy foods we need to feel good.
Thankfully, you do not have to be stuck with food intolerances long-term. If you follow these five steps, you are going to do so much for your body to naturally reverse your food intolerances. It takes time, but it can be so easy, and it relies on your body’s own amazing ability to heal itself. Change is always possible, we just need to make sure that it is good change.
Heal Your Intolerances, Heal Your Thyroid
Food intolerances can have a major effect on your thyroid and we all know how important your thyroid is in governing your overall health. Do you know the state of yours? Take the thyroid quiz today and learn a little bit more about your health and how you can go about feeling your best.
Dr. Alan Glen Christianson (Dr. C) is a Naturopathic Endocrinologist and the author of The NY Times bestselling Adrenal Reset Diet.
Dr. C’s gift for figuring out what really works has helped hundreds of thousands of people reverse thyroid disease, lose weight, cure diabetes, and regain energy. Learn more about the surprising story that started his quest.