Allergies

What Are Allergies?

Allergies are reactions to foreign substances by the immune system. The body’s defense system responds to foreign invaders or pathogens and this response triggers some form of immediate reaction in the body. Children today experience allergies at a much more alarming rate than ever before.

Environmental allergies tend to be seasonal; much worse in the spring and the fall when there are airborne allergens from trees, flowers, grasses, and pollen. Other common allergens are foods such as eggs, milk, wheat, soy, and peanuts.

Immunoglobulin E (IgE) Allergies

Allergens can cause an over-production of Immunoglobulin E (IgE) in the body. This antibody elevates levels of histamine which causes inflammation and triggers an immediate allergic reaction. In some cases severe allergic reactions can trigger anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock, which can be fatal.

What Your Doctor May Tell You About Allergies

A pediatrician will likely refer your child to a pediatric allergist. The pediatric allergists do skin-prick and blood testing (RAST radioallergosorbent) to determine IgE environmental or food allergies. Food allergies are more critical because they can be life-threatening so allergists recommend elimination of the allergenic foods and provide a prescription for epinephrine in the form of an “epi” pen to use in emergency situations.

Pediatric allergists are trained to diagnose, provide a treatment protocol and manage the allergies. Depending on the type of allergy, the allergist may prescribe antihistamines, cromolyn sodium (nasal spray), decongestants, eye drops and steroid sprays.

Allergists might also recommend immunotherapy (allergy shots) injecting the allergen into the body to create immunity to that allergen, but many times the risks can be potentially more dangerous due to severe reactions such as hives, rashes and even anaphylactic shock.

Another Way to Think About Allergies

Immunoglobulin G (IgG) Allergies

A second type of allergic reaction is Immunoglobulin G (IgG). The IgG is much less understood as being an allergy because the inflammatory reaction is affecting the immune system. Symptoms are usually delayed manifesting two or three hours later and are not usually life-threatening. IgG symptoms are often referred to as being an intolerance or sensitivity rather than an allergy. They also tend to be more cumulative in nature and respond on a deeper level within the immune system. Typical IgG reactions include:

Immunoglobulin A (IgA) Allergies

A third type of allergic reaction called Immunoglobulin A (IgA) develops usually when there is autoimmunity present. Due to leaky gut syndrome, immune function is impaired and inflammation in the gastrointestinal lining causes the protective coating of antibodies called IgA to be released. The body is unable to fight off infection and becomes vulnerable to all types of pathogens.

Because the gastrointestinal (GI) tract is unable to eliminate toxins, they overload the liver and deplete the sulfur-containing amino acids, so the detoxification process becomes impaired. High levels of ammonia may develop due to liver toxicity which affects brain functioning. Any chemicals or toxins at this point that are ingested cannot be detoxified out of the body by the normal process, and consequently, cause a misfiring of the neurotransmitters in the brain. This is the reason why children with neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism may have “neurological” reactions such as:

Consider removing gluten and casein and all toxic ingredients from the diet to help heal the gastrointestinal tract.

Learn more about how improving liver detoxification pathways can help lessen allergic responses here.

Allergies Healing Checklist

Make Lifestyle Changes

  • Get an age-appropriate amount of sleep per night
  • Get outside every day
  • Get an hour of exercise or movement per day
  • Sync circadian rhythm by getting up when the sun does and going to bed after it sets
  • Limit screen time as much as possible
  • Use blue-blocking lightbulbs and glasses at night, especially when looking at screens
  • Put bare feet in wet ground when possible
  • Drink half body weight in ounces of water

Eat a Clean Diet

Use Only High-Quality Fats

  • Coconut oil
  • Olive oil (unheated)
  • Avocados
  • Medium-Chain Triglycerides (MCT) oil
  • Grass-fed ghee
  • Duck fat
  • Grass-fed beef tallow
  • Cod liver oil (unheated)
  • Walnut oil (unheated)

Remove Vegetable Oils and Trans Fats

  • Canola
  • Corn
  • Soy
  • Safflower
  • Sunflower
  • Hydrogenated vegetable oils (Crisco, etc.)
  • Margarine

Include High-Quality Protein with Every Meal

  • Pasture-raised eggs, chicken and other fowl
  • Grass-fed beef, lamb and other red meats
  • Wild-caught fish
  • Legumes
  • Nuts

Add Fermented Foods and Probiotics

These will keep the gastrointestinal system and microbiome healthy and strong which in turn will keep the immune system strong.

  • Eat kefir yogurts, if dairy is tolerated
  • Eat fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut and kim chi
  • Eat umeboshi plums, which are very alkalizing
  • Eat miso soup, if soy is tolerated
  • Take a quality probiotic, such as VSL #3, Gut Pro, Dr. Ohirra’s Live Cultured Probiotics, Garden of Life, Klaire Labs. Work with your practitioner for a more targeted probiotic.

Optimize Blood Sugar

Blood sugar that is too high can lead to excess inflammation and hormonal imbalances.

Blood sugar that is too low can lead to attention and behavioral problems.

We recommend keeping blood sugar optimized so that it's neither too low nor too high.

Do an Elimination Diet

Children with chronic health conditions often have hidden food sensitivities and intolerances that exacerbate their symptoms. With an elimination diet, remove potentially inflammatory foods such as:

  • Casein
  • Gluten
  • Soy
  • Corn
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Nuts
  • Peanuts

Clean up Your Environment

  • Identify and remove possible environmental triggers, such as mold, dust, pet dander, and electromagnetic fields (EMFs)
  • Identify and remove possible toxic exposures in the home from purchased products, such as detergents, soaps, lotions, and other cleaning and personal care products
  • Remove animals (both live and stuffed!)
  • Remove carpets
  • Use non-toxic cleaners
  • Use non-toxic building materials

Lower Stress Levels

Viruses, bacteria and other pathogens become more active when the body is in a state of stress.

By teaching your child ways to self-regulate with practices such as prayer, reiki, meditation, yoga, qi gong, tai chi and the Emotional Freedom Technique (tapping), they can become good advocates for themselves and become active participants in the recovery process.

Practitioners of techniques such as EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Retraining) and jin shin jyutsu can lower stress levels for your child, as well.

See a NAET or BioSET Practitioner

Children with chronic health conditions typically also have food allergies and/or food sensitivities and intolerances.

NAET (Namudripad's Allergy Elimination Technique) and BioSET are two non-invasive methods of allergy elimination.

See a Homeopath, Naturopath or Homotoxicologist

These practitioners can diagnose and treat gastrointestinal disorders naturally so that the child’s immune, sensory, neurological and nervous systems develop without being compromised.

Ask Your Practitioner to Run Some Laboratory Tests

  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) for possible food sensitivities and allergies
  • Nutritional deficiencies in vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin D
  • NutrEval by Genova Diagnostics Labs for malabsorption, gut dysbiosis, cellular energy, mitochondrial metabolism, neurotransmitter metabolism, vitamin deficiencies, toxin exposure and detoxification need
  • Organic Acid Test (OAT) for yeast overgrowth, other microbial infections and oxalates
  • Inflammation markers such as C-Reactive Protein (CRP)
  • Fasting blood sugar and insulin levels
  • Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis (CDSA)

Use Digestive Aids with your Practitioner's Guidance

  • Betaine hydrochloric acid
  • Digestive enzymes with DPP-IV for gluten and casein intolerances
  • Proteolytic enzymes
  • BiCarb
  • Bromelain
  • Papaya

Use Supplements with Your Practitioner's Guidance

Always work with your practitioner to determine the brand, type and dosage of supplements. Common supplements include the following:

  • Cod liver oil
  • Probiotics
  • Vitamin D3
  • Methylated B complex vitamins
  • N-acetylcysteine (NAC)
  • Magnesium, zinc, selenium, iodine and other minerals
  • Others

Help Your Child Detoxify

  • Make sure your child is pooping every day. Learn more about how to clear up constipation and diarrhea.
  • Have your child exercise or move every day. Sweating carries toxins out of the body.
  • See a homotoxicologist, naturopath or homeopath for drainage remedies and detoxification aids.
  • Optimize blood sugar to allow the liver to spend more time detoxing rather than processing sugar.
  • Ionic foot baths can help detox unwanted pathogens and are easy to do with children.
  • Infared saunas can detox heavy metals through the skin by sweating. However, this form of detoxification may not be suitable for young children who lack the ability to sweat.
  • Epsom salt baths add sulfur transdermally to help with detox.

See a Chiropractor

A chiropractor can perform spinal cord adjustments, which can improve bodily functions.

Work with a Health Coach

Our Epidemic Answers health coaches are trained to understand the root causes of your child's chronic health condition.

They provide hands-on helping with the practical matters of healing such as cooking healthy foods, removing toxins from the household and helping you work more efficiently with your practitioner.

See an Acupuncturist

Acupuncture can help lower stress and anxiety. It can also help with blood-sugar and hormonal regulation.

Use homeopathy specific for allergies:

  • Natrum muriaticum
  • Nux vomica
  • Arsenicum album
  • Allium cepa

Consider using Schueller’s cell tissue salts, which can be effective as well. Individual homeopathics can be specific for whatever the allergic symptoms or condition is.

Consider hypnotherapy:

Hypnotherapy can lessen or completely prevent allergic reactions and assist the immune system in responding in a different way.

Still Looking for Answers?

Visit the Epidemic Answers Practitioner Directory to find a practitioner near you.

Join us inside our online membership community for parents, Healing Together, where you’ll find even more healing resources, expert guidance, and a community to support you every step of your child’s healing journey.

Sources & References

Allen, K.J., et al. Food Allergy in Childhood. Medical Journal of Australia. 2006 Oct 2;185(7):394-400.

Bunyavanich, S., et al. Peanut allergy prevalence among school-age children in a US cohort not selected for any disease. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2014;134(3):753-5

Campbell, et al. Mechanisms of Allergic Disease – Environmental and genetic determinants for the development of allergy. Clin Exp Allergy. 2015

Della Giustina, A., et al.. Vitamin D, allergies and asthma: focus on pediatric patients. World Allergy Organ J. 2014;7(1):27

Feehley, T., et al. Healthy infants harbor intestinal bacteria that protect against food allergy. Nature Medicine. 2019 Jan 14.

Gupta, R.S., et al. The Public Health Impact of Parent-Reported Childhood Food Allergies in the United States. Pediatrics. 2018 Dec;142(6). pii: e20181235.

Heuer, L., et al. Reduced levels of immunoglobulin in children with autism correlates with behavioral symptoms. Autism Res, Oct 2008, 1:5, 275–83.

Hoskin-Parr, L., et al. Antibiotic exposure in the first two years of life and development of asthma and other allergic diseases by 7.5 yr: A dose-dependent relationship. Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2013 Dec; 24(8): 762–771.

Isolauri, E., et al. Food allergy in irritable bowel syndrome: new facts and old fallacies. Gut. 2004 Oct;53(10):1391-3.

Jyonouchi, H., et al. Dysregulated innate immune responses in young children with autism spectrum disorders: their relationship to gastrointestinal symptoms and dietary intervention. Neuropsychobiology. 2005;51(2):77-85.

Kim-Lee, C., et al. Gastrointestinal disease in Sjogren's syndrome: related to food hypersensitivities. Springerplus. 2015 Dec 12;4:766.

Ly, N.P., et al. Gut microbiota, probiotics, and vitamin D: interrelated exposures influencing allergy, asthma, and obesity? J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2011;127(5):1087-94; quiz 95-6.

Maksimova, O.V., et al. [Intestine microbiota and allergic diseases]. Zh Mikrobiol Epidemiol Immunobiol. 2014(3):49-60.

Morris, C.R., et al. Syndrome of allergy, apraxia, and malabsorption: characterization of a neurodevelopmental phenotype that responds to omega 3 and vitamin E supplementation. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. Jul-Aug 2009;15(4):34-43.

Peters, R.L., et al. Infant food allergy phenotypes and association with lung function deficits and asthma at age 6 years: a population-based, prospective cohort study in Australia. Lancet Child Adolesc Health. 2023 Jul 24;S2352-4642(23)00133-5.

Prescott, S.L. Early-life environmental determinants of allergic diseases and the wider pandemic of inflammatory noncommunicable diseases. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2013;131(1):23-30.

Severance, E.G., et al. IgG dynamics of dietary antigens point to cerebrospinal fluid barrier or flow dysfunction in first-episode schizophrenia. Brain Behav Immun. 2015 Feb;44:148-58.

Suen, R.M., et al. The Clinical Relevance of IgG Food Allergy Testing Through ELISA. Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients, Jan 2004, 61–66.

Taylor-Black, S.A., et al. Prevalence of food allergy in New York City school children. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2014;112(6):554-6 e1.

Tsabouri, S., et al. Modulation of gut microbiota downregulates the development of food allergy in infancy. Allergol Immunopathol (Madr). 2014;42(1):69-77.

Uhde, M., et al. Intestinal cell damage and systemic immune activation in individuals reporting sensitivity to wheat in the absence of coeliac disease. Gut. 2016 Dec;65(12):1930-1937.

Vael, C., et al. Early intestinal Bacteroides fragilis colonization and development of asthma. BMC Pulmonary Medicine. 2008 Sep 26;8:19.

Resources
Books

Bock, Kenneth. Healing the New Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma, and Allergies: The Groundbreaking Program for the 4-A Disorders. New York, NY. Ballantine Books, 2008.

Fraser, Heather. The Peanut Allergy Epidemic: What’s Causing It and How to Stop It. Skyhorse; Third Edition, 2017.

Jackson, Mark. Allergy: The History of a Modern Malady. London: Reaktion Books, 2007.

Walsh, William. Food Allergies: The Complete Guide to Understanding and Relieving Your Food Allergies. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley John and Sons Inc, 2000.

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