In the vast majority of these cases I’ve found a common denominator of prolonged stress, worry, anxiety, and fear. When we’re embracing these emotions, our body goes into what’s termed a fight or flight state. In this state, blood is shunted away from digestive organs and directed toward organs of flight, not digestion. These emotions initiate a state of emergency, so you can respond quickly to whatever the impending threat is.
When stress puts you in a state of fight or flight, the hormone Cortisol is released from your adrenal glands to increase fuel release from your liver to the tissues of flight so you can respond rapidly. This response isn’t damaging provided it’s only initiated in cases of real danger, and not chronically to perceived danger. (Worry)
Unfortunately, chronic elevations of cortisol in your blood creates collateral damage. One major area of damage involves how cortisol acts on mucous membranes. Elevated cortisol creates a thinning of these natural barriers, allowing potentially irritating substances to freely pass right through before digestion can break them down completely, rendering them harmless and nutritious. This allows various undigested proteins to enter your bloodstream.
When undigested proteins enter your bloodstream, your body has to respond in a defensive manner. When you have any undigested protein in your blood, your body signals your immune system that you have foreign invaders, and your immune system in turn initiates a plan to destroy them. This is the foundation of how your body creates a sensitivity. After sensitization has set in, there will be antibody production any time you are exposed to them.
Desensitizing your body to these foods is difficult, but more importantly you need to restore the vital membranous barrier, intended to block absorption of these allergens. To accomplish this, stress issues must be addressed and conquered before anything else, or you’ll never be able to restore your mucous membranes. Not dealing with the stress would be the equivalent of bailing water out of your boat while ignoring the big hole in the bottom.
When we see a leaky membrane issue, we must realize that more and more foods are capable of freely passing into the blood, creating additional sensitivities. This is why restoring the membrane barrier is critical to prevent future allergies.
Although a major cause, stress isn’t the only initiator of these problems. Yeast overgrowth can allow the mycelial root structure growing through mucous membranes to transport undigested foods directly into the blood. Antibiotics kill the protective bacteria in these areas allowing for yeast overgrowth. with this in mind, it’s not hard to see that indiscriminate use of antibiotics has added to the growing problem of multiple food allergies. For this reason, restoration of normal gut flora is an important part of reducing food allergies.
Another area of concern revolves around the use of agricultural pesticides. Some of these destroy crop eating bugs by causing rupture of their stomach. If this is the effect on their digestive system, how much of an impact is it having on the lining of our own digestive systems? This is why, the more you adhere to organic, non GMO foods, the better are your odds to never suffer from food sensitivities.
Food should be our friend, not an enemy. Obviously how and where we acquire, prepare, and consume our foods can have a profound effect on our overall health. When we see one person thriving on a particular food and another having a reaction to it, we need to stop and ask the question, “what’s the difference between these people?” It could either be what they are eating or what’s eating them. Stress is a killer. It’s believing and anticipating the worst.
After addressing stressors, the appropriate nutrition to rebuild mucous membranes should be employed. This is an area where naturopathic medicine outdistances anything mainstream medicine has to offer.