If you have ever experienced an allergic reaction or been with someone who has, you have seen firsthand how hypersensitivity can negatively impact quality of life and overall health. Tragically, a person with allergies is usually told that the symptoms can be treated but the allergy will remain for the rest of that person’s life. Is that indeed the case? But what exactly are allergies, anyway? Furthermore, what constitutes true health? How do deficiencies and toxicity contribute to hypersensitivities, and what are some common allergic responses? And most important of all, what is the critical role diet plays in overcoming such conditions? A hypersensitive (over sensitive) immune response is responsible for the increasing occurrence of allergies, which have become the fifth leading chronic disease in the U.S. among all ages and the third most common chronic disease among children under 18.
Health News #73 - Online Bonus Content:
“More Americans than ever before say they are suffering from allergies. It is among the country's most common, yet often overlooked, diseases.” - Asthma and Allergy Foundation of AmericaAn allergic reaction occurs when the immune system overreacts to a foreign protein substance (an allergen) that is eaten, inhaled, injected, or simply touched. Various symptoms may be associated with the reaction including: coughing, sneezing, runny nose, scratchy throat, and/or itching eyes. More severe reactions may manifest in an asthma attack, a rash, hives, and even death in extreme situations.
“Allergies are pretty common. Both genes and environmental factors play a role. The immune system normally protects the body against harmful substances, such as bacteria and viruses. It also reacts to foreign substances called allergens, which are generally harmless and in most people do not cause a problem. But in a person with allergies, the immune response is oversensitive. When it recognizes an allergen, it releases chemicals such as histamines which fight off the allergen.” - A.D.A.M. Medical EncyclopediaWhile there are hundreds of different medical names for various manifestations of disease, there is really only one disease: malfunctioning cells! The human body is comprised of approximately 100 trillion cells. Cells group together and form tissue, organs, bone, blood, etc. As long as each cell functions as designed, the body will exhibit the optimum level of health God intended. If the individual cells are healthy, the body is healthy. If we provide our cells with all of the nutrition they need and keep them free of toxins and physical damage, we will enjoy a body that is resistant to disease and an immune system that is neither ‘hypo’ or ‘hyper’ sensitive. Most importantly, we will live a healthy life well into old age rather than dying decades too soon. Health is the sum total of the choices we make, that is, the foods we choose to eat, and the lifestyle we choose to live:
- With our food choices, we can choose to nourish the body as God instructed in Genesis 1:29 or we can choose the path of least resistance with convenience and processed foods that lead to sick cells.
- We can keep our environment as free of toxins as possible, considering the day and age in which we live, or we can live recklessly, subjecting our body to various medicinal drugs, vaccines, chlorine and fluoride in our water, and a host of chemicals in our environment and foods.
“Iodine plays a role in the physiology of inflammatory responses. This is important in the immune system. Iodine increases the movement of granulocytes into areas of inflammation and improves the phagocytosis of bacteria by granulocytes and the ability of the granulocytes to kill bacteria. Since all disease is associated with inflammatory response, iodine becomes key for youthing the body.”There are many other areas of deficiency (magnesium, potassium, selenium, vitamin B12, etc.),but how does the toxicity of today’s world impact the body’s ability to deal with allergens and lead to hypersensitivity? Our bodies are subjected to a daily onslaught of elements from our environment, water, air, and food that impact our immune response. It is imperative that we remain vigilant to avoid these toxins as much as possible and to equip our body with conditions conducive to dealing with them as efficiently as possible. One of the most important influencers of immune system response is the balance of one’s gut flora (bacteria). Our gut is host to over 400 species of bacteria, numbering more than our cells, and weighing approximately 3 to 3-½ pounds! When our “friendly” bacteria dominate, making up about 80 percent of that population, we normally experience optimum immune response and enjoy a high level of health. Elements such as chlorine (in swimming pools, bathing, and drinking water), food preservatives, and antibiotic residual in our food chain can devastate the friendly bacteria while the undesirable (pathogenic) bacteria thrive and become antibiotic-resistant. This overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria may lead to candida, vaginal and urinary tract infections, allergies, thrush, and contribute to what is known as leaky gut, a condition in which undigested food and other proteins penetrate the gut barrier and enter the bloodstream. When this happens, the immune system perceives these intruders as foreign substances and begins to attack them, often leading to a hypersensitive response (allergic reaction). With a significant imbalance in the intestinal flora, normally health-promoting foods such as fruits with natural sugars can feed the undesirable bacteria, allowing it to continue to proliferate. Restoring the favorable balance of friendly flora often takes radical dietary restrictions of all sources of sugars and starchy carbohydrates along with aggressive supplementation with a good probiotic supplement.
Mercury from amalgam fillings and vaccines, exposure to lead, pesticides, and herbicides, as well as consuming animal source foods where these toxins accumulate in the flesh can be sources of toxicity that impair the normal function of the immune system and challenge our body’s ability to sustain health.While I do not want to focus exclusively on one mineral deficiency, the role of iodine in overall body health cannot be overstated. Dr. Cousens points out that “iodine deficiency is a major threat to global health. Iodine deficiency has increased fourfold in the last 40 years and is considered the most common and yet preventable cause of brain damage throughout the world.” In terms of iodine’s role in detoxification, Dr. Cousens says, “Another major health protection role iodine plays is to increase the release of toxic halogens (fluorine, bromine, and chlorine) from the cellular system. These toxic halogens negatively impact all our organs including thyroid function. … Iodine also chelates mercury, lead, and cadmium.” In his book, Iodine Why You Need it Why You Can’t Live Without It¸ David Brownstein, MD relates one reason other that soil depletion that has attributed to iodine deficiency. Iodine was used in the baking industry in the 1960s as a dough conditioner. One slice of bread provided the current RDA of 150 mcg of iodine. Due to questions of safety from none other than the NIH (National Institute of Health), bromine replaced iodine in the baking industry in the 1980s.
“Bromine is a halide (as is iodine, fluoride, and chlorine). All halides compete with one another for absorption and receptor binding in the body. Bromine (as well as fluoride and chlorine) interferes with iodine utilization in the thyroid as well as wherever else iodine would concentrate in the body.”There are many more nutrient deficiencies and toxicities that can play a critical role in the body, which can impair the normal function of the immune system, leading to hypersensitivity. With 1 out of 5 people in this country experiencing allergies or hypersensitivity of the immune system, it is wise for each of us to take a close look at the foods we are consuming and the toxins we are exposing the body to on a regular basis. This will help us make informed decisions as to how we can best support the body’s ongoing efforts to stay well. Many people who have adopted The Hallelujah Diet have found that they could overcome most allergies and enjoy an enhanced level of health they never knew was possible. My wife Myra is one of those people. Myra used to experience severe allergies most of her life. When I adopted The Hallelujah Diet about 19 years ago, she was not willing to do so. However, she did agree to try barley grass juice. Her first serving resulted in a hypersensitive immune response with an asthma attack that required the use of an inhaler, much like exposure to other allergens. We reduced her serving size to 1/8 teaspoon daily (that was the level she could tolerate with no reaction). She gradually increased the serving size so that in six months she was up to one tablespoon twice daily. Doing this alone, with no other dietary changes, alleviated her allergies by 95%. Confident in the power of nutrition to rebuild her immune responses, she began The Hallelujah Diet! If you haven’t given The Hallelujah Diet an honest, 60-day, 110% try, I encourage you to do so. If you currently experience issues with an over-sensitive immune system, introduce BarleyMax very slowly, like Myra did, and gradually work up to the desired serving size to avoid any negative symptoms.