Food Sensitivities & Allergies
Why are some people sensitive or allergic to certain foods? To understand we must first understand some of the digestive process. Let’s follow some food from the mouth to the gut and see if we can discover the cause.
For our example let’s use a nice ripe red strawberry. Like most people, the chewing process is minimal at best so the strawberry is not really chewed well but is merely crushed and swallowed. The strawberry drops into the stomach for the second part of the digestive process. Once in the stomach it will not stay long, as it takes very little to break down fruit. The time in the stomach is controlled by the body. When it feels the food has tumbled enough it is released into the beginning of the small intestines. Here is where the lazy chewing is uncovered. The strawberry instead of being a puree has some small particles that are classified as “chunks”. These chunks are too big, therefore, not totally attacked by digestive enzymes in the mouth or stomach. As the strawberry travels along the intestines it is further broke down. But due to the “chunks” they take longer to break down. Peristaltic action moves the food through the small intestines towards the colon. The strawberry chunks have been broken down into smaller particles but they are not totally digested into their individual components. As food is being absorbed through the lining of the small intestines some of the undigested particles are mixed with the digested food and absorbed into the blood stream.
Over the years the immune system has learned what should be in the blood and what should not be there. Along comes a food particle and the immune system says, “That one’s OK”. But when an undigested particle of strawberry enters the blood stream the immune system says, “STOP, we don’t recognize it”. It appears to be similar to other strawberry particles but not quite. The immune system responds by calling up the attack cells to eliminate it. In the process a new particle is formed called a CIC (circulating immune complex). It is a combination of the food particles and the immune system cells. This process causes inflammation, as well as the body rejecting anything that resembles or is similar to the offending food. The body sends out a “memo” stating that any particle similar to the one it identified is to be eliminated. The strawberry is now placed on the restricted list by the body. Anytime a strawberry is eaten the immune system is signaled to attack that food. This attack can cause many different symptoms in the body including a rash, itchy skin, redness around the neck and extremities, swelling of mouth area, and others.
The person now says, “I can’t eat strawberries because I break out”. They say they are “allergic” to them. In order to solve this condition the person must be de-sensitized by temporally eliminating from the diet and start on a regimen of enzymes. Also included in this regimen would be a good quality probiotic. Along with proper chewing, is the proper colonization with good flora of the intestinal track. Undigested food particles can “leak” into the blood stream through inflammation in the intestinal wall. This is called “leaky gut” syndrome. It must be addressed immediately or there could be other medical complications.
So, chew your food well, take supplemental enzymes, and consider a good probiotic to promote good flora in your intestines.
“That strawberry pie is lookin’ better all the time.”
Gary Pyles – Apex CS
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