Did you know that a food sensitivity to the most common foods and food additives, wheat, gluten, dairy, and soy, may play a role in your overall healing capacity? This is because improper digestion can lead to systemic inflammation, which can damper other efforts to address full recovery from symptoms. (Remember that food sensitivities (chronic exposure to foods causing immune deregulation over time) differ from food allergies (immediate immune response from antibody reaction)).
In other words, without removal of the offending food, an “obstacle to cure” still exists. Although many seem to be open to taking a supplement to deal with symptoms, it is a harder “pill to swallow” for most when lifestyle suggestions and avoidance of a trigger food are suggested to be a more potent medicine.
As Dr. D’Adamo explains in his current newsletter:
Many foods contain components that can react directly with the blood group antigens, resulting in inflammation and the production of toxins. Other foods address susceptibilities and strengthen our bodies against these weaknesses. Good digestion results not only from choosing the right foods for our bodies, but also by keeping our digestive systems tuned and balanced so that the interplay of all important elements, such as digestive juices and hormones, are optimized for maximum nutrient absorption and regular elimination.
(So, there’s good news and bad news, right? What you eat can affect your health via expression of your own DNA….sound familiar?? This means it goes the other way too-good food for you= better health. 🙂 )
Many people think that if they don’t experience digestive issues from a food, they probably fine with it. However, this is just not true. Although it is yet to be widely accepted in conventional therapeutics, the research is there.
In 2002, an article from the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, & Psychiatry reported the following connection to dietary proteins and non-digestive related complaints:
It has taken nearly 2000 years to appreciate that a common dietary protein introduced to the human diet relatively late in evolutionary terms (some 10 000 years ago), can produce human disease not only of the gut but also the skin and the nervous system. The protean neurological manifestations of gluten sensitivity can occur without gut involvement and neurologists must therefore become familiar with the common neurological presentations and means of diagnosis of this disease.
Furthermore, a 2005 article from BMC Psychiatry addressed how the gluten protein in wheat, rye, and barley negatively affected hormonal balance and neurotransmitters in the brain. This means that food sensitivities not only affect digestion and inflammation, but brain health as well.
What I have found is that those who are resistant to this suggestion or who refuse to change dietary patterns, have symptoms which seem to linger longer than those who change their diet. Therefore, more exasperation can occur and more supplementation is needed, due to the chronic inflammatory response of an offending irritant to the immune system.
For this reason, I feel that correcting food sensitivities and digestive health is imperative for any chronic problem. There are various testing methods and elimination challenges which have proven to be clinically helpful for many of my clients.
Of course, the emotional aspects and addictive patterns of food sensitivities must also be addressed in order to have the “willpower” to avoid these foods. Food sensitivities do affect brain chemistry, as previously stated. I always say, biochemistry will trump willpower every time, so there’s no point in beating oneself up if these foods are tough to give up. Rather, it’s best in this case to be gentle and take baby steps with lifestyle changes.
For a more through background on wheat sensitivity and more references, see my blog at my website.
J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2002; 72:560-563 doi:10.1136/jnnp.72.5.560
D’Adamo, P. Eat Right for your Type June 2010 Newsletter.
BMC Psychiatry 2005, 5:14doi:10.1186/1471-244X-5-14
Bailliére’s Clinical Gastroenterology. Volume 9, Issue 2, June 1995, Pages 273-293