Q. How can I figure out if I am allergic to specific foods? I seem to crave and want the foods that are recommended for me to avoid.
A. Food cravings are a sign of imbalance in the body. Most often we crave foods that we are allergic to. The more we eat of it, the more we want it. When you go on an elimination diet such as the Body Ecology Diet (by Donna Gates), as featured in How to Facilitate the Healing of Chronic and Systemic Disease, your body may go through withdrawal symptoms.
Food Sensitivities: There is increasing evidence that food sensitivities are more common than previously thought and have a wide and varied impact on health. In general, food sensitivities are the result of toxic responses to food and are divided into two categories: allergic responses; and food intolerances. Food sensitivities may cause fatigue, gas, bloating, mood swings, nervousness, migraines and eating disorders. These symptoms which are more commonly related to food intolerance are less often associated with the consumption of food and so therefore, more difficult to diagnose. Diagnosis can also be difficult because symptoms may be delayed for up to two days after a food has been consumed.
Food allergies: Food allergies are defined as toxic reactions to foods that involve the immune system. The immune system is most active in the areas of the body that have some direct contact with the outside world such as the skin, lungs, nose and gastrointestinal tract. The majority of potentially harmful molecules enter your body through your intestinal tract therefore, it is not surprising that over 60% of immune activity occurs in this area. The most common symptoms for food allergies include vomiting, diarrhea, blood in stools, eczema, hives, skin rashes, wheezing and a runny nose. Symptoms can vary depending upon many variables including age, the type of allergen (antigen), and the amount of food consumed. Acute allergic reactions can result in anaphylactic shock (difficulty in breathing), which is a true medical emergency.
Muscle testing: Muscle testing can be a useful tool to determine allergies or sensitivities to foods and other substances. It is is a form of applied kinesiology often used by acupuncturists, chiropractors, and naturopathic physicians, you can also use it on yourself. If the person doing the testing is clear and knows how to do it properly, it is a tool that allows you to ask your body yes and no questions. The idea behind it is that the muscles of your body weaken when exposed to certain toxins and allergens. In this way, its figured that a strong muscle response means ‘yes’ and weakened or absent muscle strength means ‘no’. It bypasses conscious thought and utilizes intuitive and energetic systems. Once you try several methods you’ll get a feel for your own muscle strength when using these methods and will be better able to interpret your bodies answers. It can be used to figure dosages for supplements, herbs, or vitamins, etc.Note: We advise contacting your health care provide if in doubt of any serious illness or injury.
- “O’ method: Using the thumb and index/forefinger (1st finger), make an ‘O’ using your non-dominant hand. (It’s almost like making the ‘OK’ sign but in this case, the thumb and forefinger are just meeting, not overlapping). Think of something pleasant and try to pull apart your fingers where they meet by inserting the thumb and forefinger of your opposite hand inside the ‘O’ (they resemble small tweezers trying to open inside the ‘O’). There should be resistance (strong muscles = ‘yes’). Now, think of something you dislike or know you are allergic to and try to pull the fingers apart. It should be easy to do so (weakened muscles = ‘no’).
- Standing method: Stand up straight with arms to your side, your face looking forward and chin level to the ground, preferably with bare feet and standing outside so you are grounded to the earth (it also works indoors with shoes on). Think of something pleasant, ask yourself a yes or no question or hold a substance in one hand that you wish to test. If your body leans backward (remaining straight and standing up) – it is considered a ‘no’ answer. If your body leans forward, it is considered a ‘yes’ answer.
Testing with a 2nd person
- Stand with your arm level to your shoulders and straight out in front of you (this tests the bodies Central meridian) or straight out to your side at shoulder level (this tests the Lung meridian). Have someone stand facing you with their hand placed on the shoulder opposite of your outstretched arm. Have them test the muscle strength in arm you are holding out, by pushing firmly down on it. This is your standard muscle strength. Now test some food you know you are not allergic to, held in the hand of the arm at rest, or think of something pleasant. The person testing you should push down on your outstretched arm. If it weakens, you are allergic or it is a negative or ‘no’ answer. If it stays strong, you are not allergic and it is a positive or ‘yes’ answer.
See the post for Managing Allergies and Eating Healthy – Is it Possible?