People suffering from food allergies aren’t always aware that their symptoms are caused by the food they are eating. It often can be more difficult to discover that a person is allergic to a certain type of food, as opposed to discovering that a person is allergic to a bee sting, for example. Some people suffering from food allergies continue their day-to-day life with symptoms such as headaches or fatigue and have no idea that their symptoms could be from food allergies.
Symptoms of food allergies include: fatigue, hives, eczema, abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, nasal congestion, cough and asthma. Even more serious conditions include: difficulty breathing, decreased blood pressure, increased heart rate, dizziness, mental confusion, slurred speech, anxiety attack and cardiovascular collapse, according to the American Academy of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AAAOM).
Many herbalists consider two major systems when dealing with allergies – the immune system and adrenal-stress handling system. These two systems are under great pressure due to environmental changes. The fast pace of modern living and working may have an adverse effect on these systems, as well.
There are many natural ways to nourish the immune system and lessen the impact of stress on the body’s systems: meditation, walking, breathing exercises, a diet of whole, organic foods and a network of loving relationships.
Traditional Chinese Medicine, one of the oldest medical practices in the world, which has benefited patients for thousands of years in China, is focused on finding the source of the problem and treating the underlying imbalance that produces the symptoms of the food allergy. It can reduce the body’s negative reaction to foods, support the functioning of the internal organs and improve the immune system.
A study published in 2002 reported a 95 percent effective rate when using Chinese medicine to treat 20 patients suffering from food allergies. The patients, all between six and 67 years old, complained of food allergy gastritis after eating certain food. They were each given a daily formula consisting of prepared Chinese herbs. In result, 14 patients were considered cured, and five patients improved
Chinese medicine sees the body as interacting organ systems, and also as a system of energy pathways that connect all parts of the body. Deficiencies or disharmonies in the organs can be the basis of multiple food allergies.
The most obvious way to avoid an allergic reaction to food would be to take that type of food out of a person’s diet. But, if a person is allergic to many different kinds of foods, it can be impossible to stop eating everything he or she is allergic to. Therefore, the Chinese medicine approach is to make it possible for the body to respond normally to these foods instead of completely cutting these foods out of a person’s diet.
A Chinese medicine practitioner will select acupuncture points and herbal formulas that support the functioning of the organs, dispersing unhealthy excess patterns and nourishing deficiencies. Chinese medicine is a safe and effective way of treating food allergies.
Zhang Xin-Cheng, et al. Xin Zhong Yi. #9 pp. 59-60. 2002