ALLERGIES: THE THRESHOLD OF REACTIVITY
"The Doctor Within" - Tim O'Shea - www.thedoctorwithin.com
If everybody believes something, it's probably wrong. We call that Conventional Wisdom. In America, conventional wisdom that has mass acceptance is usually contrived: somebody paid for it.
Pharmaceuticals restore health
Vaccination brings immunity
The cure for cancer is just around the corner
Menopause is a disease condition
When a child is sick, he needs immediate antibiotics
Hospitals are safe and clean.
America has the best health care in the world.
Americans have the best health in the world.
Milk is a good source of calcium.
Vitamin C is ascorbic acid.
Aspirin prevents heart attacks.
Heart drugs improve the heart.
Back and neck pain are the only reasons for spinal adjustment.
The purpose of the health care industry is health.
Cipro will prevent anthrax
No child can get into school without vaccinations
The FDA thoroughly tests all drugs before they go on the market
Pregnancy is a serious medical condition
Chemotherapy and radiation are effective cures for cancer
When your child is diagnosed with an ear infection, antibiotics should be given immediately "just in case."
Ear tubes are for the good of the child.
Estrogen drugs prevent osteoporosis after menopause
Pediatricians are the most highly trained of all medical specialists
The purpose of the health care industry is health
HIV is the cause of AIDS
AZT is the cure
Without vaccines, infectious diseases would return.
Fluoride in the city water protects your teeth. Flu shots prevent the flu.
Vaccines are thoroughly tested before being placed on the Mandated Schedule
The NASDAQ is a natural market controlled only by supply and demand
Chronic pain is a natural consequence of aging
Soy is your healthiest source of protein
Insulin shots cure diabetes
After we take out your gall bladder you can eat anything you want
Vaccines are safe now that all the mercury has been removed
Allergy medicine will cure allergies
All the above statements are myths. Fortunes have been spent to slam and re-slam them into the public's hard disk. Each can easily be proven false with just a little research, provided the student is determined to go wherever the data may lead. (The Doors of Perception - thedoctorwithin.com)
In this chapter we will only look at the last of these carefully crafted bits of conventional wisdom.
WHAT ARE ALLERGIES?
Your friend looks at your bloodshot eyes, hears your stuffed-up voice, and accepts the explanation "It's my allergies," as though the symptoms he observes were the disease itself. This word game is no accident. We are conditioned by a thousand commercials a day to equate all diseases with their symptoms. Headache, backache, arthritis, tinnitus, high blood pressure, on and on - are not diseases themselves, but rather the signs of disease. The illusion is that by covering up the signs, we have now cured the disease. The illusion is that by naming the signs, we have identified the disease. Nothing could be further from the truth.
You have a headache. Solution, programmed every five minutes on TV: Tylenol, Advil, whatever, that will do what? That's right: take the pain away. But wait – the pain wasn't the cause of the problem. The headache had a reason; it was a sign of something else. Neck spasm, intoxication, emotional stress, sinus allergies, trauma, spine misalignment, drugs, chemical sensitivity, overwork, hunger – the pain can come from many sources. The pill didn't solve anything, didn't cure anything. Soon as it wears off, guess what? Right – the pain returns. So then what are we taught to do? Right – more pills.
Same with allergies. Allergies are not watery eyes and stuffed up noses. Allergies are reactions to irritants. Something foreign is triggering the body's cleansing responses. Like walking behind a smoky bus when it starts up. You breathe in the fumes and start coughing and choking, with your eyes watering. That's an allergic response. Humans are allergic to bus exhaust. Eyes water to clear the eyes. Coughing reflex kicks in to forcibly expel the toxic fumes before they get inhaled. Happens in an instant.
Tolerance is a big problem. That means when we get used to an irritant, the body gives up on trying to expel it. Like a bus mechanic. After a few weeks or months of breathing those fumes every day, the body doesn't try so hard. The sensitive mucous membranes in the mouth and nose toughen up a little, and the mechanic learns to "take it." He's becoming less sensitized to a poison – carbon monoxide. Doesn't mean it won't kill him; it just means the body's getting accustomed to that degree of being poisoned. The irritant is no longer triggering such a strong cleansing response as it used to.
Same with someone learning to smoke cigarettes. He coughs and chokes at first, but soon gets the hang of it. The body's ability to throw off the toxins is gradually weakened.
We've all heard of anti-histamines. Pills and sprays that unclog stuffed noses. They work by blocking histamines. Histamines are produced by our white cells to trigger protective mechanisms, like stuffing up the nose, making the eyes water, and shutting down digestion. Allergy medicine is generally an antihistamine, which unnaturally interferes with the body's normal attempts to protect itself. Mouth, nose, and eyes – that's the first line of defense. When antihistamines block these normal clearing responses from happening, the irritant or allergen or antigen is being permitted to enter further into the body than it would normally have gotten. This is a side effect of antihistamines. You may thank God that you can breathe again, but for any drug, there is always a downside. The problem wasn't the stuffy nose or the watering eyes; the problem was the allergen: the irritant. Antihistamines don't touch the underlying cause; they just suspend the body's ability to respond with its normal clearing mechanisms. Result: tolerance. Toxification.
Isn't this obvious? Holistic doctors grow weary of explaining this self-evident fact over and over a dozen times a day to their patients. It's like if you're driving down the road and suddenly you hear this horrendous knocking noise coming from the engine. So you turn up the radio full blast in order to cover up the noise. Pretty stupid, but that's precisely what we're doing with allergy medication.
COVER UP THE SYMPTOMS
The focus of allergy treatment should be to eliminate the underlying stimulus of the sinus blockage and the watery nose and eyes. First of all, identify the causative factor. Cat hair, dust, pollen, shellfish, wool, etc.? I don't think so. Normal people can be around all of these and not react. Genetics? The usual excuse, when the "experts" run out of ideas. We have no idea, so let's just transfer it to an area that so far is unprovable and unknowable – gene sequencing. That way we can avoid pronouncing those three frightful words that separate the career researcher from the true scientist: "I don't know." As long as we don't know, the best we can do is keep on buying and selling antihistamines and their derivatives. As a $10 billion a year industry, why would anyone want to question it? Doctors sell drugs; that's why we go to them. If you want health, well, that's a different topic altogether. You're on your own for that.
There's another possibility here, another solution that thousands of people have discovered within the past five years. A whole new paradigm must be considered to explain the consistent success all these patients are having in resolving their chronic allergies. This point of view may be called the Threshold of Reactivity. It's really quite simple.
Here's the key idea: what do 99% of allergic Americans have in common? Undigested food. Too simple? Simplicity is the hallmark of the classic solution. Undigested food accumulates in the digestive tract, in the blood, in the tissues, organs and joints. It remains for months and years and cannot be dislodged by any of the body's methods. And the last and most persistent of these methods is the Inflammatory Response – the body's attempt to what? Right: attack and expel the intruder.
Chronic buildup of undigested food signals two main deficiencies within the body: enzymes and flora.
The reader is directed to the chapter on enzymes ENZYMES for review. To summarize, enzymes are what has been removed from food in order to make it last as long as possible on the shelves of American supermarkets. Enzymes are necessary for breakdown and digestion of food. Without them, the body makes a valiant effort to employ its own digestive enzymes to do the job. Problem is, so many of the soft foods we eat today are brand new to the human species within the past 75 years. New chemicals and preservatives have been introduced into our food supply for flavoring and preserving. The rancid, oxidizing fats of chips and fries are too weird. Our bodies can't break them down. After a certain amount of trying, the body gives up. At that point, much goes in, but little goes out. That's the main reason older people have difficulty eliminating. And many young people as well.
Food allergists and clinical ecologists waste a great deal of time setting up elimination diets to find out which exact foods cause a patient's allergic symptoms. Far more applicable and effective would be a shotgun approach: enzyme supplementation, because in general we eat an enzyme-less processed diet. People don't eat corn and bananas and cashews nearly as much as they eat processed peanut butter, Hamburger Helper, Taco Supremes, Big Macs, pizza, fries, Cheetos, chocolate pudding, hot dogs, Fig Newtons, and potato chips. The American soft drink industry is at $54 billion per year. (Wall Street Journal 18 Sep 98) 57 gallons per year per American. (Appleton)
Pasteurized milk has no enzymes any more. Canned food, none. Dairy products, salad dressings, soft drinks, ice cream, cheese, pastries, deep fried food, salty snacks, - see where this is going? – contain no enzymes. So what, you ask? So John Wayne and Elvis. Huh? On autopsy, according to the county coroner's reports, these gentlemen had 44 and 20 lbs. of undigested food in their respective colons at the time of death. According to the FDA, the average American has between 4 and 22 lbs. of undigested food in the colon at any given time. Rotting food in the digestive tract sets up a condition that gastroenterologists call Leaky Gut Syndrome. Review the colon chapter THE COLON
Happens like this:
Putrefying sludge breaks down the cells of the gut lining (epithelium) largely by choking off the blood supply to these delicate cells (ischemia). The gut wall is supposed to be very selective in what it allows to be absorbed into the blood. Hyperpermeability takes place when there is so much cell damage that the intestinal cells can no longer be selective. Stuff that wasn't supposed to get through starts getting through. Big stuff. Large molecules of half-digested fat, protein, and carbohydrate are absorbed intact through the gut into the bloodstream. Once in the blood, these foreign molecules can lodge in any joint, tissue, or organ. Since they are rotting food, they are toxins. As such, they can be the cause of practically ANY disease condition you can name. We're talking blood poisoning here: toxemia, bacteremia, septicemia. Don't be put off by big words. Such a set-up is perfect as the explanation for an allergic reaction. We're allergic, all right – allergic to all the food we're taking in and never digesting.
Flora means good bacteria. The normal colon should have three lbs. of good bacteria at all times. (Shahani) They are also called probiotics, and include species like Lactobacillus, L. Salivarius, Acidophilus, and many others. Their job is the final phase of digestion. Without them, food rots in the colon. Rotting food becomes cemented within the inner folds of the colon's lining, destroying the mucosal cells, preventing normal function, and eventually blocking proper elimination. Rotting food leaks back into the bloodstream, going anywhere it can in the body.
World authority in probiotics, the late Dr. Khem Shahani, described flora as the Second Immune System. He was referring to the ability of the flora to remove a toxic stimulus or allergen – undigested food - from the body. Understanding this simple concept is the key to grasping the essential dynamic between a healthy colon and the end of allergies. With rare exception, allergies simply cannot coexist in a body that has a healthy colon.
Why do most Americans have suppressed flora? That's easy. Probiotic flora - the good bacteria - are fragile life forms existing in the normal body in a dynamic balance along with pathological (bad) bacteria, fungi, and viral forms. These good bacteria get killed off by the following agents
- antibiotics we take
- antibiotics in the meat we eat
- antacids, like Zantac, Tagamet, etc.
- NSAIDs, like Advil, Tylenol, Excedrin, Motrin, etc.
- other prescription and over the counter medications-
- white sugar
- carbonated drinks
- antihistamines (!)
- chlorinated drinking water
- fluoridated water
Many holistic nutritionists estimate that 80% of American women, and a significant proportion of men, have systemic Candida albicans. Candida is a yeast proliferation throughout the whole body whose existence was denied by American medical doctors as recently as fifteen years ago. As the normal flora become killed off, bad bacteria begin to multiply. Without enough good bacteria to occupy the available living quarters, there is nothing to check the bad ones. Fungal and yeast growths are allowed to increase for the same reason. Doctors call this phenomenon opportunistic infection. With the amount of pasteurized dairy we consume, such chronic low-grade infections are in epidemic proportions in America today.
The normal person has some viruses, some Candida, some potentially pathogenic bacteria at all times. But the majority of bacteria in the normal body are good ones. Think of it like walking into a crowded theatre. If all the seats are taken, there's no place to sit. Same for the pathogenics. If all the seats are taken by the friendly bacteria, the opportunists don't get the opportunity to replicate because there's no place to sit. Is this rocket science?
Thirty years ago you couldn't use the word autoimmune in conversation unless you were speaking with a doctor. With the meteoric increase in these diseases, today even the uneducated know what you're talking about, because someone in their family probably has an autoimmune condition.
Autoimmune means the body is attacking itself. It means that for some reason, the body is getting the idea that part of itself is foreign and must be expelled, in exactly the same way as any allergen, intruder or antigen would be. First that means inflammation. Then comes swelling, followed by the onset of fibrosis (crunchiness, from the laying down of cheap tissue), and finally, if unchecked, actual calcification. Pain can jump in at any time. It's almost biblical, like the body is turning to stone because we have not honored its needs. Almost.
Lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, scleroderma, - we hear about most of these all the time. What do they have in common? They're all of "unknown" origin, according to the medical texts. They can't be cured by drugs. They're all progressive. They can all be life-threatening. They're autoimmune. And they're all on the rise.
I won't be making revelatory statements here by saying what hundreds of holistic healers have known for years: the cause of these diseases is obvious, and they are all expressions of the same process - toxemia. (Tilden) That means blood poisoning. Another term is autointoxication, or self-poisoning. It's simply that food has putrefied in the digestive tract for months or longer, which then leaks through the intestinal wall into the bloodstream in its undigested, rotting form. The debris is then free to lodge in any location it can find, where the inflammatory process will promptly begin. Easy to see why: in the blood, there are no digestive enzymes any more. Those were left behind in the digestive system.
Remember, that was Nature's brilliant survival design: the inside of the Tube is still the outside of the body. (The Tube is the entire digestive tract, from one end to the other.) Digestion of food only takes place within the Tube, outside the body. So with no enzymes in the blood, the undigested food which doesn't belong there anyway can no longer be broken down. All the blood can hope to do is to attack the foreign stuff with white cells to wall it off, or to engulf it in fat cells or calcium.
Problem is, the inflow of this stuff never ends. With the American high fat processed diet, more debris gets past the intestinal walls every day in undigested forms that were never meant to get into the blood - Leaky Gut Syndrome. Day after day, week after week, the stuff accumulates in the joints, arteries, and tissues, infiltrating wherever it can. After awhile the body can no longer distinguish between the undigested food particles and the tissues in which they are lodged. It sends its army - the immune system - to attack the foreign area, no longer just the foreign cells. So whatever the organ, whatever the tissue where the rotting food accumulates - that part of the body will be attacked as foreign. And we'll call it an autoimmune response. It's really not mysterious at all. It's completely natural. These empty, nutrition-deficient manmade foods of commerce simply don't belong inside the body. They were never food at all; they were just packaged and sold to look like food. And that, my friends, is show business.
All the foregoing has to do with undigested processed foods as the cause of allergic reactions. This doesn't even take into account the pesticides, hormones, and chemical preservatives, additives, and contaminants which end up in our food as the results of preparation, processing and packaging. Half of all antibiotics produced in the US today are for animals. Animals we eat. Sprayed pesticides work their way into the inner cells of supermarket fruit, and do not wash off. In our bodies such poisons are fat-soluble: stored in our fat cells, for months or years. Until the mid 1980s, sulfur dioxide compounds known as sulfites were commonly sprayed on French fries, meat, and salad bars to keep the food from browning too quickly. Sulfites were also routinely added to wine, to prevent further fermentation. Sulfur dioxide is toxic, and a cause of thousand of documented allergic reactions reported to the FDA in the mid 1980s, many of them fatal. Although sulfite use on meat and raw produce has been banned, they still appear in bronchodilator sprays, and also in wines, as long as the label states the percentage. (Randolph, p83)
Ever notice how some bananas don't ripen, but just go from green to rotten, with large black areas as though they had been bruised? This is from "gas-ripened" bananas. After shipping, the green bananas are put into a room and sprayed with ethylene gas, which artificially ripens them just before going to the market. Here's how you tell the difference: naturally ripening bananas will have many small dark spots on the skin as they ripen, and won't turn immediately rotten. Gassing is legal at this time, but is usually the cause of allergic response in someone who thinks he's allergic to bananas. (Randolph)
THE LAST STRAW
OK, back to the Threshold of Reactivity. You know the background now. So here it is: since all this undigested food has no outlet or way to be broken down, it builds up within the body over months and years. Let's call the point at which a person actually breaks out with symptoms of allergy (hives, rash, runny nose, stuffed sinuses, etc) let's call that point the Threshold. Below the Threshold, the person won't have symptoms. Stay with me now for the punch line. Since the indulgent American is packing away all this stored debris, he is pushing his body steadily closer and closer to its toxic capacity. Day by day he is jacking up his level of autointoxication, higher and higher. He is so close to the Threshold at all times, because of his indigestible diet, that contact with cat hair, dust, pollen, phases of the moon, or whatever the Specialist said he was "allergic to" – any contact is enough to raise him that last little bit, the straw that broke the camel's back, above the Threshold, and voila' - symptoms occur. And then the "specialist" blames the whole allergy on that last straw.
So they give him antihistamine "allergy medication" which prevents the body from offering its normal response to chronic poisoning from all the undigested, weird foods it's still taking in. And as soon as the medication wears off, he keeps breaking out. This is why allergy medication never cures allergies. People who take allergy medication continue to "have allergies" year after year. Most of them actually develop further allergy to the medication itself.
Same with allergy shots. They give you a little of what you're supposedly allergic to, as determined by the Last Straw diagnosis, with the promise that this will make you "immune" to that last straw – the cat hair, pollen, fairy dust, eye of newt, whatever. Allergy shots rarely work. If they did you wouldn't have to rush back to the doctor every six months or so for your shots. Ever notice how people on allergy shots always have allergies? Ever hear of anyone getting cured by allergy shots?
How can it be this simple? Why doesn't everybody know this? Thousands do, but the reason this information is not mainstream starts with an M. The allergy industry is big business, both prescription and over-the-counter. Changing one's diet is not. It goes back to the first paragraph about conventional wisdom.
LAYER THAT STUCCO
One difficulty with food allergies is that they are bio-accumulative. In addition to the digestive tract, undigested residue is stored in fat cells and may last for months or years. A sensitivity may persist for weeks or more after new intake has stopped. In the case of dairy, it is only necessary to take in a tiny amount of any processed milk or cheese product every few days in order to keep a dairy allergy going, to maintain the person's susceptibility to the allergen: the coughing and the sneezing, etc. Even a few drops of milk added to coffee is sufficient to support the chronic allergy. And the person may think that he has "stopped" eating dairy. (Twogood)
The same is true of additives in the food and in the food's packaging, and also of the contaminants that may be present. Theron Randolph, MD, clinical ecologist, talks about the material used in the lining of tin cans which is used to keep the color of the metal can off the food. The material is called phenol, a coal-tar derivative. It is used in virtually all canned foods. Dr. Randolph has documented hundreds of cases of reactions to the phenol alone. (An Alternative Approach to Allergies)
For years Albuquerque, New Mexico has been a mecca for asthmatics, TB patients, and those trying to escape their "allergies." No more. Talk to any doctor in Albuquerque today and you'll hear the same story: practically everyone in town has allergies. And the government actually has researchers out there climbing "trees" to find out what kind of pollen is making people sick! It's a desert! The people aren't sick from dust, angel hair, or cactus pollen. They're sick, and allergic, from the homogenized, devitalized processed food of the metropolitan American city, a diet which is unvaryingly standardized, from Coney Island all the way to the Santa Monica Pier. Allergy in America today occurs in epidemic proportions. Many researchers are like Howard Rapaport, author of The Complete Allergy Guide, in that they estimate that half the population suffers from some form of allergy. And that book was written in 1970.
A FAIR TRIAL
Let's say your programming does not allow you to believe anything I've said up to this point, and for various reasons it simply makes no sense to you as far as your allergies go. Fine. Ask yourself this: do I really want to get rid of these allergies, or am I going to continue taking these medications every year, with very little results? If you can admit to yourself that you're really sick of your allergies and would like to try an experiment that does not depend on drugs, try the 60 Day Test. For the next 60 days,
- no drugs
- no dairy
- no white sugar or white flour
- colon cleanse
- New West Diet
Lest this sound too easy, by drugs, I mean no medications of any kind, prescription or over the counter, unless you're on some life-sustaining drug therapy program.
No dairy means no milk, no cheese, no butter, no alfredo sauce, no yoghurt, no ice cream, no white salad dressing for 60 days.
No white sugar means no soft drinks, no donuts, no cookies, no refined flour, no ice cream for 60 days.
A program of enzymes and flora will intensify the detox process, and maintain the new allergen-free status, once it's acquired. (1 800 572 6204)
The 60 Day Test may not be fun, but how do you like your allergies? The per cent success rate of such a program is in the 90s. If the 60 Day Test doesn't work, then individual contaminants may have to be ruled out one by one. But this program is workable and generally applicable, with no side effects, except for its inconvenience. Thousands have done it. The reason it's not millions is simple: this program requires taking a step in the dangerous direction known as I Can Be Responsible For My Own Health. Such a journey is discouraged by any and every public medium possible – written and spoken, online and digital, conscious and unconscious – that is under the control of the nation's two biggest advertisers: food manufacturers and drug manufacturers.
Here's my personal definition of pathological cluelessness. Your child has had "allergies" most of his life, and is on bronchodilators or antihistamines in spray or pill form. No progress is noted. Blind trust has suppressed any wonder you may have had about possible side effects of taking these drugs on a daily basis for all these years. You've never even considered looking up the Adverse Reactions to the drugs in the Physicians Desk Reference, available at any library or WalMart or Costco these days. But that's not even the bad part. The bad part is where you go to the drive-thru at Wendy's and let your kid order a giant Frosty, fries, and a Coke because you're both too hungry to wait until you can get home to get at the milk, ice cream, Pepsi, and cheese that awaits you in superabundance in your very own fridge. And you talk about your child's allergies with your friends with the same conversational tone you use to describe the brake job your car just got at Midas. Yes, he has allergies, BUT he takes the inhalator and the antihistamines, so he's OK, you know. Anybody but me see anything insane about this little bit of prosaic Americana?
OK, sorry. How would you have known? Well now you know. The vast majority of allergies today are food allergies. We're addicted to the things that poison us. Of course there can be other causes, other irritants which effect allergic response: environmental toxins, chemicals in housing materials, cleaning materials, cosmetics, clothing, bedding, heating and air conditioning, But why search the house high and low for some elusive unknown bug, when there's an elephant sitting right in the middle of the living room?
©copyright - New West -- 2003
Stem Cell Research Breakthrough
This excellent article by Dr Tim O'Shea sheds a lot of light on the perplexing problems of food allergies and intolerances, many, if not everyone in Western cultures, suffer from in varying degrees. Most of the intolerance and allergy problems are set up from a very young age when parents feed their babies inappropriate food for their age.
Our ancestors evolved with parents that pre chewed their food before giving it to the child. This automatically started the digestive process for the baby and made the food more palatable. Now what do we do? We spoon feed foreign undigested proteins direct into the baby which of course is going to set up allergy problems for later.
Please make sure you visit Dr Tim O'Shea's website for more detailed and excellent reports.
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