Allergies the Curse of Modern
By Nutritionist Barbara Bourke
Firstly let me ask you a few questions. Do you feel 100 percent well? Do you suffer from a lack of
energy? Suffer headaches, digestive problem, sinus, asthma, hayfever? Or do you have a child with so called
ADHD related problems? The list of symptoms, which could be related to allergies, is long. What many people
might not know is that, know or unknown allergies can be part of just about any health problem we
When I speak of
allergies I use the term allergy in a general way including not only genuine immunological reactions, but also food
intolerances and chemical sensitivities.
Allergic triggers are
all around us.
It could be the food we
eat, the chemicals we use or the environment, we come in contact with every day. At times it is almost impossible
to find out exactly what is causing a problem. Reactions might not present themselves immediately and therefore we
can not pinpoint the culprit.
wrong? Why do we become allergic to certain chemicals, the environment or even the food we eat? Aren’t all
foods supposed to be nourishing and support our health and wellbeing?
In the past this might
have been true, however, today we are often overfed and undernourished.
Go to a supermarket,
walk down the aisles and have a look at the many shelves of foods available. Many tease our taste buds, rather than
improve our health.
We are faced with an
ever increasing array of medical drugs and hospitals are overflowing with people needing some kind of medical
intervention. We have to take responsibility for our own health and wellbeing. We need to act and inform ourselves
and learn to listen to our bodies. Through allergy testing and finding out which foods you can and can’t eat could
be a first step on your road to wellness.
What about stress? Most
of us experience stress in our daily life. Stress causes havoc to the health of our body in general and certainly
increases the risk of allergies. On the other hand allergies in itself are a cause of stress and will weaken the
immune system. This can lead to many health problems, as the immune system is being compromised.
When it comes to
maintaining good health the immune system is our most precious asset. It protects our body against many of the
world’s most widespread and deadliest diseases.
Allergies are a sign
that the body and the immune system are under stress.
A healthy resilient body
and immune system is more able to fight back. Then again, if your immune system is weakened by illness, poor
diet, lifestyle or repeated allergic reactions it will struggle and eventually lose the battle and the
equilibrium is compromised.
inflammatory reactions and release inflammatory mediators such as histamine and many others into the blood stream.
Inflammation can happen anywhere in the body. Even a healthy body will eventually weaken under the constant
presence of inflammation. The allergen needs to be removed and the inflammation brought under control otherwise
unrelated health problems can manifest anywhere in the body. Removing the allergen is the first step in reducing
I believe treating
the underlying allergy is always the first step to better health and wellbeing
Other questions I have
often been asked are, can we inherit a gene that makes us more prone to become allergic? Is there an allergy
promoting gene? It is true that allergies can run in the family, but not all family members will develop allergies.
We do not exactly know why this is so.
Can obesity increase allergies? It has been found that IgE levels where higher in obese children than in
normal weight children
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