When a patient has a food allergy, what do we do? Remove the offending food. What if it’s with a kiddo, with multiple food allergies? What if there’s also an atopic response, like eczema or asthma?
Behind every food allergy there is an immune system that has gone awry.
Behind every food allergy there are a myriad of genetic and environmental influences.
This means, it is imperative to remove environmental irritants to relieve immune burden.
As the prevalence of allergic conditions has escalated in recent decades, so have the number of new chemicals in everyday environments. Epidemiological studies suggest that exposures to pesticides, solvents, and air pollution are associated with increased rates of asthma and allergies.
Buckle up! Let’s chat about removing some environmental irritants!
Irritants In the Home
Household dust is mostly a mixture of human skin, animal fur, lint, soil, and particulate matter from cooking. But dust can also harbor flame-retardant chemicals, heavy metals, and even dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT). Other irritants in the home can include cigarette smoke, pet dander, dust mites, and mold spores.
The following steps can help your patients combat these irritants and allergy-proof their homes:
Chemicals In Everyday Products
Many conventional cleaning supplies, personal care products, and cosmetics commonly contain chemicals that can disrupt immune function. Synthetic fragrances are also a huge problem; according to the Environmental Working Group, collectively, they’re considered among the top five allergens in the world.
Here are some specific immune-disrupting chemicals to avoid in everyday products:
Additives In Foods
Food additives include colorings, flavorings, preservatives, and other chemicals that are purposely added during processing. Chemicals from packaging or manufacturing equipment, including adhesives, coatings, paperboard, and plastic, can also contaminate foods.
In a 2018 policy statement, Food Additives and Child Health, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) cautioned that many food additives could disrupt endocrine and immune function.
The AAP specifically warned against these immune-disrupting chemicals:
The most effective way to avoid these and other chemical additives is to eat natural, organic whole foods. You are what you eat! Pick anti-inflammatory foods.
Removing toxic load is a vital component of supporting food allergies. However, some cases of food allergies are straightforward. But many are not.
Once you’ve removed environmental irritants, we need to take a whole-body approach to support immune function. Sometimes we need to go deeper and consider things like heavy metal exposure, chronic viral exposure, or an undiagnosed medical condition. At Stittleburg RHC we're here to help. Contact us to schedule your free phone consult today!
Information Provided by Emerson Ecologics
Dr. Taryn Stittleburg, DC, CFMP, PSc.D