Allergy Testing

The Modern Rise Of Food Allergies

Many recent studies have shown that food allergies are on the rise, especially among children in industrialized countries. It’s an interesting and perplexing phenomenon that has more parents than ever visiting emergency rooms across the nation because their child has had a severe allergic reaction and cannot breathe. Alternative doctors in Phoenix have also noticed the trend as more and more patients seek out testing and treatment for mild to moderate allergies. The ever growing number of allergy diagnosis begs the question: why the sudden rise in food allergies? While the exact cause may be multi-faceted and difficult to pinpoint, scientists, researchers, and health advocates everywhere have generated a multitude of hypotheses. Here are some of the most common.

clinical-nutritionOne theory about the spike in food allergies that many alternative doctors in Phoenix may prescribe to takes its root in the modern diet. As scientists and historians have studied and postulated about what humans have been eating for the past ten thousand years, many have concluded that what people in industrialized nations consume today is much different than what their ancestors ate. For several generations, people relied on their own food production as well as gathering for their main source of nourishment, which often meant a diet richer in plant matter than what is commonly eaten today. By contrast, modern people tend to eat more sugar, meat, and other animal products than did people of the past or even those in less developed countries. Some suggest that the diet shift has decreased the amount of certain kinds of bacteria living in the digestive system for many people and may be at the root of some increasingly common food allergies

In addition to differences in our modern diet, we grow and process our foods differently today.  Crop fields are not rotated properly yielding mineral deficient soils that produce mineral deficient crops.  The process of refining our crops strips our grains of their nutrients.  While the Food and Agriculture Industry recognizes this phenomenon, their solution is to then add back nutrients that are chemically derived and may not serve our bodies the same way as the initial nutrient.  The other issue with processing our foods is that the food loses its natural digestive enzymes which help our bodies break down and absorb its nutrients.  Many of my patients state that when they eat wheat or dairy from their native country abroad, they do not suffer from the same digestive upset they do when eating the foods in the United States.  I would speculate this is due to foods being less processed in other select countries.

Alternative doctors in Phoenix have also noticed that the Standard American Diet, also known as SAD, is ridden with foods that are the most common allergens: gluten (wheat), dairy, eggs, corn, soy, and peanuts.  Eating allergenic foods too frequently may be another reason so many Americans are developing food allergies.

Another popular theory among scientists, health advocates, and alternative doctors scrutinizes the increased emphasis on hygiene and sterilization in modern society. Though the hyper vigilance of modern people against bacteria and other germs has significantly reduced the cases of infectious diseases in first world societies, it may have produced some unwanted side effects such as the higher chances of developing food allergies and seasonal allergies for people living in an extra clean environment. Because the immune system is not exposed to as many germs as it has been evolved to do, some theorists postulate, it may begin to focus on things it was not meant to attack, such as pollens or foods.

Lack of early exposure to common allergens is another area of frequent speculation. Some health advocates and alternative doctors worry that the strict recommendations coming out of modern medicine warning against early consumption of nuts, shellfish, and other well-known allergens is actually causing the allergies to develop rather than preventing them. Studies that have dealt with this issue have not been entirely conclusive. Still, the widely varying recommendations and study results have many parents wondering about the best way to walk the line between being overly cautious and helping their children receive the right amount of exposure. Alternative doctors in Phoenix, Arizona may be especially helpful to parents dealing with this dilemma and often recommend natural and safe practices that empower parents to make the best decisions for their children in an increasingly confusing and unnatural world.

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August 15, 2012
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