Food and Allergies
Most food allergies are not truly allergies to food, but rather food intolerances. Many people who assume themselves to have food allergies, because they react to certain foods, are either self diagnosed or mis-diagnosed. True allergies create antigens in the blood, but food intolerances do not. If your blood has not been tested for this reaction, do not assume you have an allergy. Over 90% of those who think they have a food allergy actually have a food intolerance. As Western medicine offers no cure for either food allergies or food intolerances, people with these conditions do not treat them, but simply avoid eating the foods that cause their illness or discomfort. Chinese medicine cannot usually cure true food allergies, but can often cure any food intolerance. According to traditional Chinese medicine, most illness caused by eating particular foods are due to a weakness in the digestive system called Spleen Deficiency. This in no way means that you have an actual problem with your spleen. The term "spleen" in Chinese medicine actually refers to the intelligence that controls your digestion. When the energy (Qi) of the Spleen is abnormal, many symptoms can appear.
The Truth of Celiac Disease
Celiac disease is a disease of the small intestine marked by a flattening if the intestinal villi believed to be caused by ingestion of gluten and other wheat products. Celiac disease is considered an autoimmune disease. The cause of Celiac disease is unknown, and there is no treatment for Celiac disease other than avoiding gluten and other wheat products. There are many symptoms of Celiac disease. The digestive symptoms of Celiac disease include:
—› Abdominal pain
—› Abdominal distention, bloating, gas, indigestion
—› Decreased or increased appetite
—› Lactose intolerance
—› Nausea and vomiting
—› Stools that float, are foul smelling, bloody, or "fatty"
—› Unexplained weight loss
Other symptoms of Celiac disease are said to include:
—› Bone and joint pain
—› Dental enamel discoloration
—› Hair loss
—› Mouth ulcers
—› Muscle cramps
—› Skin disorders
—› Vitamin or mineral deficiencies
The diagnosis of Celiac disease is complex and may include:
A complete blood count (CBC) which may show signs of anemia, or an increase in alkaline phosphatase level, or low cholesterol and albumin levels, or raised liver enzymes, or special antibodies.
Endoscopy which will show a flattening of the villi.
Many practitioners of Chinese Medicine believe that most people diagnosed with Celiac disease actually have various forms of Spleen Deficiency. This does not infer any problems with the organ known in the West as the spleen. The Spleen, in terms of Chinese medicine, refers to the intelligence and timing of the digestive system. Spleen problems, in the view of Chinese medicine, can include all the digestive symptoms and most of the other supposed symptoms of Celiac disease. To us, most people who believe they have Celiac disease suffer food intolerance based on a digestive disharmony and will benefit from proper treatment with Chinese herbs and Chinese herbal medicine, after a correct TCM diagnosis has been made.
Food Allergy Symptoms
These symptoms can be very varied. Sinus and nasal problems, fatigue, heart palpitations, almost every digestive complaint, and many other problems can be caused by Spleen deficiency, or by the Spleen being injured by another internal disharmony. These food reactions can be hard to diagnose. If professional help is available, use it. You are much more likely to succeed by consulting with, or being treated by, a professional practitioner of acupuncture or Oriental medicine. If professional help is unavailable, we will list several general Spleen tonics which will be safe to try without a Chinese medical diagnosis.
Treating and Curing Your Gluten Allergy, Wheat Allergy or Other Food Allergy With Traditional Chinese Medicine
Since most practitioners of both alternative and allopathic medicine do not work with the concepts of traditional Chinese medicine, they cannot understand the true origin of these "food allergies". For example, many people who are diagnosed by holistic practitioners as being allergic to gluten do not truly have Celiac disease, but rather have intolerance due to a Spleen qi deficiency. Most gluten allergies, wheat allergies, sugar allergies, lactose intolerances, and other food allergies are caused by Spleen deficiencies. The origin of Spleen deficiency may be in eating habits, lifestyle habits, or congenital problems