HEALTH FARMING
( By Dr. Krishna Murari Modi )

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3-Sensitivity causes Allergy

Persons sensitive to certain substances develop body reaction called allergy. Common forms include asthma, high fever, rhinitis, eczema, hives, headaches and digestive disturbances. Many foods can cause allergic reactions. These foods include chocolate, cow’s milk, eggs, wheat and shellfish. Many factors besides emotions and heredity can influence a person’s reaction to allergens. An allergist when diagnosing and treating any allergy must consider all the forces acting on a patient that could contribute to that person’s condition. This procedure explains why the proper treatment takes so long to establish in many cases. There is no complete cure as yet for allergy. But allergy can be controlled. An untreated allergy tends to become worse.

Allergy
I have been suffering from allergy since I was a small boy. Often I used to get a cold. The throat would go bad and often have an upset tummy. I have always been a frail in health. If by any change my health improved a little, a gland at the back of the neck would swell up and start aching. I always worried for not doing well in the exams and keeping indifferent health. Any approaching exam gave me sleepless nights.

At the medical college, the problem continued. I discovered that milk made by condition worse. If I had milk continuously for 3-4 days it would definitely lead to an upset stomach and also lead to a stuffy nose. Sweets, in the beginning did not cause harm but later they also became taboo. I was always irritable and sensitive to happenings around me. Sleep used to be a problem, especially at the time of exams. My health gave me much less trouble when I went to U.K. for further studies. I supposed it was mainly due to a change to a western diet and a fairly relaxed atmosphere. I stayed there for three years between 1965 to 1968. When I came back, in December 1968, my health started deteriorating. I used to have a continuous cough, irritation in the throat the year round and with mounting tension the cold seemed to decend from the mouth to the throat and then down to the chest. I felt heavy in the chest while breathing. When I came from any native place (Gorakpur, U>P>) to Bombay, in 1975 the health seemed to improve due to heavy pressure of osteopathic practice. I was busy and soon I found myself working 10-12 hours a day. In osteopathic treatment a doctor has to do real manual labour. Exercise helped me in the beginning. But I noticed that one wrong item of food was enough to put me in bad shape for weeks. I had become allergic to milk products, tomato, ginger, dalda, aerated drink, spices etc. My hands felt warm and so did the body. I was feverish and extremely weak by the evening. Insomnia became a continuous problem. I tried pranayama which seemed to help. I went for vippassana meditation and found it beneficial. I tried water treatments and had a lot of relief. Fasting and selection of food items one by one which agreed with me also was of help.

By now I learnt much about stone age diet, rotational diet, exclusion diet and the chronic candida infection. I am fit now to share my knowledge with you. I feel more competent to talk about allergy as I have personally suffered from it and know very well how intense the suffering is. With dieting and exercise I can say now I enjoy good health. I owe my good health to more knowledge about allergy. I feel duty bound to share my thoughts with you hoping that my experience may help you to overcome a similar condition.

Allergy has become an important ailment of modern age. When you suffer from any disease and are treated for a prolonged period by different doctors without response, it could well be allergy. What causes allergy? It could be an excessive use of antibiotics, cortisones, birthpills or because we have inherited a weak immune system from our parents. It is caused by an environment, full of pollution, tension, the smell of insecticides and pesticides which we use in the house and in the fields. Junk foods and refined carbohydrates, sugars, preserved foods, candies, colas, sweets and coffee play havoc with our system.

A doctor’s task is harder because he will have to find what makes you allergic to your ambience, which would mean food, house dust, pollution in the atmosphere, your internal self, tensions. You cannot be taken away from your surrounding atmosphere so how can you get a complete cure?

Every day we meet people who are allergic to atmospheric pollution. They may be allergic to a particular smell or a chemical used for household work or certain foods. Allergy is on the increase. One out of every five or ten is allergic to some food. Still the medical science is looking for the cause. Allergy is a difficult disease to be treated. In medical colleges we are not taught enough about diet, and hardly anything about food allergy. There is no specialisation about the symptoms and causes of allergy and methods used to detect it. Skin tests are still not reliable, treatments by antigen still not perfected. Since the publication "Not all in the mind", in 1976, by Dr. Richard Mackerness interest has been roused, more and more papers have been presented. When we do not know the cause, the treatment remains only symptomatic.

Doctors who are now becoming experts in the treatment of allergy have long observed that the more of a food or drink is consumed, the more likely a sensitive person will become allergic to it. Often it is said that several of us become allergic to milk and milk products because we consume a lot of it in childhood.

Allergy is defined as an unpleasant reaction in the body due to a foreign substance in the atmosphere and hypersensitivity to some items of food or drink. The modern definition is preferred. It describes allergy as a reaction caused by the breakdown of the immune system. You may have sniffling nose congestion, sore throat, up and down energy levels, insomnia, constant fatigue, fever, headache, diarrhoea, constipation, diminished sex drive, irritable personality, asthma, eczema, urticaria, vaginitis, painful intercourse, depression. Many will complain that they have been ill since childhood. All these ailments may well be due to allergy.

Life seems boring and lustreless, you feel as if there is no charm in living. After being treated by specialists and declared uncurrable you find that joy has gone out of your life.

Imagine yourself visiting a gynecologist for recurrent vaginitis and irregular menstruation, an ENT surgeon for rhinitis (constant blocked nose), an enterologist attempting unsuccessfully to manage symptoms of bloating, indigestion frequent diarrhoea and constipation and abdominal pain. A dermatologist may be struggling to control bizarre skin rashes and eczema. The psychiatrist may be unable to convince you that your nerves are the cause of extreme irritability, inability to concentrate and depression. Such patients may be labelled as psychosomatic since there is physically nothing wrong. But their sufferings remain incurable.

The main culprit in most cases in certain foods we consume. They could be nutritious and good for some but poisonous to others. There may be danger of nutritional deficiency if you exclude too many foods from the diet. The diet needs careful balancing to ensure that it is nutritious and healthy. It should be, at the same time, appetizing and attractive. It calls for a selection and an innovative mind to keep the culprit foods away. At the same time it has to be supplemented with other foods to maintain the nutritional balance.

All this may call for basic changes in the way we eat and live. It may mean for many of us giving up precisely those foods and drinks we enjoy the most. And of course, it makes the whole idea even harder to accept that it is often the foods (and drinks) that every one thinks of as particularly healthy which cause most problems.

Why we develop allergy
At present there are no definite answers. There are contributory factors which play a role in producing allergy. We may mention a few:




  1. The "immune response genes" with which we are born have properties that determine the resistance of the body to disease. The real job of the immune system is to recognise and destroy infecting agents such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, toxins,etc. that get into the body. Substances in the blood, called antibodies, are produced. These defend the body from attack of pathogenic organisms.. Sometimes an abnormal type of antibody is produced that reacts to certain foreign substances called allergens (such as spores, pollens and foods). The combination of these antibodies with allergen gives rise to allergic symptoms. This weakness may account for the handing down of mother-daughter susceptibility. There are individuals born with a fixed allergy to one or more specific food, something as ordinary as Cow’s milk or as exotic as black pepper. They will never be able to tolerate these items; it will affect them right through their lives.


  2. Many a time food allergy is primarily due to damage to the immune system caused, above all, by harmful chemicals, present in the air, in the soil, in the water and medically prescribed drugs. These are absorbed in the individual systems which then alters and distorts the body and the way it functions. Pollution also causes perversion of appetite. This is what causes certain persons to eat abnormally. There is no accurate awareness of hunger or satisfaction of hunger.


  3. A much larger group develop allergies, perhaps as a result of eating (drinking) whatever it is in unusually large quantities.

    The question is: Do they become allergic because they eat (drink) excessive amounts? Or do they eat (drink) excessive Amounts? Or do they eat (drink) excessive amounts because they are allergic (addicted)?


  4. Some doctors consider that human beings are basically designed to eat primitive "stone age’ diet,


  5. Essentially meat, fish, vegetables, fruits and nuts. They are only partially (and in individual cases not at all) adapted to later farm foods such as grains and dairy products.


  6. Immuno deficiency can also be due to malnutrition. You may be taking enough food, in terms


  7. Of calories, but they are deficient in vitamins, micronutrients, enzymes and fibres. Patients are often selectively nutrient deficient. The vitamin B biotin for instance seems consistently Inadequately consumed in daily food supplies. Biotin is lacking in empty calorie prepared meals, Food prepared from refined white sugar, white flour bread, fried food. And junk food like preserved Foods available in fast food restaurants, ice creams, cold drinks, sweets, etc. Eating foods such as Brown rice, soyabeans, egg yolk (rich in biotin) will help avoid allergy.


  8. The unfortunate, wholesale use of antibiotics even for little infections among children and adults has negative consequences, not immediately obvious.

People often develop an irritable bowel syndrome after a bout of gastroenteritis for which a repeated course of antibiotics has been used. A long-term use of steroids as in the case of arthritis or prolonged use of birth control pills may give rise to allergy. These all help changes in the bacteria living in the intestine. It seems possible that these bacteria are responsible for breaking down of remnants to produce chemicals and help even undigested food to reach directly in the blood circulation and hamper the liver function which is responsible for many allergic reactions.

There are quite a few bacteria friendly and non-friendly which inhabit inside the guts. Friendly Bacteria are lactobacillus acidophilus and lactobacillus bifidus and unfriendly bacteria like coli and a fungus called candida albicans. Friendly bacteria keep in check the growth of unfriendly bacteria and fungus. They live in a state of symbiosis. It is like a society where good and bad elements are always there. The society remains peaceful and everything moves in harmony. What will happen if the good elements are removed or remarkably reduced. Society will become violent, bad elements will flourish and make life miserable. Antibiotics do not differentiate between the several bacteria and they go on killing indiscriminately all bacterias good or bad.

When good bacterias are killed there is no competition between separate members (good and bad) of the resident flora of the human gut, the fungus candida albicans which remains unaffected by antibiotics starts proliferating. They develop germ tubes, hyphae formation when enough nutrition is not there in the gut. At the tip of Hyphae, an rupting human cell membranes. They produce skin eruption, gut wall distress and local Inflammation.

Candida infection is capable of entering the body through our existing nine or ten holes, seven at the top and two (male) or three (female) at the bottom. The yeast syndrome is actually an old disease that has now been making its appearance. It is predominant in industrialized nations. It is a major health crisis of the 1980s. Furthermore, parents mistakingly feed it: food derived from an entirely different animal – the cow. The cow’s milk is good for the calves but unfavourable for human consumption. Lactobacilli acidophilus is the friendly bacteria, which ordinarily keeps yeast from invading further up the intestine. The more the cow’s milk our young universe is given to drink the more harmful candida will thrive.

This is why children who are started early on cow’s milk, say at the age of 4 months, may develop chronic diarrhoea which is only controlled when the child takes mainly solid food at the age of 2 years. Mother’s milk is healthier and it gives immunity to the child against candida and other unfriendly bacteria. Allergy existed among a large number of literary and historical figures. So if you are allergic to foods and chemicals you may take consolation in the fact that you are in good company. Charles Ddarwin and Lady Hamilton – among others, are known to have been similarly affected.

Stress
Ms. Sheela singh (not her real name), aged 40, an exemplary patient, told me that whenever she gets angry at anybody at home, her nose starts running. It is well known that some children develop diarrhoea and have frequent urination before exams. Can stress be responsible for this allergic problem?

It is not stress itself that directly causes different allergy problems. But stress acts as a trigger for the entire mechanism. Under stress, the body can no longer cope with foods that are harmful. Stress, in this context, means any situation which puts an unusual and often prolonged strain, mental or physical, on an individual. It can include bereavement, pregnancy, infectious illness, anxiety over work or money, redundancy and difficulties in family or personal relationships.

If you have noticed that your allergic problem began during or shortly after stress, then again it is a convincing indication that this allergy is related to stress. To get rid of allergy you may have to remove or reduce the cause of stress. Adopt positive methods of dealing with it, like meditation and pranayama. This does not mean that the regulation of your dietary habits must be neglected. It is simply acknowledging the truth that you are a whole person. By recognising this wholeness you will best tackle the allergic problems. A few hints. If you are drinking too much coffee, tea or cocoa, cola drinks and chocolates these may cause allergy. They all contain caffeine. Too much strong coffee produces many familiar symptoms like restlessness, palpitation and heart burn.

Hystamine present in cheese, beer, sausages and canned foods may also be the cause. Histamine and tyramine are known to cause migraine in a few cases. It has been mentioned that when they are absorbed into the body they may change the diameter of small blood vessels and bring on an attack in people resulting in migraine. Research carried out in Cambridge, U.K. has shown that people who can not eat wheat release a large amount of histamine from the lining of their intestine when wheat comes in contact with it.

It is a difficult job, to catch the culprit food, to exclude it from the diet and still maintain the nutritional quality and palatability. There are several diseases caused by intolerance of food. We will discuss a few important ones:

Asthma
It can be defined as breathlessness and wheezing due to the narrowing of the airways of the lungs. It is accompanied by coughing more often at night time. Narrowing of the airways is reversible, it subsides on its own or after treatment. These symptoms are variable. They may be completely absent for days, months or even years. In fifty per cent of the cases it starts early from 2 years to 17 years. It is most unresponsive and causes disability. About one third of the cases are first diagnosed at 30 years of age. There may be seasonal variations. Many patients are aware that they develop an asthmatic attack after eating certain item of food or inhaling allergens. These could include flowers, grass pollens, house dust, animal fur, fruits and shell fish, drugs like aspirin and iodides. It was found in one trial that some foods provoked an asthma attack in nearly 30 per cent of sufferers. In one study it was found that in case of asthmatic children aerated drinks made them invariably worse.

Food can play an important role. Phychological stress of any kind can precipitate attacks. It is unduly common in rather anxious and sensitive people. Relaxation techniques and exercise can be of some help.

Rhinitis
Rhinitis is the medical term for a persistently running and stuffy nose. Like asthma it can be related to food. Although symptoms are similar to common cold, there is no confusion between the two since rhinitis does not come and go like common cold. It is almost a permanent condition. If you are certain you have rhinitis it will be worth trying to look first into your diet.

Eczema
It is an itching rash often on the inside elbow, knee and feet. Here the skin shows swelling, it may crack, vesicles may be formed, there may be thick discharge and crust formation. It is more common in infants and children. It can be caused by food intolerance, especially by cow’s milk, egg and fish.

In many cases the nervous factor plays a contributory role. It becomes worse when the child is emotionally unsettled or feels insecure. Fourteen out of twenty children tested in Great Ormond Street hospital in London improved when cow’s milk and egg were taken out of their diet.

In another study at the University of Texas, U.S.A thirty-two out of thirty-seven children with eczema improved after cow’s milk was withdrawn from their diet. But they become worse when they were allowed to drink milk again. The yellow colour dye tatrazine which is added to foods and drinks to colour them is a cause of eczema.

Eczema can worsen in extreme cold or when it is too hot. Mmany infantile eczema cases settle down by the time the child is tow to three years of age and begins taking more of solid food.

Food allergy produces changes in blood which can be detected by a pathologist. It is enough to be aware of the fact that eczema can be due to allergy to certain foods. A diet rich in green salads, plenty of leafy vegetables, fruits and vegetable juices could cleanse your system. It can be tremendous help, if you want to get cured.

Salt, salted foods and sugar, when eliminated, reduce itching, swelling and the discharge in eczematous patches. Egg, fish and milk should be stopped completely. Consumption of wheat bread should be reduced drastically. The patients should be taught how to relax and encouraged to take exercises.

Urticaria
This is a condition common especially among children. large red itchy blotches called weals appear anywhere on the skin. They could be small weals or very large patches. They generally have an angular (rounded) pattern and sometimes may appear as a deep weal too.

It may also present itself as swelling on the lips or mouth. Several factors can bring on urticaria, including items of foods like fish or milk, pulses like moong and gram, drugs like aspirin, artificial dyes, preservatives and additives and brewer’s yeast. Recently it was shown that 20% of patients with chronic urticaria had candida albicans infection.

In some sensitive persons a cold water bath in winter, or exercising upto the point of sweating or a firm pressure by the thumb nail or a cold wind or exposure to ultra violet light may cause urticaria. When the causative factors are removed, the urticaria weal, after a day or two die. An itching papule may remain lasting for few more days. All this indicates, a low resistance to different allergens. Diet regimentation and relaxation techniques could cure you for ever.

Acne
Acne or pimples on the face, approaching adulthood, may become a sore spot in the life of teenagers. It is Chronic inflammatory condition of the sebaceous glands on the face, common among adolescents. The wrong habit of squeezing, fiddling and repeatedly touching the lesions encourages secondary infection and pustule formation.

Endocrinal imbalance could be the main cause of acne, This is why it generally passes off when you cross your teenage period but may drag on to twenties or beyond. Emotional tension or introspective worry over acne will keep it alive. Chocolate, sweets, sugar and white flour will aggravate it. Control your diet. Avoid sugar, white flour and milk. Add a lot of salads, green vegetables and fruits to alleviate allergy and constipation. Relaxation techniques will relieve tension and the water treatment will keep the face clean and infection free.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome
When you have cramping abdominal pain, often after food, with alterations in the bowel habit, it may be constipation, or diarrhoea and may lead to flatulence. Small pellets or marble-like faeces often along with mucous and undigested food are passed. It is twice more common in women than men and occurs generally by the middle years of life. People generally develop this syndrome after gastro-enteritis or after a long course of antibiotics.

Emotional stress, certain items of food, large quantities of food intake and certain drugs stimulate larger contractions in the lowest part of large intestine called sigmoid colon. This causes pain in the abdomen and frequent bowel movements. These patients are generally rigid, methodical and more conscientious with obesessive-compulsive tendencies. They often also suffer from depression and hysteria. Abdominal pain is not severe enough to disturb sleep and is often related to meals. The pain in the abdomen is often relieved by passing flatus.

People who have had abdominal pain for years without relief tend to find life stressful, but seeing the psychiatrist does not usually stop the symptoms. Of 182 patients treated by a suitable diet, 122 patients were completely got rid of their symptoms. Routine medical treatment is ineffective. The diet treatment is the best. Fibres must be added to the diet and stressful situations must be avoided. "Exclusion" diet (exclusion of certain foods to which you are allergic) is quite beneficial but it should be done only when certain foods periodically upset the stomach and exclusion really helps. Patients should be taught relaxation techniques. Water treatment, especially abdominal packs, help relieve abdominal pain, constipation and diarrhoea. Exercise and walking help to relax and tone up abdominal muscles and relieve flatulence.

Obesity
Allergy can cause obesity. Many patients honestly believe that they eat little and still their weight keeps on increasing. It may be true. They may be allergic to food they are eating, which helps to retain water in their bodies. As such the weight does not reduce as desired even after strict dieting.

If allergic to bread or potato or some fruit, as long as you do not detect and exclude it from the diet, it will not let your weight go down even after strict dieting. Allergy to food can cause bad skin and depression. If you are slightly allergic to certain food you can still have it but once in a while say every four days. This is rotational diet of comparatively safe foods. You may increase the frequency if you work harder and increase the resistance of the body.

The Diet
Be sure before you go on to allergy diet that the symptoms are due to food allergy. To be sure you can discuss this problem with a doctor. Be sure that you are fully prepared, determined for a long and tedious treatment. Be careful and observant to co-relate symptoms to certain food or drink. It takes almost 24 hours, sometimes less if extremely allergic. Take the same food for 3-4 days to get familiarised with symptoms if allergy to that food is mild. The symptoms do not cease immediately after stopping the food. It may take 2-3 days to 2-3 weeks for them to subside depending upon the severity of the allergy to a particular food.

Allergy to certain foods is common. Skin rashes and eczema are induced by milk, fish and pulses (moong and gram dal), wheezing and rhinitis (a running nose) by milk, beer, aerated soft drink, oranges and tomatoes. Intestinal intolerance is caused by glutten in the wheat. There are over 3,500 different food additives used in the manufacture of modern processed foods. An aerated drink, tomato sauce, preserved food stuff with an additive could be culprits.

Cooking oil may be the cause. Avoid ghee, butter, ground nut or corn oil. Use soyabean oil, mustard oil, sunflower oil or palmolein oil. In our clinic we tested and found symptoms of allergy in 100 patients – for different foodstuffs.

Egg can be used as a milk supplement where the patient is allergic to milk. In a pure vegetarian diet the problem to decide alternate food is difficult. Most foods that produce allergy are staple items for vegetarians such as bread, milk, cheese, paneer etc. Since the introduction of soya bean products the problem has eased up as soya ben milk, soya cheese, soya curd and soya flour could keep a good protein balance and give variety in food, and keep the diet more balanced and appetizing. Soyabean is the largest reserve source of source of high quality protein currently known. Soya milk has been consumed in East Asia for centuries. It is only in the last 5 years that the sale of industrially produced soya milk and soya cheese has developed into a big business following new processing techniques. Soya cheese has got twice more protein than meat, four times more than egg and 11 times more than cow’s milk.

Many people were found to be allergic to wheat more so to bread where yeast is put into bread to make it rise. Gluten in wheat is known to cause coeliac disease more common in Western world. Many people are intolerant to wheat, it could easily cause an upset tummy. A diet free from wheat, sugar and potato has helped to reduce weight. A few days after diet you will feel more energetic, your craving to eat reduced. The weight will start coming down. Keep a record. Eat plenty of rice, dal, vegetables, curd and fruits. Continue this diet, till you reach normal weight levels.This diet will help those suffering from tummy upset and as a result are underweight. They will get rid of their tummy problem and gain weight.

Exclusion Diet
The basic principle when trying exclusion diet is to stop eating foods that are likely to upset and see whether symptoms get better. Any food can give rise to symptoms of illness though some do it more frequently than the others. Taking the treatment to extreme you may start with a complete fast, that is, eating nothing solid at all for 3-4 days to one week and then slowly adding solid food to the diet item by item. It is better to be done under the close supervision of an expert. Progress in exclusion diet is slow because of the large number of foods that must be reintroduced later. If people have difficult food reactions it will take several weeks to arrange an adequate diet.

To start with we should keep a diary for two weeks and note down the items of food, what time the food is consumed, from morning till night, symptoms and time of their appearance. This diary will help to find out which food to exclude. If you have a new symptom developed or old symptom gone worse you may have to look for the culprit in the food taken 24 hours prior to the emergence of these symptoms.

You may then decide on a diet excluding the foods you suspect to be the cause of allergy. Avoid potatoes, onions, sweet corn, citrous fruits like oranges, sweet limes; cereals like wheat, ghee, corn and vegetable oil; diary products like milk , butter, cow’s milk, curd, cheese, paneer and eggs. Beverages like tea, coffee, aerated drinks, fruits, squashes and alcohol.

You may have a diet consisting mainly of rice (brown will be preferable) dal, vegetables, mutton, chicken, white fish, (avoid shell fish), soya milk, soya cheese. You can innovate other items using arrowroot flour from gram, bajra, sago and soya flour.

Remember, it is essential to continue for two weeks, so that all traces of offending foods disappear from the body. Improvement is rarely seen during the first week. Do not give up. If you have taken a day off from diet, you will have to start from the beginning. The advantage of this diet is that it is healthy., with fresh and whole-some foods. People often lose weight. If they are rather fussy in their likes and dislikes they may lose a little too much.

During the week on record you should eat as wide a variety of "allowed food" as possible. This will help you to notice any unusual food intolerances. Maintain an accurate diary of every food item you eat, the symptoms you have. There will be steady improvement during the second week.

It is very likely that the symptoms will improve tremendously. Continue the diet till you feel completely OK. The list below shows the order of reintroduction: Potatoes, Wheat, Eggs, Onions, Yeast (Bread), Butter, Tea, Coffee, Chocolate, Citrous fruits, Corn, Cheese, Shell fish, Curd (yoghurt), Vinegar, Nuts, Preservatives.

You can change the order of introduction. If you know you are sensitive to a certain item, keep it last in the list. How you begin to introduce these foods depends on the condition you are in. For irritable bowel syndrome, asthma, rhintis, migraine one new food item can be introduced every 2 days. For eczema and urticaria a longer period of one week may be necessary. If you have a reaction, stop eating the food you are testing immediately, do not carry on testing new foods

Until completely well again. In any case follow the instructions carefully, do not try to rush. The average reintroduction time is three months. Eat plenty of food you are testing, at least two good helpings a day. If after the last test day there is no ill effect you may assume that the food is safe to eat in normal quantities.

Some foods are made of more than one ingredient. Test the ingredient.concerned before trying the food. For example test yeast before eating bread, or else, if reaction occurs you will not know which ingredient has caused it. It is wise to leave the testing of milk and milk products, until late in reintroduction as milk and its products are fairly common cause of the problem.

Why is wheat allergy not so common in India? May be because we eat chapati. Bread uses yeast. In chapati generally we use whole wheat flour. In bread, white flour is used. Drink plenty of water to flush out chemicals in your system. Do not take pills to relieve any ailment symptoms for that will confuse the matter. If you are confused about a suspect food, do not waste time testing and retesting it, leave it out for 2-3 weeks and come back to it later when the diet is restricted.

After testing and indentifying foods which are likely to upset you, consult a doctor or dietitian to chalk out a judicious diet. Reintroduction is not final. Intolerances can change after an operation, or a course of antibiotics or a long anxiety period. But now it will be easier for you to identify the offending food item that has brought back the symptoms.

How to get rid of the intolerance? A full proof way has not yet been devised. Several methods have been tried such as taking drops under the tongue, desensitization by injecting small doses under the skin. Many people find that after avoiding a particular item for some months it no longer upsets them.

It is better to "rotate" your food. Take all the allowed food. Take few foods today and next day dome other allowed foods. If you take one food item every day and in bulk you are likely to develop allergy to it.

Anti-candida Diet
Almost all allergy patients have candida albican infection. The extent may vary. The anti-candida diet will keep the candida infection in check and alleviate allergy in patients. Eating foods such as brown rice (different from white rice which is polished), soyabean, egg yolk and other sources of biotin (vitamin B) will hold candida in yeast-like state and stop its conversion to invasive fungal form.

The elimination of sugar and white flour, a reduction in diary products and yeasted food products helps those with candidiasis. They should not take coffee and limit ingestion of fruits. They are encouraged to eat vegetables, seeds, chicken, and fish. Avoid taking aerated drinks, or foods with preservatives. Curd is known to help check candida infection. It encourages the growth of friendly bacteria lacto bacillus.

Russian bacteriologist Elie Petchnikoft who succeeded Louis Pasteur as Director of Pasteur Institute in Paris, a Nobel laureate (1908), staunchly believed that yoghurt (curd) was the "elixir" of life. In his study on longevity he concluded that people should, commonly, live to the age of 150 years. He found every indication that the basic human mechanism was capable of lasting for longer than it does. One way to last longer, he was convinced was to eat yoghurt containing lactobacillus.

Recently, I met Dr. A.J.Shah, a 92 –year-old philanthropist from Anand (Gujarat), in excellent health. He lives alone, looks after himself, takes daily morning walks and sees his patients 2 hours every morning. I asked him the secret of his longevity. He explained: "I live on curd plus what monkey eats: fruits, nuts, salads and boiled vegetables". He has not eaten any grain for 40 years. He does not take sugar and salt. He sleeps well. His mind is clear, his speech normal. One thing more: he does not worry and keeps on donating his life’s earnings to some philanthropic work.

The Center for Health Enhancement in Houston, U.S.A. uses the MEVY diet (meat, eggs, vegetables and yoghurt) for counteracting candiasis. Candida albicans growth is known to be stimulated by simultaneous presence of carbohydrate and B-complex vitamins. B-complex vitamins should be taken preferably on an empty stomach, a few hours before or after meals when no carbohydrate is present in the stomach.

The school of Health Sciences at the University of Massachusettes reports that garlic is highly successful in killing candida albicans or at least reducing candida overgrowth. Garlic ca be taken as fresh, whole clove or in an odourless extract form as garlic pearls. Onion , clove and radish have some antifungal properties. A life style improvement will help immensely: regular exercise, less mental tension, pranayama and meditation, avoid chemical pollutants and try for good quality sleep. Sun bathing is recommended in alleviating allergy. Vitamin C helps to strengthen the immunity system.

Adhere to a special dietary program with a diversity of foods from a variety of sources, preferably fresh. Avoid refined and fabricated food. Take a lot of fibres as in salads, fruits and vegetables. Avoid citrus fruits, milk and yeast and mould foods (bread and pickles). Regularly eat sugar-free yoghurt. Controll allergy through proper diet.

Health Farming: Asthma
You will require 2-3 short fasts of 3-4 days duration each at intervals of around a month each. If you cannot fast, drink fresh juices, eat raisins soaked in water and drink this water, three or four times a day plain water enema every morning is also recommended.

The treatment lays stress on fruits for breakfast, boiled vegetables, salads and whole wheat bread for lunch and dinner. Have carrots, spinach, onions and beetroots in the salad. They are a rich source of Vitamin A which is helpful to asthmatic patients. Tomato, cabbage and cucumber are good. Take sprouted moong or bengal gram for breakfast. Prefer goat milk along with fruits for breakfast.

Avoid animal fats. Use sunflower or soyabean oil for cooking. Replace cow’s milk with soya cheese, eggs, nuts, soyabean milk and curd made from soyabean. Eat sun dried fruits like figs, dates, pear, peaches and apricot. Do not take sugar. Replace it wit h honey or refined malt. Avoid white flour, polished rice, milk and milk products, vinegar, spices and pickles. Take less salt (2-3 gms a day). It will help avoid retention of water in the body and thus relieve cogestion in the lungs. Chew the food well, eat slowly and do not overfill the tummy. Leave some space in the stomach. Eat frequently, avoid heavy meals and overeating. Take an early dinner, 2 hours before sleep. Drink plenty of water 8-10 glasses a day. Do not take too much coffee. Take it light and without sugar. Better replace it with herbal tea or caffeine free coffee made from soyabean seeds.

Avoid alcohol and aerated drinks. Fresh apple juice, carrot juice or cabbage juice are ideal. Eating a particular food item may trigger off asthma. Always be on the look out. Be aware of what you are eating and seek to find out whether it agrees with you. All aluminium cooking vessels, kettles and tea pots etc. should be discarded and replaced by stainless steel or enamel.

With an asthmatic attack, a patient does not feel like eating. Let him fast for 12-36 hours as long as the attack lasts. Drink hot water frequently, it will ease the breating. A hot water bath of the feet during the attack may help to bring relief. To strengthen the lungs take a chest pack in the afternoon for 45 minutes. It will help to get restful sleep.

Sauna bath twice a week may be useful. Dry heat is better and helps in strengthening the immune system. Live in an open airy place, if possible, sleep in the veranda instead of an enclosed room. Have a short holiday in a dry place like Rajasthan. Always sit in a straight chair, sleep on hard bed and use a low pillow. Avoid faulty breathing and do pranayama.

Do light exercise, go for a walk every day. Do not engage in vigorous exercise, go for a walk every day. Do not engage in vigorous exercises or jogging, you may feel breathless and exhausted. Breathing exercises will ventilate the lungs. An emotional upset or strain can trigger off an attack. Avoid tension at work and in the family. Do savasana (corpse pose).

Rhinitis
Diet, water treatment and relaxation techniques same as in asthma.

Eczema
Diet plays an important role. Take fruits for breakfast. Prefer an orange, papaya, guava, apples, grapes. Take two boiled vegetables, salad and whole wheat chapatis for lunch and dinner. Take fruits in the afternoon. Cut down on salt. Avoid animal fat like ghee and butter and use soyabean oil, sunflower oil, or coconut oil.

Avoid fried foods, milk and milk products, sugar and pulses, but sprouted moong or bengal gram can be taken for breakfast and salad. Take soyabean milk for breakfast along with fruits. If the eczema is chronic start with fasting on fruit juice or musk melon for 4-7 days and then adopt a restrictive diet.

Take goat or cow’s milk if you are not allergic to it. Musk melon and carrot are useful. Take a salt-free diet. If you cannot do it, do not take more than 2 gms. of salt a day. Vegetable juice like raw cabbage juice and carrot juice are recommended. Alcohol, tabacco, white flour, condiments, vineger, pickles, sweets, jam, jellies, tinned foods, cake, pastries are taboo. Take tea or coffee weak and without sugar.

With less intake of sugar and salt, itching stops fast and weeping eczema starts drying up. Generally itching is more in the night. Scratching makes it worse. Use a towel soaked in ice water and apply to it. There will be immediate relief. Non-irritating oil like olive or coconut oil should be applied to relieve itching Wear loose clothing. Use cotton instead of synthetic yarn. Cotton absorbs perspiration and the skin can breathe better.

Invigorate the skin. Take a bath 2-3 times a day so that perspiration does not stay. Rub the whole body skin dry after bath instead of using a towel. Do not use soap. Sun bathing is useful. Take a sun bath in the morning till you perspire and then take a cold shower. Take a steam or sauna bath twice a week and then a cold shower. Whole body mud pack is useful. The mud should be clean , apply to the whole body, sit in the sun for one hour till it dries up and then take a cold shower. A whole body pack is useful once or twice a week. Do total washing before going to bed. It will increase the circulation of the skin and give better sleep.Walk vigorously for one hour every morning or jog for 20 minutes. Do exercise or play an active game if you want to. Avoid tension, learn relaxation techniques.

Urticaria
Treatment will include diet, water treatment and relaxation technique same as asthma.

Acne
Take fruits for breakfast. Prefer one fruit at a time. Take 250 gms of a fruit, like papaya, apples, guava, musk melon, oranges, grapes, etc., two boiled green vegetables, use minimum oil for cooking like cold pressed sunflower or soyabean oil, chapati made of whole wheat flour, eat salad made of cucumber , tomato, carrot, spinach, cabbages for lunch and dinner.

In the place of sugar try honey or molasses. Instead of sweets eat dates, raisins, grapes, chickoo and fruits. Have curd instead of cream and custard. Drink plenty of water at least 2-3 liters a day.

Raw vegetable juices, preferably cabbage, white pumpkin, cucumber. Which can be easily extracted with the help of a juicer are recommended. Take one or two glasses every day.

Walk one hour every morning, take to jogging or exercise for 20 minutes. Ensure that you have a proper bowel movement. Salad and green vegetables are good. Take an enema if you feel constipated, otherwise, a tablespoonful of olive oil before going to bed will do the needful.

Facial steam is recommended. Boil water in a kettle, keep your face on top of it. Cover the face and the kettle with a towel. You will have plenty of persporation and it will open up the pores. Steam bath, sauna bath, whole body pack, not more than 2-3 times a week.

Learn to relax. Do pranayama every day for ? an hour. Savasana relaxation and meditation will do a world of good.

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