Steps for At Home Allergy Testing

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist May 17, 2011
Allergy testing

Allergy Testing at the Doctor is No Fun

Food allergies in children are clearly on the rise. Official estimates put the number at about 6% of children under the age of 3, but that sure seems low to me.  In my child’s preschool class last year, 10 of 12 children suffered from at least one food allergy!  When I went through elementary school, I barely remember one child with a food allergy of any kind.

In years past, genetic predisposition was a clear and primary contributor to the development of allergies. However, the modern day tendency for children to eat just a few types of foods all the time like pizza, chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, boxed cereal and peanut butter sandwiches is a big reason for the skyrocketing allergy trend. Exclusive eating requires a constant demand for the same types of digestive enzymes over and over which eventually leads to digestive exhaustion, food addictions, and biochemical disruptions.

Poor diet in infancy and childhood which is devoid or low in animal fats such as egg yolks, cream and butter is also a contributor to the development of allergies.  Arachidonic acid and cholesterol in these nourishing animal fats promote development of an intestinal wall that is strong with much integrity.

The nutritionless, carb heavy, rancid vegetable oil laden processed foods most allergy prone children subsist on lead to weakness in the intestinal walls (leaky gut syndrome) which allows partially digested food particles to enter the blood stream and trigger an unpredictable mix of auto-immune and behavioral disorders.

What to do if you suspect a food allergy in your child but you don’t want to take them to an allergist requiring expensive testing not to mention loads of discomfort?

Steps for At Home Allergy Testing

As it turns out, it is rather easy to test for a food allergy yourself in the comfort of your own home.  The simple steps required include the following:

  • Avoid the suspected food for at least 4 days.
  • Eat a moderate amount of the suspected food on an empty stomach which means no other food should have been consumed in the previous 2 hours (drinking water is ok).
  • Measure pulse rate (beats per minute) before and a few minutes after eating the food in question.
  • Calculate the difference in pulse rate.  If the pulse rose significantly (more than just a few beats per minute) after the suspect food was eaten, then an allergy is likely even if no other symptoms are noted.

Besides an increased or racing pulse, food allergies can be identified via rashes, fatigue, insomnia, headaches, joint pain, and even hoarseness.

Once one or more food allergies is identified, a diet such as GAPS would need to be followed for a period of time to heal and seal the gut wall.   If the allergies are not severe, simply eating a varied and traditional diet which includes no refined or stimulating foods may be all that is required to put them in remission.   “Refined” and “stimulating” foods would include anything made with white sugar, white flour, rancid vegetable oils like canola or soy, sodium, and caffeine.

In addition, a variety of traditionally fermented foods and beverages on a daily basis helps tremendously with supplying friendly bacteria and food enzymes to keep the intestinal tract in optimal function with no perforations for undigested foods and toxins to spill into the blood and trigger allergic reactions.

Ultimately, it is best to never have to “undo” allergies if at all possible.  Eating a nourishing, traditional diet while pregnant and breastfeeding and ensuring that growing children receive regular and sufficient quantities of optimal growth encouraging foods such as cream, butter, egg yolks, fish eggs, grassfed and organ meats for development of a sturdy intestinal system is the best insurance policy against ever needing any sort of special diet to combat allergy or other autoimmune issues.

 

Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist.com

Source:  Nourishing Traditions, About Food Allergies and Special Diets

Picture Credit

 

Comments (97)

  1. Poor diet in infancy causes allergies?
    That’s by far the absolute silliest thing I’ve ever heard!
    Way to blame the parents.
    My son was exposed to eggs at 6 months. Somthing that was high in my diet durring breast feeding and he went full anaphylactic with in 4 minuets of eatting it.

    At 7 months the same thing happened with peanuts. My 2nd child reacted to milk (casin) protien injested through my breast milk and was hospitalized at 17 days old.

    We have no history or allergies on either side of our families.
    Please tell me again how poor nutrition in infancy is the cause.

    How dare you even suggest it is the parent fault.

    Reply
  2. We started the Gaps introduction diet and I just tested the egg whites for sensitivity. A few hrs into it, I noticed it had turned red, but it disappeared after another hr. Normally you wouldn’t even look at it until morning, if you had put a drop on at bedtime. Does this mean I’m allergic or not? It was a smear of raw egg white.

    Reply
  3. Jeanette Lopatka March 16, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    Hi Sarah
    Great post! I had this same exact test done when I was 13 and I DID go into shock. The scary thing was that I went into the parking lot to “cool off” I remember becoming very hot. A nurse coming on to duty saw me and asked me “What in God’s name I was doing by myself looking so sick?” She hauled me back into the clinic and Y E L L E D at the docs and nurses asking them how they could let a child who was going into shock be unattended. So, please be very very careful!

    Reply
  4. Jaime Perkins via Facebook March 15, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    I have a latex allergy and the associated OAS… Despite eating traditionally for 18 months, my food allergies are getting worse, to the point where I got fairly severe hives on top of the OAS when eating mangoes (dang I love mangoes…). I will be trying gaps diet very shortly- has anyone had any experience with gaps and OAS? I also get seasonal allergies, however these are fairly mild since eating wapf style…

    Reply
  5. Danielle White via Facebook March 15, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    Oh, whew. When I saw the article title along with the photo of skin testing, I thought you were going to show people how to do skin testing at home. I’m glad I was wrong! FYI, when my allergist had me to a dairy test, I had to stay off of dairy for two weeks.

    Reply
  6. Summer At TheShore via Facebook March 15, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    Yvonne, I’m very sensitive to cane sugar, especially in spring time. Makes my mouth feel burnt!

    Reply
  7. Yvonne de Bruin via Facebook March 15, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    I have had a skin prick test done twice to see why I get hives both times showed up nothing yet if I have sugar, lollies, biscuites I get very servere hives.

    Reply
  8. I’m sorry but i would never test for allergies at home. My daughter had a severe allergy to peanuts when she was younger and know how scary it is to see your baby’s face swell right up. I can just see someone trying this at home not knowing their kid was really allerigic to something and it going really really bad

    Reply
    • Get a referral to a paediatric allergist.
      My first child was tested at 7 months old. The child doesn’t even care at that age. It’s the 2 year olds that it’s the hardest on. So it’s pretty easy in an infant.

      Reply
  9. Karen Stefanski-pascale via Facebook March 15, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    it is my understanding that there are different pathways for food allergies and food sensitivities….if you have food allergies…you probably already know it….as you will be getting symptoms like hives, face swelling, asthma like symptom…food sensitiviies are different and produce just as or even more dangerous symptoms like joint pain, intestinal permeability, IBS and many other conditions….food sensitivities will not be detected using this pathway or test….you need a hair analysis…or just listen to your body and give up gluten, dairy, eggs and then add them back slowly over time to see if the symptoms return..this is known as an ilimination diet.most people with autoimmune disaes have food sensitivities rather than allergies and need to heal their gut with glutamine on an empty stomach each morning,…waiting for 1 hour befor eating…and give up culprit foods that inflame the stomach lining.

    Reply
  10. A timely post! I just commented on another one of your articles yesterday. My baby had been doing well eating egg yolk a few days a week for maybe a month, then suddenly reacted to it by vomiting. I wasn’t certain that it was the yolk itself, so I reintroduced it to her a little more than a month later and she had the same reaction. I don’t even know where to start looking at what could have caused this sudden reaction to egg yolks, but it seems the best thing to do until I can find more information is to stop all foods and keep going with exclusive breastfeeding.

    If you have any suggestions, I am open to them.

    Reply
    • I too have had the same problem. I fed my baby egg yolk one time a week for a few weeks and we did fine. Then the last two times he has reacted by throwing up.

      I also am interested in suggestions.

      Reply
  11. Krystle Spielman via Facebook December 3, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    “Poor diet in infancy and childhood which is devoid or low in animal fats such as egg yolks, cream and butter is also a contributor to the development of allergies”….So what to do for an infant/child allergic to egg yolk, cream, and butter, like mine is?

    Reply
  12. I agree with Sandy. What you are describing is an excellent way to test for food intolerance NOT FOOD ALLERGIES. If I had tested my daughter this way for her peanut allergy, she would have died. I did test her for food intolerance this way AFTER we had an allergy test.

    For the safety of everyone you need to change your terminology as there is a big difference between a food sensitivity, intolerance and allergy.

    Reply
  13. As a parent of a child with food allergies, I find your home test ridiculous and potentially life-threatening. If you suspect you or your child is allergic to foods, medications or anything else, TAKE THEM TO A DOCTOR FOR TREATMENT. Had I performed your test on my son when I thought he was allergic to eggs, he could have died. Shame on you.

    Reply
    • Jeanette Lopatka March 16, 2013 at 3:30 pm

      Not sure that trusting doctors is a great idea either… Please read my post below. I am not advocating testing at home, but I certainly do not place blind faith in doctors any more. I went to school with many of them and their morals and ability to THINK shocked me:

      Hi Sarah
      Great post! I had this same exact test done when I was 13 and I DID go into shock. The scary thing was that I went into the parking lot to “cool off” I remember becoming very hot. A nurse coming on to duty saw me and asked me “What in God’s name I was doing by myself looking so sick?” She hauled me back into the clinic and Y E L L E D at the docs and nurses asking them how they could let a child who was going into shock be unattended. So, please be very very careful!

      Reply
  14. Erin Cardwell Zinser via Facebook December 2, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    I don’t have time to read the article right now, but wanted to post about NAET. Most people don’t know about this method of testing and CURING allergies (all kinds!). My kids had anaphylaxis (sp?) with bananas, strawberries, melons (the list goes on) ONE TREATMENT and they were cured!! They are enjoying smoothies every day! We LOVE NAET! http://www.naet.com

    Reply
  15. Laura Marino Hernandez via Facebook December 2, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    The thing is, I went to my doctor and got the scratch test as a result of regular allergies with pollen and such which is not serious as all and during all the testing, discovered that I had developed a very serious to shrimp which I had been eating my whole life… I tried shrimp once after the test thinking perhaps it was wrong and sure enough, my throat started to swell up… I never would have put two and two together and thought shrimp allergy after eating it for 33 years with no issue without that test.

    Reply
  16. Correction: I just went looking for Dr Daniel Coca and find to my surprise that his name was Arthur. You can find a number of online references to Dr. Arthur Coca, his treatment method and his book The Pulse Test. My memory glitch is most likely due to the fact that I learned of him via the director of my daughter’s kindergarten in 1967. At least I got the rest of the details straight.

    Reply
  17. My mother’s tests also showed problems with wheat – again, no surprise with what we know these days.
    Our current homeopath believes that there isn’t a genetic factor involved in several family members having similar responses to the allergens themselves but more a case of digestive issues, which would likely reflect familial dietary patterns rather than genetic inheritance. Too often you hear “Oh, I inherited this – my father (aunt, brother…) has it too,” which means the problem’s accepted as inevitable.

    Reply
  18. I was first introduced to pulse testing by the director of my daughter’s kindergarten. She had worked with Dr. Daniel Coca, husband of actress/comedienne Imogene Coca (central to the Sid Caesar Show in the 50′s and onward. Imogene was severely allergic. Her husband began testing her pulse and tracked down the offending foods. I tried this with my mother when she was having major problems, including chronic anxiety and racing pulse. Over a day of testing, using Dr. Coca’s approach, we found that she had problems with the lily family – onions, garlic and asparagus. The asparagus connection was a surprise. As it turns out my kids and I also have trouble with one or another of these things, especially garlic. Predictable, my mother loved onions and began many recipes with sauted onions.
    I should have checked before writing this but I imagine you can Google Dr. Coca and perhaps get a reference to the actual testing method. I think he wrote a book about it.

    Reply
  19. This is a very timely article fo me…I have a 9 week old and am breastfeeding, at first he was spitting/throwing up a lot which was new to me since my older 3 hadn’t spit up at all. I figured right away it was something I was eating and decided to see if I could figure it out…the firs thing I tried was cutting out gluten and *bingo* no more spitting up. 3 days later I had a small slice of pizza (dumb, I know) and not only did my baby throw up but I felt sick also. Then after a week and a half I had some gravy (didn’t even think once about the flour in it) and I got so sick…I thought I was coming down with Strep but I think it was an allergic reaction. So now not only in my baby sensitive to gluten, I am too! And he seems extreamly sensitive…I ate a piece of meat off my husbands sandwich and my baby threw up!

    Reply
  20. El Temeroso the wrist test can be helpful ..another idea is to make sure you get soy free eggs where the hens get no GMO feed of any kind. Folks with egg allergies sometimes find that they can eat eggs from hens getting no soy and no GMO feed. So try to test with this type of “clean” egg.

    Reply
  21. El Temeroso via Facebook December 2, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    Sarah, i’ve had food sensitivity testing. I am also presently reading the GAPS book by Natasha McBride. Any thoughts on her recommendation of dabbing an egg yolk (for example) on your wrist and letting it dry overnight? I haven’t tried it yet but via testing, i have an extreme IgE response to yolks and whites

    Reply
  22. Karen Stefanski-pascale via Facebook December 2, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    I healed my RA 90% using a GAP’s type program for about 45 days, to include coffee enemas…I am on no medications now and feel 90% better…it is a miracle…I also juiced and use glutamine vit c carnosine to heal gut…

    Reply
  23. Alicia Cousineau-Ingram via Facebook December 2, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    My child is allergic to eggs. I tested at home and ended up in urgent care. Don’t self test, just stay away from the triggers. I refuse allergy testing not because of the money but because its not always accurate. Money is no issue when it comes to my childs health. That’s what payment plans are for.

    Reply
  24. What about allergies in a breastfed baby? He is not necessarily allergic to the same foods I am. He has bad eczema and cradle cap that we are controlling with cortisone (not ideal, but he was in a lot of distress). His doctor suggested a milk-protein allergy, but his condition seems to have worsened since I eliminated dairy (I only used raw milk, and cultured dairy like yogurt, sour cream and cheese). I suspect wheat may be the culprit, but I’m not sure how to eat if I eliminate every possibility (wheat, eggs, nuts, dairy, soy).

    I have a huge appetite while breastfeeding, and just meat and vegetables don’t really satisfy.

    Reply
    • Laura,

      I went through the same thing with my children when I was breastfeeding them. The skin issues like eczema and cradle cap were very bad for them also, and a host of other distressing things. With my first I had to cut out over 16 foods, of course everything I ate. All milk, soy, corn, wheat, tomatoes, onions, eggs, chocolate, beans, nuts, eggplant, spinach, chard, any supplements, and more. It was so confusing at first figuring out what was causing all the problems that I did have my baby’s blood drawn and sent to a lab for IGG reaction testing. The test was not completely accurate (none are), but it gave me a starting point and by following a rotation diet I was able to figure out the rest. At the time I ate a very GAPs like diet, although I had not heard of it at the time, only I included potatoes and rice. I have always needed lots of carbs to feel good and keep my weight up and potatoes fried in beef fat probably saved my life, lol. I also juiced a lot for the first time. Since all my favorite vegetables were on the “no” list it was the only way I felt like I was getting enough good nutrients. I also made lots and lots of smoothies. When you are in that situation it is critical to have food prepared in advance to feel satisfied. You can also focus on all the foods you love that aren’t on the no list. Since we had to curb all eating out and travelling and such anyway we spent a little extra on groceries so I could indulge in crab legs and steak and such when I needed a treat. Coconut flour and such makes pretty good pancakes and breading, and ANYTHING fried tasted good and if you are using healthy fats the extra fat is good for you and will help you feel satisfied. My kids healed and outgrew the allergies by the way! Other children in my family in the same situation at birth have chronic asthma and other serious health issues, so all the sacrifice I made while breastfeeding them was entirely worth it. Now you can Google search and find all kinds of recipes without whatever you can’t have and find the recipes and reviews of them all over the place, so it’s a lot easier than it was 18 years ago when I was first dealing with it!

      Reply
  25. Tricia Loomis Oostema via Facebook December 2, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    She did say sensitivity and non severe. I’ve done this myself and have eliminated foods my body doesn’t handle well. I would Not do this with my son who’s anaphylactic to nuts, eggs, and oats. There’s definitely a difference here.

    Reply
  26. Our oldest had a blood test for allergies, and of course they all came back negative. The doctor expected this to happen. Still it was clear she had a lot of issues…and we did GAPS to fix it. So if you’re talking about sensitivities (not anaphylactic) these tests are often a waste of money anyway because they come up “normal” when truly they should not.

    Reply
  27. Sarah Couture Pope via Facebook December 2, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    @Melissa this at home method is so helpful also for those without insurance or low on funds for trips to the doctor, testing which is many times partially out of pocket. Much progress can be done with simple techniques at home.

    Reply
  28. Stephanie Huber Gatewood via Facebook December 2, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    But if you suspect a severe allergy, do NOT attempt to confirm its existence at home since this is dangerous, especially with a child. Also, you write like you know definitively what causes food allergies…this is just wrong. Nobody knows for certain and to say that food allergies are caused simply by not having a varied or healthy diet is short-sighted to say the least. My son is anaphylactic to peanuts and I’m pretty certain he was born with the allergy or it developed when he was VERY young, before he was eating a significant amount of solid food.

    Reply
  29. Sarah Couture Pope via Facebook December 2, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    @Charlotte yes, a certain degree of skill at observation is required for this at home method to work. If you are into whole foods and eating well, most likely you have already developed a degree of skill in this area already as you notice when processed foods give you a headache, make you tired etc.

    Reply
  30. Rebekkah Smith via Facebook December 2, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    People do need to be careful testing allergies at home. My son who has a peanut and tree nut allergy would have gone into anaphylaxis if I had used this method at home.

    Reply
    • I second this. I had to take my 20-month-old to emergency after she was exposed to a tiny bit of peanut butter for the second time in her life. Given how much more severe this reaction was than the first, I now have an epi-pen on hand in case she goes into anaphylaxis. We will be taking her to a paediatric immunologist as soon as we can get an appointment to have her tested for other allergies because she has had a few minor reactions in the past and been prone to eczema.

      For mild allergies/intolerances this is certainly a viable method but if you suspect a severe allergy, don’t attempt to test it yourself via mouth. My daughter had a reaction almost as soon as the peanut butter touched her skin so the inner wrist test might be a safer way if you want to avoid doctors.

      Reply
  31. Phil K. James via Facebook December 2, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    This wasn’t so simple for my son. We tried and failed self-diagnosing his issues until we got a real diagnosis from an allergist.

    Reply
  32. What research backs the pulse test? I fail to see any citations to support your claims. You list Nourishing Traditions as the source, but only give a link to buy the book from Amazon. That is not proper citation. It should not be difficult for you to provide that.
    I enjoy your site, but I cannot take an article like this as reputable without decent research or better citation behind it.

    Reply
    • Agreed. Could you please provide more credible information as to where you draw these conclusions? I’m not discounting the possibility, but I can think of several confounding variables with this method and need some more convincing.

      Reply
      • My daughter had a fairly severe allergic reaction 2 weeks ago (to peanuts) and when I took her to emergency one of the first things they did was check her pulse. The nurse actually mentioned that the pulse increases significantly when you are having an allergic reaction so it therefore is a useful indicator. Of course, it doesn’t mean that the person definitely IS or ISN’T allergic but taken with other symptoms it can give an overall picture of the severity of a reaction.

        Reply
  33. Heather Harris via Facebook December 2, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    And it doesn’t work anyways and is painful :(. My daughter who obviously reacted to at least 7 foods at the time only tested positive for the histamine control, the saline (which is NOT suppose to happen) and juniper trees. Do the GAPs diet instead is my recommendation!

    Reply
  34. This is a strange question… I have done some study that shows that the body reacts to coffee in a similar fashion that it does to gluten for those who have gluten sensitivity. So, if you have autoimmune tendencies (such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis) and you are told to go gluten free, you might also need to eliminate coffee. You can check out my posts here if you are curious:
    http://www.thecrunchypickle.com/category/hashimotos-thyroiditis/

    Could you do the simple test above to discover a coffee sensitivity? The reason I question is that coffee also contains caffeine that could drive your pulse rate up as well. What do you think?

    Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
      Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist June 16, 2011 at 9:34 pm

      Yes. The pulse test is helpful for testing just about anything you put in your mouth. Not sure about the caffeine though as this might skew things. It works nicely for figuring out which sweeteners sit best with your digestion. For example, sucanat and maple syrup are both wonderful natural sweeteners, but one may cause you distress and the other none at all.

      Reply
  35. D- yes, I’m off most supplements now, and it was by habit that I continued to take them from years ago when I was extremely malnourished (2006) such that I had to megadose in order to keep from getting worse, as I was going downhill fast. There are still some things I must take no matter what such as bile salts and hydrochloric acid, and digestive enzymes since I am missing both a gallbladder and appendix. I’ve been eating real food since 2005 and really don’t do processed or refined foods anymore. I’ve been on the GAPS diet now for a month and I’ve already noticed a huge difference. I know I’ve still got a long ways to go, but I find that so many people I know have symptoms and “allergies” that I am certain would be remedied by GAPS diet or similar eating habits. Five years ago I spent nearly 2 years on the candida diet, and it certainly did help my health. But I know stress and skipping meals when I was working 13 hour days put me right back where I was 6+ years ago. I have learned it’s not always just food, sometimes it’s not consuming enough nutrients and stress that can do you in.

    Erica – I have heard about that too, but I was a jittery mess all night long for over 2 months and I don’t know if detox is ever that severe. I felt like I was going to jump out of my skin and couldn’t settle down long enough to actually go to sleep – sometimes until 6 a.m. It sounds so bizarre, I know, but I still have little clue as to what caused it. I can guess and speculate – maybe it’s liver toxicity or mineral depletion. I tried everything I could think of…so I’m guessing that since my efforts with the GAPS diet is making some improvements, it had to be some kind of very severe depletion from all the stress. It couldn’t be that I was eating the wrong foods because I don’t eat junk food.

    Reply
  36. Quoting did not work. I mean THESE claims:

    However, the modern day tendency for children to eat just a few types of foods all the time
    like pizza, chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, boxed cereal and peanut butter sandwiches is a big reason for the skyrocketing allergy trend. Exclusive eating requires a constant demand for the same types of digestive enzymes over and over which eventually leads to digestive exhaustion, food addictions, and biochemical disruptions.

    Poor diet in infancy and childhood which is devoid or low in animal fats such as egg yolks, cream and butter is also a contributor to the development of allergies.

    Reply
  37. I would love to see your scientific data for these ridiculous claims:
    <>

    One cannot just make things up and pass them off as facts.

    Reply
  38. Great post Sarah! I’m currently on the GAPS diet for a number of puzzling and strange health issues since January. For 6+ years I’ve had a really healthy diet which includes ots of healthy, traditional foods, and plenty of fats and proteins. I suddenly started having panic-attack like symptoms in the middle of the night which kept me awake for literally 2+ months. I was a mess. It was so disruptive it negated my ability to get anything done including my job and my blog. I used to get these years ago when I wasn’t eating well, but when I learned about how diet affects health and changed my ways, they started disappearing.

    Before these episodes started, I was doing a detox for metals with a zeolite spray a nutritional therapist gave me, and I had also just started a systemic enzyme. Plus I was taking all my usual supplements like bile salts, hydrochloric acid, probiotics (I have to take these because I have no gallbladder nor appendix anymore) and multi-vitamin minerals (whole food, organically source).

    However, in January, everything seemed to come apart. Our family has been under tremendous stress due to the fact that we opened a small business two year ago in an economy that is still moving very slow. I will never underestimate the power stress has on health again, because I now know this has had a huge impact on how my body dealt with whatever was going on. And, these episodes were far worse than those I used to get when I wasn’t eating, which told me something major was going on. I tried everything I could think of to stop the symptoms: I was seeing an M.D. who is also board certified naturopathic. She did several blood tests that revealed I was “hypothyroid” and also that my Vitamin D levels were very low – even though I was taking 6-8 capsules of fermented cod liver oil daily. I knew something wasn’t right and I wasn’t absorbing nutrients. After seeing 4 other practitioners and not getting anywhere (and getting a number of different only sort-of certain answers such as adrenals, thyroid, hormonal imbalance, anxiety, etc.), I finally decided my liver was having a hard time and that also perhaps heavy metals were involved, so I stopped all supplements but the bare minimum and started the GAPS diet. I am eating lots of bone broths, fermented dairy, cultured vegetable juices, cooked vegetables and meats/fish, and other healthy fats and proteins with mostly no problems now. I wasn’t eating grains to begin with, so I was already more than half-way there. I know it will take some time, but I know I’m on the right path. I’m also doing the liver/gallbladder flush by Andreas Moritz (read his book the Miracle Liver Gallbladder Cleanse), which removes stones from the liver that can cause all types of symptoms, including food-type allergies, and doing coffee enemas.

    I have a nutritional consultant friend who works with late-stage cancer patients and says my symptoms are consistent with metal and liver toxicity. It’s hard to believe that even with the healthy diet I’ve maintained all these years, I’m still having these issues. But as long as those stones remain in the liver, no matter how healthy a person eats, problems will remain. The symptoms listed in Moritz’s book are very consistent with the same types of things people with food allergies/intolerances have, and I recommend anyone do this flush who is having trouble, in conjunction with the GAPS diet protocol. Moritz does suggest vegetarian/vegan diets for health, but I just ignore that and eat my normal healthy, traditional foods. The cleanses come out just fine and I know others who have used this method as well with good results.

    Reply
    • @Raine: Sometimes I think, in the name of health, we overdo the supplements, whether they’re whole food supplements or not. Maybe try eliminating the supplements, just eat real foods, use the Nourishing Traditions cookbook to make some of the healing tonics (towards the back in the recipe section) and then slowly add back the supplements. Our body can only use so much stuff each day, and I think taking so many mg’s of this or that tends to build up and cause collateral damage of a sort. I used to have panic attacks a lot in my 20′s. I learned some breathing exercises, took magnesium (then switched to dolomite mixed in my raw milk) and things started looking up. I hope you find your answer.

      Reply
    • Hi Raine,

      I wonder if it was because you were detoxing that lead to the lack of sleep. I read somewhere regarding how when toxins are in circulation throughout your body due to detoxing, it can cause a host of issues including insomnia. Doing the gaps diet will do wonders as it will facilitate in the detoxification process.

      Reply
    • Wow! The post was helpful and so was your response and experience, Sarah. I am struggling with a continual arrhythmia – just a skipped beat, nothing to worry about according to my cardiologist (holistic & md), but it is annoying and he & my naturopath says is brought on by stress. I have no known food allergies, but I’m wondering if that is contributing – something digestive that I’m not aware of. Anyway, Thanks!

      Reply
  39. I’ve heard of this before, but I wondered: doesn’t your pulse increase when you eat anything? Especially if it’s on an empty stomach? Just wondering…

    Reply
  40. This is great to know, and so simple to administer and check the pulse. Another test, and one which doesn’t involve ingestion, is to apply a small amount of the suspected offending food to the inner wrist in the evening (allow it to dry before going to bed). In the morning, if it’s red and irritated, you have your answer.

    This test can be redone while on the GAPS or similar diet until the gut wall is healed and the allergy reversed.

    Reply
      • Mash and mix with water. This is the sensitivity test that Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride recommends, and she discusses it numerous times in her book Gut & Psychology Syndrome (in the new edition, see p. 120, 134, 143-4, 352).

        Page 143-4 says “If you suspect a real allergy (which can be dangerous) to any particular food, before introducing it do the Sensitivity Test. Take a drop of the food in question (if the food is solid, mash and mix with a bit of water) and place it on the inside of your patient’s wrist. Do it at bedtime. Let the drop dry on the skin and let your patient go to sleep. In the morning check the spot: if there is an angry red or itchy reaction, avoid that food for a few weeks, and then try again. If there is no reaction, then go ahead and introduce the food gradually starting with a tiny amount. Always test the food in the state you are planning to introduce it: for example, if you are planning to introduce raw egg yolks, test the raw egg yolk and not the whole egg or cooked egg. Those without serious digestive problems and food intolerances can move through the Introduction Diet quite quickly.” She then goes on to describe the stages of the diet to heal and seal the gut, reset the immune system, remove toxins, and reverse ailments, including allergies.

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          • D, it’s Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS), and be sure to get the expanded 2010 edition. You can get it alone at Amazon or paired with a new companion cookbook.

            FYI, she’s working on a new book called Gut and Physiology Syndrome, which apparently will address numerous physical diseases and conditions but the dietary program to heal them is the same.

  41. Good tip to take a break every few days from a food your eat routinely. I avoid all grains, starches and sugar and have great results, but I tend to eat the same foods over and over again every day. I eat a lot of eggs every day, so I am especially going to focus on giving myself a break from them a couple days a week. I also need to evaluate my son’s diet in this respect. Thank you!

    Reply
      • Do you think the factor in terms of “amount” is time or quantity? What I mean is, say person A has 1 egg every day & person B has 4 eggs one day, but then goes a few days without. We had the same quantity of eggs, but there was a greater time of not having it at all in the 2nd person. I consider my diet extremely varied, but in the sense that there is a lot of variation within the day & usually have a pretty small total quantity of that food….

        Reply
        • from what my doctor has told me, it doesn’t matter how much. however, he does say that if you only eat foods seasonally – ie, only strawberries in the springtime, he’s much less worried about eating them several days in a row because it’s a short season. and then you don’t have them for months & months.

          Reply
  42. I have done a 4 day rotational diet with certain things eliminated when I was first diagnosed w/food allergies.

    I’m not doing that now & can tolerate foods more. I was advised, though, to continue that really for the rest of my life – but it is very hard to do & I haven’t done it. I would like to get back to eating a hybrid of the 4 day rotational – not quite as strict, but rotating foods so I don’t eat the same thing all the time.

    Reply
  43. I’m definitely no expert and not know much about food allergies,however in the hispanic community ,this is unheard of.I have always heard of mostly people of the white race having allergies,and something else I know ,that when you become a mother ,you are given feeding guidelines..don’t give honey before set age and so forth,and I know from experience that my babies were fed just about everything before 1 year,so i don’t know if maybe when we wait to introduce certain foods until they are older,can then cause allergic reactions..JMO.I am not aware of your spiritual beliefs,but I know there is a verse in the bible that says that if you believe it is bad to eat a certain food,then it will be bad for you.
    gabby\’s last post: D-mode

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  44. Just to report how I interpret this as a person on Bee’s diet for two years . . . The concept of food allergies doesn’t exist in Bee’s world (Bee WIlder of Healing Naturally By Bee). She doesn’t believe we can be allergic to any whole, nourishing food.

    Many folks start the group saying they couldn’t do Bee’s Egg Drink because they are allergic to eggs. I don’t want to claim to represent her, but I know that she feels that what some feel are allergies are actually healing reactions instead. I know when I’m detoxing on her diet, which is strongest when I’m eating the fewest carbs and the most fats, I experience symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, fatigue, insomnia, headaches, runny nose and a dry tickly cough. I’m told these are the toxins escaping my body.

    Just offering another possible way to interpret the same information.
    Best in health,
    Vicki Brooks

    Reply
  45. Eating a nourishing traditional diet can also help with environmental allergies too. I use to suffer from seasonal allergies until I started eating nourishing traditional foods. Within a year the sneezing, runny nose & itchy eyes stopped & have not returned!

    Reply
  46. I have a child and a husband with food allergies. My son grew out of his. I never fed my children the things that you mentioned. My husband has an autoimmune disease so the genetic tendency for it is there. I breastfed my daughter for nearly 2 years and ate a good diet myself. The symptoms of allergies came before she was even given table food. I fed her a variety of organic baby foods before that.

    As for testing for food allergies at home, I think it is a very unsafe thing to do. Children DIE from reactions! If you suspect a food is giving a child a problem, stop giving it to them and get them tested in a dr office. Just because if wasn’t a severe reaction the first time, doesn’t mean it won’t be the next time. I know this from experience.

    Reply
    • I’m positive Sara is not referring to those with severe issues that could be life threatening. Those extreme issues would not be safe to self test at all but for those with say, eczema like reactions this type of “testing” is perfect. If you are already eating a food and it’s not causing life threatening complications what she is suggesting is entirely safe, avoid it for a few day and then reintroduce. We do that all the time without even thinking about it. (I know I don’t eat broccoli and cabbage every day!)

      Reply
      • Non severe reactions may happen for the first few times, but the next time can be severe. When you are dealing with a child who may not be able to communicate what they are feeling and you only see eczema, you don’t know what could happen.

        Reply
        • However, often doctors can’t test for allergies without you eating the food in question. Sometimes parents go into the doctor suspecting an allergy and saying that they are avoiding the food, and the doctors will tell them to go back to eating it and come in later for an allergy test. I guess if you aren’t eating the food regularly, the antibodies won’t be available.

          I think home testing, by eliminating the food and then doing a challenge and watching for symptoms, is as safe and much less painful than skin-prick testing. For very severe allergies, there’s always muscle-response testing. I’m not sure how it works, but I’ve known people to have success with it.
          Sheila\’s last post: How to roast a chicken

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  47. Thank you Sarah for this wonderful info. I wish I’d had it available to me 30 years ago while raising children, and for myself! I figured out things by doing an elimination diet, pretty severe I might ad, but was an adult. It would be very hard for a little child to do that type of diet, so your information makes it so much easier for parents today.

    Reply
  48. Hi Sarah,

    What happens if I eat raw cheese or eggs everyday? Will I eventually develop an allergic reaction to them?

    Reply
      • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

        Hi Erica, you might want to take a break a day or two a week. If you have excellent integrity to your digestive system and eat plenty of lactofermented foods so you are getting many live enzymes in your food, then you should be ok. It’s hard to tell though for sure. I myself try not to eat the same things for too many days in a row.

        Reply
  49. Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

    Hi Pure Mothers, repetitive eating of the same foods over and over is one cause – certainly not the only cause by any means. I mention genetics as well as poor diet low in animal fats as well which results in a poorly developed intestinal wall with little integrity to hold its own.

    Reply
  50. Good way to test a younger child without having to draw blood. Thanks. I have a question about they “why” the allergies develop. You said that utilizing the same digestive enzymes over and over causes it (from eating the same foods). But we only make enzymes to break down proteins into smaller amino acids (protease), amylase for carbs, lipase for fats and nucleases for nucleic acids. Could it be more of a problem making the right stomach acids causing leaky gut?
    Pure Mothers\’s last post: Earth Day Exploration

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