The big wheeze

Aug
26
2016
by
thayne
/
0
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We are overwhelmed by wheezing these days. Some 300 million people worldwide suffer from asthma, and one of every 10 Americans will suffer from the condition at some point in their lives.

As to the cause of this soaring epidemic, conventional medicine is unequivocal, pointing the finger squarely at pollen and other airborne irritants like animal dander and dust mites.

But what most doctors don’t appreciate is that up to 50 per cent of asthma is caused by a food allergy.

We are overwhelmed by wheezing these days. Some 300 million people worldwide suffer from asthma, and one of every 10 Americans will suffer from the condition at some point in their lives.

As to the cause of this soaring epidemic, conventional medicine is unequivocal, pointing the finger squarely at pollen and other airborne irritants like animal dander and dust mites.

But what most doctors don’t appreciate is that up to 50 per cent of asthma is caused by a food allergy.

Links with food
A 2008 study reported in The Journal of the American Medical Association found that food allergies among children have exploded by 20 per cent from the previous decade, affecting at least 4 per cent of all children and adolescents.

Furthermore, children with allergies are twice as likely to suffer from asthma; in fact, nearly a third of children with a food allergy also have problems with their breathing. And those with asthma and a food allergy are more likely to have an anaphylactic shock reaction to a food, which can prove fatal.

Many of the usual culprits—dairy, wheat, soya, chocolate, refined sugar, potatoes and other members of the nightshade family—can provoke asthmatic episodes.

But aside from eating foods you can’t tolerate, integrative specialists like New York’s Dr Leo Galland are discovering that asthma can also be the result of what you don’t put in your mouth.

As more than 70 per cent of immune-system cells are found in the lining of the digestive tract, we’re now beginning to recognize a direct link between immune function and the gut.

This means that the body’s immune system is enormously affected by the foods we do or don’t eat, and also by the overall state of our digestive system. In recent years, it’s been discovered that some foods can actually induce an inflammatory response, while other foods shut it down.

This view is now bolstered by new evidence that one major cause of asthma, eczema and a constantly stuffy and runny nose is fast food.

Whopping big responses
After surveying a half-million adolescents and children, researchers for the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) found that children who eat three or more servings of fast food every week increase their chances of severe asthma by a whopping 39 per cent if they’re teenagers and by 27 per cent if they’re younger than that.

The culprit is thought to be trans fatty acids, the fake fats formed when an oil goes through a process called ‘hydrogenation’ to prolong shelf life. This type of fat, also known as ‘hydrogenated fat’, is used for frying and as an ingredient in processed foods, and has long been known to damage health.

In fact, ISAAC has now discovered that eating a steady diet of trans fats is the single most important dietary factor for developing asthma.

Dr Galland has confirmed that asthmatics have reduced levels of antioxidants, such as vitamins A, C and E, in their blood, and the greater the reduction, the worse the asthma. They also usually have deficiencies of health-giving essential fatty acids, whereas fish oils have now been shown to quell allergic reactions in people with asthma.

Consequently, he has reversed many cases of asthma by manipulating his patients’ diets, removing allergens, adding more antioxidants and rebalancing their intakes of dietary fats.

An unhappy gut
Another important factor is the state of the gut itself and the colony of microbes that inhabits it.

The shocking fact is that one-third of patients with asthma are allergic to Candida albicans, the yeast bug. Adding probiotics to change the population of gut microbes residing in our intestines has also been shown to calm inflammation and overcome allergies.

To date, the conventional medical tools to treat the problem—steroids to control inflammation, bronchodilators to widen narrowed bronchial tubes—are abjectly failing to control asthma, so allowing children and adults to enjoy unrestricted activities, fewer sick days and a full night’s sleep without constantly reaching for their puffers.

All this points to a paradigm-busting fact in medicine: diseases like asthma are not a life sentence. Even the most intractable ‘life-long’ conditions can be reversed once you provide the body with the right tools to heal itself.

thayne

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