According to Dr. Frank Xavier Mayr, an Austrian physician who founded Modern Mayr Medicine, intestinal auto-intoxication (producing damaging toxins by the food we eat and how we eat the food) is the root cause of virtually all systemic diseases. This article by Idowu Ashiru, our Mayr nutrition consultant, provides an elaborate insight into the hazards of food.
Are you suffering from any of these symptoms?
Abdominal pains, aches and pains, acid reflux, asthma, arthritis, bloating, constipation, chronic fatigue syndrome, diarrhoea, eczema, fatigue, fibromyalgia, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), headaches, lethargy, migraine, nausea, rashes, rhinitis, sinusitis, skin problems, stomach cramps, tension, hives, weight loss or weight gain, wheezing or bad complexions?
If you are having one or more of these symptoms, you may be suffering from food allergies or food intolerance.
If you have been treated by your doctors for any of the above complaints without relief, this may be time to suspect food allergies or food intolerance as the cause of your misery. Your doctor may likely give you creams or medications, according to the symptoms you are telling him.
In most cases, these ailments are caused by food allergies that will not go away until the specific food is identified and eliminated from your diet. By eliminating the offending foods, you can prevent the occurrence of the symptoms and ailments mentioned above. Prevention rather than treatment is the key. No amount of creams or medications is going to make the symptoms go away.
For those who suffer from food intolerance and food allergy, the problem is that usually it is the symptom that gets treated, not the cause, thereby leading to lack of sustainable cure.
In food allergy, an abnormal immune system response results in the body making antibodies to ‘fight off’ a food. Food allergy, either IgE antibody mediated or delayed non-Ig mediated allergy, are reactions caused by the immune system.
A small number of adults, approximately 1 per cent of adults and about 5-9 per cent of children are affected by food allergies. Some infertility patients or patients with repeated IVF failures usually show very high or low IgE antibody in their blood test.
However, some people suffer symptoms after eating certain foods, even when they are not producing antibodies against them. A variety of different mechanisms can cause foods to affect people in this way. These non-immune reactions are known as food intolerances.
Food intolerance is much more common than food allergy and it is not caused by the immune system. The onset of symptoms is usually slower and they may be delayed by many hours after eating the offending food. The symptoms may also last several hours, even into the next day and sometimes longer.
Intolerance of several foods or a group of foods is not uncommon. It can be quite difficult to decide whether food intolerance is the cause of a chronic illness and which foods or substances may be responsible.
With food intolerance, some people can tolerate a reasonable quantity of the food, but if they eat too much of it (or too often), they begin to manifest symptoms of a disease.
The symptoms of food intolerance are varied. They are usually gastrointestinal symptoms, such as bloating, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting and irritable bowel movement. The symptoms also include skin rashes, acne and sometimes fatigue, joint pains, dark circles under the eyes, night sweats and other chronic conditions.
Food intolerance can have a number of different causes:
Enzymes are required to help with the breakdown of natural substances found in certain foods. If these enzymes are missing, or in short supply, then eating the food can cause symptoms because part of the content of the food cannot be properly dealt with by the body.
In lactose intolerance, for example, the body may lack the enzyme lactase, which breaks down lactose – the sugar in the milk – into smaller sugars ready for absorption from the gut. Lactose is too large to be absorbed across the gut wall undigested and its presence in the gut causes gut spasm, pain, bloating, diarrhoea and ‘failure to thrive’.
Incidentally, these symptoms can occur in milk allergy, when the body has made antibodies to milk protein, which causes an immune reaction when you drink milk. Hence, you cannot always distinguish allergy from intolerance by symptoms alone without expert help. Most Africans are lactose intolerant as we do not really produce milk in most of Africa and thus, our bodies were not built with the enzyme to digest milk. Even our northern cows do not produce milk in commercial quantity. Thus the milk we consume in Nigeria is imported and thus foreign to us and alien to our digestive system.
Most foods require some enzyme activity in their digestion, and enzyme deficiencies can be an important factor in food intolerance.
Other causes of food intolerance are naturally occurring chemicals in the food that have an effect on the body. Substances, such as caffeine in coffee, tea, and chocolate, or amines in certain types of cheese can produce a negative reaction in some people. If you are resistant to a particular food item, you can usually eat a little of it occasionally, but negative reactions will increase each time you eat that food item.
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