How I Reversed My Food Allergies with Probiotics

by Ann Marie Michaels on October 28, 2013

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Did you know that 99% of food allergies can be cured?

I cured my gluten intolerance in my 20s. In this post, I’ll share with you how I did it by changing my diet and taking therapeutic grade probiotics.

Diagnosed with Arthritis at 26

When I was 26 years old, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, a degenerative disease that doctors could do nothing to heal. They offered me drugs for the pain, and said the only thing that I could do is have surgery.

But they couldn’t cure it. I was told that I would probably end up in a wheelchair one day. Not fun to hear when you’re only in your 20s.

In addition to the arthritis, I also suffered from chronic fatigue, chronic sinus infections and seasonal allergies, and chemical sensitivities.

What is Leaky Gut Syndrome?

Instead of just accepting what the doctors told me and going the conventional route of drugs and surgery, I went to the library to research alternatives. Eventually, I discovered that my problem was my immune system. It’s a condition called Leaky Gut Syndrome.

Here’s how leaky gut works… When we don’t have adequate good bacteria in our digestive tract, we don’t secrete the enzymes to break down complex carbohydrates. These undigested carbohydrates cause pathogenic bacteria to grow. As pathogenic bacteria increases, their toxic waste proliferates.

In the gang wars going on in your gut, the good guys are losing and the bad guys have the upper hand. The good bacteria are so busy trying to deal with the onslaught of pathogens and toxins, they don’t have the ability to protect the gut lining, which causes gut damage (also known as “leaky gut”).

Leaky gut is surprisingly common. It affects a significant number of adults and children, including most (if not all) people afflicted by ADHD, Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and asthma.

How I Reversed My Food Allergy with Diet and Probiotics

Once I learned that the root of my problems was a leaky gut and abnormal gut flora, I started on my journey to healing my gut.

I started by going on an elimination diet for 4 weeks. An elimination diet means you remove all possible allergens from your diet: all grains, all sugars, all dairy, eggs, beans, and starches. For 4 weeks, I basically ate non-starchy vegetables, meat and fish.

And you know what happened? 100% of my symptoms disappeared — just like that! I felt like a million bucks!

But I knew I couldn’t eat such a restricted diet forever… I missed pizza and bread and cheese! (You know how I love my cheese…)

So I started reintroducing the allergens one at a time (one new food every 3-4 days, just like you do with a baby starting solids). First I tried eating a small amount of dairy. No reaction. Then I tried eating more dairy the next day — nothing. No return of symptoms.

I had no problems with eggs, beans, starches, rice and other grains… But when I ate gluten (wheat), I reacted. My symptoms came flooding back — itchy nose and mouth and eyes, sneezing, drowsiness and fatigue, arthritis pain, thrush on my tongue. Same thing happened when I ate sugar.

So I stayed off sugar and gluten and started taking therapeutic grade probiotics to help heal my gut.

After making the lifestyle changes that included eating nutrient rich real food, as well as supplementing my diet with therapeutic grade probiotics, I was able to reverse my gluten intolerance and reaction to sugar. It took about 2 years.

99% of Food Allergies Can Be Cured

Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride is a medical doctor and nutritionist whose three-year-old son was diagnosed with autism. According to all the “experts,” this was an incurable condition. But Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride cured her son of his autism. She says that 99% of food allergies can be reversed with diet and probiotics.

Dr. Campbell-McBride refused to accept fate as handed down by her son’s doctors, and like me, began to do her own research. Eventually she began to see a direct link between a number of disorders (learning disorders, psychological disorders, eczema, asthma, allergies, etc.) and digestion.

By changing her son’s diet and getting him on quality probiotics, his prognosis changed and his autism was reversed.

Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride used her discoveries in order to create the GAPS diet, which is an effective tool in reversing food allergies and other symptoms of leaky gut. She detailed her findings in her groundbreaking book, Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, A.D.D., Dyslexia, A.D.H.D., Depression, Schizophrenia.

Not All Probiotics Work

What I didn’t learn until much later is that not all probiotics work.

After my daughter was born 6 years ago, my doctor prescribed birth control pills. I didn’t think anything of it and started taking them. About 6 months later, I started experiencing all the old symptoms again — stiff and painful joints, seasonal allergies, thrush on my tongue, fatigue…

I did not know this at the time, but the birth control pill kills the good gut flora that keeps your digestive tract healthy. Needless to say, I stopped taking the pills, and then went to work to repair my gut again.

I went straight to the health food store and bought some probiotics. I also eliminated gluten and sugar from my diet.

Thirty days later, after avoiding gluten and sugar and taking the probiotics religiously, I still had all my symptoms.

You may have found this to be the case as well. You might have tried taking probiotics and they didn’t work for you. It very well may be the brand of the probiotics you are taking.

Around that time, I read the book Louder Than Words: A Mother’s Journey in Healing Autism by Jenny McCarthy. (Highly recommended!) In the book, Jenny told the story of how she reversed her son’s autism by keeping him off gluten (wheat) and casein (dairy) and giving him therapeutic grade probiotics.

After reading that book, I realized maybe I should try the brand of probiotics she used with her son. You couldn’t find this brand at the health food stores — it is only sold online. So I ordered the brand she recommended and guess what happened? Within THREE days of taking it, my symptoms were GONE. (See below for brands of probiotics that are therapeutic grade.)

That’s when I knew that not all probiotics work. You see, back when I was in my 20s, my naturopathic doctor was special-ordering the probiotics I was taking. These were not your run of the mill store-bought probiotics.

Where to Find Therapeutic Grade Probiotics

I only know of a few brands that are therapeutic grade. And, as far as I know, you can’t find them in stores.

You can find listings for a couple different therapeutic grade probiotics in the Village Green Network Marketplace Supplements section.

I am also a big fan of this brand which is available on Amazon.

How Will You Know the Probiotics Are Working?

If you already have a healthy gut, you are probably not going to experience any changes when you take probiotics. But if you have abnormal gut flora/leaky gut, when you start taking probiotics that are therapeutic grade, you will start to experience either a reduction in symptoms right off the bat, or, more commonly, a condition they call “die off”.

Die off refers to the bad bacteria dying off. It happens when the good bacteria come rushing in and start doing what they are supposed to do — killing off the bad bacteria.

If you experience die off, the best thing to do is slow down with the probiotics. For example, if you are taking one capsule a day, cut back to 1/2, 1/4, or even 1/8 capsule a day. (The therapeutic grade capsules are all powder in a capsule, so you can ration it.)

My Online Class for Reversing Food Allergies

My online cooking class, Reversing Food Allergies, follows the GAPS diet introduced by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride.

Not signed up for my newsletter? Make sure you sign up now so you can get the announcement for my new e-book, Reversing Food Allergies Cookbook, which contains more than 350 recipes:

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There is Hope for People with Food Allergies

My experience taught me not to give up when you are given a prognosis.

Are there foods you just can’t eat? Is ordering in a restaurant an ordeal? Do bread and pizza leave you bloated and tired? Do dairy products give you gut pain or diarrhea?

Do your symptoms manifest as IBS, bowel issues, arthritis or breathing problems? Do your kids have these problems – or spectrum disorders?

I know how you feel.

And I want you to know that there is hope!

What if I told you that if you can heal your gut, you can eat anything you want – with no symptoms? That you can reverse these problems?

It is absolutely possible. I know it is because I reversed mine.

Not everyone can recover from food allergies, but the vast majority of people can.

It took two years to fully heal my gut, but I got my life back. Chances are, you can too!

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Photo Credit: New York City, Ashley Steel via Flickr

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