Did you know you can reverse food allergies? Did you know that 99% of food allergies can be cured? I cured my gluten intolerance a couple decades ago, when I was in my 20s. In this post, I'll share with you how I did it.
Can You Reverse Food Allergies? How I Did It
Diagnosed with Arthritis at Age 25
When I was 25 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 me. 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.
There is Hope for People with Food Allergies
I did reverse my food allergies. It took about two years but I did it. 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!
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.
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.
How to Reverse Food Allergies with Diet
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, [easyazon-link asin=”0954852028″ locale=”us”]Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, A.D.D., Dyslexia, A.D.H.D., Depression, Schizophrenia[/easyazon-link].
The GAPS Diet is based on SCD or the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. Dr. Campbell-McBride modified this diet by making it more Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF)-friendly. She added bone broth, cod liver oil, and quality traditional fats (ghee, lard, butter, tallow) to SCD.
Unfortunately I can't recommend the GAPS book or diet anymore for the same reason I no longer recommend the WAPF Diet. This is because they still recommend FCLO (fermented cod liver oil). Please see my series on FCLO and why I DO NOT recommend this supplement and believe it is dangerous to human health.
That said, I do still recommend the teachings of Dr. Weston A. Price and I recommend his book, [easyazon_link identifier=”0916764206″ locale=”US” tag=”cheeseslave0e-20″]Nutrition and Physical Degeneration[/easyazon_link]. So I will continue to recommend that people try the SCD Diet, or simply follow a Paleo Diet, slowly adding back in foods such as butter and cheese one at a time as they can tolerate them. I recommend a 30-day elimination diet, and then slowly add in foods one at a time.
When I reversed my food allergies, I did the elimination diet for one month, and then found that I could reintroduce all dairy foods almost immediately (I introduced them one at a time but had no reaction to any dairy products) and I was able to reintroduce all non-gluten grains as well. So I was off gluten and sugar for two years while I healed my food allergies and my gut, but I was able to eat all dairy products and all grains and starches including rice, potatoes, I also ate honey and fruit in moderation.
Some people do need to avoid foods like dairy, starches (potatoes and the like) and grains for a longer period of time. It really depends on your specific situation. If you have a child on the autistic spectrum, it may take longer and they may need to be on a stricter diet than I did for a longer period of time.
Not All Probiotics Work
What I didn't learn until much later is that most probiotics on the market don't 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 I recommend.)
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.
Also, I don't think fermented foods are anywhere near strong enough to help you recover from food allergies. I do know people who have actually eaten kefir grains, and that worked for them. But generally speaking, most people will need a powerful probiotic supplement.
Where to Find Therapeutic Grade Probiotics
I only recommend one brand of probiotics that is therapeutic grade and in my opinion, the best probiotic on the market: Smidge Probiotic (formerly GutPro). (That is my affiliate link, so I will earn a small commission if you order through that link. That said, I only work with brands I trust and personally recommend.)
There are other brands of therapeutic grade probiotics out there but I don't recommend them. For example, the one I referenced above in Jenny McCarthy's book did work for me in the past, but I no longer recommend because they started adding canola oil to it.
I also don't recommend Dr. Natasha's probiotic, Biokult, because it has additives and it also has soil-based organisms which can cause problems. I'm working on an extensive post on how to choose probiotics which I hope to have up soon.
How Will You Know If 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.
Die off symptoms include dizziness, fatigue, acne or eczema or other skin rashes, itchy mouth and watery eyes, excess mucus, cold and flu symptoms, etc. These are all signs that your body is trying to detox the bad bacteria that is dying off.
If you experience die off, the best thing to do is slow down with the probiotics. You may need to stop temporarily and then after your symptoms go away, start again with a tiny amount and very slowly work up.
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