Food Allergy Treatments: DIY Natural Home Remedies and Quick Tips
8 minute read
Millions of people suffer from food allergies, and serious allergic reactions to food can be deadly. With no perfect cure-for-all available, the best way to deal with food allergies is to either avoid the food that causes the reaction or by treating the symptoms when they occur.
Given that many medications come with unpleasant side effects, people look to natural treatment options for their allergies. Thankfully, there are several effective natural allergy treatments that not only reduce symptoms, but they can boost your overall immune system response.
Understanding Food Allergies
Food allergies are typically detected during infancy and childhood. An allergic reaction involves an immune response to a potentially dangerous protein or compound. Chemicals known as histamines are produced in response to this allergen and cause allergy symptoms, such as sneezing, hives, and coughing.
It is important to understand the difference between food allergies and food intolerance, as confusing the two can lead to a dangerous misdiagnosis. The reaction of intolerance to food is non-immunological, as the immune system is not triggered in any way.
For example, gas and bloating caused by consuming dairy is intolerance, not an allergy. Trying to treat lactose intolerance by boosting the immune response is like fighting a grease fire in the kitchen by getting your tires rotated—the solution is just not applicable to the problem.
1. The First Step to Natural Treatments Is Avoidance
It is important to identify and pay attention to food allergies because they can be severe. Not only do they increase your risk of other health problems, but they can be fatal.
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The simplest option is to avoid foods that cause allergic reactions. In doing so, you prevent inflammation, which will weaken your immune system or cause additional health issues. The most notorious culprits in triggering allergic responses are:
Packaged Foods: These are often full of GMOs, like soy and corn oil, that are known to cause allergies and intolerance. Packaged items may also contain hidden allergens or have been exposed to them during processing and packaging, resulting in contamination.
Artificial Flavors: Certain extracts and dyes have been linked to food allergies and they can be hard to identify. Most labels will not list the full chemical names, so to be safe it is best to avoid any items with “added color.”
Gluten: This protein is known to cause serious intolerance as well as celiac disease, which is the allergic reaction to its presence. Your intestinal walls are damaged by the inflammation associated with this disease, which prevents efficient nutrient absorption.
Gluten-triggered reactions can mirror other allergies, and go undiagnosed, so avoiding all gluten foods is the safest option.
Sugar: Cutting down on sugar can help your body’s response to allergens. Too much sugar consumption results in bacterial overgrowth in the gut, which weakens your immune response.
Once this happens, you naturally become more sensitive or intolerant to certain foods. Sugar can also exacerbate allergy symptoms, so the less you have the better.
2. Try an Elimination Diet
Short-term modifications to your diet will allow you to identify foods that cause allergic symptoms. The most assured way to avoid allergic reactions is to avoid the food, so once those allergens are identified accomplishing avoidance is easier.
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Elimination diets are trial-and-error and can take up to six weeks to accurately identify allergy-causing foods. Eliminate all common allergens and gradually re-introduce them one at a time, making note of the ones that cause a reaction.
3. Avoid Triggers
The majority of allergic reactions to food (almost 90 percent) are caused by a small group of foods. The usual suspects to avoid include:
♦ Cow’s milk
4. Eat Non-Allergenic Alternatives
There are a group of foods that are ideal for limiting allergic reactions. These food allergy alternatives not only reduce the likelihood of a reaction but also boost your immune system to help you avoid and get rid of allergic reactions faster.
Probiotics: Probiotic supplements or probiotic-rich foods, like yogurt and kefir, are great for repairing intestinal damage. In addition to this, probiotics can help boost your immune system and reduce your overall sensitivity to food allergens.
Leafy Greens: Spinach, kale, and collard greens are all foods that are rich in antioxidants, enzymes, and essential minerals. They can boost detoxification and increase your antibody response which will more efficiently relieve allergy symptoms.
Gluten-Free Grains: Because gluten is responsible for a large number of allergies and digestive troubles, gluten-free grains like rice or oats are a better alternative. You can still get the fiber and nutrients you need but without the risk of an allergic reaction.
Alternatives for wheat flour include coconut or almond flour, and these can be found in most stores today.
Coconut Milk: A non-allergenic alternative to cow’s milk, coconut milk provides all the nutrients you need without the allergen. Because soy is also a common cause for allergic reactions, coconut milk is the best alternative to soy milk as well.
5. Supplemental Support
Digestive enzymes that are produced naturally in your body help to breakdown food and provide allergy relief. As you get older, the numbers of these enzymes decreases, so supplemental support can help maintain levels and prevent allergic reactions.
Vitamin B5 supplements can also help because of their support of your adrenal gland. Healthy adrenal function is essential to maintain healthy digestion and immunity, so your body will not overreact to potential triggers.
6. Try Essential Oils
Peppermint oil has the ability to soothe an inflamed gut as well as bring relief from other allergy symptoms, such as headache and itchy skin. Eucalyptus oil is also helpful as it improves circulation by opening your lungs and sinuses. It also contains anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial compounds and helps to expel toxins from the body.
The Bottom Line
Allergic reactions are your body’s way of protecting you from a dangerous compound. They can, however, be unpleasant to the point of serious health problems.
Avoiding triggers and identifying potential foods through elimination is the best way to maintain health. There are plenty of alternatives available, so you can enjoy your food, stay healthy, and avoid unpleasant allergic reactions.