When most people think of allergies, they think of runny nose, itchy water eyes, or something similar to anaphylaxis (difficulty breathing). Certain foods can cause immune responses in people which is often called an allergy or an intolerance. It is possible that the response could occur within minutes of eating a food, or the onset may be more delayed, hours to days. While individuals may not always feel the effects of a food allergy, these responses create an elevation in inflammatory markers creating an increase in inflammation in the body. What you may feel as a result of this response is fatigue, headache, joint pain, stomach issues, thyroid dysfunction, or mood disturbances. When a person is continuously exposed to foods that create this response in them, the food proteins act as a toxin, creating a cycle of inflammation that causes more and more issues over time.
Chronic exposure to heavy metals, increased environmental pollution, and use of chemicals in our everyday lives is causing more and more problems in our bodies and disturbing the growth and development of our children. Exposure to heavy metals causes them to be deposited in our body tissues as well as our brains causing a variety of development and neurological disturbances.
Common exposure sources are cosmetics, skin and personal care products, cleaning products, pain, building materials, silver dental fillings, preservatives in packaged foods, and more. Cadmium is a common component in batteries and plastics, including the clear plastics used to cover food. Mercury is also used in batteries and arsenic can be found in some seafood, protein powders, in animals that were fed feed with arsenic in it, fungicides, and herbicides.
What can you do?
There is no way to completely remove all the toxins from our environment. Fortunately, our bodies are meant to carry a certain level of toxic load. What we can do to protect ourselves is to minimize our exposure by choosing personal care products, foods, and other household items that decrease our risk of exposure. We can also take steps to ensure that our detoxification pathways are functioning properly.
At Alaska Functional Medicine we can help you to optimize these detox pathways so your body is effective at removing toxins from your system and better utilizes nutrients to improve your overall health. We can work with you to find out what foods may be triggering an immune response and causing inflammation in your body as well as work on nutritional support while you are in this discovery period.