Monday, April 9, 2012

Cravings and allergies

Now that Easter has come and gone, sugar is in the house (candy, cake, pie): I'm confronted with it every time I go into the kitchen and there's chocolate sitting in my room waiting for the day when I decide to eat it again. I had been doing pretty well with the sugar cravings, but this weekend of holidays has thrown me right back into craving territory. So, is it a coincidence that I'm craving the exact foods which I need to avoid? Of course not. Yeast feeds on sugar, after all.

And why is it so important that the bacteria in your body remains balanced? According to the information provided to me from my doctor:

"Sugary diets and the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics, birth control pills, steroidal drugs and even the chlorine in tap water, disturbs the good bacteria and encourages the bad organisms, especially yeast (fungus) to overgrow. This occurs commonly in our intestines and is referred to as 'candidiasis.' As the yeast multiply they send rootlets into the intestinal wall, release toxins, and create 'leaky gut syndrome.' This condition permits organisms and toxins to enter the blood stream and deeper tissues where widespread damage can occur. Because dysbiosis usually goes undiagnosed for a long time and so many organs and tissues can be affected, a wide array of conditions and symptoms can result. The list of symptoms are as diverse as nervous and mental disorders or food and chemical sensitivities." 

No allergies means I can enjoy places like this!
Included in the list of possible symptoms are allergies, food cravings, and food and chemical sensitivities. Being that my food sensitivities are going away with this new diet, I'm paying attention to why allergies exist and what I'm currently doing which might be making them worse. Therefore, I've been carefully monitoring how I feel as spring continues to the point where I usually have watery eyes and lots of head congestion. So far: no allergies! My doctor had said pretty confidently that we could get rid of my allergies (which last spring consisted of severe and constant eye problems for about 2 months - I've never felt that physically miserable!) So, what could be different?

I've been looking through a book called "Allergies: Disease in Disguise. How to heal your allergic condition permanently and naturally" by Carolee Bateson-Koch, DC ND. The book is from the 90s, but since I learned while in conversation with a retired chemist that allergies accumulate over time, I was interested nonetheless to see her description of detox and allergy symptoms:

"Frequency and extent of exposure plays a large role in allergy. Increasing exposure to a substance causes toxic load to build faster in the body because it overburdens the body's detoxification pathways. Thousands of new chemicals are released into the environment every year, increasing exposure to a variety of industrial pollutants, pesticides, and food additives. More than 6,000 new chemicals are tested in the United States each week. Over 7,000,000 distinct chemical compounds have appeared in scientific literature since 1965. All of these tend to work their way back into the human body. Today, the air, food, and water have all been altered, leading to varying degrees of toxic load."

Anyway, I bring all of this up as it was eye opening for me to realize that my allergy symptoms might be more complex than simply a response to an increase in pollen. Detoxing gives your body a well needed break. Obviously anyone else would need to see a holistic doctor to get advice specific to their bodies, but I'm feeling hopeful that I won't repeat last year's allergy hell. Yay! In the meantime then, I have to ride out these sugar cravings one at a time. I've almost given in a few times (just one piece of candy can't hurt, right?), but am staying strong at least until my next doctor's appointment next week. One day at a time. :) People keep saying cravings lessen over time, so let's hope that's true!

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