| Substances that cause altered reactivity are called allergens or provocants.
|Allergy means altered reactivity, where the body is unable to remain healthy when exposed to a substance or factor to which that body is allergic.
Contact with an allergen (the item that causes the reaction) can be with your skin, eyes, or with the lining of your lungs, mouth, oesophagus (gullet), stomach or intestine.
If you are allergic to a food or chemical, then exposure will give you symptoms. For example, if you are allergic to perfume and you visit the perfume section of a department store, you may experience symptoms such as flu-like illness, palpitations, headache or diarrhoea. These symptoms may occur instantly or be delayed. Delayed responses are common and the delay often makes it difficult for the sufferer to recognise the cause of the reaction.
Allergies can produce an amazing diversity of symptoms and can affect any system of the body. Allergies may in fact produce underactivity or overactivity of an affected organ or system, causing the body to work inadequately.
|A protein manufactured by the white blood cells to neutralise allergens.
|A protein, which is usually foreign to the body, that stimulates an immune response resulting in production of an antibody.
|Free radicals are formed when pollutants enter the body and antioxidants counteract their damaging effects. Antioxidants are found in fresh fruits and vegetables and can be supplemented to neutralise and remove free radicals.
| Term given to condition resulting from damage to the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The ANS is the body’s nervous system that controls basic functions such as heart rate, body temperature, breathing rate and digestion. Symptoms may include dizziness, vision and heat regulation difficulties. The treatment depends on the cause and severity of the damage to the ANS.
| A simple but slow method of trying to identify a problem food or drink is by avoidance followed by challenge or reintroduction, which is called a challenge diet. This diet requires avoiding a particular item for five days and then consuming the item without anything else. If this produces an adverse response, it occurs as an isolated flare-up. Frequently consuming foods to which one is sensitive can produce chronic symptoms. During this period, a phenomenon known as ‘masking’ can occur, which is when small, frequent consumption of the offending item results in brief symptom relief. Masking can lead to cravings for, or an addiction to, that particular item. Avoidance followed by reintroduction is known as ‘unmasking’.
|A good detoxification programme will help to eradicate toxic chemicals from the body, restore proper nutritional status, and work towards
The reason why it is important to clear pollutants from the body as fast as possible is that the faster the chemicals are excreted, the less likely they are to have a lasting effect.
Long-term exposure to pollutants may lead to oxidative stress and a breakdown in the body’s own immune system. This could lead to conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and liver failure.
| Three to six months’ avoidance often lowers the load so the body will not reach the threshold; hence long-term avoidance of particularly common foods can be therapeutic. As the word ‘elimination’ implies, an elimination diet is one that completely removes from the diet foods that are causing a reaction. These foods may be re-introduced at a later date and/or re-introduced after the patient has started our low-dose immunotherapy treatment programme and has an antigen vaccine for the aggravating food.
|Epstein-Barr Syndrome is glandular fever, which is also known as infectious mononucleosis (mono). It is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus, which is found in saliva of infected people. Symptoms include a fever, sore throat, breathing difficulties, swollen glands in the neck and fatigue. Often it is not treated and allowed to run its course but occasionally antibiotics or corticosteroids are used.
|A chronic condition that causes pain and tenderness all over the body. Symptoms can vary in intensity and include pain and stiffness all over the body, fatigue/tiredness, sleep disturbances, depression, anxiety, brain fog, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and headaches. Treatment may include prescriptive medications and self-management strategies and in many cases, sufferers may benefit from exercise.
|The Load Phenomenon can be likened to a scale, where the ‘load’ of external and internal factors impact upon a person’s threshold of well-being. The greater the load, the lower the threshold of a person’s immune system and the greater the likelihood of chronic and acute reactions. There is no ‘normal’ threshold, as everybody reacts differently, and we are all under a different range of stresses. In order to help the body heal, it is important to reduce the load on its immune system. Loads include things such as indoor and outdoor air pollution, impure water and food. If a person is sensitive to certain foods and chemicals the threshold is swiftly reached and symptoms produced. However, if a person has few stresses, plenty of exercise, ample sleep and no infection, despite their encountering items to which they are sensitive, their threshold may not be reached.
|Low-dose immunotherapy (LDI) is a method of testing and treating food and environmental allergies/sensitivities.The first step is usually done by intradermal skin tests, where a small concentration of antigen vaccine is injected just under the first few layers of skin, starting with one unit, increasing to five units (full dose). As the body reacts to the initial concentration of antigen vaccine, a bump or “wheal” will appear at the injection site.
Where the antigen has been injected under the skin, after a few minutes, the wheal will either remain active or it will dissipate. If the wheal is still active after ten minutes, a sequentially lower concentration of antigen vaccine will then be injected at an adjacent site and, after another waiting period, the new wheal will be evaluated for reaction. This process is repeated with the sequentially lower concentrations of antigen vaccine until a satisfactory wheal is obtained. This neutralising concentration of antigen vaccine is termed the “endpoint”.
The second step of the technique is the treatment phase. This entails daily neutralisation of the allergic/sensitivity reactions by successive administration of antigen vaccines. That means that patients must take the antigen vaccine at least once per day, sometimes more frequently, to help maintain the balance of antibodies produced. By stimulating the production of antibodies using the antigen vaccines, when the allergen is next encountered, the body is already prepared to deal with it and this often stops any symptoms provoked by the substance.
The concentrations of the vaccines have to be regularly checked and adjusted if necessary.
|Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME)/chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is characterised by profound fatigue, cognitive dysfunction, sleep abnormalities, autonomic manifestations, pain and other symptoms made worse by exertion of any sort. It is a serious, chronic, complex and systemic disease that can profoundly affect the lives of patients. Diagnosis depends on a variety of criteria, including the onset of new fatigue, causing reduction in activity for at least six months where no other cause can be identified. There may be associated mild fever, sore throat, painful lymph glands, muscle pain and weakness, prolonged exhaustion after exercise, headache, joint pains, and sleep disturbance. Blood tests show activation of the immune system and specialised brain scans can show abnormalities.
|There are many conditions associated with mitochondrial dysfunction such as anaemia, diabetes, dementia, hypertension, lymphoma seizures and neurodevelopmental disorders, and ME/CFS.Mitochondrial dysfunction may be caused by mutations, acquired or inherited, in mitochondrial DNA or in the nuclear genes that code for mitochondrial components. They might also be the result of adverse effects of infections, drugs or other environmental causes. To determine if mitochondria dysfunction is present, tests of molecular biology can be used to evaluate if there are any blockages in the mitochondrial function.
|Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
|A chronic unusually severe sensitivity or allergy-like reaction to chemicals. Multiple Chemical Sensitivity is a chronic medical condition characterised by reproducible adverse reactions to exposure to chemicals.
|This is a term used to describe a self-perpetuating cycle that yields increasing concentrations of nitric oxide (NO), peroxynitrite (ONOO), and other elements, leading to high levels of oxidative and inflammatory stress. There are five basic stressor elements that factor into the cycle: infections, oxidative stress/pollution, energy, sensitivity states and chemicals.
The NO/ONOO cycle theory was developed by Martin L. Pall, PhD, Professor of Biochemistry and Basic Medical Sciences at Washington State University and presented in his book, “Explaining ‘Unexplained Illnesses’: Disease Paradigm for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, Fibromyalgia, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Gulf War Syndrome and Others”.
| The principle behind a rotation diet is the systematic avoidance of constant exposure to a food. Members of a given food family are only eaten on one day out of four. This is achieved by grouping related foods into biological families. For example, foods in the grain family (wheat, barley, oats, rye, maize, rice, etc) and its derivatives (corn oil, corn syrup, pasta, semolina, etc) are eaten on only one day in four.
Rotation diets allow recovery after exposure to a food. Members of food families often have similar biochemical qualities and therefore share the enzyme pathways which break them down for utilisation or excretion. These enzyme pathways can process only a limited quantity of a given substance and, if overload is avoided, they are permitted to work efficiently. Another main advantage is the way in which it permits identification of foods which provoke symptoms – a valuable tool in both diagnosis and treatment of food sensitivity.