Brain Fog

Food Allergies

Food sensitivities and allergies can have a significant impact on our children’s ability to sit still and focus and to maintain healthy moods and sleep cycles, and affect adults in similar ways causing brain fog, chronic fatigue, insomnia, headache, and migraines to name a few.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A FOOD ALLERGY AND A FOOD SENSITIVITY?

Food allergies are diagnosed via the ELISA blood test which looks for positive IgE titers at sufficient levels to specific phenolics in food. For example, testing positive with IgE to oranges means you are testing positive for those chemicals that make an orange an orange as opposed to its other ingredients such as:

  • vitamin C
  • bioflavinoids
  • acid

A food sensitivity is not diagnosed with IgE blood work and one can have an immune reaction to acidic foods or vitamin C and therefore become reactive to eating an orange even when the blood test did not reveal an “orange” allergy! Therefore, just because a food item does not show up on an ELISA blood test does not mean there is no immune reactivity contributing to symptoms!

It has been the observation at Immune Matrix that those suffering chronic inflammation or those with histories of allergies and asthma in the family, ADD, ADHD, autism spectrum disorders tend to have more food sensitivities than allergies. However, in either case the symptoms can be just as severe. In the case of food sensitivities, however, its effect can and often bypasses the commonly associated allergic reaction of:

  • hives
  • rashes
  • bloating
  • gas
  • diarrhea
  • headache
  • migraine
  • sinus congestion

to impacting other metabolic processes in the body, such as acting as a neurotoxin and affecting neurotransmitter balance, contributing to brain fog an hour or two after eating the food, insomnia, hyperactivity, aggressive behavior, temper tantrums, irritability or chronic and/or cyclic fatigue, and depression. Symptoms are more noticeable in children because their brains are in development and are more sensitive. Adults may notice brain fog or fatigue after a meal, irritability or mood swings up or down within hours of consuming an offending food and suffer insomnia, bloating and weight gain, headaches and/or migraines and chronic stuffy heads and noses.

ARE SOME FOODS WORSE THAN OTHERS IN AFFECTING FOCUS?

Yes. Certain foods contain substances that act as neuro-toxins to the brain. “Moldy” foods such as:

  • raisins
  • strawberries
  • cantaloupe
  • grapes
  • honeydew
  • peanuts
  • oats

can have a neurological effect upon the brains of those sensitive to mycotoxins from the molds found in these food substances.

Individuals with candida and yeast overgrowth in their intestinal tract manufacture mycotoxins in their systems. When sugary snacks, crackers, cookies, breads, pizza, fruit juices, sodas, high glycemic fruits such as banana, are eaten by these individuals, the digestive sugars that result feed these pathogens and result in waves of mycotoxins released into the blood stream to begin a cascade of inflammation that irritates neurons in the brain and the lining and function of the digestive tract. Within hours of ingestion, a person may experience sudden fatigue, brain fog, irritability or hyperactivity to name a few symptoms.

Other types of food contain specific proteins known to excite the immune system into reacting to different tissue types in the body. Gluten and gliadin from flour is a classic example. The digestion of gluten containing products contains at least these known proteins:

  • gliadin
  • friabilin
  • alpha-glutenin
  • lipopurothionins
  • triticin D globulin
  • wheat lectins
  • glutelin
  • triticin A globulin
  • mannoglucan
  • leucosin
  • subtilisin

Besides inducing immune inflammation, these proteins can act as opoids in the brain creating cravings, hyperactivity, headaches, migraine and other inflammatory conditions affecting focus, sleep and mood.

If a parent has a child that is struggling to settle down, and focus in class, or if as an adult you feel exhausted, sleepy, having trouble concentrating within two hours after a meal, then take the following action steps for at least 3 weeks to allow the body to excrete these mycotoxins and offending proteins and begin to see gradual reductions in one’s symptoms. This would be an indication that you or your child is suffering from some type of food sensitivity.

  • Eliminate sugars between meals. Ingested between meals as a snack, these foods turn into simple sugars quickly in the blood stream and are easily taken up to foster and grow pathogenic yeast and candida in the digestive tract. These sugars include: banana, mango, grapes, strawberries, granola snacks, all crackers, cookies, candies, cereals, sodas, fruit juices, and pure carbohydrate snacks such as potato chips, popcorn and corn chips.

Replace these snacks with a boiled egg, chicken breast, slice of turkey, or smoothies made with almond milk or rice milk with rice protein added and some frozen blueberries. It is important to eat some protein in a snack to slow the conversion of sugars in the digestive tract to control blood sugar and to reduce the overgrowth of bad gut flora.

  • Eliminate foods containing preservatives and food colorings. These foods also

can irritate and affect neurological function such as to cause headaches, migraines, hyperactivity and such. Therefore, if it comes in a box, try not to eat it. Stay as close to nature as possible in your food preparations and use sea salt for seasoning in moderation and liquid amino acids instead of soy sauce for flavor.

  • Eliminate all gluten from the diet. This includes oats, oatmeal, granola bars.

Replace with rice, potato, quinoa, millet. Eat almonds and cashews instead of peanuts for snacks.

Take a look at you or your child’s current diet for one day. Write down everything that is consumed. Then look over each item one by one and see if it falls into the categories discussed here. Then come up with a systematic plan to begin to replace each offending food item with a healthier item.

Changing your children’s eating habits and that of one’s family is not easy. It is not recommended that you eliminate everything because the change is too drastic. Many parents complain that their children will refuse to eat anything. Begin by reducing the offending food. If soda is consumed with each meal in the home, for the first week, only allow soda once a day. The second week reduce that if possible to one day a week as a treat and so on. Have a healthy replacement on hand such as sparking mineral water. Therefore, for each offending food substance suspected, have a planned substitute and a planned sequence of reduction of consumption. Write it down and stick to it and wait and watch to see that symptoms often do subside.

  • Find out if you or your child has dysbiotic intestinal flora with a Microbiology

Stool test from Doctor’s Data, available at the online store at www.ImmuneMatrix.com. This test will help to identify the types and numbers of bacteria, yeast, and fungi living in the digestive tract contributing to the synthesis of toxins that alter and detrimentally affect the nervous system. If so, all the more reason to watch the diet closely and work toward eliminating the pathogens and improving the bowels with good intestinal flora.

  • Get an ELISA test for food allergies.
  • Find an alternative medical practitioner experienced in treating and de-sensitizing food sensitivities.
  • Order a NeuroScreen/NeuroScience urine test online store at www.ImmuneMatrix.com to get a baseline view of key neurotransmitter ratios helpful for correlating the degree of neurological imbalance food allergies and sensitivities and other inflammatory conditions can cause.

The above suggested guidelines can help you take the first steps toward discovering how changes in lifestyle can empower you to improve the health of your child and your family and is essential for a successful long term holistic resolution of symptoms that if left unchecked can cause long term dependency on prescription medication for control.

Detox Pathways

Please note:
Information on this site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

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Anna Manayan

Anna Manayan