Newsletter Archives > Monthly Health Newsletter: August 2010 Health Newsletter

August 2010 Health Newsletter

Current Articles

» Food Allergies and Disease
» NSAIDs vs. Home Exercise For Chronic Low Back Pain
» Vitamin D To Conquer Your Cold
» Antidepressants Ineffective/Inappropriate For Autism
» U.S. House Introduces Resolution to Recognize National Chiropractic Health Month

Food Allergies and Disease

Nicholas R. LeRoy, DC, MS

A food allergy refers to an immune system reaction to an ingested food. This type of immune reaction differs from that of a true allergy by being delayed rather than immediate. Delayed reactions involve IgG antibodies, whereas immediate reactions--characterized by itching and swelling due to the release of histamine--involve IgE antibodies. This distinction is noteworthy because most allergists do not test for delayed reactions, but rather test for the immediate variety of reactions. Skin testing cannot be used to identify delayed food allergies. The symptoms of a food allergy are numerous and include IBS, migraine headaches, GERD, obesity, chronic sinusitis, dermatitis, asthma, fatigue, arthritis, and an increased susceptibility to illnesses.

Under normal circumstances when food is eaten, it is fully digested, absorbed into the bloodstream, and ultimately used by the body's cells. In a delayed food allergy, as the digested food proteins cross the wall of the intestine, white blood cells identify these proteins as being foreign. Antibodies attack the food and chemicals are released into the blood that can influence inflammatory and immune reactions throughout the body. Besides the secretion of these chemicals, antibodies can attach to the food proteins resulting in an antibody/food complex that travels the bloodstream until being scavenged by other immune system cells.

The net effect of food allergies is that your immune system is compromised by continually attacking the food you eat. This sort of misplaced directive not only wastes energy, but also alters the ability of the immune system to perform its functions. Perhaps more damaging is the intensification of inflammatory reactions throughout the body. It is this latter effect whereby asthma, air-borne allergies, chronic sinusitis, migraine headaches, arthritis, and autoimmune disorders can be attributed to food allergies.


  • Eating the same foods in a repetitive fashion can cause food allergies. Under normal circumstances, some partially digested food proteins will find their way to the bloodstream. If the offensive food is eaten frequently, the amount of partially digested material is substantial. When this happens white blood cells will respond by secreting antibodies to that particular food. Over time, more and more antibodies will be secreted and an allergy will develop.
  • A leaky gut syndrome can cause food allergies. Also known as intestinal hyperpermeability, leaky gut syndrome occurs when the intestinal wall loses its selective permeability. Normally, only small particles can cross the intestine into the bloodstream. This selectivity is to prevent the immune system from attacking the absorbed food. When the intestine is damaged, large particulate matter can pass into the blood-even bacteria from the intestine. Hence the gut becomes "leaky" and food allergies will result. Some medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (motrin, alleve, ibuprofen) can result in leaky gut syndrome.
  • Improper digestion results from insufficient stomach acid or digestive enzymes. Foods will not be broken down into their smallest components resulting in the potential absorption of particles large enough to cause a food allergy.

Natural Therapy

To successfully treat food allergies, the allergic foods must be first identified. This can be accomplished with an elimination diet, or with blood testing. Blood testing has the advantage of being quick and accurate. Two such tests that are commonly performed are the RAST (radioallergosorbent test) or the ELISA (enzyme-linked immunoserological assay). There are numerous laboratories that specialize in this variety of procedure. For many years now I have used a Florida-based laboratory called ImmunoLab that performs an ELISA test that is often covered by most insurance companies. Once the offensive foods are discovered, they should be eliminated for at least 3 months to allow the body to desensitize, after which time they can be added back into the diet, provided symptoms do not reoccur.

  • A leaky gut syndrome can be elucidated with a simple urine test. If present, a leaky gut must be treated or the food allergies will never be effectively managed.
  • By following a rotation diet, you may be able to prevent food allergies from reoccurring. Rotating foods is also a sensible way to get a diversity of nutrients necessary for a healthy body.
  • If improper digestion is a problem, it can be identified with a complete stool analysis that looks for undigested foods. This test also looks at the numbers and types of bacteria and yeast present in the intestine. This is important, because a dysbiosis, or imbalance in the bacteria, can cause a leaky gut syndrome and hence food allergies.
  • Plant enzymes can help breakdown proteins, fats, starches, and fibers, thereby improving digestion and minimizing food allergies.

Articles about food allergies:

Author: Nicholas R. LeRoy, DC, MS
Copyright: Nicholas R. LeRoy, DC, MS 2010

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NSAIDs vs. Home Exercise For Chronic Low Back Pain

Japanese researchers have found home-based exercises to be more effective in the treatment of chronic low back pain than prescribed NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). While NSAIDs can reduce inflammation and pain, they are a form of passive care that fails to address functionality issues such as limited motion, muscular weakness and muscular imbalances, not to mention the many negative side effects associated with NSAID use. Home-based exercises are not only natural and far safer, they specifically address functional issues and deficiencies in a proactive manner. And thus, it goes to reason that both men and women (mean age of approx. 42 years) who participated in the home-based exercises versus the NSAIDs during the 12-month study experienced more significant improvements in both reported low back pain and overall disability.

Source: Spine: August 1, 2010. Vol. 35. Issue 17.
Copyright: LLC 2010

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Vitamin D To Conquer Your Cold

New research indicates vitamin D may be effective at reducing infections and colds. In this new study, researchers found that a group of young military men who supplemented with 400 IU’s (international units) daily for 6 months versus those who supplemented with a placebo experienced a significantly higher likelihood of having no days missed from work due to a respiratory illness. Moreover, of those taking the vitamin D supplement half remained healthy during the 6-month study as compared with approximately just one third of those taking the placebo. While more studies are needed, this new research does appear to indicate some benefits of vitamin D in reducing sickness or at least, the severity of sickness. It should be noted that vitamin D when taken in higher dosages is toxic and negative side effects can and do occur beyond 2,000 IU’s per day.

Source: Journal of Infectious Diseases Online. July 15, 2010.
Copyright: LLC 2010

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Antidepressants Ineffective/Inappropriate For Autism

Antidepressants are commonly prescribed to those suffering from autism. However, past research hasn’t been able to provide evidence that antidepressants are actually useful for those diagnosed with autism. A recent U.S. government funded study reported that antidepressants, more specifically Celexa, was no better than a placebo for improving repetitive behaviors in children with autism. Researchers have now completed a new review of this study along with six other related studies present in the medical literature. Their findings – there was no evidence that antidepressants were any better than a placebo at reducing repetitive behaviors or any other symptoms in children suffering from autism. According to the researchers who conducted this recent scientific review of medical literature, there is no basis for recommending the routine use of antidepressants in the treatment of austism.

Source: Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, August 8, 2010.
Copyright: LLC 2010

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U.S. House Introduces Resolution to Recognize National Chiropractic Health Month
The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) and the Iowa Chiropractic Society (ICS) today announced that Rep. Leonard Boswell (D-Iowa) has introduced House Resolution 1523 (H. Res. 1523)—“to observe the contributions of the chiropractic profession and recognize National Chiropractic Health Month”—in the United States House of Representatives. National Chiropractic Health Month, sponsored by ACA, is a nationwide observance held each October. This year’s theme—“Why Weight? Get Healthy!”—and related activities will focus on how doctors of chiropractic play an important role in preventing and treating obesity. More than 60 percent of adults in the United States are either overweight or obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and obesity is associated with an increased risk of diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and some types of cancer. There are two factors that are instrumental in successfully addressing weight problems—diet and exercise. Often, people who suffer with weight problems avoid the exercise component due to painful conditions like back, neck and joint pain, and osteoarthritis. That lack of exercise, in turn, causes more weight problems, which adds more strain on the musculoskeletal system, which causes increased pain. It's a vicious cycle! DCs are experts at helping patients reduce such pain naturally, getting patients more active and functional again. DCs also counsel patients on good nutrition, diet and lifestyle advice, in addition to offering expert structural care. “Chiropractic care provides patients with a path to overall wellness through natural approaches to health issues, including weight management,” said ACA President, Dr. Rick McMichael. “We have a growing list of congressional members who strongly support the good work that doctors of chiropractic do to help patients lead healthier lives, naturally. We very much appreciate their recognition and support.” Rep. Boswell was joined by Representatives Bruce Braley (D-Iowa), Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.), Steve King (R-Iowa), Tom Latham (R-Iowa), David Loebsack (D-Iowa), Michael Michaud (D-Maine) and Lee Terry (R-Neb.) in support of the resolution to recognize National Chiropractic Health Month. “We are proud to have Iowa’s entire U.S. House of Representatives Delegation support this important resolution,” said Daniel Garrett, executive director, Iowa Chiropractic Society. “We hope other legislators will sign on and support this effort to improve overall health and wellness across the country.” H. Res. 1523 has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Read the full text of the resolution, and then contact your member of Congress and urge them to cosponsor H. Res. 1523. To learn more about National Chiropractic Health month, visit The American Chiropractic Association, based in Arlington, Va., is the largest professional association in the United States representing doctors of chiropractic. ACA promotes the highest standards of ethics and patient care, contributing to the health and well-being of millions of chiropractic patients. The Iowa Chiropractic Society (ICS), based in Des Moines, IA, is the exclusive professional society in Iowa representing more than 800 doctors of chiropractic.

Author: American Chiropractic Association
Source: August 4, 2010.
Copyright: American Chiropractic Association 2010

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