An article in Family Practice News was titled, “Food, Milk Allergies May Increase Growth-Impairment Risk.” (2.27.13) This article reported that after age two years, food-allergic children had lower mean percentiles for weight, height, and body mass index as compared to age-matched controls. Researchers reviewed medical records from 245 food-allergic patients to obtain the results.
The risk of growth impairment was greatest for children whose dietary restrictions required elimination of more than two foods and/or elimination of cow’s milk. Milk-allergic children younger than two years of age were at greatest risk for growth retardation. Over the years, I have found many children improve growth issues by eliminating food allergies.
I (along with my partners Drs. Nusbaum and Ng) have been testing every new patient for food allergies to dairy and gluten. We have observed that over 80% of patients have high antibody levels to the milk protein casein. Approximately 20% have high levels to the gluten antibody gliadin.
These numbers are astounding. Keep in mind, we see mostly adult patients, but I have no reason to believe the numbers would be any different in a pediatric population. Most doctors do not know how to check patients for food allergies. Food allergies are woefully under-diagnosed by conventional doctors.
I have witnessed the most astounding positive health changes when a patient eliminates food allergies. As stated above, the most common food allergy is to dairy. Dairy allergies are particularly common in patients who suffer with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and colitis—including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. In fact, I feel that anyone suffering with IBS or colitis should try a two-month trial of eating dairy free regardless of whether they have been tested or not. My mother suffered for years from IBS symptoms. For many of those years I advised her to eliminate dairy from her diet. Being my mother, of course, she refused. “A glass of milk calms my stomach,” she used to say. About two years ago, I checked her for antibodies to casein (anti casein IgG level from Quest labs). Her IgG levels were extremely high. I advised her (AGAIN) to avoid all dairy. This time she followed my advice. Now, two years later, my mother’s IBS symptoms are much better and only flare when she cheats on her diet and ingests something made with cow’s milk.
Eliminating dairy from the diet includes eliminating everything made from cow’s milk including cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese and ice cream.
Although I am focusing on dairy allergies here, gluten allergies are also common. Unfortunately, the blood tests do not pick up all of the patients who are suffering from gluten sensitivity. If you are suffering from an autoimmune condition including Hashimoto’s disease, you may want to consider a trial of eating gluten free. Again, a two month trial is the minimum time frame as it takes the body approximately 6-8 weeks to clear food antibodies.
Any health condition can be improved by diagnosing and removing food allergies from the diet. This includes childhood health problems such as growth issues as well as asthma, allergies, and even ADD. I have seen numerous children with asthma and eczema cure their illnesses or significantly improve them by eliminating dairy.
An acupressure technique known as NAET has proven very effective at diagnosing and treating many common food allergies. NAET has been very helpful for both dairy and gluten sensitivities/allergies. However, my experience has shown that although NAET helps gluten-sensitive patients, it is best for a gluten-sensitive patient to avoid all sources of gluten and not re-introduce it back into the diet. Many times a dairy-sensitive patient can reintroduce dairy back into the diet after NAET treatment. More information about NAET can be found at: www.naet.com.
More information about dairy-free and gluten-free diets can be found in my books.