|Here I briefly discuss Irritable Bowel Syndrome, focusing on the allergy involvement of this all-too-common complaint. Some practitioners draw a distinction between allergies and intolerances, I believe that this is a bit of hair-splitting which makes no practical difference when one tries to resolve the problem. In my experience, allergies are always involved in Iritable Bowel Syndrome, and avoiding the allergens (those foodstuffs to which there is an allergy) can sometimes bring immediate relief to many of the symptoms.
It is important to understand that allergies are in themselves symptoms (Ed: see the 2 links at end to Dr Koehler's feature articles "Where is Natural Medicine Headed" and "Dealing with the Causes of Allergies" which both discuss allergies in this light)and 'allergic-ness' indicates that the digestive system is not working correctly and is damaged in some way. This explains why avoidance of allergens doesn`t always solve the symptoms: sometimes the allergies cause the symptoms and sometimes the damage causes the symptoms. The damage is often repairable and in young, otherwise healthy people, simple avoidance of allergens for six to twelve months may enable the body to carry out this repair, alongside good nutrition. Where a person has other health issues some help may be required to enable the digestive system to repair itself.
The difficulty arises when one attempts to identify what one is allergic to; there are several options with varying degrees of accuracy and efficiency.
The options are:
trial and error : this has a low rate of accuracy and is still quite difficult and time-consuming.
an elimination program: this involves severely stripping food intake down to a very basic level e.g. rice, lamb, carrots and water for a week and then introducing foods one at a time and monitoring any reactions. This can be very accurate, but it is very time consuming and requires much will-power and discipline.
allergy testing: this can be done in a variety of ways:
skin/scratch tests : these are only fairly accurate and it can be a very laborious process,
blood testing : this is very accurate and very expensive (£100 to £400),
hair analysis : this ranges from low accuracy/low price (£10) to high accuracy/high price (£300 + in American laboratories only),
urine testing : this is highly accurate and priced accordingly,
dowsing : this has variable accuracy,
electronic testing using a Vega machine or similar (there are several types): this is highly accurate and tends to be inexpensive (£15 to £50), the price reflects the range of substances tested. In my practice I use a Vega machine and I have in my testing kit a good selection of common foodstuffs and can pick out most of the more usual allergies. Testing with a Vega machine is a painless, scratchless and bloodless, electronic process, in which the patient holds an electrode and I use a probe on an acupuncture point on a foot, using homoeopathic preparations of the suspected foodstuffs in the machine. We get an immediate result, enabling instantaneous determination of problem foodstuffs. The same process can also test for environmental allergies such as rapeseed or the housemite, or cats etc. Vega-testing can also determine mineral/vitamin deficiencies, toxins, hidden infections, and other environmental stresses such as mercury, lead or electro-magnetic radiation, but more about these in later articles.
© Copyright Wholistic Research Company 2001