How we approach allergies, food intolerances and environmental sensitivities.

“Do you treat allergies?”

This is a question we are asked regularly, and the short answer is no.  Due to the anaphylactic risk of food allergies in certain individuals, regulation in Australia requires that allergies can only be treated by a medical doctor.

However, we DO treat food intolerances and environmental sensitivities (e.g. hayfever).

This leads to the question – “what’s the difference between an allergy and a sensitivity/intolerance?”

One view is that it’s simply a matter of degree of the severity of the symptoms you’re experiencing.

If your condition is making you extremely unwell to the point that you can’t function as you normally would, it’s likely you have an allergy.

However, if your condition just makes you feel moderately unwell and you are experiencing symptoms such as brain fog, tummy and bowel discomfort, skin flare-ups, mucus congestion or mild depression, you probably have an intolerance or sensitivity.

You may even be able to tolerate a small amount of the food, or be briefly in contact with the environmental substance, without much reaction.  Too much exposure, however, may make your symptoms flare up markedly.

We agree that it’s prudent for only medical doctors to treat true allergies, given the life-threatening nature of a small percentage of food allergies.

However, if you feel your symptoms are being caused by a food or environmental intolerance or sensitivity, then we may be able to help you modulate your immune response and desensitise you to those substances, so your symptoms are reduced or even eliminated.

Find out what substances are causing your symptoms

Some people already know what triggers their symptoms, but others are not so sure.  Personal experience of how your body reacts to specific foods or atmospheric changes is the most effective and reliable way to determine your intolerances or sensitivities.

Environmental allergens that trigger symptoms are most commonly substances as mold spores, house dust mites, pet dander, plant pollens and occupational chemical exposures.  Many people can figure out what they are reacting through simply because their symptoms flare up in certain locations (or times of the year in the case of plant pollens) and not others.

For Food Sensitivities or Intolerances, it can be a little trickier as we eat multiple types foods at once.  Doing a short-term Elimination Diet is the best way to find out what you’re reacting to.  You can use this process (which costs you nothing) with any food you suspect may be causing you trouble.

We can give you an Elimination Diet protocol that eliminates all foods that commonly cause reactions for two weeks,  effectively clearing the slate and allowing you to really experience how your body responds when you reintroduce suspect foods.

Other, quicker testing options are available, however, the accuracy cannot be guaranteed.  To date we do not know of any allergy or sensitivity test that is one hundred percent accurate, and this includes tests conducted by medical specialists.

Some of the most common tests include:

  1. Skin prick tests – commonly performed by medical specialists, this involves pricking the skin with either commercial allergen preparations or fresh foods.  This test can also be used for suspected environmental allergens. While these results rarely result in a false negative (that is, saying that you don’t react to something that you do actually react to), about 50-60 percent of all SPTs yield “false positive” results, meaning that the test shows positive even though you are not really allergic to the substance being tested.
  2. Intradermal tests – also performed by medical specialists, this test is similar to the skin prick test, but the substance is injected just under the skin.  This test is more sensitive in that is has the potential for identifying clinically significant allergy responses that may be missed by standard skin prick testing.  However, it is actually even more likely than the SPT to result in a false positive.
  3. IgG blood tests (for food sensitivities) – these are generally considered to be inaccurate.   The body produces the IgG antibodies as part of the natural processing of food in the body.  The presence of IgG antibodies, therefore, does not necessarily reflect the existence of an allergic reaction.
  4. Electrodermal/bioenergetic testing – while we use electrodermal/bioenergetic devices at our clinic (we find them excellent for treatment purposes) we don’t use them to definitively assess food or environmental sensitivities.  This is because the bioelectrical fields of the body are in constant flux, and so the results can be highly variable.  Additionally, the devices are extremely sensitive and may pick up foods and substances that your immune system is reacting to, but not to a degree that is causing physical symptoms.  However, if a food or substance repeatedly appears in a sensitivity report over several sessions, and you have not had recent exposure to that food or substance at the time of scanning, we would consider this grounds for including the substance in an elimination protocol to determine whether it’s triggering your symptoms.

While an Elimination Diet may be the most time-consuming method of determining your food sensitivities, it is by far the most accurate method available.

Treating food and environmental sensitivities

Avoiding the substances you react to is one way of avoiding debilitating symptoms, but who wants to live without the food you love for the rest of your life?

Another solution is to desensitise your immune system to the substances it’s overreacting to. At our clinic, we have a device called a BioScan SRT which has achieved this for many people across the globe.

The BioScan SRT is an FDA registered device and is based upon Bio-Electric Medicine principles that state that ALL substances, living or otherwise, possess a unique, measurable energetic frequency.

The BioScan SRT emits frequencies that are representative of these substances, records the body’s stress response to these frequencies and then feeds corrected frequency information back into the body, enabling it to respond differently to substances which formerly caused a stress reaction.

For those who find the idea of frequency treatment a bit abstract and airy-fairy, consider the way western medicine has embraced the use of sound, light and magnetic frequencies in technologies such as ultrasound, MRI and X-rays.  While we can’t see them, human manipulation of frequencies is an everyday part of life nowadays – mobile data, wifi and microwave ovens all rely on frequencies.

While the stressors the BioScan SRT identifies can be variable (as explained in the Electrodermal/bioenergetic testing explanation above), it is believed that the process of feeding back corrective frequencies effectively ‘re-educates’ your immune system to self-modulate.

For some clients, a single session has resulted in a vast reduction of symptoms.  Several further immune ‘re-education’ sessions are normally needed to maintain this result.  Most clients require on average 5 – 7 sessions, and we also recommend an optional quarterly maintenance session.

The number of sessions you personally require will depend on the severity and duration of your symptoms, your overall health and the degree of subsequent exposure to the stressors.

For example, a client suffering from hayfever may find her symptoms virtually eliminated on a day-to-day basis, but if she is then exposed to a storm with high levels of wind-born allergens, this may still overwhelm her immune response.  This would indicate that further sessions are needed to help strengthen her immune system’s ability to respond appropriately.

To get started on treatment for your food or environmental sensitivities, simply book in for a Comprehensive Initial Naturopathic Consultation.  You can book online (below) or call the clinic on 9876 8786.


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We may be able to help you modulate your immune response and desensitise you to substances to which you are reacting, so your symptoms are reduced or even eliminated.
Scott Hankinson
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