A review of the Allergy Solution by Dr Leo Galland, including a summary of the main points and links to the products suggested in the book.
· Weight gain
· Muscle aches
· Joint pain
· Stomach aches
· Constipation or diarrhoea
· Brain fog
Any or all of the above ailments could be as a result of allergies, along with the more easily identifiable itchy noses, runny eyes or sore and itchy skin.
Allergic reactions are commonly thought of as misguided or over-reactive responses of the immune system, but in his new book 'The Allergy Solution' Dr Leo Galland explains his belief that they are actually due to a lack of function of key immune cells. So allergic reactions can actually be thought of as resulting from immune deficiency rather than immune excess.
Galland's book includes many interesting stories that support his view, here we'll just tell you about Brian.
Brian is a 35 year old software designer who has had eczema since childhood the scaly, itchy rash would usually clear in summer, but the rest of the year he would control it using steroid creams. Any stress would always make the situation worse.
Brian's road to healing was like a roller-coaster ride. He began an elimination diet and his skin became clearer than it had been in years. When he stopped using his steroid cream however, his skin began to itch again.
Brian's skin had become dependent on the cream he used and was experiencing a withdrawal reaction. With a two week tapering off schedule to follow, the rebound affect diminished and the healing of his skin continued.
Whenever he indulged in cakes or candy, Brian's skin would flare up again, typically a day or two later. Each time it would take a week to heal.
These changes were not due to food allergies. Brian's body was very sensitive to the inflammatory affects of sugar. For Brian, the itching of his skin was like a barometer of his sugar intake.
Become an Allergy Detective
Dr Galland's book provides a very detailed questionnaire for readers to complete to help them to track down any hidden allergies. It requires diligent detective work on your part, but the tools for this are provided in the book.
So, you have filled in your questionnaire and you have done your detective work, now the book moves on to what you can do about your allergies.
You will be sent on a mission to detoxify your personal space, clearing out three bucketfuls of dust and mould, indoor air pollution and toxic chemicals. You will learn to pay attention to important clues about your surroundings, like a detective and to jettison air fresheners and cleaning sprays that can lead to asthma and allergies.
Have a look at our household cleaning section here, or check out our article on cleaning naturally with such everyday items as sodium bicarbonate, lemons or vinegar. Or buy the Natural Cleaning Solutions wallchart from Liz Earle, a pretty way to remind yourself of effective solutions that don't harm the environment (or you!)
Immune Balance Diet
To help your body heal from allergies you need to avoid the allergens that cause them and you need to eat foods that will promote healing and stimulate your immune system in a helpful way rather than an unhelpful way.
Most people think of immunity as if the immune system were a radio, with the main control over its output being the volume dial: loader or stronger, stronger or weaker. Your immune system is actually much more like an orchestra. There are many sections and the output from each section must be synchronised with the output from every other section. When you want more from the strings, you have to quiet the horns or the strings will be drowned out.
Organising the synchronicity of immune responses is the job of a group of white blood cells called 'lymphocytes'. They are the conductors of the body's immune-system orchestra.
People with allergies seem to have a weak link in one particular type of lymphocyte - the regulatory T cells, or Tregs, which limit inflammation by turning off unwanted immune responses that are the hallmark of allergy.
A study of children with milk allergies in Norway found that after following a dairy-free diet for 6 months some children were able to gradually reintroduce milk into their diets without the allergies returning. Others experienced a return of the symptoms. A blood test on these two groups of children showed that the children who had outgrown their allergy had a higher level of Tregs in their blood. Further testing demonstrated that the Tregs were responsible for preventing the allergic response.
To help your body heal from allergies you need to feed those Tregs! Science teaches us that they love vitamins and phytonutrients from fruit, vegetables and tea.
Find our fresh fruit and vegetables here on our website - we deliver UK wide, sending out organic fresh fruit and vegetables on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays with 24 hour delivery.
Find our full range of teas here in our drinks section.
Immune Supporting Foods
The goal of the Immune Balance Diet is to help feed the Tregs and support their function. Following the diet for six to 12 months can lead to a gradual subsiding of allergies.
Tregs are enhanced by folates from foods, vitamin A, and various plant-derived nutrients called 'flavonoids', especially one found in tea. Some flavonoids also inhibit the activity of cells that cause inflammation, so they can help to knock out allergies.
Balance your immunity with at least nine servings of brightly coloured vegetables and fruit everyday choosing those that are rich in natural folates, vitamin A and fibre such as:
Spinach, beetroot, Papaya, green peas, broccoli, avocado, cauliflower, oranges, strawberries, carrots.
All of these can be found (when seasonally available) in our fruit and vegetable department here
We also have an extensive selection of healthy and tasty recipes to try. You can filter them by diet type and there's a great range of vegan and free-from options. Check them out here.
Enjoy Galland's special recipe Immune Balance Smoothie and Immune Balance Soup:
The Immune Balance Smoothie
1 cup strawberries
1 medium avocado peeled, stone removed
1 cup chopped rocket
6 leaves romaine lettuce chopped
2 tbsp. freshly ground chia seed
1 cup green tea, brewed for 5 minutes added hot
1 medium banana (optional)
Place the fruit in a blender, then the vegetables then the chia seeds
Add the tea
Blend until smooth
Refrigerate and it will become thicker and creamier.
Substitute blueberries for the strawberries for a change.
Leave out the avocado and banana if you have birch or latex allergies
The Immune Balance Soup
3 cups sliced carrots
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped parsley (include stems)
2 cups chopped spring onions (green parts only)
12oz chopped broccoli (include tender stems)
3oz baby kale chopped
1 tsp turmeric powder
Ground black pepper to taste
Salt to taste
Shredded daikon (white) radish for garnish (optional)
Sauté the carrots in the olive oil for 10 minutes
Add the other vegetables and spices
Heat and stir for 1 minute then add 12 cups of water
Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 20 minutes
Before eating added 1Tbsp of the radish to each portion
You can cool and blend the soup if you prefer then reheat before serving.
Always add the daikon just before serving - it contains an enzyme called myrosinase which enhances the nutritional value of cooked broccoli.
Immune Supporting Drinks
There is a flavonoid found in tea that is particularly useful for supporting Tregs. It is found in green tea and also in Oolong tea.
To give your immune system a real boost you should be drinking 4 cups of Oolong tea each day, no more, no less. To get it at its best, brew in boiling water for five minutes. If this is too strong then add plain boiled water to dilute it.
To reduce the caffeine in your tea first steep the leaves in hot water for 30 seconds then discard the water. Add fresh water and boil for five minutes. Most of the caffeine will be in the discarded water while most of the flavonoids you want will be in the tea.
We recommend organic oolong from Hampstead Tea.
Interested to Find Out More?
Do read the book - ISBN 978-1978180-626-5 it's available online or in most good book shops. As you read, as well the brief details we have summarised here, you will find such gems as:
· A high percentage of children who develop peanut allergies were inadvertently rubbed with skin care products containing peanut oil - a potential route of sensitisation
· Formaldehyde in household air can be a major asthma trigger in kids
· Allergies can produce brain impairment on a par with powerful sedatives or alcohol
· Certain specific probiotic supplements have been shown to quell nasal allergies
· The connection of allergy to stress is well-substantiated by scientific research
· New research identifies a specific molecular mechanism by which allergy contributes to progressive weight gain
All the foods identified here as being top notch for immune support are available on our website, so what are you waiting for? Fill up your basket and start your new allergy free life today!
Here's our online store and here's our store locator if you'd prefer to pop into one of our shops in Edinburgh.
Want to know more about allergies and sensitivities?
We've got a great section in our Health Encyclopaedia with a wealth of information on many common allergies like asthma, hayfever or lactose intolerance.
We also have a range of articles that may help with more information. Here's a guide to sulphite allergies, a helpful rundown of the most common allergies and foods which may help here and our advice on gluten, wheat and lactose allergies here.
Many support groups are available for a wide range of conditions, they can be particularly useful for helping children manage their condition, your GP or local medical practice should be able to advise or try Allergy UK online for more advice here.