Dr. Leon Chaitow, a highly respected naturopathic and osteopath from London, England is quoted in Alternative Medicine (ibid) as having found that a number of factors negatively impact the immune function. Included are increased toxic burden due to pollution in all its forms, disturbance of immune systems through repeated childhood and adult vaccinations and immunizations, and damage to healthy intestinal flora due to overreliance on antibiotics and steroids, particularly birth control pills. Because allergies by definition are immunologically mediated, it stands to reason that any factor that impairs immune function can set you up for the development of allergies. In particular, the over-use of antibiotics and resultant elimination of beneficial intestinal flora so confuses your immune system that the rebound effect can be worse than the original illness. System-wide candidiasis, for example, has been identified as the culprit in any number of chronic illnesses, and is given free reign when beneficial flora are not present.
Repetitive Diet/Food Addictions
Surveys show that the diets of allergy patients typically consist of 30 or fewer foods, leading to the conclusion that a monotonous diet leads to over-exposure of the immune system to these foods, and in turn to development of an allergy. Whether this is the case or whether the foods involved are typically those that are most allergenic, it again makes sense that a variety of foods will allow the individual less exposure to those that might cause allergies. Charles Gableman, M.D., a former practitioner of environmental medicine in California, goes so far as to say that, ?The likelihood of having an allergic reaction to any food is directly proportionate to how often a person eats it.? This theory also ties into the theory that some foods are addictive and that we are likely to be allergic to the very foods to which we are addicted. The fact that we may not experience adverse reactions to the food until it is withdrawn is attributed to a phenomenon called ?masking?, which means that consuming the food hides the allergic response. Based on the definitions of allergy vs. food intolerance, it seems more likely that at least the latter or possibly both the theories under discussion here are actually describing food intolerances rather than true, immunologically mediated allergies.