Food allergies are an ever increasing problem in our world. And the problem can be life-threatening, and certainly life-changing for as many as 11% of our population. This is why I wanted to bring on the program a world leader on the topic of food allergy who could explain to us exactly what food allergies are all about in terms of their causation, their increasing prevalence, how to handle them on a day-to-day basis, and what the future looks like in terms of developing therapies.
As we all know, allergic diseases, particularly in childhood, are becoming more and more common. It’s not just that we are becoming more aware of allergic diseases, think of the frequent announcements on airplanes about peanut allergies, or food allergy questions by the waiter at dinner. No, the reality of the situation is that, by and large, allergies are simply far more common than they used to be.
So, why is this happening? Let’s take a step back and recognize that the intestines, oddly enough, actually play an important role in determining our immune responsiveness. Specifically, we now understand that the gut lining itself actually plays an important role in regulating immune function. Permeability, or leakiness, of the gut lining is associated with alteration in immune function as well as changes to the set point of inflammation. Continue reading
Food allergies, and a specific skin condition called eczema, are rapidly increasing in the youth population. Now, in what may be the largest study of its kind ever performed, researchers are studying a woman’s diet during pregnancy, as well as duration of breast-feeding post-birth, to assess a child’s susceptibility to allergies, as well as risk for conditions like eczema and autoimmune disorders. British investigators, evaluating over 1.5 million people, have come up with some very compelling information.
The research is what’s called a meta-analysis, meaning that it is review of previous studies (over 400 in this case) involving over 1.5 million people, and dating as far back as 1946. The researchers discovered that there was a weak, but nonetheless demonstrable, relationship between breast-feeding and reduced risk of eczema during infancy, as well as reduced risk for type I diabetes. In addition, probiotics seemed to reduce the risk of allergic reactions to cow’s milk.
The data, however, was much more supportive of the relationship between taking a probiotic supplement while 36 – 38 weeks pregnant, and during the first 3 to 6 months of breast-feeding, and risk for childhood eczema. In fact, in those women taking probiotics, risk for eczema in their child was reduced by 22%. The scientist noted that most of the probiotics contained a bacterium called Lactobacillus rhamnosus. Continue reading
Over a period of twenty years, and seventeen doctors, I sought in vain to find help for chronic diarrhea and severe joint pain. Along the way I could only find partial relief through medications that caused numerous side effects. No MD ever tested me for allergies. Then my feet went completely numb. When I asked the neurologist why (since I did not have diabetes), he told me at least 40% of people never discovered why they have peripheral neuropathy.
Then came the MIRACLE of Grain Brain and Wheat Belly. After only two weeks of being grain-free, I had feeling back in my feet, no more joint pain, and my diarrhea was much improved. Invigorated, I searched until I found a marvelous integrative medical doctor who used the Cyrex Lab tests, for food allergies, that Dr. Perlmutter had written about. Testing proved that I am severely allergic to all dairy and grapes! Now, at the age of 83, with no joint pain or diarrhea, and feet that want to dance, I have been reborn!
Today on The Empowering Neurologist, I spend some time with my long-time friend and colleague, Dr. Leo Galland. Dr. Galland is one of the true pioneers in functional medicine, who has dedicated his professional life to practicing medicine in a way that utilizes the latest scientific advances coupled with the most profound insights of ancient healing systems. Thus, he is able to give his patients the best tools to preserve health, increase longevity and speed recovery from illness.
It’s wonderful to hear of the myriad conditions that were solved for Jesse just by eliminating gluten and wheat from his diet. – Dr. Perlmutter
In 2006, I realized that wheat was affecting my health. Still, I kept playing the “on again, off again” game of eliminating wheat for long periods of time, only to find myself binging on it a short while later. I began to notice that the periods that I experienced suffering were lasting longer after each binge.
The final straw came this past January. My suffering was so horrible I almost checked into the hospital. I had horrible, constant migraine headaches that caused my to stay in bed for hours during the day. I was blowing chunks of mucus from my nose every two minutes. My sinuses were swollen. My head was hot and tingly. This went on for six weeks.
Fortunately, I saw your PBS special. I immediately bought a copy of Grain Brain. After your special was over I took your advice and bought some eggs (I was eating vegan at the time). I felt so sick but I managed to drag myself out of bed and take public transportation to a food store that sold cage-free, vegetarian-fed eggs. I went, totally, gluten-free. My condition improved, remarkably. The migraines are gone. My sinuses cleared. I lost weight, naturally.
It’s so good to hear stories like Lori’s, about how Grain Brain has brought answers and hope to those who have spent so many years looking for both. – Dr. Perlmutter
My husband and I were in a weather-related car accident in January 2000 and
both experienced severe closed head trauma. We lived in Pennsylvania at the
time. By the grace of God, we recovered miraculously – although quickly
realized (and accepted) that the damage done to our brains was going result
in life-long implications for us.
We made the decision to start a family a few years ago and have my husband be a stay-at-home dad; in part because we strongly believed in the value of having a parent at home with the child, but also because he struggled to maintain employment. He’s done a great job, but it is clear to both of us that our head injuries continue to cause daily challenges for us. With a young family, and ourselves aging, we are extremely concerned about the likelihood of dementia setting in at a young age for us and are desperate for support. Continue reading
What I like about Sandy’s store is the role her husband’s aunt played. On both social media and this website, I always talk about the important of sharing this information with others. The reason why is because I want to facilitate more stories like Sandy’s. – Dr. Perlmutter
I am listening right now to your talk on The Gluten Summit; at around minute 35 you talk about the 66 year-old man who eliminated the migraines he had suffered from his entire adult life. I just turned 60 this month. I want to tell you I’ve had a similar success over the past 18 months after deciding to quit carbs.
I recall having headaches as early as 6th grade: I got in the car after school and my head was hurting, and I can still hear my mother saying “You shouldn’t be having these headaches this young.” My dad really suffered from headaches, and I believe now that he had migraines. We just assumed that I inherited the tendency to have headaches from him; my mother and brother didn’t have them.
I was probably early 20s when I realized that my headaches fit the description of migraines. The left side of my head would just feel like it was exploding, I couldn’t see out of my left eye, sick to my stomach…light, sound, movement, made it worse, etc. Me being me, I would always try to tough it out rather than go from doctor to doctor in a search of pills to take (perhaps because I thought I had inherited this problem and just had to put up with it). So, for many years, I took extra-strength Excedrin hoping it would help (usually it didn’t) with ice packs or massage. I worked as a computer programmer for 7 years after college when I finally had to quit; I just could not get through the day and suffer through the headaches. I eventually went to several doctors and tried various drugs, which only helped sometimes, but usually the headache came back in about 12 hours. Given the cost and the fact that they often didn’t work, I gave up the drugs. Not once did any doctor ask what I was eating.