allergies and food intolerances
Food allergies are common, and cause untold mayhem. Allergies may be mild, or they can be severe, or even life threatening. There are many types of food allergies, but for simplicity's sake let's divide them into four categories:
Immediate, these are relatively uncommon, and easily recognised, as they announce themselves within 2-4 hours of exposure, and usually within 20-30 minutes. These are said to affect up to 2-5% of children and less in adults
Delayed (these are also termed "intolerances"), and these occur in 100% of people; they are difficult to recognise as they usually manifest 2-3 days after exposure, but signs and symptoms may only occur 7 or more days later
Inherited / Genetic - only accounts for about 10% of all allergies
Acquired - accounts for the rest - these are the commonest by far; for example, gluten allergies are deemed to affect 30 - 40% of the world's population!!!
The best allergy test on the market, in my opinion, is the ALCAT Test for food and chemical intolerances.
ALCAT offers both the diagnostic information you require (it lists your intolerances and grades them in terms of their severity), and the therapeutic means to correct the intolerance. It is this that allows you to then reverse the problems these cause (a specific exclusion diet).
I used to run this test in South Africa, before being thoroughly outmanouvred by Cape Town resident Dr Harris Steinman. Steinman quickly shuts down any opposition to the people he works for (Pharmacia Diagnostics and others) using his sinister but effective relationship with ASASA, and has cleverly inserted himself onto pretty much every relevant organistation in South Africa and elsewhere. He even stopped me approaching Mnet's Carte Blanche, as he is their dedicated medical / allergic "consultant"! Cunning, in the nastiest way, is our pal Harris.
Steinman has spent the last 20 years cunningly ensconcing and ingratiating himself into the inner circles of practically every allergy or diet related organisation in South Africa, for the purposes of maintaining the allergy test monopoly he has created.
My nightmare was complete when I finally discovered that he had managed to secure many protective associations within "untouchable" entities like ASASA (his contacts within the Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa eventually were able to stop ANY advertising efforts I made, and I had to close the business) and DStv's Carte Blanche. Unbelieveably, he is Carte Blanche's allergy coinsultant! It is no wonder they did not want to air my very worthy story of international medical intrigue.
Sadly, I had neither the resouces, nor the support from my principals, ALCAT in the USA , that would allow me to continue trying to trade, against all odds it seemed, in South Africa.
So I abandoned a 5 year labour of love, and moved to Botswana. ALCAT SA used to test people from Mauritius to Namibia, with wonderful results. Read more about this sorry saga here.
Get some tissues first.
The good news is that ALCAT is now available in Botswana!
The Management of Diagnofirm has brought the ALCAT Test to Gaborone, so this test is again available to those in need of it.
Call Diagnofirm to arrange for a test +267 (Botswana international code) 3950007.
The problem with these delayed allergies, is that their effects are delayed, and as such we are not aware of them - so we continue to eat the offending foods and chemicals (colourants, preservatives etc), and the strength of the allergic reaction builds up.
This in turn leads to an increase in the inflammatory response (also called oxidative stress) within our bodies, and this chronic inflammatory resoponse causes symptoms and diseases.
And it will cause different diseases in different people, so medical professionals will often miss this common problem as a significant cause.
Sadly quite often they may not even know these nasties exist, or they may believe that their ability to cause disease is minimal, and not worth proper consideration anyway!
The following articles might help to put intolerances into a better perspective: