Participants: Agatha Thrash (Host), Don Miller, Rhonda Clark
Series Code: HYTH
Program Code: HYTH000236
00:01 Hello! Probably that most important disease that brings
00:08 people to the doctor above all others is allergies
00:12 and while we may grin and say yea, lots of folks have
00:18 allergies, not very big but actually allergies can be
00:22 life threatening, but most of the time when we deal with
00:25 the allergies they are just uncomfortable.
00:27 We would like to talk about allergies in this program
00:31 and so we hope you will stay with us, we think you will
00:34 enjoy it and we believe you will learn some new things.
00:57 Welcome to Help Yourself to Health
00:59 with Dr. Agatha Thrash of Uchee Pines Institute
01:02 and now here is your host Dr. Thrash.
01:06 From time to time we learn something really big about
01:13 allergies and about the immune system, because allergies depend
01:18 on the immune system for their response.
01:21 Now we might think well the immune system if it were perfect
01:26 it would not allow us to have allergies, but in one sense
01:31 we require allergies in order that we can develop an immunity
01:36 against things that could threaten and kill us,
01:41 and so as we study these things we can be thrilled by the wise
01:47 design that our divine designer made for us.
01:51 Now some of the things that we look at the most and think
01:55 this thing is likely to cause an allergy is that of foods.
02:00 We take in a little bit of air all the time, we take in a lot
02:05 of food, we take in a lot of water every day,
02:09 we don't breathe substances in the air that we breathe in
02:16 and we might think well pollens that represents our biggest
02:20 allergenic substance does it not, and the answer is no
02:24 air borne pollutants are not our biggest allergenic substances
02:30 but our food, so I have asked Rhonda Clark who has done a
02:34 study on this, Rhonda welcome to this program.
02:36 - Thank you!
02:37 - And I am looking forward to hearing what you have to say
02:41 on food allergies and how they affect us.
02:44 - Yes, I'm glad to share.
02:45 - You know we think about pollens and we say
02:48 well pollens they are such an important factor
02:53 in most people's allergies
02:55 that maybe it is that these allergens that we have in
03:01 the air, this is what we're most likely to have a problem
03:05 with, within the whole pollen season we might take in
03:10 a half teaspoonful total of pollens.
03:14 But in one meal we take in cupfuls of food and that can
03:21 represent quite an impact on the immune system.
03:25 - It certainly can. - Tell us some things about
03:27 food allergies.
03:29 - Ok, happy to. - And the difference between
03:32 allergies and sensitivities.
03:34 - That is an important difference and really kind of
03:38 where I wanted to start and sharing the information today,
03:40 many people think that they have a food allergy when instead
03:43 they have a sensitivity to food, it's important to distinguish
03:47 between the two.
03:48 It is the food allergy that can be life threatening,
03:52 people who have symptoms of food allergy have symptoms from
03:56 the moment that food begins in their mouth, their mouth
03:59 may tingle, their throat may begin to burn, tingle or start
04:04 to swell, they may notice that they are beginning to wheeze or
04:07 feel a little short of breath, hives may pop out on their body.
04:12 If this condition progresses they may begin cramping,
04:16 have diarrhea, their blood pressure may drop,
04:19 they enter a shock stage and this is also a state then can
04:23 lead then to death.
04:24 There are six main food culprits that cause a true food allergy
04:31 they include milk, wheat, soy, eggs, peanuts, and shell fish.
04:40 These allergies are really the ones that are the most
04:44 life threatening and it's a courage that people who have
04:47 allergies to these substances even indicate that by wearing
04:50 a Med Alert bracelet, or Med Alert tag to let healthcare
04:55 professionals know if they find them in an unconscious
04:57 state, this might be the thing that triggered this state.
05:00 Food sensitivities on the other hand, cause distressing and
05:05 uncomfortable symptoms but they are not life threatening,
05:08 bloating, gas, upset stomach, headache, tiredness and fatigue,
05:14 these are the types of symptoms...
05:16 - A sore mouth after one has eaten a lot of fresh pineapple.
05:19 - That can be definitely a food sensitivity, another common
05:22 is how some individuals don't tolerate lactose well.
05:27 Lactose intolerance in a wonderful example of a
05:30 food sensitivity, not life threatening, will certainly
05:33 make you miserable but it's an example of a sensitivity to a
05:37 category of foods.
05:39 The main treatment for either a food allergy or a
05:44 food sensitivity is to avoid the substance that is causing
05:48 you so much distress, and this can be trickier than you think.
05:51 I brought with me a list today of some unusual places
05:56 you might find ingredients that fall within the category
06:01 of these six foods that cause such devastating food allergies.
06:05 For example Dr. Thrash would you ever think you would have
06:08 to be concerned about deli meats if you are allergic
06:11 to milk?
06:12 - No I wouldn't ever think... - Seems an odd place to look.
06:16 - that meat and milk would go together but I guess it must.
06:19 - Well it does but you need to remember products like cheese
06:22 also are to be avoided if a person has a true milk allergy
06:26 and in the deli, deli meats and cheeses are sliced on the
06:30 same slicer and so there can be a cross contamination.
06:33 Other surprising things, eggs occur frequently in pastas
06:38 that's a little more well known but specialty coffee's often
06:42 contain eggs.
06:43 - I sometimes try to find noodles and it's very difficult
06:47 to find noodles without eggs. - Indeed!
06:49 You may have to make your own noodles, my mother used to make
06:52 something called dumplings, I guess they were sort of
06:56 noodles. - Uh hu! Egg free!
06:59 - Egg free! Just flour, water and a little salt.
07:02 - Salt! Another place you might be surprised to find eggs
07:07 is in egg substitutes, of all things a place you would not
07:10 expect to find them at all.
07:11 If you can indeed have eggs, read the labels carefully.
07:14 When it comes to peanuts I actually brought an example,
07:19 peanuts can cause life threatening anaphylactic shock
07:23 in individuals who have strong allergies to peanuts
07:26 and it's been so many deaths so many serious cases of
07:30 peanut allergy that now products that...
07:32 This is a product called Cashew Crunch that you might
07:36 think is safe for peanuts is processed in a factory that
07:40 also processes peanut products.
07:42 Companies that do that now have to put a disclaimer
07:45 statement, this one happens to be located on the bottom
07:48 of the package, all it indicates is that this product has been
07:52 in a manufactory that also processes peanuts and
07:56 other nuts, you need to look for this label on products if
08:00 you are allergic to peanuts.
08:01 It's surprising that even sunflower seeds or almonds
08:06 things that you would just eat and think of course
08:08 this doesn't have peanuts in them, if they've come in contact
08:11 with peanuts they can still provide that allergic reaction.
08:15 - I have seen also on packages of grains that certain grains
08:21 have been processed in a factory having also wheat
08:26 processed there.
08:27 And for people who are very allergic to wheat they of course
08:31 need to avoid even the products that comes from these factories.
08:35 - Indeed and you can't rely on that label being there
08:38 it may very well be that this product has been made at a
08:43 factory that was also in contact with wheat,
08:45 they may not have put that label so don't rely on that
08:48 being there still be careful.
08:50 Wheat show up in unusual places imitation crab meat, ice cream
08:57 hot dogs, wheat can occur in any of these, read labels
09:01 carefully, shell fish, I didn't know this shell fish can
09:05 show up in Cesar's salad dressing, Caponata, which is a
09:09 which is a wonderful Italian vegetable, I thought, topping
09:13 for bread that has been broiled in the oven,
09:15 it has anchovies in it.
09:17 Worcestershire sauce and even restaurants that serve fish or
09:23 shell fish, the implements used in the kitchen
09:26 may have been used on the fish, the deep fryer that
09:30 fried the breaded shrimp may have just fried your
09:32 French fries and there is a cross contamination if you
09:35 are allergic to shell fish you need to be very careful.
09:39 And on this point of restaurants a person who has a true
09:42 food allergy has to be so careful to really stay away
09:46 from restaurants, you just don't know when a product
09:49 that you are highly allergic to has come across the things
09:53 that you have ordered which seems safe.
09:55 - And have gotten a cross contamination from something
09:57 that seems quite safe.
09:59 - Yeah! You know I do have a couple of other treatment
10:02 recommendations for individuals with food allergies other than
10:06 simply avoiding the food that is the key and most important
10:10 part of the treatment, but other things that you can do
10:12 take the load off your immune system in every way that you
10:16 can think of, don't treat your immune system cruelly,
10:19 avoid sugar, sugar in the enemy of your immune system
10:23 so stay away from it strictly, and even refined foods that
10:26 will break down in the body very quickly, like sugar.
10:30 Eat a plant based diet, animal products in themselves
10:35 carry a bacterial load with them, that puts a burden
10:38 on the immune system.
10:39 Plants inside are clean, we have to wash the outside
10:44 of our fruits and vegetables but inside they are clean
10:47 animal products are not that way.
10:49 - And animal products may carry on them or in them herbicides
10:54 and pesticides and hormones and a variety of contaminates
10:59 and loads of germs, and many people are truly allergic
11:03 to germs.
11:04 - Yes! So these are some tips that we can give you if
11:06 suffer from allergies to make sure that you lighten that load
11:11 on your immune system, do those things that boost and
11:14 help support your immune system like get your rest,
11:16 take good care to get fresh air and sunshine every day
11:20 keep your home environment clean those are some of the
11:23 additional things that we can recommend.
11:25 Now sometimes when I am working with a person who calls on the
11:29 telephone Dr. Thrash, they may ask how can I know
11:32 if I have a food sensitivity or a food allergy and
11:36 what do you recommend for people for testing for that
11:40 or for learning how they have those, if they have those.
11:43 - Well you mentioned about avoidance and that being the
11:45 very primary thing that a person needs to do
11:50 in the treatment of any kind of allergy,
11:52 we have nothing better than that and the treatment of the
11:56 allergic reaction is not so good as making it so that
12:01 the body does not have a reaction.
12:03 I always start with the same kind of information that
12:09 you gave about take as much of the load off of your immune
12:13 system as you can, if you know you have a certain
12:16 sensitivity or a certain allergy to a food, eliminate
12:20 that food as well as you can, don't get into the habit
12:24 of saying well I know that I am going to get hay fever
12:26 or stomach ache, or a headache or a cough from eating this
12:31 food or being exposed to this or that fragrance.
12:35 But just so that I can enjoy or indulge myself in that thing
12:41 I'm going to risk having the headache or the other thing
12:45 that you have, a symptom, now if you do that then that
12:49 not only put a current burden on the immune system
12:53 but that also tends to damage the immune system and make
12:58 it so that the immune system will over react to something
13:01 else and then if the immune system becomes habituated
13:06 to over reacting, then when it gets something that it has
13:11 a little allergy to, that may become a major allergy.
13:16 And I think that severe allergies to peanuts may often
13:21 be in that way, the person began to react to something
13:26 and then had a little reaction to peanuts and that allergy
13:31 mounted because there are so many things in peanuts
13:35 that can make the individual have an allergic reaction.
13:39 Same thing is true with many of the other nuts, tree nuts
13:43 and some of the most intense allergies that we see
13:46 are to nuts.
13:48 One little girl 11 years old was with a friend of hers
13:54 he knew she had a peanut allergy, she always avoided it
13:57 but her friend was eating a peanut butter sandwich,
14:00 the friend tripped and as she tripped the peanut butter
14:06 sandwich just brushed across her cheek, and the little
14:11 11 year old girl spent the next four days in intensive care
14:16 being treated for her peanut allergy, which was of course
14:20 not her fault at all.
14:21 So some of the most intense allergies known are to
14:27 various kinds of nuts.
14:29 Oh you wanted me to tell about what I tell people when they
14:36 call on the telephone.
14:38 Avoidance in number one, and number two is test yourself
14:44 with an elimination and challenge diet.
14:47 Now we may say, but I would like to get it over with now
14:53 so I want to have a serum test, so would you just please
14:57 draw some blood, send that off to the lab and let the lab
15:01 tell me what I have food allergies to.
15:05 Yes we can do that and it's somewhat expensive
15:10 and it takes a little time to get the answer back,
15:14 maybe a week, but we get a list of things, we may have
15:20 30 or 40 things and a person has a 1+ to squash
15:24 and a 3+ to wheat, and a 4+ to dairy and a little bit of a
15:30 trace to a few other things and maybe an all they have 10
15:37 severe allergies according to the serum test and maybe
15:42 20 things that they are a little allergic to.
15:46 Then the person looks at the list and I don't remember ever
15:50 having any kind of problem eating this or this or this
15:54 or this, and then we say well yes, this is not really the
15:59 best test.
16:00 The best test is in the laboratory of your own body,
16:04 in your own kitchen, in your own surroundings and so what
16:08 we like to tell people is do an elimination and challenge diet.
16:13 What you can do is get a list of foods to which people are
16:17 most likely to be sensitive, we have such a list,
16:21 I give this out to patients all the time,
16:23 if you would like to contact 3ABN they can put you in touch
16:27 with us, we'll be happy to mail a list to you or e-mail a list
16:31 to you and this is a very easy way for you to do an elimination
16:37 and challenge diet, you eliminate all of the things
16:40 on the list and then when your symptoms have gone away
16:44 then you start adding one thing back at a time,
16:47 about every week or ten days add a new food back that you had
16:53 eliminated and your symptoms had gone.
16:56 When you find the symptom returning, one of those things
17:01 that you have added back is the cause of your symptom.
17:05 Now I wish I could say that it's always the very last thing
17:08 but sometimes you have to eat something for a day or so
17:12 before you start having your symptom again.
17:14 So what we recommend is that you just keep a list
17:18 of everything that you are adding back and you may have
17:21 re-test a few things to see was it really this or was it
17:25 really that, so I can easily tell you how to do the test.
17:29 It's a little bit more complicated in your own
17:32 laboratory, but most of the time a person who has allergies
17:36 can find 5 or 6 foods to which they are truly allergic
17:42 by eliminating those foods then they can live very comfortably.
17:45 - Works well. - Thank you so much for telling
17:50 us about these things with food allergies.
17:51 - Sure.
17:54 - Now probably that food to which more people
17:58 have sensitivities and allergies than any other
18:02 is that of milk- milk and dairy they represent 60%
18:07 of all food sensitivities, so we recommend immediately
18:11 that you eliminate those, with the elimination of
18:14 dairy products, all of them, that includes ice cream
18:18 and anything that has dairy in it, some of the things that
18:22 you would never suspect that might have dairy in it
18:25 may have a little whey or a little sodium caseinate
18:29 or sodium lactate, and these are milk products,
18:32 putting those in the food can make it so that food is going to
18:37 make the allergic person have a severe reaction,
18:41 so remember that about dairy.
18:43 Then the other things that Rhonda mentioned, you should
18:47 eliminate those or be careful to avoid them.
18:50 Now I have asked Dr. Don Miller to talk with us some more about
18:56 these things having to do with allergies, Dr. Miller thank you
18:59 for being on the program, and I would like to find out what
19:03 you would like to say about allergies.
19:05 - You've mentioned the immune system a few times and
19:08 one thing we have learned about the immune system is as you
19:11 grow older it gets a little bit weaker.
19:13 Now some people out there, there are certain things called
19:17 contact dermatitis which are an allergy, and the main one
19:23 that we have in the United States is a thing called
19:24 poison ivy, I have never been allergic to poison ivy,
19:29 I have no allergy to this thing at all, I can pull it with
19:32 my hands, rub it on myself no problems but I have as I've
19:36 gotten older thought that I better quit testing fate
19:39 because one of these days my immune system might drop down
19:42 low enough that I sit there and do all of my rubbing
19:45 on my face and come down with the worst case in the world.
19:48 But there are other types of allergies that we know are
19:52 very common in our society and one of these things is an
19:57 allergy to animal dander, if you have a dog or a cat,
20:00 these things can be the very thing that you are allergic to.
20:03 Whether it's the hair that they leave, the organisms that live
20:08 in the hair of your animal what ever it is, if you are allergic
20:12 to your animal, that might be the very thing that you have to
20:15 make a really hard choice about should I keep this
20:18 animal or not.
20:19 - And especially with children. - Especially!
20:21 - Children can be intensely allergic to animals,
20:25 pets in the home, the children love the animals and parents
20:30 also love them, and we can have as much affection for an animal
20:35 as we do for a family member but we must make the choice.
20:40 Affection is one thing, and it brings up a very warm feeling
20:47 for us but love is altogether different, love is not that
20:51 sentimental, love says this is what is good, we will follow
20:56 this path and so we may have to eliminate animals from the home.
20:59 - May have to, but it's not just the homes, an interesting
21:02 study in Brazil where they went into buses and taxi cabs
21:07 where no animals are allowed, vacuumed these vehicles
21:11 and found large amounts of animal dander.
21:14 Because if you have an animal you are around the animal
21:18 you yourself pick up the dander you go to the restaurant,
21:22 you go to the theater, you go to this place where it's a
21:26 common gathering place and sit in an area leave and then
21:30 someone else sits there that has the allergy, you pick up
21:33 the dander and take it home with you and it doesn't take
21:36 much sometimes, just small amounts of animal dander
21:39 can cause a lot of problems.
21:41 Another one is things like dust mites, they usually think
21:45 it might be the Kapok tree which they use to stuff a lot
21:48 of animals or perhaps some feathers that they stuffed
21:51 animals with and pillows and comforters and whereas those
21:55 things might be allergenic, we are finding more and more
21:59 it's a fact that they are the ones that hold molds
22:01 and dust mites.
22:02 Before storms we sit there and we think ahh! before the storm
22:05 it's so clear the wind is blowing and everything, the wind
22:09 blows up more molds and normally before a storm mold counts
22:13 can jump up ten times of what they were before the storm
22:17 because now we are having this agitation, especially a
22:20 cold front that whips things up from the ground and
22:22 brings it into the air.
22:24 Yes, after the storm it may be a little bit better,
22:26 but after the storm things are more humid and you have
22:29 more moisture and that causes more molds to grow, and probably
22:34 one of the main ones we have and it doesn't discriminate
22:37 whether you are poor or rich is that little thing called
22:40 the roach. - Oh yes! it comes in the house
22:42 dies and then the... - That's it, it's the dead
22:47 roaches and the feces of a roach which are some main
22:50 allergens and this is everywhere in the homes especially down in
22:55 the southeast... I lived in California too we had
22:59 these large palmettos there and these things just happened,
23:03 especially where it is moist, any leaks in the house,
23:06 fix the leak because the leak is going to draw the roaches
23:09 because they like the moist areas and so does the mold.
23:12 And we've got major problems, we had a home near Uchee Pines
23:16 not long ago, and not in our home but it got black mold
23:19 and they had people come in with masks and big bags
23:25 and put the whole house is bags and then they had to burn
23:29 the ground upon which the house sat.
23:31 Molds are a major problem, we had a patient come to
23:34 Uchee Pines some years ago she was looking for a home
23:37 went down into the basement took one breath and realized
23:41 there is something wrong down here, and she ended up being
23:43 our patient from that one breath, maybe two breaths
23:46 in the basement just because she took in all these mold spores
23:50 and unbelievable allergies for that poor woman.
23:54 - Well environmental allergies are certainly an important part
23:58 of what we have to face when we have allergies.
24:01 - Yeah, and cigarette smoke is another allergen.
24:03 - Oh yes, all sorts of fumes, thank you so much Dr. Miller.
24:06 - My pleasure, thank you.
24:07 - Now we have ways that we can look at allergies,
24:12 I think the very fine article that came out in
24:18 Scientific American in January of 2005 is well worth your
24:24 looking up, maybe you can find it on line or certainly in a
24:28 library, Scientific American January in 05.
24:33 Look this up and read about the new things that are being
24:37 discovered about the immune system, we had always thought
24:40 about the immune system as yes we produce antibodies, we have
24:45 some killer cells, and some macrophages and all of these
24:51 they are part of the immune system but we didn't understand
24:54 until some recent research which started back in the 90's
24:59 about the allergic response or the immune response.
25:04 It is amazing how we have two separate systems
25:09 that we might call an early waning system in the body
25:14 and it protects us remarkably.
25:16 Now I would like to show you a chart which can help you
25:19 to understand a bit more about this matter of allergies
25:23 and just how widespread it is.
25:27 Here is a little child walking through some grass and gets
25:33 skin allergies from just walking through the grass,
25:36 and of course the food allergens that we have already mentioned,
25:39 the eggs, the peanuts, the shell fish, the milk and many others
25:44 and then the environmental allergies which is getting this
25:50 poor person the hay fever.
25:52 And asthma that we have portrayed here,
25:58 asthma is truly an allergic reaction in most people.
26:03 One can be allergic to something on the outside that comes
26:09 from the outside of the body or from the inside, germs mainly.
26:13 And then household allergens such as dust mites and
26:18 carpet mites and all sorts of insects that crawl on us
26:23 or bite us, or sting us, those things, insect allergies can
26:29 be really quite severe.
26:31 When I began my work in pathology, one of my first
26:35 assignments was to investigate a case, a man who had died
26:39 some 30 minutes by being stung by a bee, and he was mowing
26:46 a lawn and went to sit on the porch and he began to feel bad
26:51 and within 30 minutes had died from it, so we know that
26:54 yellow jackets and hornets can really be
26:58 a serious problem for us.
27:00 Another big problem with allergenic things is that
27:05 of drugs, drugs we sometimes think well I got this as
27:11 a prescription drug, surely it's not going to cause a
27:15 problem, but one of the important allergenic substances
27:19 in our environment today is that of drugs,
27:22 often prescription drugs, sometimes it's
27:25 over the counter drugs.
27:27 Now we have a host of other kinds of allergenic substances
27:33 for the individual person who has allergies, they simply need
27:37 to discover what these allergens are and eliminate those
27:42 from the body.
27:44 When we think about the beauty of the immune system
27:47 it's not to hard to believe that Satan would want to
27:51 use that to annoy us also.