I had a lab partner in college whose boyfriend had a large section of his colon removed as part of his crohn’s disease treatment. He would carry what she affectionately called a "poop bag" with him for the rest of his life. I have seen mothers carry epi pens in their purse in fear that their child will stop breathing when they come in contact with peanuts or milk.

Food allergies and food sensitivities are becoming epidemic. There are various theories on what causes food allergies, but one that stands out for me is the theory that when our guts are unhealthy they do not properly digest foods and these foods then make us sick.

One woman I know, Ann Marie, has recovered from the symptoms of food allergies and can now eat the very foods that once made her so ill.

If Ann Marie’s story or her class, Reversing Food Allergies, can help just one of those people then it is worth looking into.  Now let’s hear from someone who knows the bitter struggle of food allergies all too well.

What is your experience with food allergies?

Hidden food allergies absolutely devastated my health.  I was 25 years old and I was so sick, I didn’t have the energy to do anything.  I was getting sinus infections every month, had sores in my nose that wouldn’t heal, and my arthritis pain was so bad, I couldn’t even sleep through the night. I was taking Alleve and allergy medicine on a daily basis.

I had no idea that I even had food allergies, much less that these food allergies were causing my arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, and other health problems.  I did an elimination diet for 30 days and while the first week or two was pretty rough, the last two weeks, I felt like I was walking on air.  All my symptoms vanished and I felt like a kid again.  I’d jump out of bed in the morning, go all day, and I had no pain, no sneezing, no dizziness.

Of course then I found out the hard way that if I ate just a tiny bit of gluten or sugar, all my symptoms would come right back.  So I worked on healing my gut. I took strong probiotics and avoided gluten and sugar. 

It took me about 2 years but I did reverse my food allergies.  I can now eat anything — wheat, sugar, you name it — and I don’t have any symptoms.

What do you believe causes food allergies?

Food allergies are caused by a damaged digestive tract.  The digestive tract gets damaged by two things: (1) things that kill of our good bacteria and (2) things that damage our gut lining.  

  1. Things that kill good bacteria. Our good bacteria is killed off by antibiotics, the birth control pill, steroids and other drugs, as well as chlorine in the water we drink, bathe and swim in.  A hundred years ago, antibiotics were unheard of.  We also ate plenty of naturally fermented foods at every meal — from naturally fermented sourdough to ketchup to sauerkraut to good old fashioned ginger ale. These foods provided probiotics to help build and maintain the good flora in our gut.  These days, everything is pasteurized and sterilized, so not only are we killing off the good flora, but we’re not replacing it.
  2. Things that damage our gut lining. Foods that are hard to digest damage our gut lining. These foods include unfermented soy (the worst), as well as unfermented (unsoaked) grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds.

A century ago, all of these foods were traditionally soaked or fermented in order to make them more digestible (think about how you have to soak beans before eating them).  Nowadays, with people using modern commercial yeast instead of traditional sourdough, these foods are not adequately broken down and are much harder on our digestive system.

We also used to eat a lot of chicken stock and other kinds of bone broth a century ago.  Broth is one of the most healing foods for you digestive tract.  Sadly, it has been replaced my MSG in most restaurants and packaged foods (including most of the canned soup you find at the supermarket).

How do you reverse food allergies?

First of all, we have to avoid foods that we are allergic to.  Every time we eat a food that we cannot digest, it damages our gut further.  That is why so many people end up with multiple food allergies. First they’re allergic to gluten, and they keep eating that, and then the next thing they know, they are also allergic to dairy.  Then one day, they’re also allergic to nuts or eggs.

Unfortunately, most of us don’t know which foods we are allergic to.  And, according to Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, author of The Gut & Psychology Syndrome, the tests that are available are not reliable at all.

The only real way to find out what you are allergic to is to do an elimination diet for 4 weeks. That is what I did.  Then you gradually reintroduce foods, one by one. You watch for reactions, and when you have a negative reaction, you know you can’t have that food.  At least not for a while, until your gut is more healthy.

It’s not just about avoidance of allergens.  If you just avoid gluten or dairy, you’re not going to heal the gut so nothing will change. 

We also need to heal and seal the gut by eating lots of fermented foods, taking probiotics and eating bone broth which helps to rebuild and strengthen the gut lining.  Probiotics help because part of their job is to build and protect the lining — so the more good flora you have, the more they work to heal your gut.

It can take a while to recover is because you have to help the gut rebuild itself.  Let me explain:

There are these tiny finger-like protusions that line the gut wall. They are called villi.  The villi are covered with cells that are called enterocytes.  These enterocytes are covered with tiny hairs, like grass.  This grass-like covering is called microvilli. (Stay with me — I’ll explain why all of this is important.)

Now, when the gut wall gets damaged and there is not enough good bacteria, the enterocytes get damaged and worn down. And their "grass" stops growing and they become bald.

Why is this a problem? Because it is the microvilli that actually secretes the enzymes that allow you to digest certain foods.  In other words, you need the enzyme "lactase" to digest "lactose" in milk and dairy products.  If your enterocytes are bald and your microvilli is non-existent, you are not producing any lactase — and as a result, you can’t drink milk.

So it depends on how worn down your digestive tract is.  If it is completely worn down, it might be a while before you are able to eat any complex foods that require enzymes to break down.  These complex foods are called "disaccharides" (two sugars) and "polysaccharides" (multiple sugars) and include dairy, grains, sugar and starches.  Monosaccharides (single sugar) are foods that do not require enzymes to break down.  So they are easy for us to digest and don’t tax our digestive system.

In the beginning, you can only eat simple foods like meat, fish, bone broth, and cooked and fermented vegetables.  In time, as you heal, you can introduce more and more complex foods one at a time.

If you continue eating food you don’t have the enzymes to digest, you are putting too much strain on your digestive tract, and not giving it the time and space to heal itself.  This is why it’s important to stick to a restricted diet in the beginning, and eat lots of things that will help your body heal itself, like fermented foods and bone broth.

You can use the coupon code "HEAL" for $20 off enrollment and find out more about Reversing Food Allergies. Tomorrow Ann Marie will be giving away free enrollment to one reader.


59 Responses to What Causes Food Allergies & How One Woman Has Reversed Hers

  1. margaret says:

    wow – this is amazing. i was just talking with the hubby about how my sugar intolerance has gotten even worse. my son and i both can’t handle wheat, too. this is just what we have been needing!! thank you.


    Shannon Reply:

    Margaret- You’re welcome, I pray this is helpful to you and others.


  2. Julie says:

    This is such incredible information! I discovered about a year and a half ago that I’m allergic to wheat, and so I’ve been avoiding it – but I just always felt that there was more to the story. Thanks for sharing!! I look forward to reading more.


    Shannon Reply:

    Julie – I agree and I think it could really help some people.


  3. diana says:

    I’m all in. I’m gluten and lactose intolerant, and have fructose malabsorption. I’ve felt much better since changing my diet a couple years ago and started to reintroduce foods a few months ago. It started out great – eating apples again, hooray! But now some of the gassy, ‘IBS’ symptoms are returning and my iron levels have dramatically dropped in the last six months. I’m ready to find a way to stop the cycle for good.

    Loving your blog, Shannon. Keep ‘em coming.


    Shannon Reply:

    Diana – I am sorry about your food issues, but I am excite that there is some new information out there for those who suffer. Unfortunately there are just so many who suffer, which is why I am glad to share Ann Marie’s class and story.


  4. Colette says:

    I find this information to be misleading. There really is no cure for food allergies. I do believe that there are all kinds of GI disorders (including some food intolerances) that can be helped by healing the gut — but there is no evidence that this method with IGE food allergies. True food allergies are an immune system response — an overreaction to the proteins in the foods.


    Shannon Reply:

    Colette – When I put this post together I thought that someone might feel this way and I can understand why. Most people do not understand the differences between food allergies, food sensitivities, and food intolerance and without a very specific definition of each it is hard to communicate. Because of this I have used the overarching term food allergies, which I mean to encompass any intolerance or reaction to food sensitivities.

    I don’t necessarily believe that everyone’s food allergies can be reversed, just like I don’t necessarily believe that everyone who is overweight will one day be thin by simply eating traditional foods. These issues are very complex and often times our food allergies or other health issues are likely caused by literally generations of poor food choices. We are what our mothers eat.

    So while I agree with you that certain terms are confusing because not everyone ascribes the same definition to them, I do believe that the GAPS diet protocol that Ann Marie is promoting is helpful for just about anyone who has eaten a standard American diet or taken antibiotics or had really any type of illness. I have seen our family’s health improve on a more liberal GAPS diet and believe that even if one person’s food allergies are not completely “cured” that they can find some healing for them and their children through this protocol.


  5. Jenny says:

    Yup. We have found this to be true in our house, where the Specific Carbohydrate Diet helped make our ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) daughter a lot better. Our family suffered a lot less in general, because she suffered from far fewer of her old ASD problems (one of which was alternating diarrhea and constipation).

    Everything you just put up there I learned last year in the book “Breaking the Vicious Cycle” by gastroenterologist Elaine Gottschall. She “invented,” or you might say “rediscovered” the Specific Carboyhdrate Diet.

    Put simply, it’s all true.


  6. Jenny says:

    For those commenters above who say they had to eliminate certain things, such as wheat for example, read the book “Breaking the Vicious Cycle.” In it you’ll find out just why such practices like the Gluten-Free Casein-Free Diet only work part way for so many people.


  7. amy m says:

    I have a 6 yr old son with severe allergies, both food and environmental. Recently i my t yr old son has also started havong digestive issues when he eats dairy or wheat. I have tried the GAPS diet and it was awful! They were constabtly hingry and wouldn’t eat most of the stuff they could have. Any siggestions for doing this with little ones??


    Shannon Reply:

    amy m – It is a struggle, to be sure, and a lot of work. When I did this with my little ones about a year ago the one thing that kept them full and not begging for constant food was using starchy veggies like carrots and sweet potatoes and tons of animal fats – like ridiculous amounts. Fat really satiates you and one tip I heard from a friend who is still doing GAPS is to make your soup with lots of fat and then add a tablespoon of unflavored coconut oil to your soup bowl. It seems like a lot, but it is actually healing to the digestive tract. I am sorry to hear about your little ones’ struggles.


  8. Chantal says:

    Ann Marie said that she thinks you’re giving away an enrollment tomorrow. Is that the case? If so, how do I enter?


  9. Clare says:

    Dear Shannon,
    I am very interested in all that you have to say about healing and sealing your gut, this last week I have been doing tons of research on the subject and I’m convinced I need to follow Mary Ann’s recommendations and take her class.

    I have a three month old daughter with which her and I have had a candida overgrowth since we brought her home. During labor they had given me strong anitbotics due to prolonged ruptured membranes and my daughter was in th NICU for seven days afterwards for fear of an affection, taking two different antibotics. So needless to say, of course, we have thrush!!! My widwife keeps prescribing diflucan but I opted out on the third two-week treatment to find something that WILL work! At first I wanted to get rid of thrush just so I can have cheese or wine again but now I am concerned for my child and future children’s health as well as my own. Unfortunately our budget is very tight right now, so it’ll be a real challenge for my family to do the diet AND the class, so I was hoping that you could enter me in the contest to win Mary Ann’s class. Thanks a million for sharing all your wonderful knowledge it sure has helped this illiterate, struggling Mama.


  10. Sara A in SC says:

    This sounds awesome


  11. Betty says:

    I agree with Colette. Even after ready the well written reply, this information is both dangerous and misleading. “True food allergies are an immune system response — an overreaction to the proteins in the foods.” This immune system response can lead to anaphylactic shock, something left out of your article. Parents of allergic children constantly fight for the safety of their children and this article fuels fire that “the overarching term food allergies, which I mean to encompass any intolerance or reaction to food sensitivities” There is a true difference and people die, not just GI issues but die from food allergies.
    Your article has helpful information. You should accurately use the correct terms intolerance and sensitivities. Calling your issues an allergy is not all encompassing or overarching, it’s false, inaccurate information on a very serious and potentially deadly issue.


  12. Tiffiny says:

    We have been considering GAPS for our son. He has around 40 food allergies/sensitivities. 25 are of the IgE (or immediate, face swelling, throat closing, rash inducing type). The rest are IgG (or delayed leaky gut type.) Some are both. I have no problem with you calling them all allergies. I do most of the time, myself. :) I believe the IgG allergies are the ones that GAPS helps, if I am not mistaken. Right now, DS is on a rotation/elimination diet that has helped tremendously, but I’d like to heal his gut so he can eventually have some of the IgG foods.


  13. Manny says:

    Do you think that this applies to Celiac disease?


    Shannon Reply:

    Manny – According to the GAPS book it can. Of course it is a process and once you get to the point of reintroducing any wheat products you would have to be extremely careful and do a sensitivity test (on the skin) to determine whether you should proceed with glutenous products or not.


  14. Robert says:

    It’s very bothersome to me that I have had food allergies for as long as I can remember and have never once had a doctor or medical professional even begin to address any of the things discussed here. I was also diagnosed with eczema 12 years ago and not until recently did I realize that it could be linked to my food allergies. Thank you for sharing this information!


  15. Sarah says:

    What you’re referring to are food intolerances. True allergies have no GI relation. If I immediately start itchy after ingesting a food item, it couldn’t have reached the intestine yet.


  16. Tracy says:

    My daughter has over 20 IgE food allergies, a few delayed allergies, and a whole lot of environmental allergies. We are under the impression that true IgE allergies can be caused by leaky gut–the food is not broken down enough, leaks into the blood system, and the immune system sees them as an invader. Our doctor believes a mold colonization is at the root of her problems. This he believes is wrecking havoc with her digestive tract as well as the whole immune system. A lot of her IgE allergies are also related to pollens–lots of fruits cause the same respiratory problems that airborn pollens do for her. However, she also has some that seem to have different effects–soy causes diahrea and milk causes wheezing (as do the airborn allergens of dander, mold, and dust). Our approach right now is to try to get the allergen load down through both immunotherapy for the airborn allergens and by a rotation diet for the food allergies. We see glimpses of amazing improvement (going from not being able to even go for a walk without wheezing, stomach pain, and fatigue to being able to playing full out soccer without using an inhaler–something she couldn’t do before her food allergies were diagnosed). There is a lot that isn’t understood about allergies, but taking care of the gut and using a rotation diet is a good idea for anyone that has more than a couple of food allergies.


  17. Susan M says:

    Wow. I have been allergic to nuts since I was 7. I am now 17 and was always confused on how I suddenly became allergic to my favorite foods. Yes I carry an Eppi-Pen where ever I go, and yes I have to constantly read ingredients that are found in the back of the label. I am now doing a research project on my allergies and now from this paper and others I have read. I now am one step closer to finding out why my food allergies developed and how to possibly reverse them.


    Andrea Reply:

    @Susan M, Susan, PLEASE update on your results. My daughter also became suddenly allergic to some seeds and nuts. Something that she has always LOVED. I found this article while desperate to find out if there is a cure and why this has happened. We have always ate very healthy. No antibiotics EVER. I would love and appreciate any info you get!


  18. Teresa says:

    This article was absolutely amazing! My 6 year old daughter is allergic to all kinds of foods including milk, wheat, peanuts, beef, eggs, shrimp, crab, watermelon, strawberries, mustard seed, almonds, cashews, string beans, brazil nuts, and walnuts. It is very difficult finding foods that she can and will eat. We have an epi-pen that goes everywhere with us and she has one at school. I’m definitely going to be getting her back on the pro-biotics! Thank you so much for writing this!


  19. Jana vincent says:

    Hi, I’m just trying to find out if anyone has had the same experience. I’m on elimination diet–no fruit, wheat, soy, dairy, etc. –and I’ve had bad problems with my digestion for years so I’m excited to get healthy & healed as I am diagnosed with a autoimmune and adrenal burnout. So I’m on week 4 of this diet and I am gassy every afternoon and evening. Besides rice products I cannot figure out what is going on other than a war is being waged in my gut??? Any ideas??? Thanks! Jkev


    Shannon Reply:

    Jana – What exactly are you eating? It is possible that there is still something causing issues. Also, did you start with the first phase of GAPS or are you jumping around? Finally, I wonder if you are taking a good quality probiotic. It is possible, if you are following things strictly, that your gut is just trying to heal itself with some unpleasant side effects.


  20. sarah says:

    Would this way of eating help my son? He is allergic to soy, peanuts and tree nuts. His first episode was at 25 months of age and now at 40 months of age he has chronic loose stools. What can I do?


    Shannon Reply:

    Sarah – I can only tell you what I would do if my son had issues similar to your son’s. I would definitely try the GAPS protocol and stick to it to a T. There are no guarantees, but as far as I know of there are no better options except to keep on suffering.


  21. GFCFnochemicals says:

    It is a food allergy – it’s an IgG response, not an IgE response. What some of you are calling food allergies – anaphylactic response, for example – is an IgE – mediated food allergy. The slower and more systemic immune system response associated with gluten, dairy, and a hundred other possibilities, is an IgG-mediated food allergy. More than one kind of Immunoglobulin-mediated response exists. Now who’s giving inaccurate information?


  22. Laura says:

    Hi — we found out before my son even started eating a lot of solid foods that was highly allergic to eggs, nuts and some seeds. Would this diet of fermented foods and probiotics work for him?


  23. Daniel Guerra says:

    so what doctor do i need to see for what i think are food allergies? i went to an allergist and he told me there was food i could have but since i last saw him i still break out after eating the foods he said were OK? i believe my problem is in the healing of my gut. i have tried the food elimination process in trying to find the solution and have loss more weight then i would like. is there a test to see if we are allergic to sugar? i would appreciate any help offered thanks in advance.


  24. Shawna says:

    While you seem to have some good information for folks with sensitivities and intolerances, these things cannot be applied to anaphylactic allergies. They. Can. Not. The 17 year old who commented seems to have been mislead by your use of the term “allergies”. Probiotics and any diet other than “do not eat the things that make me die” will not prevent my immune system from overreacting to nut and peanut proteins, plain and simple. This allergy has literally almost killed me twice. The misinformation in your post has me seeing red; this is not something to screw around with.


  25. Emily says:

    Hi, my name is Emily and i am 28 years old. I have been having reactions to tons of foods and i don’t know what to eat anymore. I just took out corn and wheat and started digestive enzymes and probiotics, i have so many multiple food allergies i just don’t know what to eat. heres the thing im not allergic to rice but if i eat it i get bad acid reflux and burning in stomach, so im assuming i am now intolerant to it plus everything i eat my stomach swells up like a balloon lol i am hoping these enzymes will help. what do you reccomend i eat, i cant even eat fruit without horrible acid burning sensation and i was eating bananas now i feel like i have a sore throat. this is stressing me out so much i am so sick no one gets me they think im nuts! my anxiety isn’t helping, my blood sugar is always dropping. i have chronic hives. how do i make that soup?


    haoqing Reply:

    hi Emily:
    I have same issue of eating most of the food, the only thing I am not allergic to is rice, I know your feeling and the frustration, there is no cure, just stick to a comfortable diet for a long time, if the overall health condition gets better, you may be able to handle the reaction of allergy better, but the reaction however is unavoidable I have to say.


  26. vi says:

    I totally agree that many food reactions are caused by damage to the small intestine resulting in a lack of enzymes. I could eat anything until suspected giardia caught from a child and definite cdiff toxin. Now there is lactose intolerance and i believe others. I also developed severe mold allergies and have symptoms of ibs. My problem is getting enough enzymes and probiotics since so many are made with the aspergillus process. There can also be a lack of enzymes that break down histamine in the body which is not an allergy. I would love to get my health and diet back. It has been eight years now with no full improvement.


  27. Kate Murphy says:

    I have been on the candida diet for about 6 months. I am doing pretty good. About a month ago my daughter was diagnosed with corn, dairy and almond allergies. She has also been quite sick for 3 months and has had multiple blood tests and doctor visits to rule things out. I know know it is the food allergies and leaky gut. Poor girl :( she is only 4 1/2.
    She has never had a problem with food up until this point..SO my big question is: Did leaky gut cause her food allergies or did food allergies cause her leaky gut?? And how on earth did my 4 year old end up in such bad shape?
    I know us moms pass on our good or bad flora at birth..so mine must have been pretty bad..and this is the cause!?
    I am not doing a diet as restricted as mine was..she is still having quinoa and brown rice cakes..I have been making coconut breads and such for her. She is only having the smallest amount of sugar (br. rice sugar). She is on probiotics, enzymes, grapeseed extract, and a kidney support(she has been having a lot of urinary problems as a result of everything). We started bone broth last week.
    What do you suggest for EASY fermented foods? She can’t have any vinegar (corn allergy)
    Thanks so much, Kate


  28. Will's Wife says:

    Hello, I am desperate. I do mean desperate. My husband has been ill for years always had sensitivities.. Now it is to the point he can eat grass fed buffalo, lettuce, canned peaches and pears in their own juice.{which cause him to break out due to the sugar}. He has extreme bloating, has had numerous food panels and chemical panels. I feel until we get the gut functioning he will continue to go down hill. It is sad. He has been on a slow decline for 10 years or better. I am not quiet sure how to heal the gut. The information that is out there is all so conflicting.l. I don’t feel I can just start pumping him full of probiotics. We have done cleanses, which always seem to make him feel better. Understand he is in bed 24/7. No energy, no drive, just exhausted all of the time. We are with a dr. who is working on getting all of his numbers up because they were scarcely low. Everything is slowly coming up since January. But the fact remains he cannot eat anything. All veggies are out, severely allergic to dairy, eggs, all grains, all night shade veggeis, no spinach, turnip greens, fruits, sugar. you name it. He can’t eat chicken because it has been fed grain of which he is severely allergic. Everyone says probiotics. I just don’t know. His immune is so low, I hate for him to have a reaction due to the challenge to his immune to fight it off. He has improved a little. But the food is a hugh issue. I gave him brussell sprouts and he looked like I had hit him in the head with a bat, lips turned wrong side out and his face was so swollen. Took about four days to get through that one, no squashes, just no anything. What is he to eat to sustain himself. I am totally perplexed on what to do. It is migraines and stomach aches that are high, like in the pit of the stomach, very intense. Basically he can eat grass fed buffalo of which I order from Wisconsin. Awesome company. So any suggestions you might make would be greatly appreciated. Dr.’s just want to give you a pill and tell you you are allergic to everything. He has chemical sensitivities also of which he tested high on. Any comments would be appreciated. I am a desperate wife looking for help for her husband that is not well. The ironic thing, he is not losing weight, he is bloated all the time. we do cleanses to keep his system moving. Information would be appreciated. I feel desperate at this point.Sorry for the length of this but it is what it is. I did not proof read so please excuse any errors. Thanks, Wills Wife


    haoqing Reply:

    @Will’s Wife, I have lots of food allergies, but it is ok with rice and some brand of chicken, I think the veggies and fruits are all allergies triggers so I try avoid them but sometime I will cheat on some, things like onion, peppers, apples are generally acceptable, I still havn’t figured out the problems with chicken yet, it seems like I reacted to some brand but not others. it is frustrating, I tried all the supplement and pill, non work, only makes the matter worse. I think you just have to figure out a meal plan that’s relatively better than the others and stick with it for a long enough time to see if the symptom could resolve somehow.


  29. i have the same type of alergy with food i am out of my mjne worrying what to eat if there is anyone know any answer please help


  30. Maria says:

    My son has multiple food allergies, asthma and was constantly sick in the hospital due to allergies or asthma induced by colds. For the past six months I have been taking him to a naturopath since he was highly recommended by a friend. I was somewhat skeptical but my son’s health has improved, he seems stronger and I have seen him having less allergic reactions. He used to wheeze almost everyday due to allergies but now he seems to be doing better. During a hair salon visit I happened to come across a lady who told me she had gone to see a well known naturopath in el paso tx and after two years of treatment all her allergies including her eczema were gone. It gave me hope that I have been on the right path with my son. First of all I trust in God and have my hopes high that this naturopath doctor is going to help my son. Another lady that sees the same doctor my son sees told me he helped her get rid of her asthma. My son’s naturopath is Dr. Fernando and his number 915 532-1944 in El Paso Tx and Dr. Eliezar Ben Joseph 1-800-706-0450 is another very well known naturopath in el paso. http://www.naturalsolutionsradio.com I hope my experience may also help you to reach or find out more about naturopath medicine.


  31. awe124 says:

    Shannon, How can I reverse my sugar sensitivity? I cant tolerate any processed sugars. I am on probiotics and l-glutamine. I have eliminated sugar as a result. How long will I have to be on sugar restricion? I’m 35 and this has been an issue for a few years.


  32. Vanessa says:

    Incredible information! I hope to learn more!


  33. Gerard says:

    This information seems very accurate to me. It talks about things that I have spent torturous years having to find out for myself!
    I have spent 7 years suffering from food intolerance and received very little help from GP’s who seem to be on the whole totally clueless as to how to deal with this medical issue. They don’t seem to realise just what hell it throws peoples lives into. Even so called consultants and experts have been useless so far for me.
    I am going to follow this advise closely for the next two months and will let you know what happens.

    Thank you to the person who has written this!


  34. bad penny says:

    I’ve been dealing with all this for a few years- severe drug-induced autoimmune issues and extremely severe food sensitivities and an inherited candida issues, many infections, antibiotic resistance… I had no idea for most of my life, so of course when I developed an eating disorder and laxative addiction the problem became exponentially worse- and the medications doctors prescribed to ‘help’ multiplied that to the point that I went completely insane and was very near death.

    The ALCAT test changed my life initially. Any other type of elimination challenges, etc is really ineffective- especially when you have many sensitivities. You MUST be tested, and the tests are terribly inexpensive. Insurance will cover some in many cases, but it’s not cheap either way.

    For a year, I was much improved, though my environmental allergies were still an issue. Those will continuously trigger the immune system, creating new responses to the foods you are able to have. Allergies such as dogs and mold (say the kind in the air or on your frozen fruit, etc) can create further chaos, so you have to be tested for all those and practice extreme avoidance as well.

    Like I said, for a year I was OK. I was extremely conscientious- beyond what most are capable of being in their day to day life. Only organics, no chemicals, no substances of any kind, lots of probiotics… Every possible thing. Yet time, fresh mold and chemical exposure redoubled my issues. I got tested again. My list was over twice as long- putting me in the malnutrition category, and half of the few foods I had supposedly ‘regained’ I still reacted to by the second or third time I tried them- as if my system ‘remembered’ the allergy.

    My second elimination hasn’t gone well. My acceptable food were so limited that I was stuck eating the same things over and over- which usually causes you to react within a few weeks-months.

    I’m now down to less than 20 things I can safely eat. I live inside in a controlled, air purified environment. My allergies have ‘reset’ within three months because of the level of restriction. Over half my daily intake is supplements, probiotics, hemp protein and collagen powder, but now I can’t take those with anything like juice, etc!

    That’s where I’m at. I’m not really looking for answers here. I know no one has any for me. I just want to share that it can get very, very bad, and the whole organic/probiotic/elimination thing is not surefire. It will help- you will regain some function if you are unfailingly strict about it. But if your issues are complex, there may not be a normalizing solution. I’m sorry. I highly recommend NOT wasting your money on doctors and ‘new age’ crackpots. Spend the time, make the effort yourself, listen to your body, and keep the crap out of your life- that’s all they’ll prescribe anyway. Miracle pills, energy cleansing, expensive detoxes… It’s crap. You don’t need to pay someone to tell you how to live a clean life. Figure it out yourself.

    The sublingual drop (LDA) therapy widely practiced in the UK is administered by some allergy specialists here- it’s supposed to be quite effective for those with too many sensitivities to avoid exposure.

    I’m going to get tested again next week. I’ll combine all my results and take the list to a specialist to have the drops formulated. It can take up to two years to work, and doesn’t in all cases. But it’s the only proven effective method.

    My recommendation to cut out the years of legwork I’ve had to do is this: Very fresh, organic food. Check out amine and nightshade sensitivity for a root cause. No irritant chemicals or stimulants- including external/topical. I mean no Trident, no coffee, look at your lotions, etc. Air filtration. Water filtration. Probiotics, some cultured foods, simple supplements without additives, alkalizing goodness, all that. It helps and everything else hurts. GET TESTED. Then get the shots for your environmental allergies, and the drops for your food sensitivities. Lose weight- toxins are stored in your fat. Exercise. Practice mindfulness, awareness, and self-discipline. Treat your depression, hormone imbalances, and underlying issues. Maintain a network of friends to help provide the positive chemicals you need- because negativity will make things worse.

    Sounds like a lot because it is. It will take over your whole life, and maybe that’s ok because it will direct you out of the rat race that’s caused the escalating issues. Don’t expect any magic bullets, because you’ll find none.

    *Also, YES there’s a difference between true allergies and sensitivities. All the people posting that this advice is dangerous must think everyone else is an idiot. If you have an IG allergy that requires an Epi-pen, I know of no solution but avoidance. Sorry.


  35. bad penny says:



  36. bad penny says:

    The reply links seem to fail, so WILL’S WIFE: Get your husband tested. Immediately. That’s the only answer. Probiotics will help- there’s nothing to fight off. That’s immunizations, and whatever you do keep him AWAY from those. Avoid probiotics with S. Thermophilus or any other streptococcus. And don’t do those homemade ‘water kefir’ SCOBY things. He can’t tolerate that. But regular good bacteria stuff is fine.

    I repeat- he MUST be tested. ALCAT or ELISA. ALCAT is better. Nothing else will help so save your pennies and get it done.

    Also, if you keep feeding him just the buffalo, he’ll sensitize to it. You will sensitize to anything you eat over and over, which is why you need to know what the problems are so you can have a variety of other things.


  37. bad penny says:

    Check out Body Ecology.


  38. bad penny says:

    Your immune system starts with the skin. IG allergies and sensitivities can certainly cause itching. Just putting a food you have an issue with in your mouth can start things- because of your saliva enzymes breaking it down and transporting it into the bloodstream.

    All of you should look at the Leaky Gut and Leaky Brain connection as well as Amine Sensitivity. Understand how malabsorption occurs and why it makes things worse. These proteins will wreck your life, which is why you must eat NON GMO unprocessed foods- so you know exactly what you consume- or you’ll keep triggering your issues.


  39. Trish says:

    Does anyone know of a probiotic that is milk free and gluten free? I am gluten sensitive and have a milk allergy. The probiotics I purchased have in the fine print that a trace amount of milk is used to feed the probiotics. That trace amount caused a huge inflammatory response yesterday.

    I would prefer probiotic foods, but they have to be gluten free and milk free, so fermented milk based products won’t work for me.

    Any ideas? Thank you :)


    Erin Reply:

    Hi there! I’m diary intolerant and couldn’t figure out how to take probiotics as most were in dairy products. However I went into holland and Barrett’s and they have a product called “acidophilus” it’s lots of blueberry flavoured tablets that are probiotics and you can take a couple each day. I’ve noticed a difference after a month or so :)


    Deneen Reply:


    Coconut water kefir.


  40. Agnes says:

    Wow! “BadPenny”, you have so much interesting things to say! I am struggling with endless weird intolerances making me unable to stay in school at the moment. I am desperate for help since I am slowly but surely starving to death, and no doctor can help me. Thank you for your great comments, if you would return to this page and read this comment, would you let me email you some questions? It would mean the world to me! :)


  41. Gayle says:

    My chiropractor suggested a gluten-free diet over a yr ago. after a yr, it did not seem to be helping much so i stopped it. Gf is awful. I felt like a food leper. people hesitated to have me for dinner since the didn’t know what I could eat. I missed pizza and mac and cheese. Since then blood tests showed issues with wheat, dairy, and favorites like watermelon. I am taking a good probiotic. any words of encouragement? Thanks!


  42. Erin McMenaman says:

    Thank you so much for this! I never had any problems till I started the pill and then after I had a bad stomach bug! Constant digestive problems, nausea and sinus problems. Found out if was intolerant to dairy and gluten! This is so interesting and has helped me a lot!


  43. [...] What Causes Food Allergies & How One Woman Has Reversed Hers (Nourishing [...]

  44. Trillium says:

    You state in the article “In the beginning, you can only eat simple foods like meat, fish, bone broth, and cooked and fermented vegetables.”

    How do you do an elimination diet when you’re vegetarian?


  45. Steve says:

    One area many should look at as far as food allergies, and especially with children, is Vaccines. I’ve read a lot of books on Food Allergies, Leaky Gut, Lupus, etc. One common connector often over looked, is vaccinations. I’d highly recommend a book I’ve had now for about a week. It’s the Vaccine Safety Manual by Neil Z. Miller. You would be very surprised at how many of these things are caused by various vaccinations. I’d read a post by Cardiologist, Dr. Donald Miller, and he recommended this book. I’m so glad I got it. I have 3 books by Dr. Sherry Rogers on Heartburn, Lupus, Fibro, detoxifying, etc. And several books on the dangers of vaccines. But I really didn’t tie it all together until I read Neil Z. Miller’s book.


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