Niagara Gazette

November 5, 2013

NATURAL HEALTH: Why have we become so sensitive?

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Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — Think back to when you were a child. I am assuming that most readers are 40 or older for this to make sense. We could drink milk without being lactose intolerant. We could eat bread, yes, even white bread without bloating or weight gain. We rarely suffered allergies from medications or foods. Attention deficit hyperactive disorder and childhood obesity were far more rare than it is today.

So what happened? How could it be that cancer and heart disease rates are soaring when we are medically more advanced then ever? Some might argue that we are living longer but I would counter that argument with a more difficult quality of life. 

Grocery stores are expanding to accommodate foods that are better referred to as food-like products. Eighty percent of what is on the shelves now, was not there 40 years ago. There is no longer a frozen section, now there are frozen isles, most of which contain microwavable, processed foods.

The widespread use of growth hormones, preservatives and genetically modified organisms has lead to the faux-food generation. These ingredients are used to great a very long shelf life. These mass-produced foods are not recognized by the human body and only provide the body with empty calories and inflammatory chemicals. 

There is no hard research, only the physical evidence around us, to support my theory regarding the rise of food sensitivities. Once people are re-introduced to whole foods and eliminate the processed foods, it is amazing to me how sinus conditions clear up, weight drops off and overall health improves. 

We have evolved to a place where children have deadly allergies to nuts. Ironically, this doesn’t happen in third world countries, nor do they consume chemical-laden foods. Is there a connection? I’m thinking there is.

Asthma and allergies in infants usually correlates with milk. If the pregnant mom had eliminated wheat and dairy during her pregnancy and better yet, took a high-quality probiotic, it is my opinion that the child would not be as reactive to their environment. 

Symptoms for both allergies and intolerances can be similar, involving the skin (e.g. hives or eczema), respiratory system (e.g. asthma), nervous system (e.g. headaches or depression), or digestive tract (e.g. indigestion or bloating). How many people do you know that suffer from any one of these symptoms? Many suffer from all of them at the same time.

The point I am trying to make is that the food-like products that you are eating have a direct effect on your overall health and quality of life. Put very simply, avoid foods with an ingredient list. 

We are evolving into a very sick population. This makes total sense when you look at what people are eating. Many individuals go days without eating fresh whole foods and wonder why their joints are aching. 

While the health care system sits in a state of uncertainty, you can take a very effective, proactive approach, by cleaning up your diet. Doing this would likely reduce the number of medicines and doctor visits in your future. Cleaning up the diet will surely reduce allergies and make us a less sensitive population.

Catherine Stack is a doctor of naturopathy and a certified nurse midwife. Her practice is located at Journey II Health in Niagara Falls. Contact her at 298-8603 or at her website at www.journeyiihealth.com.