Alrighty, I'm sure you've heard of allergies. People are allergic to all sorts of things- foods, plants, pollutants, fabrics, etc. What is an allergy? An allergy is an immune reaction wherein your body essentially rejects something it finds harmful. The symptoms range from itchy eyes to stomach pains, headaches, severe illness, closing of the throat, etc. There's also different types of antibody reactions, which then create different allergic reactions.
Why are allergies important? Besides the physical discomfort exposure to allergens can create, there are more serious physiological and psychological affects.
When your body is in immune response it shuts down or limits many of its metabolic functions. It almost goes into a "preserve" mode wherein it limits functions in order to protect the body and use energy in for the immune defense. This is taxing on the body and limits effective digestion, metabolism, and other bodily functions. It is extremely difficult to lose weight in the presence of allergic exposure because 1) the body is in the immune defense mode and 2) the body retains fluid to help protect itself from the allergen.
This immune response leads into many psychological problems and has been linked with learning disabilities, depression, and even schizophrenia. The link between emotional problems and allergen exposure should not be over looked. Many studies show an intrinsic link and you should take heed. This can especially be useful for a child suffering from learning disabilities. Instead of putting the child on mind-altering (and chemistry - hormone altering which has devastating affects long term) their allergies must be tested.
I personally had my allergies tested through Austin Wellness Clinic here in Austin, Texas. I worked with Dr. Vince Bellonzi. Here is an exerpt from his website: "There are two types of reactions: Immunoglobulin E (IgE) reaction, and Immunoglobulin G (IgG) reaction. IgE reactions are more immediate and generally occur minutes or hours after a food is ingested. These are also more obvious reactions often resulting in swelling, rash, and in severe cases, asphyxiation. On the other hand, IgG reactions are more difficult to detect, with the effects occurring subtly, sometimes for days after the food is ingested. These allergies can only be determined by the difficult process of eliminating suspected foods, or by advanced testing." www.Austinwellnessclinic.com (It should be noted that I am not accepting any endorsement, matter fact, Dr. Bellonzi doesn't know I'm writing this).
The long and short of it is that more and more studies are revealing the link between impaired mental and physical health to allergies. Find yourself a health professional who can test for both types (or go to two different professionals) if you or someone you know is having physical and/or mental problems and be amazed at what you find- it's life changing.
Best in Health,