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Identifying Chemical and Allergic Reactions
by Doris J. Rapp, M.D., F.A.A.A., F.A.A.P.

The average American has 91 chemicals in his/her blood, but some have as many as 500. As you might suspect, these chemicals damage the brains, bodies, and behaviors of birds, wildlife, and humans. Chemicals damage the brain and nervous system so people cannot think or behave normally (ADD, autism, learning problems, and development in children). They damage the endocrine system contributing to the present thyroid disease and diabetes epidemic in both animals and humans. They damage the reproductive system causing infertility, lower sperm counts, and smaller genitalia in men and many forms of wildlife. In addition to chemical sensitivities or reactions, food allergies can also be a cause of illness.

Most people have a characteristic response pattern, but reactions can vary with different exposures or contacts. With some record keeping, most individuals can tell which chemicals or food cause which reaction and avoid the offensive substances or get allergy extract treatments so future exposures no longer cause symptoms.

    1. Think of a medical problem as a nail in your shoe. A band-aid or an ointment is not a solution. The answer is to find the culprit and eliminate it.

    2. Many in the initial stage of an allergic reaction experience predictable appearance changes: nose rubbing, scarlet hot earlobes, abnormally red cheeks, dark circles or bags under the eyes, wiggly legs, lip licking, or a frightened or glazed look to the eyes. If spotted early, you can often stop the reaction with a drink of a little water and a half teaspoon of baking soda or a few drops of the proper allergy extract solution.

    3. There can also be characteristic changes in how a person behaves or feels as an allergic reaction starts. For example, when people scratch at the arm creases, they have just been exposed to something that bothers their skin. If a quiet child is suddenly disruptive or nasty, investigate what may have caused the change. If the skin suddenly has a burning sensation or feels numb, or you taste metal, think recent chemical exposure.

    4. When and where the symptoms occur is key.

    a. Are you outside or inside? If problems arise in certain rooms or areas, is there anything unusual in that spot? If indoors, then check the heating source, filtration of the ventilation system, cleaning materials, new carpets, remodeling, for major water leaks, or for gas leaks, etc.

    b. If symptoms occur primarily after eating, consider foods. If symptoms occur before, consider hypoglycemia.

    c. Is it after a chemical smell or spill in or outside a home, workplace, or school?

    5. Remember: It is not how much that counts, but how sensitive. It makes no difference if it is a drop of milk or one whiff of a chemical or quite a bit more. It is based on an individual's level of tolerance.

    6. Foods, dust, mold, and pollen can cause symptoms in 15 minutes to an hour. Chemicals can cause symptoms within seconds to a few minutes. Common complaints are fatigue in the elderly or hyperactivity in youngsters. Many have headaches, muscle and joint pain, and a variety of intestinal complaints. Then there are sudden inexplicable mood and behavior changes, such as irritability, negativity, crying, aggression, panic, anger, vulgarity, or becoming very withdrawn and untouchable.

When it comes to food, all you need is a bit of dedicated record keeping and attention to an allergy diet. By keeping records of what is eaten before unusual symptoms develop, you can quickly detect any offending foods. Another method is to simply avoid the suspect food for about seven days, add it back after having eaten nothing for about six hours, and observe what happens. You can find answers that everyone has missed, often for years. (Always consult with your personal physician before trying any diet.)

The least expensive and easiest way to manage allergies is a combination of a one-week allergy diet and an air purifier. This resolves roughly 80 percent of children's allergies, behavior, and learning problems in 80 percent of families that try it. Frequently, several family members will have different medical, emotional, or mental complaints, but experience shows they are primarily due to identical food or chemical exposures with resolution occurring when the offensive substance is removed.

If the idea of a diet sounds daunting, try this. List your five favorite foods and two favorite beverages. If you have a food sensitivity, it is likely it's listed here. By merely stopping all of these for just a week, you might find you feel better than you have in years. After the week, add them back one at a time and you can easily pinpoint the specific cause of many of the complaints.

    1. Live without the problem food.

    2. Eat it only every four days (this reduces the chance of reactions).

    3. Get food allergy treatment for the problem food. Environmental medical specialists treat most food allergies with an allergy extract on a daily basis and the vast majority can be helped. Call (800) 787-8780 for the nearest specialist.
After you stop eating a problem food, you will typically become sicker than normal for three to four days as a result of withdrawal symptoms.


The food you crave or detest is a probable suspect food. For example, if you love dairy, you are typically dairy sensitive. If you have chronic constipation or recurrent ear infections, consider stopping dairy for a month and observe any changes.

The food you taste most upon belching is the food that is a likely cause of an unsuspected problem.

Hyperactivity is often due to sugar, food coloring, milk, or any other food you cannot live without.

Joint pain is often caused by grains, such as wheat, or nightshade vegetables, like potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and tobacco, or red meats, such as beef and pork.

Extreme sudden fatigue can be due to a food, especially beef. However, reactions to certain foods can be different for each person. Which food puts you asleep in minutes after eating it?

By learning even a few of these characteristic response patterns, you can identify chemical and allergic reactions before they become severe health conditions, and maybe actually heal or correct any previous physical, behavioral, and emotional condition.