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Are You Allergic or Oversensitive?
By Don Bennett, DAS

It may surprise people to know that what they think of as an allergy is actually an oversensitivity. Now, someone pondering this statement might be tempted to say, "Yeh, so what? It's two ways of saying the same thing isn't it?" Not really. When people think of an "allergy" they see it as an unfortunate thing that they have no control over, other than taking a pharmaceutical remedy for it. But an allergy can be the body being oversensitive to something. And an allergic reaction is just like the CHECK ENGINE light on your car's dashboard; it means something's wrong.

So a true allergy is when you experience a reaction to something that shouldn't produce that reaction (if it should produce that reaction, you aren't allergic to it). If you were to eat a food of your bio-physiological adaptation, like a banana, and you had a bad reaction to it, this would indicate that something is wrong physiologically, and not that you aren't designed to eat bananas. Okay, not many people argue with this notion, but they will say that the way to deal with this situation is simply to avoid bananas. But if you think of an allergic reaction to something that you shouldn't react to as a warning light on your body's dashboard, then instead of dealing with it by avoiding the thing that gives you a hard time, you might want to ask yourself, "How do I resolve the underlying condition that is causing this hypersensitivity?" A good question, especially when you consider that the underlying condition is not just causing this noticeable over-reaction; if the underlying condition is also a contributing factor to something that will one day result in a diagnosis of something serious, then it is a "warning light" that should be heeded, just like your car's LOW OIL warning light.

We just looked at what a true allergic reaction is. Now let's explore what most people think of as "allergies", but aren't. If you ate a bar of soap, and had a bad reaction to it (as you hopefully would), your conclusion wouldn't be, "Well, I guess I'm allergic to soap." And that's because you know that soap isn't a natural part of the human diet. So it's safe to say that if you have a bad reaction to something that you're not designed to eat, this reaction is normal and is not an allergic reaction.

So what about the people who have a bad reaction to dairy or grain products, or to Nightshade foods? Is this an allergy or an oversensitivity, or is this a normal reaction to something they shouldn't be eating because we are not designed to eat it? The medical/pharmaceutical industry sees it as something to treat with over-the-counter remedies, or to simply avoid lactose-containing dairy products and gluten-containing grain products; they see these reactions as an abnormal reaction to a normal food. But if you're truly not designed to consume cow milk products or things made from wheat, then these reactions are a warning indicator lighting up on your body's dashboard, no different than if you ate soap (although unlike soap, those products are designed to be delicious). And although you are thought of as one of the unlucky ones who react this way to dairy or grain products, you are, in reality, lucky that you are sensitive enough to be bothered by something that the human body is not designed to process (those who don't react to unnatural things are actually under-sensitive). Think about it, you want your car's dashboard warning lights to alert you to impending problems so you can do something about it, right? If they were under-sensitive, that wouldn't be a good thing.

If you didn't know what LOW OIL meant, you might keep driving until your engine died from lack of oil. Fortunately we all know what that LOW OIL light means, but most of us don't know what indigestion is trying to tell us. Instead we assume that we simply need an antacid or products like Lactaid or Beano. But the problem isn't a Beano deficiency, it's an information deficiency; oh, there's plenty of information out there, but what we need in order to have the best odds of never getting a diagnosis of something serious is accurate information. (And when you understand this information, that's when it's the kind of knowledge as in "knowledge is power").

I should also mention, that I have personal experience with many people who, after they make health-enhancing changes to their diet and lifestyle practices, they no longer have any allergies (like to cats and pollen). And from my experience as a health creation counselor, the best/healthiest way to eliminate bad reactions to things we're not supposed to eat or drink is to not consume them. Food for thought.

See The Natural Diet Primer

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