I often have mothers come in with children that have multiple food allergies. Sometimes it will start with one food, then seem to spread like a disease. Multiple sensitivities are difficult to deal with, especially since many foods are now genetically modified. We don’t really know what is in them. Peanuts are a good example – the genes have been added to things as disparate as tomatoes. So eating food without wrappers isn’t going to help you avoid GMOs. If you aren’t sure and don’t have options to buy organic, remember the Clean Fifteen and the Dirty Dozen (see my blog). GMO labels on produce consist of 5 numbers, and start with an ‘8’, but labeling is voluntary. So the conventional produce identification of 4 numbers may or may not be GMO. Organic has 5 numbers starting with ‘9’, and is the safe choice for non-GMO.

In 2001 just over 60% of processed foods contained GMOs. Now, in 2011, it’s over 75%. In the US, 91% of soy is GMO. When you look at food labels of processed foods, you are likely to see soy additives. They’re most likely GMO. The Organic Consumer's Organization (OCA) has pertinent information on this subject.

So why am I talking about these things and food allergies? Food allergies are an indication that the immune system is on alert. It means something has riled it up, and it’s not going to get better until something changes. The health of the individual may get worse and worse, and can be marked with symptoms such as frequent colds or bloody noses, and an expanding list of allergens, including pollens, dust, dander, and molds. Food allergies almost always start small and grow as the body becomes more and more excitable. Many things can irritate the human body, many of them in our homes.

How can we identify these sources? We’ll start with the basics and go through the house, because we’re all individuals, and each of us has a weak point; for me to know your weak point is rather impossible (unless you’re a client!), so if you don’t know your lungs are your weak point, for instance, clean up your act with all these ideas and not only will you be less anxious when eating out, but you’ll find your health is better too.

First, let’s talk about chemicals. Get rid of any plug-in or spray or hanging air fresheners (unless it’s the cedar or natural scents used judiciously). Many of these products affect our sense of smell; they are not helping your house smell better, but impairing a vital sense with chemicals. No fabric treated to resist wrinkles – deal with it. Dry cleaning? No, don’t think so – use a wet cleaner. You won’t be able to tell the difference, I never could. No synthetically scented anything – laundry detergent, toilet paper, dryer sheets, etc. If the label reads "fragrance", and does not identify the fragrance, it is probably synthetic.

Get yourself some essential oils that you like, and make up your own cleaner. In a quart spray bottle, use very hot water, a few tablespoons of borax, a few of vinegar, shake till Borax is dissolved, then add 1/8 c of castile soap (or Dr. Bronner’s in your favorite flavor). If you use unscented castile, you can add your own oils, a few drops. Make sure you don’t have mold growing somewhere in the house, maybe the basement or that pile of wet clothes in the closet? If you or family members are often sick, take a vacation or notice if it gets worse with the windows and doors closed up tight. A change here may indicate the problem.

Use filtered water for your drinking – fluoride and chloramine are not good for you, and the evidence is overwhelming. Why we still have it in our water astounds; many countries in Europe have banned it. If you have thyroid trouble, this may be an important step for you. Eat as close to nature as possible. ‘Leafy greens’ does not mean iceberg lettuce; buy baby greens, eat sprouts. Fats are good for you, and coconut oil that is sold in bulk tastes delicious all by itself (and a massage with it is out of this world!). Coconut water makes a GREAT substitute for that obnoxious brightly colored sports drink that rots your teeth. And it has the perfect balance of electrolytes.

Sleep’s good? Great. If it’s not, also check out my article on sleep. You can start by first getting rid of the lights, nightlights, get darker shades, read before going to bed (something really boring), and make sure it’s cool and comfortable in your room. Your immune system is very active at night, and if you don’t sleep well, it can’t do its job. This is also when your body absorbs calcium. When children start homeopathic treatment, we often see growth spurts. If it’s time to lose teeth and they haven’t, this will be the time to have them seen by a homeopath as well. Keep all electronics far away from your head. Anywhere you spend a lot of time, such as in bed, needs to be free from dangerous influences such as EMFs (electromagnetic fields), whether low or high frequency. Carrying your cell in your pocket is a bad idea. Set your computer on a platform away from your lap, or with shielding. Use electric blankets before bed to warm it, then off once you slide between the sheets.

If you’re a woman, you probably have tons of stuff that has chemicals in it. Lipstick, mascara, eyeliner, foundation, and the list goes on and on! They used to put lead and mercury in lipstick and mascara! You’d think it was against the law, but guess again. Check out EWG’s score on your products. Don’t pay good money to ruin your health. Again, don’t buy clothes that are ‘wrinkle resistant’ or ‘care-free’ – they’re treated with chemicals. You may remember the experiment where you put a clove of peeled garlic in your shoe and in half an hour your breath will smell like garlic. Think about anything you put next to your body. Organic undies are all I wear, and organic sheets on the bed as well.

How about the air in your home or car? Remember that anytime you seal the air into a house or car, it can stagnate and grow mold or dust may settle. Open the windows daily if possible, and make sure if you’re driving long distances, crack the windows every so often to get some air flow going. New cars have bromine in the upholstery (that ‘new car’ smell), and so do soft drinks, often (it comes in the water, which may not be legal to drink but it is legal to make it into soda!). Too much bromine can rob your body of iodine, so keep it down by varying your drinks if you must have soda.

If you regularly get sick after being rather conscientious with the above, then see your homeopath, it’s time for more help.

Author's Bio: 

After becoming interested in the alternative medicine field while still an airline pilot, I studied during layovers and received my MS in Natural Health (summa cum laude), but I felt I still did not understand homeopathy, and it intrigued me. Signing up for a four-year program at the Institute of Classical Homeopathy, I thought I would finish a year or so, and be satisfied. No such luck. Homeopathy had me in its thrall. The four years went by so fast, I could scarcely believe I was done. With 2 years of clinical experience under my belt, I volunteered at a local San Francisco clinic once a week, for lack of something to do with my newfound skills. I have been at the Mission Neighborhood Resource Center since 2005. As I gathered clients, I realized how valuable this modality, homeopathy, can be. I never looked back. I have seen it do things I never thought possible, and have learned so much since my Master's Degree. I have done research for my PhD in the field of sleep, and feel it is one of my specialties.