You may be surprised to find that your allergies and depression have a direct relationship. Yes, research has shown that some allergies can cause depression. In fact, in one study, 70 percent of patients with depression had a history of allergies!
Dr. Gregg Jantz in his book, Moving Beyond Depression”, shares about a woman named Karla who with his help discovered that her wheat allergy was causing her depression. Through nutritional therapy, Karla was able to break the cycle of cravings and she started to feel better and her optimism began to return. Wow, that to me is amazing and tragic all at the same time. What if your depression is brought on by a simple allergy?
Over time your allergies can destroy your immune system and prevent your body from repairing itself. This is often when depression sets in. But, the good news is that when an allergy is discovered, depression can often lift away.
For some of you this question is a cinch to answer and for others it’s difficult. If you suffer from depression and suspect that you may have allergies, it’s a good idea to meet with a medical professional or use the recommended home study below…
According to Jurriaan Plesman, a Clinical Nutritionist with the Hypoglaecimic Association of Australia, many people with allergies become allergic to more and more food sources over time. He shares that some common causes of allergies according to studies are:
Cow’s Milk 56-67%
Benzoic acid 35%
There are ways that you can detect a relationship between your allergies and depression yourself…
Jurriaan Plesman shares his home study of determining your allergies,
“…If a patient wants to do a home test for his allergies he should start a DIETARY DIARY. This is a notebook with pages representing the days, for instance headings of Saturday, Sunday, Monday etc. Each page should show three columns:
1) time of day
2) details of food taken,
3) reaction to the food BEFORE taking the food.”
(I would suggest you also add a fourth column to record how you felt after eating.) Plesman shares that the reason why you record your reaction ‘before” you take food is that some foods may give you a high. As an example, when you have a milk sensitivity it may put your blood sugar level up (adrenergic reaction) making you feel good. But, this is followed by sharp drop in blood sugar level which makes you feel lousy later on.
“Thus many people with a milk allergy become in fact addicted to their allergy.”
Dr. Jantz explains… “The irony is that the body responds to food allergies and sensitivities in the opposite way one would expect. Instead of naturally rejecting these products, the body craves them. Similar to a drug fix, ingesting the product your body is allergic or sensitive to produces a momentary relief in symptoms. However, after that initial relief, symptoms return even stronger, producing a greater craving. Such is the vicious cycle of food allergies and sensitivities.” (Jantz, Gregg M.D., “Moving Beyond Depression”, p.99)
By carefully observing your reactions to the foods you eat, you will soon discover the kind of foods to which you are sensitive. Jurriaan Plesman recommends that to confirm your suspicion you should:
1) abstain from that food for at least four days
2) on the fifth day take a big quantity of that food. If you have a strong reaction, you know that you have an allergy to that food.
“By abstaining from suspect foods for a couple of days you seem to lull your immune system into believing that it can relax.”
It is in the journaling through your diet, that you will discover what triggers your allergies and depression.
You may be allergic to food or you could also be allergic to mold and mildew in your home or office. I recommend a thorough cleaning and perhaps an air test professional to come in. You never know.
Don’t be discouraged. Learning that allergies and depression has a significant connection in your life, means you’re one step closer to finding a way out.
Talk to your doctor about a possibility of suffering from allergies and depression.
There is hope! You are worth it!
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Forman, Robert (Ph.D.)(1979), HOW TO CONTROL YOUR ALLERGIES, Larchmont
I. R. Bell et al., “Depression and Allergies: Survey of a Nonclinical Population,” Psychother Psychosom 55, no. 1 (1991): 24-31
Jantz, Gregg M.D. “Moving Beyond Depression” Colorado, WaterBrook Press, 2003
Jurriaan Plesman BA(Psych), Post Grad Dip Clin Nutr/ FINDING YOUR ALLERGIES/ The Hypoglycemic Health Association of Australia/ http://www.hypoglycemia.asn.au/articles/finding_your_allergies.html
Randolph,T & Moss, R.W.(1980), ALLERGIES - YOUR HIDDEN ENEMY, U.K. Turnstone Press Ltd.
Randolph, Theron G., & Moss, R.W.(1982), AN ALTERNATIVE APPROACH TO ALLERGIES, Bantam Books Toronto,NY Samra Dr George (2003), “The Allergy Connection: Food and Disease Paradigm, One Stop Allergies”, “Commons [triggers] for Depression and Fatigue; Sugar, Honey and glucose, Yeasted foods.”, Fax (612-9588-5290, PO Box 394, KOGARAH NSW 2217, Australia / http://www.hypoglycemia.asn.au/articles/SamraBooks.html