Rational Wellness Podcast Episode 005: Allergies with Dr. Susanne Bennett

Feb 14, 2017 by

This episode of the Rational Wellness Podcast includes a thought provoking discussion on allergies between Dr. Ben Weitz and Dr. Susanne Bennett. Dr. Bennett is a Chiropractor and Functional Medicine doctor with over 27 years of experience and author of such notable publications as Mighty Mito and The Seven Day Allergy Makeover. In addition to her practice and her books, Dr. Bennett, hosts a weekly podcast, “Wellness for Life” on Radio M.D. and I Heart Radio.

Allergies are a particularly timely discussion, Dr. Bennett asserts, as we transition from winter, known as the mold allergy season, to spring, the pollen allergy season. A large portion of our population is experiencing sinus congestion, coughing, sneezing, and watery eyes. These are the typical symptoms of allergic reactions that send patients running to the doctor’s office. There, patients are prescribed over the counter conventional drugs such as Zyrtec, Allegra and Claritin. If the symptoms continue to persist, antibiotics are prescribed. These medications, while effective in treating the symptoms of allergic reactions, do not treat the underlying cause.

Functional medicine doctors, like Dr. Bennett, try to determine the triggers and underlying causes of allergies in each patient. In, “Seven Day Allergy Makeover”, Dr. Bennett defines allergies as “the reaction that occurs when an allergen is inhaled, ingested or comes into contact with the skin and stimulates an immune reaction by the body.” These reactions are often subtle and delayed. Mold, pollen, dust, foods, heavy metals, chemicals and toxins are often found to be the cause. Common inhalants known to cause allergic reactions include; pollen, trees, grass, weeds and flowers. Chemicals pollutants as well as, perfumes, smog, car exhaust, paint, furniture and the formaldehyde in new cars are all allergy-causing irritants.

The most common allergies are food allergies. Food sensitivities and intolerances can have a 24-hour postprandial delay. This delay often leads to undiagnosed food allergies. Symptoms exhibited include; headaches, bowel issues and or skin rashes. For patients exhibiting severe reactions avoidance and or elimination of allergy triggering food from diet is recommended. Fixing gut allergies first helps alleviate nasal and skin allergies as well as addresses hidden issues like reflux and joint pain. Neglecting the gut can lead to malabsorption of the nutrients needed for health. In this in depth discussion Dr. Bennett discusses the seven most common food allergies she treats in her patients, and how they benefited, when those foods were removed.

Diary and gluten are the first two primary allergens Dr. Bennett addresses. Humans by the age of five, particularly in the US, stop producing the enzyme lactase needed to properly digest the lactose found in dairy products. The continued ingestion of dairy without this enzyme causes a lactose intolerance or allergy. Gluten causes inflammation of the gut and disrupts the gut lining triggering allergies that can eventually lead to leaky gut syndrome.

Sugar is a big problem because it increases the overgrowth of bacteria and yeast in the gut. If you have an overgrowth of bacteria and yeast the sugar feeds off of them causing systemic inflammation. Special sugars, called fermentable carbohydrates, are inflammatory foods. Because we lack the enzymes to digest them, we become sugar intolerant.

Moldy foods are another common cause of allergies, explains Dr. Bennett. Cheese, packaged fruits and vegetables that aren’t washed well will grow mold. She explains that some people think they have developed a strawberry or nut allergy when many times it’s the mold that’s growing on them that’s the catalyst.

Alcohol is another allergen at the root of these gut issues. When you have a dysbiosis of the gut combined with too much sugar or too much fruit, containing mold, you can brew your own alcohol. It’s called auto-brewing, which creates ethanol.

Peanuts and cashews are very problematic to gut health. Peanuts and cashews are made from pods, which makes them wet, this combined with the manufacturing process they undergo, at high heat, create the perfect breeding ground for mold. Almonds, pecans and walnuts have thick shells and do not share that issue.

In the “Seven Day Allergy Makeover”, Dr. Bennett provides a comprehensive food checklist as well as additional tips on gut allergies which can be found on her website. Dr. Bennett discusses her use of a comprehensive intake and diagnostic system that allows her to help her patients in the alleviation of allergies and their associated symptoms. Initial testing and diagnostics include:

  • Muscle Testing
  • Elimination/ Anti-Inflammatory Diet
  • Cyrex Testing

In this podcast you will learn her strategic ways of eliminating allergens from your home and good tips for creating a healthier environment in your child’s bedroom.  For additional information please refer to the full length and in depth pod-cast discussion where she tackles this important issue.

If you would like more information about Dr. Susanne Bennett or would like to schedule an appointment with her, please access her website, http://drsusanne.com/

Here is the link to her podcast/radio show: http://drsusanne.com/radio/

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