Our young niece is staying with us this summer. When she is home with her parents, she is fed a horrible diet and suffers from asthma and all kinds of allergies and other health problems. However, when she adopts our diet of vegetables, fruits, and natural foods, we see a positive change in her health—but she still experiences food sensitivity reactions. We’ve started giving her some of the digestive enzymes you recommend and they seem to help. Do you have any other suggestions?
There is one thing I can think of that might provide a bit of temporary relief from her apparent symptoms of food allergies. Let me say from the start that this particular remedy shouldn't be used long term, since it could interfere with your niece's natural digestive processes.
You can give her either Alka-Seltzer Gold antacid formula or Alka-Aid (available in health food stores). Both of these products are alkali compounds, and, if given to your niece before she eats the offending food, they should prevent any food sensitivity reaction.
Obviously, as I'm sure you've realized, it can be very difficult to predict which foods will trigger a reaction. In cases where you don’t give her the alkali ahead of time and she has a sensitivity reaction, give it to her at the first sign of symptoms. You should start to see an improvement within 10 or 15 minutes. (Be sure to keep a log of offending foods for future reference.)
I've explained in the past how the pH of the intestinal tract can lead to impaired protein digestion and food allergies. Taking the alkalizing substance will ensure that the stomach acid is neutralized, the proteolytic enzymes are kept intact, and the proteins are properly digested.
Keep in mind this is a stopgap measure and not the answer to your niece's problems. Long-term relief requires a number of measures, the most important of which you are already attempting to do: improve her diet. Adding raw foods is a great first step as they contain natural enzymes that make their own digestion easier. (Heating and other processing techniques destroy enzymes, which means that your body must work even harder to digest processed foods.) And see my other all-natural remedies that treat the symptoms of food allergies by improving your digestive capabilities.