Is There a Pathway to Prevention for Food Allergies?
By Taylor Smith
Food allergies, intolerances, and even sensitivities in children seem to be ubiquitous in 2020.
Whether it’s a life-threatening allergy to peanuts or a less-critical sensitivity towards eggs that inevitably ends in a stomachache, modern-day parents need to be more informed than ever when it comes to recipes, nutrition, ingredient lists, environmental influences, and medical options.
Whole Body Approach
Aly Cohen, MD, FACR, is triple board certified in internal medicine, rheumatology, and integrative medicine. She is also a trained specialist in environmental health and frequently lectures on the subject at New Jersey hospitals, elementary schools, high schools, and universities. The impact of environmental chemicals on the human nervous, immune, and endocrine systems is of particular importance to Dr. Cohen, who works with patients in her Princeton office to identify and implement both conventional and alternative therapies.
This whole body approach entails examining nutrition, household chemicals, air filtration, sleeping habits, lifestyle, genetics, and habitual stressors. Dr. Cohen believes that genetics and the environment are both significant factors as to whether or not a child suffers from food allergies.
In her recent text, Integrative Environmental Medicine, Dr. Cohen details how families can reduce their habitual exposure to chemicals, many of which, are linked to “everything from type 2 diabetes, obesity, thyroid disease, asthma, allergy, autoimmune disease,” and more. This work is a literary extension of The Smart Human LLC (thesmarthuman.com), a company she founded in 2013 that “seeks to educate, coach, and empower everyday people to make safer, smarter choices for human health.”
As indicated on The Smart Human’s website, “There are over 90,000 chemicals currently registered and available for commercial use in the United States … to make all kinds of things like plastics, cosmetics, food additives and preservatives, computers, fabrics, toys, furniture, cars, etc. Known as ‘EDCs,’ these endocrine disrupting chemicals can antagonize the body’s entire system through allergies, sleep disruption, hormone imbalance, sugar regulation, anxiety, and inflammation. “
Slated to be released this year, Dr. Cohen’s new book, Non-Toxic: Guide to Living Healthy in a Chemical World, seeks to educate the general public on how they can take matters related to allergies and chronic illness into their own hands. According to Dr. Cohen, increased exposure to toxic chemicals within our environment is leading to greater rates of both allergies and chronic illness. Factors like contaminated drinking water, abrasive household cleaning products, air pollution, air fresheners, hairspray, shampoos, and beauty products serve as irritants for a host of allergy-related illnesses. One simple way to improve these matters is to remove synthetic/chemical products from the home. Also helpful are changing the filters on your HVAC system regularly and vacuuming with a HEPA filter vacuum to remove dust and pesticides from the furniture.