Book Review: The Allergy Solution by Leo Galland, M.D. and Jonathan Galland, J.D.
| By Dr. Ronald Hoffman
Dr. Leo Galland is one of my most admired colleagues, to whom I owe a great debt of gratitude for providing me with the intellectual foundation for my practice of integrative medicine.
Dr. Galland was one of the first to recognize the importance of the “Yeast Connection”; to acknowledge the ubiquitous role of magnesium; to appreciate the efficacy of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet for healing patients with Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis; and to popularize terms like “leaky gut” and “dysbiosis” which now guide our thinking in finding the root cause of complex health problems.
Now he, along with his son and collaborator Jonathan, has tackled the problem of allergies from a holistic perspective. He starts out by expanding on the classic definition of allergy, which confines itself to obvious manifestations like sneezing, wheezing and itching. Dr. Galland’s expanded list of potential allergic manifestations comprises:
- Weight gain
- Muscle aches
- Joint pain
- Stomach aches
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Brain fog
As an environmental activist, Jonathan Galland’s contribution to The Allergy Solution is a call-to-action to clean up our toxic ecosystem. Particulate matter, ozone, diesel exhaust, and sulfur dioxide are acknowledged allergy-primers. Climate change may usher in longer pollen seasons and weather conditions that permit mold to flourish. Endocrine disrupters in our food and water may render us more susceptible to allergies. And volatile organic compounds in our household air may trigger symptoms.
Through a comprehensive self-administered questionnaire, The Allergy Solution guides the reader through a search for hidden allergy triggers, ranging from foods to household chemicals. You can then undertake corrective action to alleviate your sensitivities.
No book on allergies would be complete without a discussion of how gut health impacts allergies. The Allergy Solutioncatalogues evidence that the indiscriminate use of antibiotics and powerful acid-blockers harmfully alter the intestinal microbial population. This provokes a “switch” in immune vigilance in which optimal defense against pathogens is supplanted by inappropriate reaction against the self—translating into allergy and autoimmunity.
Dr. Galland notes that deficiencies of certain key nutrients can predispose to allergies:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Omega 3 fatty acids
Dr. Galland extols the benefits of glutathione as a master allergy-quencher. He notes that use of acetaminophen, the ingredient in over-the-counter pain relievers and fever remedies, has been associated with worsened asthma symptoms. Dr. Galland recommends n-acetylcysteine (NAC), whey powder, and selenium to promote the body’s glutathione synthesis.
He’s also a fan of sulforophane, a derivative of broccoli, which features prominently in his 3-day “Power Wash” elimination diet to unmask allergic triggers.
Dr. Galland clearly enjoys his role as an allergy detective. The Allergy Solution is laced with fascinating case studies from Dr. Galland’s practice. You’ll learn how a yeast-free diet can heal a recalcitrant case of hives; how B12 and molybdenum can alleviate sulfite sensitivity; how nightshade vegetables can prove to be the unsuspected cause of mouth sores and painful, swollen neck glands; how allergic contact dermatitis can be related to nickel exposure, and can be brought under control through avoidance of nickel-containing foods; how severe tree allergy can be relieved by ditching aspirin and certain nuts and fruit; how workplace mold exposure was the culprit behind a woman’s inexplicable depression and exhaustion.
Along the way, you’ll acquire pearls like:
- A high percentage of children who develop peanut allergies were inadvertently rubbed with skin care products containing peanut oil—a potential route of sensitization.
- Formaldehyde in household air can be a major asthma trigger in kids.
- Meat allergy can be acquired via a tick bite.
- Allergies can produce brain impairment on a par with powerful sedatives or alcohol.
- Certain specific oral probiotic supplements have been shown to quell nasal allergies.
- The connection of allergy to stress is well-substantiated by scientific research.
- New research identifies a specific molecular mechanism by which allergy contributes to progressive weight gain.
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