5 Bug Allergies That Can Make You Very Sick

Steve Kroening, ND
August 22, 2018


When news broke that the bite from the lone star tick can cause a meat allergy, it opened up a Pandora’s Box for the medical community. All of a sudden, doctors had to consider the possibility that insect bites could be at the heart of food allergies – or at least some of them.

Now, instead of looking at the food as the problem, doctors have to consider outside forces causing the allergy. In some cases, the food might be the problem. But there are essentially five ways bugs can make you sick. Fortunately, there are ways to cure allergies. We see it happen regularly in our clinic….

Right now, the tick/red meat allergy is one of only a small number of bug-induced food allergies we know about. But not all of them come from bug bites. Some come from stinging insects, such as bees. And other allergies are to the waste of some bugs, including dust mites and cockroaches. But these don’t cause food allergy. They usually cause respiratory allergies.

Perhaps one of the weirdest allergies to insects occurs when you eat certain insects. In fact, you probably didn’t think much about eating insects until you saw Bear Grylls or Chip Gaines eat one on TV. But, if you have an allergy to shellfish, you should probably avoid eating insects as well.

The reason?

Shellfish are closely related to insects. Shellfish allergies are very common and can be severe – even life-threatening. Both shellfish and insects are classified as “arthropods” – having an exoskeleton and segmented bodies. This group also includes spiders, scorpions, millipedes, and centipedes.

One of the reasons people suffer from shellfish allergies is that they share some common allergens with dust mites. One of these allergens is chitin. This is the substance that makes up their crunchy shells. One study compared field crickets with fresh water scampi, and found the same allergens present in each one. But the cricket had an extra allergen. This one is a protein that causes allergies that also occur in cockroaches.

Regardless of what the allergen is, if you’re allergic to shellfish, you might well have a bad reaction to insects, too. So you’ll want to avoid eating insects any time soon. No problem, right?

The Bugs You Really Need to Worry About

However, the fifth type of allergy is probably the most common. This is a food allergy caused by the bugs in your gut. While we don’t think of these bugs in the same way we think of a tick or mosquito, they are still “bugs” that can affect your body’s immune system. Countless microorganisms live in the intestinal tract. Researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have shown that intestinal bacteria play a role in determining the strength of anaphylactic reactions to food allergens.

This team of researchers found that when the protein NOD2 is absent from your gut, your body’s immune reaction can be extremely violent. NOD2 is a receptor that “recognizes” intestinal bacteria. When it doesn’t recognize certain bacteria in your gut, it sets off a complex process of reactions. And when NOD2 is absent from your gut, it sets off an entirely different set of reactions.

For instance, when NOD2 is absent, the body's immune reaction changes fundamentally. Instead of seeing regulatory T cells, which suppress an activation of the immune system, kick in, there’s a greater number of what are called Th2 helper cells formed. When these form, they cause a large number of the antibody immunoglobulin E (or IgE for short) to be produced. This is commonly known as the allergy antibody, as it causes overreaction to allergens when your body overproduces it.

So if you have a food allergy, the IgE in your body has been “trained” for the corresponding allergens. When you eat that allergen, it stimulates distinct cells to trigger an allergic reaction in the intestine. The greater the amount of IgE, the stronger the allergic reaction.

When insects, like the lone star tick, bite, chemicals released during the bite can cause your body to overproduce IgE. That’s why some people notice that they become more reactive to certain foods after insect and tick bites.

Whether this reaction is caused by a tick bite, a bacterial imbalance in your gut, or something else, Clinical Desensitization can help reverse this reaction. Clinical Desensitization essentially “retrains” your IgE to not attack the allergen.

Healing Severe Stomach Issues

For instance, one chiropractor came into our clinic with several stomach issues. She said: “I suffered for years with digestive issues of food sensitivity, stomach pains, constipation, bloating, and gas.”

When she came into the Real Health Medical Clinic, we were able to determine which foods were an issue for her. We did this by starting her on a food elimination plan.

Then we started her on a few basic supplements to lower her gut inflammation. She had leaky gut, which the supplements helped to heal. The supplements we used started with a strong probiotic. Then we added Restore (restore4life.com), glutamine, DGL, aloe vera, and slippery elm.

One Vital Supplement for Healing the Gut

Restore is one of the rising stars for healing the gut. You may know how much I like to use minerals to heal the gut. Restore contains trace mineral amino acids complexes along with a relatively unknown proprietary formulation called Terrahydrite™. This is made up of aqueous humic substances that includes lignite, a type of coal. If you’ve ever used charcoal to settle your stomach, you’ve seen a glimpse of what Restore can do. But Restore is more effective than charcoal – and much easier to take.

We’ve seen people with all sorts of digestive issues, including ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, leaky gut, and many others, see significant relief from this one supplement.

Restore has the ability to heal disruptions in the tight junctions of your bowel system. Tight junctions are a specialized connection of two adjacent cell membranes that form a protective barrier throughout the intestinal tract. When these are healthy, they play a central role in keeping you healthy. But when they are disrupted or break down, it can lead to many bowel issues, starting with leaky gut and leading to inflammatory bowel syndrome and other gut issues. And these can lead to overall health problems.

The Connection Between Roundup and Digestive Problems

One major disruptor of tight junctions is the chemical glyphosate. I told you last week about the cancer-causing abilities of glyphosate. It’s the main ingredient in the weed killer Roundup. But it also inhibits the proper function of tight junctions. This is one major reason we’re having so many gut issues today. Pesticides and herbicides are causing our bowels to break down. This is where Restore comes in.

One amazing study showed how Restore can protect you against glyphosate damage. According to the researchers, “The aim of this study was to assess the effect of a soil-derived lignite extract dietary supplement (Restore) in protecting against glyphosate’s effect on the tight junctions in cell culture.”

This study was done in a lab, not on humans, but the results were impressive. The researchers found that Restore can indeed protect tight junctions from damage caused by glyphosate. The researchers concluded: “If found efficacious in clinical trials, Restore could prove helpful in combating intestinal sensitivities caused by glyphosate-mediated tight junction disruption.”

Well, we don’t have official trials completed yet. But we have an enormous amount of clinical evidence that Restore does in humans what these scientists found it to do in the lab.

Healing Gut Problems Caused by Gluten Sensitivity

But that’s not all. There’s evidence that Restore can heal a gut damaged by gluten. As you may know, gluten is a major cause of digestive damage in sensitive people. Research has shown that gluten does this damage by disrupting the function of tight junctions, just like glyphosate. Because Restore was so effective at protecting against glyphosate damage, researchers wanted to know if the supplement would protect against the damage gluten can cause. And, sure enough, it did! So if you have a gluten sensitivity, you may want to try Restore and see if it helps restore your gut health. We’ve seen it work in some very difficult cases, including our chiropractor patient.

You can find Resolve at many health food stores and online, including Amazon.com.

Desensitizing Can Resolve Food Allergies

Of course, we had to use other treatments to completely restore her to health. She had significant allergies caused by the IgE in her body reacting to the allergens. This is where Advanced Desensitization Therapy comes in. This therapy helps to retrain the IgE to behave correctly – and not attack the allergens.

Arlene Dailey is a clinical allergy therapist who works in our clinic. She incorporates Advanced Desensitization Therapy (ADT) to address reactions to food, environment, medications, and internal auto-immune reactions to hormones, stomach acid, etc. Arlene develops a custom plan for each patient that helps resolves allergies, heal the body, and desensitize the patient to any problematic foods.

So if you have any type of allergy, whether a tick caused it or some other bug, there’s real hope you can reverse the allergy. Check with your local alternative-minded doctors to find out if they offer ADT and other allergy protocols. Or if the Atlanta area is convenient, you can make an appointment with Arlene by emailing info@realhealthmedical.com or calling 678-990-5401.

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