Who Has Allergies?
Almost everyone knows someone who suffers from symptoms of allergy, including wheezing, runny nose, irritable bowel, migraine headaches, skin rashes, or a host of other common uncomfortable and often debilitating problems. Conservative estimates are that as many as 25 percent of the population have significant allergies to some types of food, chemicals, or inhalants. The true incidence of allergy and intolerance may be considerably higher when including the less dramatic symptoms of occasional anxiety, joint aches, generalized fatigue, and water retention as well.
What is a Food Intolerance?
In today’s society the words food allergy have become prolific. Symptoms such as asthma, eczema, skin rashes sinusitis, nausea, fatigue, joint pains, dark circles under the eyes, night sweats, gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhoea and vomiting, bloating, irritable bowel, eczema, and other chronic conditions.
What needs to be noted is that food allergies and food intolerance are very different in the onset of symptoms and severity. Food intolerance is much more common than food allergies, food intolerance can happen hours after you have ingested a certain food or food groups and occasionally it can present the following day. The onset of food intolerance can be triggered by over eating a certain food that the body can tolerate in small doses.
Where there is a food allergy the patient cannot even tolerate a slight amount of a particular food. This is often seen with the person reacting with Food allergies are easier to diagnose with, tests looking for IgE to perform a reliable diagnosis that can usually be readily confirmed. Very severe food allergies that can be life threatening, also known as Anaphylaxis.
Food allergies and intolerances are an immune system response which results in the body making antibodies to fight off a food. The body responds to what it sees as an invader or dangerous to the body and efficiently antibodies are produced to attack the invading substance, resulting in reactions such as mentioned above.
Food intolerance can have a number of different causes:
Enzymes are required to help with the breakdown of natural substances found in certain foods. If these enzymes are missing, or in short supply, then eating the food can cause symptoms because part of the content of the food cannot be properly dealt with by the body.
In lactose intolerance, for example, the body lacks the enzyme (lactase) that breaks lactose (milk sugar) down into smaller sugars ready for absorption from the gut. Lactose is too large to be absorbed across the gut wall undigested, and its presence in the gut causes gut spasm, pain, bloating, diarrhoea and ‘failure to thrive’.
Most foods require some enzyme activity in their digestion, and enzyme deficiencies can be an important factor in food intolerance.
Some foods contain naturally occurring chemicals that have an effect on the body, such as caffeine in coffee, tea, and chocolate, or amines in certain cheeses. Some people seem to be more affected than others by these natural substances in the food, causing symptoms which would not occur in other people unless they ate far larger quantities of the food.
A number of foods contain naturally occurring substances that can exert a toxic effect causing symptoms of vomiting and diarrhoea. Examples of foods that can be toxic are chickpeas and kidney beans. If they are undercooked a chemical reaction can cause and allergy or intolerance.
Histamine in foods
Some foods contain histamine naturally, and others can develop a build-up of histamine in their flesh (fish) as they age. In certain people, this histamine occurring naturally in the food can cause symptoms rashes, stomach pains, diarrhea and vomiting and in some cases symptoms that can mimic anaphylaxis. when the food is eaten.
Salicylates in foods
Many foods naturally contain salicylates, and our tolerance to this can vary. The vast majority of people can eat salicylate-containing foods with no problems, but other people may suffer symptoms if they eat too many foods, which when combined contain a large amount. These salicylate-intolerant people will get better if they eat a diet of low and moderate salicylate foods and avoid those with the highest levels.
Additives in foods
A wide variety of natural and artificial additives are used in coloring preserving and processing foods. Some people can suffer symptoms provoked by hypersensitivity to food additives.
Elimination followed by reintroduction
In some cases food intolerance or allergies can also be treated with and Elimination diet. This consists of certain foods being excluded for a set period of time to see if the symptoms improve or resolve. This is then followed by reintroducing the foods to see if there is an allergy or intolerance. The initial period of exclusion will usually be for two weeks and up to six weeks depending on the symptoms. Embarking on such diets requires a lot of dedication and planning but the results can be life changing.
Prolonged elimination builds tolerance
Weeks or months of elimination of the reactive food may well lead to reintroduction of the food without reaction. This is known as tolerance, and its maintenance depends on establishing the threshold of both frequency and quantity for that person – in other words, eating the food occasionally may be tolerated, but reintroducing it in large quantities or on a very regular basis (e.g. every day) might lead to symptoms recurring. This is purely individual so working this out and not restricting the diet more than is necessary is a major consideration.
In a few people, underlying conditions can either cause symptoms or make food intolerance’s worse. In these cases, treatment for the underlying condition should be a priority in order to allow symptoms to improve. You should always seek advice via your GP rather than attempting to diagnose or treat these problems yourself. Excluding other possible diagnoses first is imperative.
Food intolerance can be caused by many factors but is treatable once the culprit foods are identified. After excluding other possible causes a structured and supervised reintroduction should commence
What Can I Do?
Take a simple blood test through the ELISA method to identify elevated antibodies to foods and inhalant allergens. These allergies may be contributing to undue inflammation in your body. The ELISA method is a precise and accurate method to identify your food and inhalant allergies. Nutritional Laboratory Services allergy testing will help you discover with ease what you need to avoid in your diet and environment to minimize symptoms from unnecessary inflammatory processes due to daily exposures. AVAILABLE TESTING
Food Allergy Testing
|Option 1||Option 2 – 24 Herb & 24 Spices||Option 3 – Common Inhalant|
Pepper, Green Bell
Egg White, Chicken
Egg Yolk, Chicken
Yeast, Brewer’sSpices testedAllspice
Angelica sinesis (Dong Quai)
Arctostaphy uva-ursi (Uva ursi)
Astragalus membranaceus (Astragalus)
Camelliae folium (Green Tea)
Cimicifuga racemosa (Black Cohosh)
Dioscorea villosa (Wild Yam)
Echinacea augustifolia (Echinacea)
Eleutherococcus senticosus (Siberian Ginseng)
Glycyrrhiza glabra (Licorice)
Gymneme sylvestre (Gymnema)
Hydrastis canadensis (Goldenseal)
Hypericum perforatum (St. John’s Wort)
Matricaria chamomilla (Chamomile)
Plantago ovata (Psyllium seed)
Rosa canina (Rose Hips)
Serenoa serrulata (Saw palmetto)
Silybum marianum (Milk Thistle)
Taraxacum officinale (Dandelion)
Vaccinium myrtillus (Bilberry)
Valeriana officinalis (Valerian)
Withania somnifera (Ashwaganda)GrassBahia
Dust Mite Mix