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Food Allergies

Food Allergies

We have all heard of food allergies, and some of us may be intimately familiar with various food allergies. But for the average person, the only known food allergies are those that display immediate reactions.

Immediate Food Allergies (IgE)

Immediate food allergies, also know as Type One toxic reactions, are quick and easy to identify. The allergy itself can be easily measured in a laboratory test, since immediate food allergies typically produce special protein antibodies to foods called IgE (Immunoglobulin E).

These food allergies are typically easy to identify, because the mere exposure to the food will cause an immediate and obvious reaction. For example, some people could actually die from exposure to tomatoes, strawberries, crabmeat, or nuts. Perhaps your skin will react to the touch of the food, turning red and growing welts. Or perhaps your body will go into anaphylactic shock, cutting off your breathing capacity. The most common foods allergies are:

  • Cow's milk
  • Hen's eggs
  • Fish
  • Peanuts
  • Shellfish
  • Tree nuts
  • Soybeans
  • Wheat

People will always have different kinds of reactions to the foods that they are allergic, as each person's personal body chemistry is different.

One thing is certain; if you are suffering from an immediate food allergy, your body will display a change in IgE levels, which can be easily identified by a simple blood or skin test. Here is a list of additional commonalities in relation to immediate food allergies:

  • Generally only one or two foods cause allergic symptoms.
  • Even trace amounts of food can trigger an intense allergic reaction, up to and including anaphylaxis, which is fatal reaction that can occur within minutes of exposure.
  • Allergic symptoms commonly appear two hours or less after consumption of offending foods.
  • Primarily affects the skin, airway and digestive tract displaying classical allergy symptoms such as asthma, angioedema, diarrhea, eczema, rhinitis, urticaria, vomiting and anaphylaxis.
  • Allergic food is food that is rarely eaten.
  • Commonly a permanent, fixed food allergy.
  • Except with infants and young children the offending food is most often self-diagnosed.
  • Frequently IgE "RAST" positive and skin test positive.
  • Although mixed immediate/delayed onset allergic reactions have been reported (e.g., eczema), IgG antibody not characteristically involved.

Type I food allergies occur most commonly in children, but occasionally display in adults as well.

Food Allergy Symptoms IgE

A tingling sensation, itching, or a metallic taste in the mouth often precedes an anaphylactic shock. It is important that if you think you are experiencing an anaphylactic shock to see a doctor right away. Symptoms can worsen over several hours, and anaphylaxis can lead to death. Other symptoms of anaphylactic shock include:

  • Hives
  • Sensation of warmth
  • Wheezing or other difficulty breathing
  • Coughing
  • Swelling of the mouth and throat area
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Cramping
  • A drop in blood pressure
  • Loss of consciousness

(IgG) Food Sensitivities or Delayed Onset Food Allergy

Food sensitivities, delayed onset food allergies, also known as hidden food sensitivity, food intolerance, or a Type Two toxic reaction, differ from immediate food allergies on two counts. First, instead of generating IgE protein antibodies, delayed onset food allergies produces IgG, IgA, and IgM antibodies. Second, instead of displaying immediately, symptoms will begin to display after a few hours or days.

Part of the reason for the delayed onset is that different foods break down in the human body at different speeds, depending upon the food and a person's body chemistry, causing toxic reactions to the food to show up sometimes hours after a meal. In the case of delayed onset food allergies, it is very difficult to judge which foods cause which reactions and when, without a laboratory test to identify the problematic foods.

Symptoms of Delayed Onset Food Allergy or food sensitivities include:

  • ADD/ADHD
  • Asthma
  • Bowel problems such as colitis, diarrhea, or constipation
  • Canker sores
  • Chronic headaches (migraines)
  • Chronic indigestion or heartburn
  • Chronic respiratory symptoms such as wheezing or bronchitis
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Failure to thrive
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Joint pain or arthritic-like symptoms
  • Migraine
  • Nocturnal enuresis (bed-wetting)
  • Recurrent ear infections
  • Recurrent abdominal pain (irritable bowel syndrome)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Skin problems
  • Sinusitis
  • Yeast infections

Food Allergies Testing

There are several types of tests that are available to people to help them to see what foods if any are responsible for the symptoms experienced.

For the Immediate Food Allergy (IgE), there are two food allergy tests that people can take to help them make a proper diagnosis:

  • Skin test. A skin prick test can determine your reaction to particular foods. In this test, small amounts of suspected foods are placed on the skin of your forearm or back. Your skin is then pricked with a needle, to allow a tiny amount of the substance beneath your skin to surface. If you're allergic to a particular substance being tested, you develop a raised bump or reaction.
  • Blood test. A blood test can measure your immune system's response to particular foods by assessing the amount of allergy-type antibodies in your bloodstream, known as immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies. A blood sample is then sent to a medical laboratory, where different foods can be tested.

For the Delayed Food Allergy (IgG), there is one primary test that you are recommended to take:

  • ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) test analyzes IgG Food Antibody Profile measures levels of IgG antibodies for commonly offending foods. It clearly identifies those foods that may be causing health problems, helping to achieve positive outcomes sooner, even when combined with elimination/provocation testing.

The first and most important thing to understand about food allergies is that laboratory testing is important. Especially with delayed onset food allergies, when self-diagnosing, it is nearly impossible to determine the true cause of your health problems. You need to get the laboratory testing done, so that you know what the real culprit is behind your health problems and how to address that allergy.

Once you are accurately aware of what foods you might be allergic, fixing your health problems can be as simple as changing the foods that you eat.

Causes of Food Sensitivities

Common causes of food sensitivities are stress, inflammation, and intestinal permeability problems (leaky gut). The greatest source of inflammation can come from your diet. Snack and "comfort" foods produce an acidic environment.

Acidity = Inflammation
Inflammation = Adrenal Fatigue
Adrenal Fatigue=Leaky Gut
Leaky Gut=Food Allergies

Chronic stress reduces the body's ability to produce an adequate supply of stomach acid and digestive enzymes which leads to impaired digestion. This greatly impairs food breakdown and results in undigested food particles.

Hyperpermeability is thought to be a contributing factor in the development of food sensitivities. The resulting immune activation, hepatic dysfunction, and pancreatic insufficiency sets up a vicious cycle. Leaky Gut/Intestinal Permeability is often overlooked.

What causes Leaky Gut?

Viruses, Bacteria, Parasites, Candida
Alcohol, NSAIDS (Aleve, Motrin, ect.)
Poor Nutrition
Food Allergies
Liver Impairment

How do I know if I have Leaky Gut?

Take a Intestinal Permeability Test These tests will check for intestinal leaking. It is a simple urine test you collect at home and send to the lab.

Helpful Digestive Supplements

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  • iFlora Premium Probiotic promotes digestive and immune health with 16 powerful probiotic strains that survive stomach acid and 20 billion cells per serving.
  • Fiber Supplements help keep intestinal lining healthy
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