FOOD ALLERGIES AND FOOD INTOLERANCES/SENSITIVITIES
What is a food allergy?
A food allergy is an immune response (IgE). It occurs when the body mistakes an ingredient in food - usually a protein - as harmful and creates a defense system (anitbodies) to fight it. Food allergy symptoms develop when the antibodies are battling the "invading" food. The most common food allergies are peanuts, tree nuts (walnuts, pecans, and almonds), fish, shellfish, milk, eggs, soy, wheat, and citrus.
Symptoms of a food allergy may include:
- Rash or hives
- Stomach pain
- Itchy skin
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Swelling of the airways to the lungs
What Is Food Intolerance/Sensitivity?
Food intolerance is a digestive system response rather than an immune system response (IgG). It occurs when something in a food irritates a person's digestive system or when a person is unable to properly digest or breakdown, the food. Intolerance to lactose, which is found in milk and other dairy products, is the most common food intolerance.
Symptoms of a food intolerance/sensitivity may include:
- Stomach pain
- Gas, cramps, or bloating
- Irritability or nervousness
- Unexplained rashes
- Nasal congestion
- Dark circles under the eyes
- Attention deficits
- Memory loss
- Recurrent ear infections
Potential reasons for adverse food reactions increasing are:
- Repeated consumption of a limited number of foods (repeated exposure to these foods taxes the immune system).
- Improper digestion and poor integrity of the intestinal barrier: The digestive tract plays a vital role in preventing illness and disease by providing an impenetrable barrier. When the integrity of the intestinal barrier is compromised, a condition coined "leaky gut syndrome" develops. With leaky gut syndrome, partially digested dietary protein can cross the intestinal barrier and be absorbed into the bloodstream. These large molecules can cause an allergic response, producing symptoms directly in the intestines or throughout the body.
- Over-worked immune systems(stress, exposure to pollution, pesticides and chemicals)
- Genetics (food allergies and intolerances can be hereditary)
* See Allergy Therapy for more information /allergy-therapy.html