Food allergies and sensitivities?
Food allergies and sensitivities are extremely common and the symptoms are different
in every person, which makes them difficult to diagnose. There are two different types
of food allergies and one is easy to detect, one is not.
The first type is anaphylactic or "true" food allergies – this is what people normally think
of as a food allergy. These reactions show up immediately after eating and are often very
dramatic, such as swelling, hives, welts, or asthma attacks. These foods must be avoided
completely because this type of food allergy can be life-threatening (swelling in the throat
can interfere with breathing). Common foods withthis type of reaction are peanuts, or shellfish.
The second type is called a food sensitivity reaction and these are responsible for a host of
symptoms that can follow different patterns in different people. This is the type of food
allergy that we will discuss in this section.
Causes and Associated Factors:
Causes of food intolerance are largely unknown, but there are many contributing factors.
Genetics play a part and often if a parent or grandparent has a food sensitivity than
the children are more likely to have the same sensitivity. Also we know that food
sensitivities may be triggered later in life by a stress or trauma, which suggests an
emotional or stress-hormone related component. We also know that food sensitivities
get worse with age, which may mean that ongoing damage is occurring which contributes
to the problem.
Food processing may also contribute to food sensitivities in that the most common foods
that people react to are also highly processed. Milk and dairy products now are pasteurized,
homogenized and have added chemicals that milk a century ago did not have. Likewise corn,
soy and wheat have all been genetically modified and selectively bred to increase harvest
yields in commercial farming. Many people theorize that this level of processing within
the food has made it less digestible in general and may have led more people to become
sensitive to these foods.
Food sensitivities are highly linked to a syndrome called Leaky Gut Syndrome, which is
a situation in which some stressor (such as a food to which the person is sensitive)
causes damage to the intestinal lining. That damage allows larger than normal food
particles to cross into the blood stream. Those particles trigger an immune reaction
in the body because they are not supposed to be in the blood stream to begin with.
This immune reaction often cross reacts with the person's own tissue, setting up a
cascade of symptoms, such as the food sensitivity symptoms as well as autoimmune symptoms.
Food sensitivity and leaky gut have a chicken-or-the- egg type relationship because it is
unclear which condition arises first and which is a consequence. It is certain, however,
that to fix either problem, you must address both.
Foods That Commonly Cause Allergic Reactions
Many foods that have been identified as causes of senstivity/allergic reactions are due primarily to the bastardization of our food supply, with GMO's (Genetically Modified Engineering). See the details along with the most common foods list below...
Dairy Products: Cow's milk (Pasturization removes most of the nutrients)
Chicken eggs (Many vaccine flu virus is grown on fertilized chicken eggs,(Ovalbumin) is the major protein constituent of chicken egg whites.)
Grains/Gluten: Corn, soy, wheat, HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup - most packaged and fast foods contain this ingredient) (See the Top 7 GMO foods below)
Nightshade vegetables: Eggplant, potatoes, tomatoes, all peppers. Nightshades contain substances called alkaloids, which can cause inflammation and stress.
Peanuts (Peanut crops receives applications of glyphosate, neary every 10 days)Glyphosate is a poison.
Fish: Most farmed fish are fed grains, that contain GMO's and most fish from the sea have mercury - due to oil spills and polution of the oceans.
Crustacean shellfish (such shrimp, prawns, lobster, and crab)
Tree nuts (such as almonds, cashews, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, and chestnuts)
Preservatives, colorings: People cannot digest chemistry.
What Foods Can I Eat? (If You Have Food Allergies)
This list contains the least reactions to food sensetivity/allergy.
Electing to eat organically grown foods also helps avoid the intake of pesticides and other allergy producing toxins.
Top Genetically Modified Crops:
Corn: Corn is the No. 1 crop grown in the U.S. and nearly all of it -- 88 percent -- is genetically modified. In addition to being added to innumerable processed foods, genetically modified corn is a staple of animal feed.
Soy: 93 percent of soy is genetically modified. Soy is a staple of processed foods under various names including hydrogenated oils, lecithin, emulsifiers, tocopherol (a vitamin E supplement) and proteins.
Cottonseed: According to the USDA, 94 percent of cotton grown in the U.S. is genetically modified. Cottonseeds are culled from cotton, and then used for vegetable oil, margarine or shortening production, or frying foods, such as potato chips.
Alfalfa: Farmers feed alfalfa to dairy cows, the source of milk, butter, yogurt, meat and so much more. Alfalfa is the fourth largest crop grown in the U.S., behind corn, soybeans, and wheat (though there is no genetically engineered wheat on the market).
Papaya: 75 percent of the Hawaiian papaya crop is genetically modified to withstand the papaya ringspot virus.
Canola Oil: About 90 percent of the U.S. canola (rapeseed) crop is genetically modified. Canola oil is used in cooking, as well as biofuels. In North Dakota, genetically modified canola has been found growing far from any planted fields, raising questions about what will happen when "escaped" GE canola competes with wild plants.
Sugar Beets: More than half -- 54 percent -- of sugar sold in America comes from sugar beets. Genetically modified sugar beets account for 90 percent of the crop; however, that percentage is expected to increase after a USDA's decision last year gave the green light to sugar beet planting before an environmental impact statement was completed.
How a food has been prepared, processed, handled and stored can also have an effect on whether a food will cause an allergic reaction. For example, some molecules responsible for allergic reactions can be destroyed by heat. Individuals with allergies to cow's milk have reported that drinking heated milk does not cause the symptoms associated with their milk allergies suggesting that the molecules that are toxic to these individuals have been destroyed by the heating process. However, the molecules in peanuts that can cause highly toxic responses in people allergic to peanuts are known to be very stable and unaffected by even long periods of heating.
Lab Testing: Elimination Diet: This is the gold-standard in food sensitivity testing. Elimination diets
require a commitment and some energy from you, but are reliable, easy to interpret and free.
For full instructions, please download the handout
Skin scratch tests: This type of test detects foods that will react with anaphylaxis,
that is the instant reaction of hives, swelling or asthma-type symptoms. Skin tests
DO NOT test for delayed food sensitivity reactions.
Stool Test:EnteroLab has developed a
unique screening test for gluten sensitivity as well as for dietary yeast, cow's milk, chicken
egg, and soy sensitivity that is more sensitive and specific than tests in current use
(U.S. and European patents issued). Their method utilizes stool rather than blood as the
testing substrate; the rationale of using stool rather than blood for testing for food sensitivity
is that immunologic reactions to proteins in the diet that cause these reactions are centered
within the intestinal tract and not in the blood. We believe that our new tests can improve
the health of millions of people worldwide. For more on the rationale and superiority of our
method over pre-existing tests, please read an essay about this:
Did you know that you can order this test online? EnteroLab
Blood testing: There are many types of blood tests for food allergies. In our experience we have found the Enterolab tests
to be most accurate. The blood tests are useful as a rough guideline but can not be trusted 100%. Results have been shown to vary depending on which lab
is used and what the patient has eaten recently.
The most effective therapy for Food allergies and sensitivities is to follow the Elimination Diet, first.
Discover which foods you are truly allergic or sensitive to. Eliminate these foods from your diet.
Learn how to cook, food allergen and sensitivity free. Pre plan meals, as well as events, to stay free
of allowing these foods to disrupt your life. 100% eliminate these foods from your diet and over
time you will notice a sharp decline in your symptoms as well as your seasonal allergies.
What You Can Do: 1. Discover your sensitivities:
If it is at all possible, an elimination diet will give you the most accurate results.
Elimination diets take some commitment on your part, but are well worth it in the long run.
The procedure is simple; eliminate the food you would like to test completely for two weeks,
reintroduce the food for a day, and then watch for reactions. I have found it easiest to
eliminate all four major food allergies at once and then test them (challenge) one at a time.
Milk, for example: For a two-week period, avoid all products containing milk.
This includes the obvious (milk, cheese, yoghurt, butter) and also the hidden,
so check the ingredient list on products like crackers, cookies, bread, cakes,
snack foods and salad dressings. It is extremely important that milk and diary
be eliminated completely so that your immune system has a chance to stop reacting to it.
During this period you will probably not notice a change in your symptoms – that is completely normal.
After the elimination period, we have a challenge day. The goal this day is to eat lots of
milk or dairy ingredients so that your body is given a chance to respond. After milk day,
stop eating dairy again and watch for symptoms for the next four days. In this period people
who have some milk sensitivity will report symptoms like increased nasal drainage, increased
joint pain, irritability, depression, mood swings, aggressive behavior, poor digestion and
"brain fog. " It is also possible that the system is affected by the reintroduction day enough
to become ill, typically some type of viral illness. The display of any of these signs or
symptoms is considered a positive reaction.
Eliminate the food to be tested completely for two weeks 1. Reintroduce the food for one day
Eliminate the food again and watch for signs, symptoms or illness for the next four days.
This could be any of the symptoms listed above or even a flu-like feeling.
If you won't do an elimination diet, then order stool and blood testing.
Cut out the foods to which you have had a positive reaction. 100% eliminate these
foods from your diet and over time you will notice a sharp decline in your symptoms
as well as your seasonal allergies.
You may have created some damage within your gut through long-term exposure to foods that
you were sensitive to. This will show up in a variety of symptoms including heartburn,
acid reflux, bloating, gas, mucus in the stool, constipation and diarrhea. If you have any
of these symptoms it is a good idea to speak with your physician about a protocol specifically
for you. In general a good digestive enzyme and probiotics would be a good general starting point.
Work with a Nutritionist
Everyone is an individual. Everyone should be able to eat well, no matter which food sensitivity they have.
True food allergies create a reaction if you eat even a trace of the offending food.
Food sensitivity means that you can tolerate small amounts of a food, but larger quantities trigger discomfort.
Call me to schedule a FREE initial 30 minute phone consultation.
Call Debbie Allen, MNT, CNHP at: 303-782-4842 to learn more.
Good health begins with taking responsibility for our own body.
Contact Me Now to Begin Your Transformation.
If you have questions, need more information or would like to schedule
a FREE 30 minute phone consult: Call Debbie Allen, MNT at 303-782-4842.