If you often feel bloated, tired or not so good after a meal; if you have often have stomach pains, cramps or intestinal problems; if you have strong food cravings or food dislikes; if you experience a range of symptoms that you just can’t explain, or sometimes become more anxious, irritable or depressed if you may be suffering from a food allergy.
The allergy has reached epidemics, proportions and it has been estimated that at this rate, half of Europe will have allergies in a few years. Food allergies are of particular concern, as they are now recognized as a factor in many health problems and diseases, especially in children.
Many scientists and health professionals believe that a poor diet and the large amount of toxins that are now present in our food are the main factors behind this unprecedented increase in the number and severity of allergies in recent decades.
When food hurts instead of helping
Much of our food is subjected to excessive processes and treated with toxins from production to sale. Instead of being one of the main sources of true health and resilience, therefore, the food we eat can actually undermine our body’s ability to effectively cope with daily stress and eliminate toxins that attack us from all sides. It is no wonder that more and more of our bodies react with food allergies.
Food allergies not only harm our body (and our minds), but also prevent us from deriving all the nutritional benefits from the healthy foods we eat. By causing damage to our digestive systems, they can prevent the complete breakdown of foods into essential nutrients and interfere with the body’s ability to properly absorb what nutrients are available. This can lead to nutritional deficiencies and malnutrition, although you may be eating a lot of good food.
Another problem is that food allergies can limit your ability to eat the foods you need. A diverse diet offers you the maximum certainty that you are getting the nutrients you need, but if you live in fear of a reaction, you may find yourself limiting your diet more than is necessary. For example, a person with an allergy to Swiss chard or silver beet could eliminate all vegetables from their diet, when in fact they could only react to a particular chemical found in beet plants & # 39; kind. By eliminating all greens, this person is losing many healthy properties of greens, which are exceptional sources of chlorophyll, calcium and magnesium.
An allergenic or reactive food is one that causes an allergic reaction, such as hives, wheezing, stomach cramps or stuffy nose. The foods that tend to be most allergenic (especially to children) are: milk, wheat, corn, sugar, soy, nuts, eggs.
Other highly reactive foods are: oats, yeasts, chocolate, seafood, beef and citrus fruits.
However, you can develop an intolerance, a sensitivity or an allergy to any food. The degree of sensitivity to a food depends on your tolerance threshold & # 39; for that food. You may be able to eat small amounts of food, but react to larger quantities. Or some foods can be consumed without reaction once in a while, but not more frequently.
In fact, you may not react to specific food, but to one or more of the components of that food. It may surprise you to learn that the most common problematic substances are vitamins and minerals in food. They can cause us to have allergic reactions to many foods that we eat daily. Other major causes of food allergy are food additives, sulfur, pesticides, biotechnology and genetic engineering.
Food allergy symptoms
There are many warning signs indicating that you may have a food allergy: dark circles, frequent sniffing or clearing of the throat, irritability, moodiness, hyperactivity or frequent fatigue. Other signs may include headache, stomach pain, intestinal problems, muscle pain, coughing or wheezing and frequent digestive or respiratory problems. Symptoms vary from person to person. Common signs of food allergy include the following:
Digestive problems – Reactions to food allergens can damage the walls that line the digestive tract and also disrupt the balance of hormones and chemicals necessary for proper digestion and elimination. This can lead to problems such as Leaky Gut syndrome, in which the walls of the small intestine lose partially digested food in the bloodstream. This can lead to bloating, stomach cramps and inflammation, irritable bowel syndrome, autoimmune and immunodeficiency diseases and many other problems.
Blocked airways – Food allergens are responsible for excess mucus in many allergic people, leading to chronic blocked noses and the mucous membrane of the throat – as well as ear infections. Children have very small upper airways and it takes very little to block them. When allergens are removed from the diet, the mucus dries up.
Middle ear infections – Over 70% of children suffer from middle ear infection at one time or another, and many researchers have believed that they stemmed from food allergies, particularly milk and wheat. One study reported that 78% of children with otitis showed allergies to milk, wheat, egg white, peanuts and soybeans and when these foods were eliminated from their diet, 86% experienced significant improvement.
Psychological or emotional problems – Food allergies have been clearly linked to a range of psychological and behavioral disorders such as autism and hyperactivity in children, anxiety, depression, inability to concentrate, mood swings and fogginess.
Food addictions – If you are addicted to a food, you are probably allergic to it. This is because allergic reactions in the body trigger the release of certain chemicals, including opioids, which make you feel good. If you feel happier when you eat that food, you can develop a desire to do it.
Types of food allergies
If you are allergic to a food, you can experience an immediate or delayed reaction to the food. The immediate reaction pattern is referred to as type l food allergy. Immediately or shortly after eating food, show clear and often dramatic symptoms. If you are allergic to mushrooms, you may develop abdominal cramps within an hour of eating a mushroom ragout. A child with a type 1 reaction to kiwis may experience severe itching in the mouth or vomiting within 15 minutes of consuming a kiwi.
The most dangerous type I reaction is called anaphylaxis, a serious reaction that can be fatal in minutes. If you or your child experience light-headedness), swollen tongue or throat, breathing difficulties, fainting or swelling of the face immediately after eating, seek immediate emergency care.
Type 1 food allergies are easy to diagnose. They respond to allergic skin tests and present for blood tests because they cause an excess of IgE antibodies. For many doctors, this is the only type of true food allergy. Recent estimates show that type 1 food allergies occur between 3-5% (sometimes 8%) of children and 1-2% of adults.
Type II food allergy does not involve IgE antibodies. Instead, IgA, IgG and IgM antibodies can be produced. This reaction pattern is associated with the release of inflammatory substances by the immune system. Many food allergies are of this type, so they are not detected by standard allergy tests, which usually only test for IgE antibodies.
Some responsive schemes are & # 39; hidden &. Delayed food allergy patterns (referred to as Type II food allergy) are often not recognized because symptoms are generally not evident and can occur days after food intake. Furthermore, since they do not involve the production of excess IgE antibodies, delayed allergic reactions do not occur in skin tests or in IgE antibody tests. Rather, they tend to present themselves as groups of physical, behavioral and learning problems that affect several body systems simultaneously.
A type allergy such as a combination of recurrent or persistent symptoms such as wheezing, frequent clearing of the throat, episodes of hyperactivity and emotional hypersensitivity, chronic stuffy nose and frequent flu-like symptoms may occur. Another person may experience recurrent headaches, frequent itchy eyes, abdominal pain, fatigue, bouts of depression, sleep problems and swollen lymph nodes. These delayed reaction patterns of food allergy are difficult to diagnose. However, according to many health professionals, they account for most food allergies, especially in children.
In fact, food allergies are so common – and still so often undiagnosed – that you should take any indefinite disease model involving different symptoms and different body symptoms as a sign of food allergy until proven otherwise.
It has been recognized that children have overcome food allergies and that adults sometimes report the same, but now that allergies are evolving and changing over time. For example, milk or egg allergies can develop into respiratory or other allergies or as various health problems. In order for true healing to occur, the underlying allergies must be addressed.
The most common treatment for food allergies is avoidance. This relieves symptoms and prevents further damage; However, it can mean a lifetime of restrictive diets.
There is evidence that consuming organic food can reduce the incidence or severity of allergic reactions to food and can even help protect against allergic reactions. Organic foods provide more quality nutrients needed to build the immune system, which is always weak in people with allergies. Of course, a diet rich in organic foods reduces the chances of developing allergies to food additives and pesticides and can reduce the incidence of allergies.
However, if you already have food allergies, the damage they have already caused must still be corrected.
The best solution to food allergies is desensitization. There are several treatment options available, some of which immunize the body to allergens with extracts taken under the tongue or injections. Acupuncture has also proven effective in treating some allergies. The problem is that these therapies may not address the underlying health problems, such as nutrient deficiencies, toxin overload or stress, which caused food allergies in the first place.
For a true solution to food allergies, choose a detoxification program to eliminate the body from toxins that contribute to allergies, correct other basic health problems and desensitize you to the allergens that are affecting you.
Once food allergies are under control or eliminated, it is important to get solid nutritional advice to help you maintain and build the health of your immune system. If you don’t eat enough right foods or eat too much wrong foods, you are at risk of developing new allergies or other problems. A good diet is still your best protection.