What are Food Allergies?
You have a food allergy when you experience unusual immune reactions to a food product that is completely harmless to other people. This reaction normally occurs when your body begins to produce antibodies against the protein that is found in a food. The protein in a food is called allergen and when it hits your system, the histamine and other defensive chemicals are released that results to an inflammation.
The results of these reactions differ with each person, some symptoms are seen immediately while some experience delayed reactions. There are also people whose allergies manifest through emotional episodes and mental imbalance- both can be cured with a proper prescription medicine from a doctor.
There are common allergens that trigger the allergic reaction. These are milk, fish, eggs, chicken, crabs, peanuts, sesame seeds, soybeans and nuts. Symptoms that you experience during an allergic reaction may be any of the following:
Shortness of breath, low blood pressure, skin rash, itchy eyes, wheezing, coughing, itchy throat, vomiting, diarrhea, feeling bloated, feeling of disgust, lip swelling and coughing.
Below are the types of allergies and the food that cause it:
Types of Food Allergies
|TYPE||Occurrence||Present in||Symptoms||How to Detect|
|Type 1 – IgE||Within 1 – 60 minutes||Beans, Nuts, Seafood, Dairy, Ragweed, Pollen||Anaphylactic shock, Asthma, Running nose, Eczema, Red cheeks, Red ears, Hives||RAST–IgE blood test, Immuno Cap-IgE blood test|
|Type 2 – Lectins||Within 8 – 72 hours||Vegetables, Beans, Seafood||Digestive problems (Diarrhea, Bloating, Lactose Intolerance), Anemia|
|Type 3 – IgG||Within 8 -72 hours||Wheat, Oats, Barley, Rye, Milk, Eggs||Autoimmune, Inflammation||ELISA-IgG, mrast-IgG|
|Type 4 – T-cells||Within 8 – 73 hours||Dairy, Sugars, Nightshades||Inflammation, Autoimmune condition, Tissue Damage||ELISA/ACT, LRA Blood Test|
|Type 5 – IgD||Delayed response||Food additives, Iodine, Alcohol, Gluten grains, Chemical Dye||Fever, Inflammation, Hives, Eczema||None|
Information source: http://www.laurapower.com/page5.html
Difference between food allergy and food intolerance
Some people tend to get confused between food allergies and food intolerance. Both these terms refer to the state of the body’s sensitivity to food. However, it does not mean you can use these terms interchangeably.
Food allergy involves a reaction of your immune system. The appearance of an immunoglobin antibodies in the blood also confirms if an attack is an allergy . A food allergy can cause immediate or delayed symptoms that can only be relieved with a proper medication.
Food intolerance is sensitivity to food that does not involve your immune system. The symptoms can likewise be unpleasant but not as deadly as food allergies where membranes swell. Food products that cause the “intolerance” are milk, wheat, food preservatives, caffeine and gluten.
Lactose intolerance refers to a shortage of the a person’s body to break down the lactase enzyme. This food intolerance usually hits babies and toddlers; if left untreated, leads to malnutrition. In fact, the are fifty million American adults who are lactose intolerant (UAMSHealth, 2012).
Those who suffer from food additive intolerance are recommended to stay away from food products with artificial colors. Sulphite is an example of an artificial color and this is a type of preservatives that cause skin rash, irritable bowel movement, headache and asthma.
Fight Food Allergy
Allergies are inherited. You can’t stop from having the allergy once your parent or both of your parents have it. Statistics shows that is a parent is allergic to types of food chances are that 25% of their offspring will have the same allergic reaction. If both parents have allergic reactions than the probability of offspring contracting the same increases to 75% (4yourtype, 2012).
Based on the research of a famous Naturopath, the table below shows how to lessen the incidence of allergic reactions for each blood type. Your blood type is a way of categorizing of which allergy you are more susceptible with.
|Blood Type||Risk for||How to Fight it|
|O||Inflammation, Asthma, Hay fever||More intake of halibut, organic meat, turmeric and pineapple for a healthy and balance digestion and immune system
Avoid grains and starches
|A||Excessive production of mucus, Bronchial Asthma (Childhood)||Only eat non-meat sources for protein
Intake of salmon and cranberry
|B||Chronic Lung Inflammation, Bronchial Asthma||Avoid chicken
Limit the intake of cheese
Intake of cultured dairy and elderberries
|AB||Viral & bacterial infections, inflamed autoimmune||Avoid chicken
Intake of soy and cultured dairy
Drink green tea instead of coffee
Eat rice instead of corn flour
All types of blood are recommended to drink natural juice extracted from fruits or vegetables or green tea if you are allergic to lectins. The safest would be Ginger juice and Green tea – which are rich in catechin polyphenols and prevents and kills the growth of cancer cells. The green tea doesn’t damage the body’s healthy tissue (About, 2011).
Pineapple and broccoli must be a part of the regular diet in all types because it’s a natural source of Bromelain and Quercetin, respectively. Other food items that should be included in the diet plan are olive oil and flax seed.
Apart from eating right, there are other strategies you can do to manage food allergies. These strategies include advance planning of daily meal, reading food labels before purchase, never share straws or cups and most importantly, contact the food manufacturer should you’re unsure of the product (Food Authority, 2012).