THE TRUTH ABOUT FOOD “ALLERGIES”
Written By Camille Hoffman
In this article I reveal the differences between food allergies, food intolerances, and food sensitivities. Why does it matter? The testing and treatment plan will depend on what kind of reaction you are having. Ever wonder why you react to some foods only some of the time? Do you feel like you are reacting to everything? Wondering if food allergies might be causing your heartburn, headaches or other symptoms? This article should shed some light.
First, a caveat of sorts. I want to highlight the fact that food reactions vary from person to person. For some, eating wheat might cause hives, while other might get constipation, or diarrhea…or migraines…and the list goes on. This is one of the reasons identifying adverse food reactions can be so challenging on your own. I use either an elimination diet or testing – or sometimes both with my patients. Feel free to schedule a free discovery call to learn more.
True allergic reactions occur in response to a substance that the body deems as a threat. The body reacts by releasing IgE antibodies. Antibodies (aka immunoglobins) are a part of our immune response and contribute to fighting anything deemed foreign, including bacteria and viruses and sometimes, certain food particles.
IgE antibodies stimulate mast cells to release histamine, which can cause itchy, red and swollen skin. These reactions can vary in severity, from a hive or two, to life-threatening. With severe reactions, the bronchial tubes can swell and constrict breathing (anaphylaxis). People with severe allergies are usually well aware and carry an epi-pen (adrenaline injection) to use in cases of accidental contact with the allergen. (1)
This reaction is repeatable, immediate (the reaction usually occurs from seconds to hours after contact).
How to identify? Elimination diet, Skin prick testing & IgE blood tests.
What to do? Avoid the food.