You should seek immediate medical attention if serious symptoms of allergy develop after eating. These include severe hives, itching, swelling, light-headed, wheezing, shortness of breath, and difficulty swallowing.
Identifying and Relieving FOOD ALLERGIES.
In the past it was thought that food allergies are relatively uncommon, occurring in less than 1 percent of the population and mainly in children.
Further, they feel that most people with food allergies are allergic to one food, or maybe two or three at the most. The allergic symptoms – mostly skin, respiratory, and digestive problems – are obvious, they say, and often start within an hour or two of eating the offending food. The immune system reacts to the food allergen in the same way it might react to other allergens such as pollen or mold: It immediately produces an antibody that causes a release of histamine, one of the many chemicals that trigger classic allergy symptoms.
There’s one problem with this description it is for only about 5 to 10 of all cases. Here’s what you need to know about the other 90 to 95 percent.
Food allergies aren’t rare, and they don’t occur mainly in children. In fact, the majority are adults as well as children – are allergic to certain foods. No one knows why so many people are allergic, but the major causes are excess stress, inadequate rest, a toxic environment, and an unnatural diet.
In addition, food allergies don’t affect just the skin or the respiratory or digestive system. They can affect any system, tissue, or organ in the body and often, they do.
Many health problems are either caused or complicated by food allergies. These include anemia, high blood pressure, fatigue, eczema, asthma, migraines, ear infections, sinusitis, hearing loss, thyroid disease, hay fever, kidney disease, diabetes, arthritis, gallbladder disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and heartburn as well as many others.
Moreover, allergic reactions to foods don’t always occur immediately. Your symptoms may show up anywhere from 2 hours to 3 days after eating the food, so you may never suspect that the cause of your discomfort has anything to do with food. And you may be allergic to many foods, not just 1 or 2, ( 3 to 10 is not uncommon, and sometimes it may be as many as 20 ).
The immune system reacts to food allergens (usually, undigested proteins that pass into the bloodstream through a gut wall that’s been made permeable, or “leaky” by many lifestyle and biochemical factors ) by producing many different types of antibodies that attach to the allergens. These food-antibody complexes trigger an array of inflammatory reactions that create various symptoms and diseases. There’s one more thing you need to know: Food allergies can be minimized, corrected, or eliminated.
DISCOVERING the CAUSE
Finding out which foods or food proteins you’re allergic to can be complicated. Many people need the help of physicians to identify their food allergies and then avoid the foods that are making them sick. But here are some steps that you can try on your own to start identifying the source – or sources – of your problems.
FOOD DIARY: Your Personal Guide
You need to know which types of foods you’re eating all the time, that is, every or almost every day. One ( or more ) of these is most likely to be your allergic food.
When you continually bombard the body with the same foods containing the same nutrients, especially in the context of a leaky gut, it eventually cries ‘uncle’.
So it is recommended that you keep a food diary. Write down everything you eat ( including the ingredients in processed foods ) for a week.
If you find you’re eating any food or ingredient three, four, or more times a week, eliminate it from your diet for 10 days and see whether you feel better. Then eat it again and see whether you feel worse. If not eating the food improves your symptoms, and eating it worsens them, it’s very likely that you’re allergic to that food.
ELIMINATION DIET: Round up the Usual Suspects
Most people with food allergies react to one of a small number of commonly eaten foods. The usual suspects include dairy foods, eggs, grain, ( especially wheat, rye, barley, oats, and corn), soybeans in any form (from tofu to soy milk), citrus fruits, and peanuts.
Thus, another strategy is to eliminate all of these foods from your diet for 10 days, then reintroduce them one by one to see if anything happens. Reintroduce only one food every 4 days, since it takes that long for your body to clear itself of a food allergen.
LIVING ALLERGY – FREE
Once you’re identified the food ( or foods ) that are causing your allergy, you obviously need to avoid it. In addition, there are a number of simple changes that will make your body less sensitive.
ROTATION DIET: Helps Prevent Allergies
People who eat the same foods all the time are more likely to develop food allergies than who eat a wide variety of foods. Therefore follow a rotation diet, which means eating the same food no more than once every 4 days.
This can help prevent food sensitivities from getting started. And you’ll certainly want to avoid eating processed foods, simply because they’re loaded with common allergens and chemical additives. Most people who are allergic to foods are sensitive to chemicals as well.
FRESH AND ORGANIC FOODS: Easier on the Body
People with food allergies should emphasize lots of fresh, organically grown vegetables, non-citrus fruits, non-dairy sources of lean animal protein, and oily fish. These are among the “safest” foods because they are the ones our primitive ancestors ate. They’re the foods that our bodies have adapted to.
MSM: Relief with Sulfur
The nutritional supplement MSM ( methylsulfonylmethane ), a form of sulfur, doesn’t cure food allergies. It may relieve the symptoms, however, perhaps by preventing or decreasing inflammatory reactions in the body.
If you take the supplement regularly you may be able to eat a food that would otherwise cause you problems.
BETAINE HYDROCHLORIDE: Help Prevent Allergens from Forming
When your digestive tract doesn’t break down food properly, the body can’t recognize it as food and may treat the food particles as invaders, rather than nutrition.
Do you feel as though food just sits in your stomach after you eat ? If so, you may have this problem, which could be caused by a lack of hydrochloric acid in the stomach.
While it’s best to have low stomach acid diagnosed by a doctor, you can test your digestion by squeezing half a lemon into a cup of warm water and drinking it with meals. If that improves your digestion, it’s a sign that you have an acid deficiency. Stop drinking the lemon juice and take a supplement of betaine hydrochloride before eating. Start with a dose of 300 milligrams and see if it helps. If necessary, you can increase the dose by 50 milligrams.
If your symptoms persist, see a doctor.
If you feel a mild, harmless burning in your stomach after the supplement, you may need the extra acid, drinking 12 to 16 ounces of water will quickly stop the burning.
DIGESTIVE ENZYMES: Help for the Pancreas
A deficiency of stomach acid isn’t the only reason that foods can turn into allergens. You may also have a deficiency of the food – digesting enzymes produced by the pancreas. You can replace these enzymes with supplements. It is recommended choosing one that contains amylase, cellulase, protease, papain, or bromelain. Take the supplement with meals, following the directions on the label.
Vitamin C is good for everyone, but people with food allergies may need extra amounts. That’s because this essential nutrient helps stop allergic reactions to foods. It relieves symptoms and prevents inflammation. It helps in the manufacture of adrenal hormones, which are needed to combat the body-wide stress of allergic reactions. And it helps rejuvenate an immune system worn out by responding to allergens.
MULTIVITAMIN/MINERAL SUPPLEMENT: All-Around Protection
Nearly everyone should take multivitamin/mineral supplements because there’s so much over-processed, nutrient-stripped food in our diets.
Those with food allergies may need extensive supplementation. Because the allergic interferes with digestion and may cause nutritional shortages. It is recommended looking for a supplement that is free of common allergy-causing ingredients such as milk, corn, wheat, eggs, soy, sugar, and yeast.