Food Allergies

Most people are not born with food allergies however there are an unfortunate few who seem to have a genetic predisposition and follow one of their parents who have specific allergies either to food or medication.

In most cases, food allergies develop.

Most people report that for a long period of time they were able to eat anything and then mysteriously, they began to get hives or a rash. In some cases the connection is not obvious and it takes some time and detective work to trace the problem back to a particular food. Sometimes the symptoms are clear - a prickly sensation in the mouth or throat. It may also appear as stomach cramps after eating certain foods.crampsThis food may be one member of a group of foods like nuts, eggs, seafood or citrus fruits. It may be to a medication. In some cases, it is to all of the members of a particular group of foods. One interesting example of this is people who develop latex allergies and who have problems with bananas. Bananas are a member of the rubber plant family, the source of latex.

In order to find the culprit (or culprits), it is often necessary to keep a food log in which all the foods which you consume are noted. When you look back after you have had a reaction like hives you may not find the answer the first time it occurs but after several episodes, the answer may come clear.

Medical testing using skin prick testing for allergens is often helpful to determine allergies to inhaled allergens like tree or flower pollens, animal dander, insect stings or molds.

Allergies to foods are often more difficult to test for. Gluten allergy (Celiac disease) has recently become easier to diagnose using blood tests. Blood can also be used to do ELISA testing, usually in specialized labs and may be useful in finding food allergies. Despite these methods, some food allergies often remain elusive.

How Allergies Developeczema

Many people with hives, asthma or allergic skin reactions report that prior to the development of the allergy, they have taken an antibiotic or perhaps they have had an infection like gastroenteritis or food poisoning. These disturbances in intestinal function can lead to a condition called leaky gut. In this situation, incompletely digested protein molecules can gain entry to the bloodstream. The immune system identifies these proteins as foreign and begins the process of creating antibodies to the foreign protein. This is a normal immune response to an abnormal situation. The antibodies then circulate in the blood waiting for this particular protein complex to appear. Once it does appear, they attach themselves to the protein in an attempt to get rid of it. This leads to a chain reaction resulting in inflammation, itchiness, hives or possibly a skin rash. In the most severe form, the inflammation will cause swelling of the tissues of the mouth and upper airways. When the reaction is this severe it becomes possibly life-threatening.

If the allergy is this severe, it is necessary to use injectable epinephrine and take an oral antihistamine and possible steroids if it occurs.

If this is the situation in which you find yourself please refer to the section on leaky gut and inflammatory bowel disease for help with changing your allergic condition.

Action Steps

  • take immediate steps to deal with the acute situation including using injected epinephrine antihistamines and possible prednisone, with medical supervision when necessary
  • start a food log and record all the foods eaten for 48 hours prior to an episode of hives
  • identify the offending substance and if it is a drug make sure to reported to your physician
  • consider having allergic testing
  • begin taking digestive enzymes and probiotics
  • make a radical diet change - see the candida diet for starters
  • consider a diet which is wheat free and dairy free as these are often the root of the problem