divers aliments allergènes sur fond de table en bois. Vue de dessus.

If you often feel bloated, tired, or not so great after a meal; if you gave frequent have stomach pains, cramps, or bowel problems; if you’ve got strong food cravings or food dislikes; if you experience a group of symptoms that you just can’t explain, or occasionally become more anxious, irritable, or depressed you might be suffering from food allergy.

Allergie alimentaire

It has reached epidemic, proportions, and it’s been estimated that at this rate, half Europe will have allergies in a couple of years. Food allergies are of particular concern, as they’re now being recognized as a factor in many health issues and diseases, particularly in children.

Many scientists and health practitioners believe that a bad diet and the absolute quantity of toxins which are now present in our food are major factors in this unprecedented growth in the number and severity of allergies within the last decades.

When Food Harms Instead of Helping

Much of our food is over-processes and treated with toxins all of the way from production to sale. Instead of being a significant source of true health and resilience, therefore, the food we eat can actually undermine our body’s ability to deal effectively with daily stresses, and to clear out the toxins that assault us from all sides. No wonder that more and more of our own bodies are responding with food allergies.

Food allergies not only harm our bodies (and our minds), they also prevent us from deriving the full nutritional benefits from the healthful foods we do eat. By causing damage to our digestive systems, they can prevent 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 nutrient deficiencies and malnutrition, though you may be eating a lot of good food.

Another problem is that food allergies may limit your ability to eat the foods you require. A diverse diet offers maximum assurance that you’re getting the nutrients you need, but if you reside in fear of a response, you may end up limiting your diet more than you need to. For example, someone who has an allergy to swiss chard or silverbeet might remove all greens out of their diet, when actually, they may only be responding to a certain chemical found in plants of the’beet’ genus. By eliminating all greens, this person is losing many health-giving properties of greens, which are outstanding sources of chlorophyll, magnesium and calcium.

Allergenic foods

An allergenic or reactive food is one that causes an allergic reaction, like hives, wheezing, stomach cramps or stuffy nose. The foods that tend to be highly allergenic (particularly to children) are: milk wheat corn sugar soy nuts eggs.

Other highly reactive foods are: oats, yeasts, chocolate, seafood, beef and citrus.

However, you can develop an intolerance, sensitivity or allergy to any food. The level of sensitivity to a food depends on your tolerance’threshold’ for that food. You may be able to consume modest amounts of a food, but react to larger amounts. Or some foods could be eaten without response once in a while, but not more often.

In reality, you might not be reacting to the particular food, but to one of more of the components of that food. It might surprise you to learn the most common problematic substances are the vitamins and minerals in foods. They may cause us to have allergic reactions to a lot of foods we eat on a daily basis. Other major causes of food allergy are food additives, sulphur, pesticides, biotechnology and genetic engineering.

Symptoms of Food Allergy

There are many warning signs that indicate that you may have a food allergy: dark circles under the eyes, regular sniffing or throat-clearing, irritability, moodiness, hyperactivity, or regular fatigue. Other signs may include headaches, stomach aches, bowel issues, muscle pain, coughing or wheezing, and regular digestive or respiratory issues. Symptoms differ from person to person. Common signs of food allergy include the following:

Problèmes digestifs

Reactions to food allergens can damage to walls lining the digestive tract, and also disrupt the balance of hormones and chemicals required for good digestion and elimination. This can cause problems such as Leaky Gut syndrome, where the walls of the small intestine flow partially-digested food into the blood stream. This can cause bloating, stomach cramps and inflammation, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, autoimmune and immune deficiency diseases, and many other issues.

Blocked airways

Food allergens are responsible for excess mucus in many allergic individuals, resulting in chronic blocked noses, and mucuosy throats – as well as ear infections. Babies have very little upper airways and it requires very little to block them. When the allergens are removed from the diet, the mucus dries up.

Middle Ear infections

Over 70% of children suffer from middle ear infection at some point or other, and it believed by many researchers to arise from food allergies, especially to wheat and milk. One study reported that 78% of those children with otitis revealed allergies wheat, milk, egg white, peanuts, and soy, and when these foods were eliminated from their diet, 86% experienced significant progress.

Psychological or emotional problems

Food allergies have been clearly linked to a range of behavior and psychological disorders like hyperactivity and autism in children, stress, depression, inability to concentrate, mood swings, and ‘fogginess’.

Food addictions

If you’re hooked on a food, you are probably allergic to it. This is because allergic reactions in the body trigger the release of certain chemicals, one of them, opioids, which make you feel good. If you feel happier when you eat that food, you can create a craving for it.

Types of Food Allergies

If you’re allergic to a food, you can experience either an immediate or a delayed response to food. The immediate reaction pattern is known as Type l food allergy. Immediately or in a brief time after eating the food, you reveal clear and frequently dramatic symptoms. If you’re allergic to fungus, you could develop abdominal cramps in one hour of ingesting a ragout containing mushrooms. A kid with a type 1 response to kiwi fruit may experience severe itching in the mouth or nausea within 15 minutes of eating a kiwi fruit.

Type I

The most dangerous Type l reaction is called anaphylaxis – a severe reaction that may be fatal within minutes. If you or your child experiences light-headedness), swollen throat or tongue, difficulty breathing, fainting or facial swelling immediately after eating meals, seek immediate emergency care.

Type l food allergies are simple to diagnose. They respond to allergy skin tests, and show up on blood tests since they lead to an excess of IgE antibodies. For many doctors, this is the only type of actual food allergy. Recent estimates reveal that Type l food allergies occur in between 3-5 percent (sometimes to 8%) of children, as well as in 1-2 % of adults.

Type ll

Type ll food allergy doesn’t involve IgE antibodies. Instead, IgA, IgG and IgM antibodies could be produced. This reaction pattern is related to the release of inflammatory substances by the immune system. Many food allergies are of this kind, therefore, they aren’t detected by standard allergy tests, which usually only check for the IgE antibodies.

Some reactive patterns are ‘hidden’. Delayed patterns of food allergy (known as Type lll food allergy) often go unrecognized because the signs aren’t usually obvious, and might occur days after the food is consumed. Also, because they don’t involve the production of excess IgE antibodies, delayed allergy reactions not to appear on skin tests or IgE antibody tests. Rather, they tend to appear as clusters of physical, behavioral and learning difficulties affecting several body systems at once.

Type lll

You may experience Type lll allergy for a mix of recurring or persistent symptoms like breathlessness, regular clearing of throat, episodes of hyperactivity and emotional hypersensitivity, chronic stuffy nose, and regular flu-like symptoms. Another individual may experience recurring headaches, frequent itching of the eyes, abdominal pains, fatigue, bouts of depression, sleep problems, and swelling of the lymph nodes. These delayed response patterns of food allergy are hard to diagnose. Yet based on many health professionals, they account for nearly all food allergies, particularly in kids.

In fact, food allergies are so common – and so frequently undiagnosed – which you should take any undefined pattern of disease which involves different symptoms and different body symptoms as an indicator of food allergy until proven otherwise.

Traitement

It was accepted that children outgrew food allergies, and adults sometime report the same, but we now that allergies simply evolve and change over time. For instance, allergies to eggs or milk may evolve into respiratory or other allergies, or as various health issues. For true healing to occur, the underlying allergies have to be addressed.

The most frequent treatment for food allergies is avoidance. This will alleviated the symptoms and prevent additional damage; however, it may mean a lifetime of restrictive diets.

There is some evidence that eating organic foods may reduce the incidence or severity of allergic reactions to foods, and may even help protect against allergies. Organic foods provide more of the superior nutrients required to develop the immune system, which is always weak in people with allergies. Certainly, a diet high in organic foods reduces the odds of developing allergies to food additives and pesticides, and can decrease the incidence of allergies.

However, if you already have food allergies, the damage they’ve already caused still has to be corrected.

The best solution to food allergies is desensitization. There are various treatment options available, some of these immunizing the body to allergens with extracts taken under the tongue or injections. Acupuncture has also been shown effective in treating several allergies. The problem is that these therapies may not address the underlying health issues, such as nutrient deficiencies, toxin overload or stress, that caused food allergies in the first place.

For a real solution to food allergies, pick a program that involves detoxification to clear the body of toxins that lead to allergies, corrects other underlying health issues, and desensitizes you to the allergens that are affecting you.

Once the food allergies are under control or eliminated, it’s necessary that you obtain solid nutritional advice that will help you maintain and build the health of your immune system. If you do not eat enough of the right foods, or eat a lot of the wrong foods, you’re at risk of developing new allergies or other problems. A good diet is still your best protection.