Allergy / Intolerance to Foods (Hidden)

Food allergy and sensitivity is an important, complex, and often overlooked cause of symptoms and disease. Chasing down the culprits may require the services of a Natural Doctor.

Most food reactions are delayed up to several days and are thus more difficult to identify. To further complicate matters, delayed food reactions can be cyclic or fixed in nature.

  • Cyclic types account for 80+% of food allergies. A sensitivity may slowly develop by repetitive eating of a food. Avoidance for months may result in tolerance again unless eaten too frequently. Such foods may be tolerated every one to four days.
  • Fixed allergies are sensitivities that occur whenever a food is eaten regardless of the time span between contacts.

The incidence and severity of food allergies has increased dramatically during the last 15 years. Some physicians claim that food allergies are the leading cause of most undiagnosed symptoms. Others maintain that at least 60% of the American population suffers from symptoms associated with food reactions.

Theories of why the incidence has increased include:

  • Increased stresses on the immune system (such as greater chemical pollution in the air, water, and food).
  • Earlier weaning and earlier introduction of solid foods to infants.
  • Genetic manipulation of plants resulting in food components which cross-react with normal tissues.

Repeated exposure, improper digestion and compromised integrity of the intestinal barrier are all factors in the development and maintenance of food allergy.

It has been well documented that partially-digested or undigested dietary protein can cross the intestinal barrier intact and be absorbed into the blood stream. The immune system must decide how to deal with this non-self protein. Is it friend or foe? If viewed as an enemy (something that shouldn’t be on the inside of the GI tract), an allergic response can occur. This reaction can be localized, systemic, or at specific distant sites.

There are basically two methods of detecting which foods may be causing symptoms.

  1. Experimentation. Going on an elimination diet (fasting, or consuming foods which have a low allergic rate such as rice, lamb, cabbage) for 4-7 days until symptoms clear. Reintroducing foods one at a time may point to the culprit. An elimination diet can be accurate, but difficult at the same time.
  2. Food allergy testing. Recent improvements in laboratory techniques have made blood testing more reliable. Costs for the tests run from $130.00 to $300.00 for 90+ foods, but can be a valuable and time-saving approach.

If you suspect sensitivity to a particular food, you can strictly eliminate it for a period of time and see how you feel, or if any symptoms resolve. Avoidance should include any hidden sources. The most common food allergens are dairy, eggs, gluten grains (wheat, oats, rye), corn, beans (especially soy), coffee, citrus, and nuts. Since many food sensitivities can be due to poor digestion, hydrochloric acid and pancreatic trials are appropriate.

Good Laboratories for this kind of testing include:
Immuno Laboratories
Great Smokies Diagnostic Laboratories

NAET (Nambudripad Allergic Elimination Therapy) is a controversial technique that is currently being used to treat allergies in many countries. Treatment using NAET involves exposing the patient to an allergen and providing acupressure along spinal meridians to eliminate the body’s negative response to the substance. Many sessions are typically required and practitioners make many claims. Please do your homework on this one.

 


Signs, symptoms & indicators of Allergy / Intolerance to Foods (Hidden)

Childhood  

Allergies as a child



Lab Values - Common  

Rapid pulse rate



Counter Indicators
Lab Values - Common  

Slowed pulse rate



Symptoms - Allergy  

Allergies to certain foods



 

Bloating caused by specific foods



 

Frequent sneezing / attacks or moderate sneezing



 

Excess/using medication for allergy/ mucous



Counter Indicators
Symptoms - Allergy  

Absence of food allergies



Symptoms - Bowel Movements  

(Very/tendency to) infrequent stools



 

(Very) frequent stools or normal stool frequency



 

Bowel movement changes



Symptoms - Cardiovascular  

Heart racing/palpitations



Symptoms - Environment  

(High) cigarette smoke sensitivity



Symptoms - Food - General  

(Garlic/) onion intolerance or garlic intolerance

One person’s experience with an immediate type reaction:

Onions caused me so much trouble until I worked out what was wrong. If I eat onion even a tiny drop of the juice or a bit of onion powder my tongue swells up and my throat closes, I have just about enough time to shove some anthistimane down my throat and use my inhaler to help me breathe. However before I knew that onions were the issue I would collapse all over the place, the amount of times I went to a and e and they tested me for all sorts of ridiculous things and never got to the bottom of it, because the doctors had not heard of an onion allergy they were of the belief that it could not possibly exist so i continued to suffer with these near death experiences every time I ate the food for years until I worked it out myself. Watch out for the rest of the onion family as well, I cannot have leeks, chives, shallots, aloe vera, tequiila or be near lillies (all the allions have the same effect) so if not eating onions is not working watch out for the rest of them.

This and other stories found here make for some interesting reading!



Symptoms - Food - Preferences  

Craving specific foods



 

Craving and eating wheat



Symptoms - Gas-Int - General  

Epigastric pain

The first part of the body to react to food is often the gastrointestinal tract. Sometimes mast cells are involved in allergic reactions and release chemicals such as histamine. If the affected mast cells are in the gastrointestinal tract, a person may suffer vomiting, abdominal pain or diarrhea.



 

Unexplained nausea



 

Anal itching or anal itching at night

Some people have an allergy to things found in toilet paper. A strong corn allergy, for example, may produce itching due to corn starch in toilet paper.



 

General flatulence



 

Meal-related bloating



Symptoms - General  

Minor/major fatigue for over 3 months or major fatigue for over 12 months



Symptoms - Head - Eyes/Ocular  

Dark areas under eyes



 

Bags under eyes



Symptoms - Head - Mouth/Oral  

A swollen tongue



Symptoms - Head - Nose  

Allergic rhinitis



Symptoms - Metabolic  

Afternoon headaches



 

Low stamina



 

Frequent colds/flus



Symptoms - Mind - General  

Spacey/unreal feelings



Symptoms - Nervous  

Facial burning/tingling

Tingling in the face has been known to be caused by food allergies. For example, several recent cases include this and other symptoms as an allergy to barley after consuming only a small amount of beer.



Symptoms - Respiratory  

Discomfort caused by mold/mustiness



 

Pain/burning behind breastbone

Wheat has been known to be a cause of esophagitis, as have other hidden food allergens.



 

Chronic productive cough



Symptoms - Skin - Conditions  

Rashes

The symptoms of food allergy can include skin rashes.



Symptoms - Sleep  

(Frequent) difficulty falling asleep



 

Drowsiness after meals



Symptoms - Urinary  

Urinary urgency when bladder full or urinary urgency




Conditions that suggest Allergy / Intolerance to Foods (Hidden)

Allergy  


 

Environmental Illness / MCS

People with multiple chemical sensitivities often have multiple food allergies as well. While reactions to chemicals in the environment are generally quicker and more easily identified, food allergies are usually delayed, making it harder to pinpoint the offending food. People with MCS are often unaware of hidden food allergies which could be contributing to their overall allergic load.



 


 

Allergic Rhinitis / Hay Fever

The ear, nose, and throat are common target organs for food allergens. Congestion or inflammation of the nose (rhinitis) may be due to airborne irritants and allergens, but food allergy may be an undiagnosed cause of this common problem.



Autoimmune  

Dermatitis Herpetiformis

Not all people with Dermatitis Herpetiformis improve on a gluten free diet and medication. Some studies suggest that sensitivity to other dietary proteins may be involved. An elimination diet or allergy testing should be done to check for other food sensitivities.



 

Dermatomyositis

As with all autoimmune conditions, food allergies/intolerances and environemental triggers may be contributing factors.



Diet  

Picky-Eater Syndrome

Food allergies are sometimes addictive in nature, requiring continued consumption of the allergenic food in order to prevent the appearance of withdrawal symptoms. However, eating the same foods over and over increases the likelihood of eventually becoming allergic to them.



Digestion  

IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)

The presence of food allergy is concealed in a variety of diagnoses including irritable bowel syndrome. However, in IBS the mechanism of action does not seem to involve immune system reactivity, but increased prostaglandin E2 levels.This means that in IBS, there is a strong association with ‘food intolerance’ not ‘food allergy’. This also means that blood testing for food allergies would not be helpful, but an elimination diet is needed to determine the which were the offending foods.

In one study of 21 patients without celiac disease but with IBS, 14 fully recovered during an elimination diet. The most common offending foods were wheat, corn, dairy, coffee, tea and citrus fruits. [Lancet 1982;2: pp. 1115-1117]



 

Bad Breath (Halitosis)

Food allergy is a common cause of heavy and foul breath. [Food Allergy: Its Manifestations and Control and the Elimination Diets by Dr.s Rowe and Rowe, 1972, pp.104]



 


Immunity  

Canker Sores (Aphthous Ulcers)

Foods including wheat, oranges, tomatoes, chocolate, nuts, eggplant, tea and cola were dietary allergens that have been found to trigger ulcer initiation. A study by Dr. Pelin Gürdal conducted in a dental university in Turkey concluded from previous studies [Oral Surg. 1984:57, pp.504-507] and his own that as many as 50% of RAS patients will improve when offending foods are identified and eliminated. Without laboratory testing or patient insights, identifying these foods for individual sufferers can be challenging. Food allergies continue to be a controversial cause of canker sores, and further research is necessary to resolve the issue.



 

Chronic Fatigue / Fibromyalgia Syndrome

The uncovering of hidden food allergies can be important in dealing with CFS and FM and should not be overlooked.



 

Weakened Immune System

Food allergies divert some of the immune system‘s resources away from preventing and dealing with illness. Thus, continuous consumption of a food which is causing symptoms weakens your immune system. A weakened immune system enables infections and cancerous growths to develop and take hold. Many patients report that they suffer from more than one symptom or illness when reintroducing a known food allergen into their diet after a period of abstinence.



Infections  

Ear Infection, Middle

Recurrent middle ear “infections” are very common in the first five years of life and may be eliminated by proper diet revision.

It was reported that of 104 children with chronic serous otitis media (OM) ,78% had positive skin tests for food and an elimination diet led to a significant amelioration of symptoms in 86% . The most common allergenic foods were cow’s milk (38%), wheat (33%), egg white (25%), peanut (20%) and soya (17%). The authors concluded that food allergy should be considered in all patients with recurrent OM. [Ann Allergy, 73: 3, 1994 Sep, pp.215-9 ]



 

Sinusitis

The ear, nose, and throat are common target organs for food allergens. Food allergy may be the undiagnosed cause of sinusitis in some people.



 

Pharyngitis

The ear, nose, and throat are common target organs for food allergens. Congestion or inflammation of the nose (rhinitis), sinuses (sinusitis), and throat (pharyngitis) may be due to airborne irritants and allergens, but food allergy may be the undiagnosed cause of these common problems.



Lab Values  

Neutrophilia

An Increase in the neutrophil count has been seen during food challenge in milk-allergic children.



 

Eosinophilia

Eosinophilia is suggestive of allergy, but not necessarily of food allergy, although food allergies have been responsible for a some cases of an increased eosinophil count.



Mental  

Autism

Children with autism are sensitive. Of the thousands of children I have known in thirty years as a doctor, the few hundred with problems in the spectrum related to autism stand out as the most distinctively sensitive of them all. Touching, tasting, hearing, smelling, and seeing involve an enterprise that is not only characterized by difficulties in processing and organization but is also involves a heightened, often painful, sensitivity.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that “autism is caused by allergy”. I am saying that children who have problems in the autistic spectrum (as well as children who have significant attention problems) are sensitive not just in the area of their senses, but also in their immune system’s reaction to the environment.

Should you change the diet of a child who has decided to live on French fries, chocolate milk, pretzels, Twinkies and diet coke, rejecting all alternatives with an iron will? Yup! And when you get over the hump, you are likely to be rewarded with changes in sleep, behavior, attention and “sensitivity” that make the struggle worth it. There are several ways of checking for food allergy. Trial and error changes in diet are tedious but inexpensive. IgG ELISA blood testing is a reliable way also.

Excerpted form an article by Dr. Sidney Baker, MD, Connecticut.



 

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD / ADHD)

“3 decades in practice revealed how common allergies are with children. Most children with behavioral problems – and including children with all sorts of attention problems – have hypersensitivity to foods, and inhalants.” Dr. Sidney Baker, MD, Connecticut.



 

Schizophrenia

An allergy is a negative sensitivity, usually to a substance, which causes a physical reaction. Classical responses include creation of blood antibodies, histamine release, swelling, itching, runny nose, and others. However, substances can cause many negative reactions commonly not associated with allergies.

In the case of cerebral (brain) allergies reactions include brain inflammation, irritability, fear, depression, aggression, extreme mood swings in a single day, hyperactivity, and psychosis.

A study of “schizophrenics” by Dr. William Philpott showed allergic responses as follows: wheat (64%), mature corn (51%), pasteurized whole cow milk (50%), tobacco (75% with 10% becoming grossly psychotic with delusions, hallucinations and particularly paranoia), and hydrocarbons (30% with weakness being common and some participants reacting with delusions or suicidal inclinations). Ninety-two percent of the patients showed allergic responses with an average of ten items per person causing reactions.



Metabolic  


 


 

Bruxism (Clenching/Grinding Teeth)

Hidden food allergies may contribute to the chronic clenching of teeth.



 


Musculo-Skeletal  

Muscle Pains (Myalgia)

Muscle pain can be due to food allergies. Such pains will disappear after elimination of the offending foods from the diet.



Nervous System  

Tourette's Syndrome

Sherry A Rogers, M.D., a specialist in environmental medicine, reports that all of the TS cases she has seen have a least one nutrient deficiency, and usually several. She notes that all of these patients have hidden mold, dust, chemical and food sensitivities. [Health Counselor, Vol.7, No.4]



Organ Health  

Gallbladder Disease

A 1968 study revealed that 100% of a group of gallbladder patients were free from symptoms while they were on a basic elimination diet (beef, rye, soybean, rice, cherry, peach, apricot, beet, and spinach). Foods inducing symptoms in decreasing order of their occurrence were: egg, pork, onion, fowl, milk, coffee, citrus, corn, beans and nuts. Adding eggs to the diet, for example, caused gallbladder attacks in 93% of these patients. At a minimum, an egg-free trial period of several months could be worthwhile.

Several mechanisms have been proposed to explain the association of food allergy and gallstones. Dr. Breneman, who conducted this study, believes the ingestion of allergy-causing substances causes swelling of the bile ducts, resulting in the impairment of bile flow from the gallbladder. This reduced flow leads to an increase in stone formation.[Ann Allergy 26: pp.83-7, 1968)]



 

Prostatitis

For chronic prostatitis, a hypoallergenic/rotation diet or food allergy testing would be appropriate. Patients have reported that avoidance of their offending foods resulted in the disappearance of prostate symptoms.



 

Pancreatitis

A few preliminary reports suggest that food allergy may cause some cases of acute pancreatitis.



Pain  


Respiratory  

Asthma

Asthma is one of the three manifestations of a pattern of allergy that is called atopy. The associated disorders are eczema and hay fever. Asthma due to allergy can come from both airborne and food sources. Patients with delayed pattern food allergy have the most severe and persistent inflammatory form of chronic asthma.

While airborne problems are more obvious to asthmatic sufferers, food problems may be a well-hidden source of lung disease. Many studies of food allergy involve patients with food-induced asthma. Eczema and asthma are often associated in atopic patients with food allergy.

In a group of 320 children with atopic dermatitis, 55% had asthma. Food challenges triggered respiratory symptoms in 59% (rhinitis, laryngeal edema, wheezing, and dyspnea). Asthma is frequently treated only as an airborne allergy problem or as a problem unrelated to allergic processes and the possible role of food allergy is neglected. It is overlooked because the usual skin tests are often negative and the history is often not helpful as symptoms appear gradually, hours or days after ingestion of the food. Milk, wheat, egg, yeast, preservatives, colorings, coffee and cheese are the main foods implicated.

Food allergens may be found in the bloodstream within circulating immune complexes that trigger the release of immune mediators into the bloodstream. These chemicals cause a variety of symptoms, including constriction of the bronchial smooth muscle in the lungs; this is the first event during an asthmatic attack. Airflow is reduced in the narrowed tubes. Air has a harder time leaving the lungs than entering, with the result of prolonged noisy exhalation. This inflammatory, obstructive phase is the most important mechanism of chronic asthmatic bronchitis.



Skin-Hair-Nails  

Eczema

Foods which have commonly been linked to atopic dermatitis include milk, wheat, eggs, soy and peanuts. [J Allerg Clin Immun 1983;71: pp. 473-480] Other studies have found that chocolate, seafood, oranges, celery and yeast may provoke symptoms. [Allergy 1989;44: pp. 47-51]

Thirty-five children with atopic dermatitis were proven to be allergic to various foods by dietary elimination and challenge, radio-allergosorbent test (RAST) and human basophil degranulation test (HBDT). Oral sodium cromoglycate improved skin lesions in these patients and protected them from the effects of challenge with food allergens. This protective effect of oral sodium cromoglycate may be explained by the blocking of the immune response in the gut wall and of antigen entry. [Ann Allergy. 1981 Sep;47(3): pp.173-5] The initial dose was 100mg per day and was progressively raised to 200-600mg per day, depending on the response.



 

Hives

Foods and drugs are common causes of hives. A reaction that occurs immediately after ingestion of certain foods, producing hives and difficulty breathing is termed anaphylactic and is potentially dangerous. Delayed reactions are less serious but more difficult to pinpoint. Some patients get hives occasionally only when they ingest a specific food or food additive. Others develop hives as a chronic problem that can continue for years. Most studies of chronic hives suggest that only a low percentage are due to food allergy; this is usually because diet revision attempts were inadequate for revealing the hidden food causes.



 


 

Psoriasis

Psoriasis patients have benefited from gluten-free and elimination diets.



Symptoms - Head - Nose  

Nasal congestion

Postnasal mucous is often associated with moderate or even severe perennial nasal allergy but also always requires the study of food allergies. [Food Allergy: Its Manifestations and Control and the Elimination Diets by Dr.s Rowe and Rowe, 1972, pp.104]



Tumors, Benign  

Nasal Polyps

Nasal polyps are often caused by inhalant allergens but they can also be due to an allergy to food substances as well. Complete allergy testing for inhaled substances and foods should be considered.

A controlled study suggested a strong association between food allergy and nasal polyposis. The study was conducted in 2 parts. In the prospective study, 80 nasal polyp patients and 36 control subjects completed intradermal tests for food allergy. Sixty-five nasal polyp patients (81%) and 4 control subjects (11%) had positive intradermal food test results. This is highly significant. [Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2000 Feb;122(2): pp.298-301]

Another study compared the prevalence of atopy in patients afflicted by nasal polyps with the atopy prevalence in healthy volunteers without nasal polyps, since systemic allergy and allergy in the nasal mucosa are still being debated as underlying causes for nasal polyps. Thirty-four cases with nasal polyposis without asthma and history of allergy or atopic disease were enrolled in the study and compared with 20 healthy volunteer controls in respect to asymptomatic food hypersensitivity.

Hypersensitivity for 48 kinds of commonly consumed food in Turkey was investigated by an epicutaneuos prick test, Multi-Test II (Lincoln Diagnostic, Inc, USA), using a special applicator. The food allergy test was positive in 25 out of the 34 cases with nasal polyps and in 6 out of the 20 controls. The difference between the two groups was statistically significant (p < 0.001). The number of skin tests with positive results in patients with nasal polyps ranged from 1 to 37, whereas in the control subjects the range was 1 to 10. The difference in the number of food reactions was also statistically significant.

Asymptomatic food hypersensitivity, being immunologically mediated, may be a triggering factor for the pathogenesis of nasal polyps. Therefore, treatment of asymptomatic food allergy in patients with nasal polyps may alleviate symptoms, slow the progress of nasal polyps and prolong the disease-free interval after polypectomy. [Asian Pac J Allergy Immunol. 2003 Jun;21(2): pp. 79-82]



 


Uro-Genital  

Semen Allergy

There was found to be a greater prevalance of self-reported food allergy among women with systemic human seminal plasma hypersensitivity. This supports the hypothesis that exposure and sensitization to semimal fluid could result from cross-reactivity with food proteins that are a part of the average daily American diet. In other words, semen allergies could be connected to food allergies because of similar protein composition.




Risk factors for Allergy / Intolerance to Foods (Hidden)

Autoimmune  

Gluten Sensitivity / Celiac Disease

People with celiac disease may be intolerant to additional foods – more than just those containing gluten. Foods that have been reported to trigger symptoms include cows’milk and soy. [Lancet 1963;2: pp.1132-5] [J Clin Pathol 1982;35: pp.319-22]



Childhood  

Allergies as a child



Diet  

Excess Protein Consumption

High-protein diets may trigger food allergies. Food allergies often arise when protein is poorly digested and/or particular protein-containing foods are consumed too frequently.



Digestion  

Hydrochloric Acid Deficiency

Consuming foods to which a person is allergic may contribute to poor stomach acid production. And, when stomach acid production is reduced or absent (either naturally or with the use of antacid medications) the chance of developing food allergies is enhanced.



 


Environment / Toxicity  


Family History  

Allergies in family members



Infections  


 


 


Metabolic  


Symptoms - Food - Beverages  

High/low/moderate alcohol consumption

Foods that are consumed at the same time you have an alcoholic drink appear to be much more likely than usual to pass into the blood stream in an only partially digested state. This results in your immune system treating them as foreign invaders or allergens, and provoke an antibody response. People who drink alcohol are more likely to have food allergies.

(James Braly, Food, Allergy and Nutrition Revolution)



Symptoms - Food - Intake  

Consuming wheat regularly or consuming wheat frequently



 

(High) refined white flour consumption



Symptoms - Gas-Int - General  

History of unexplained nausea



Symptoms - Head - Ears  

History of infection behind ear drum

Recurrent middle ear “infections” are very common in the first five years of life and may be eliminated by proper diet revision.

It was reported that of 104 children with chronic serous otitis media (OM) ,78% had positive skin tests for food and an elimination diet led to a significant amelioration of symptoms in 86% . The most common allergenic foods were cow’s milk (38%), wheat (33%), egg white (25%), peanut (20%) and soya (17%). The authors concluded that food allergy should be considered in all patients with recurrent OM. [Ann Allergy, 73: 3, 1994 Sep, pp.215-9 ]



Symptoms - Head - Nose  

History of sinusitis

The ear, nose, and throat are common target organs for food allergens. Food allergy may be the undiagnosed cause of sinusitis in some people.



Symptoms - Reproductive - General  

History of ovarian cysts



Symptoms - Respiratory  

Past pain/burning behind breastbone

Wheat has been known to be a cause of esophagitis, as have other hidden food allergens.



Symptoms - Skin - Conditions  

History of adolescent acne




Allergy / Intolerance to Foods (Hidden) suggests the following may be present

Allergy  

Environmental Illness / MCS

People with multiple chemical sensitivities often have multiple food allergies as well. While reactions to chemicals in the environment are generally quicker and more easily identified, food allergies are usually delayed, making it harder to pinpoint the offending food. People with MCS are often unaware of hidden food allergies which could be contributing to their overall allergic load.



Digestion  


 

IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)

The presence of food allergy is concealed in a variety of diagnoses including irritable bowel syndrome. However, in IBS the mechanism of action does not seem to involve immune system reactivity, but increased prostaglandin E2 levels.This means that in IBS, there is a strong association with ‘food intolerance’ not ‘food allergy’. This also means that blood testing for food allergies would not be helpful, but an elimination diet is needed to determine the which were the offending foods.

In one study of 21 patients without celiac disease but with IBS, 14 fully recovered during an elimination diet. The most common offending foods were wheat, corn, dairy, coffee, tea and citrus fruits. [Lancet 1982;2: pp. 1115-1117]



Hormones  

Histapenia (Histamine Low)

Although hay fever type allergies are reduced or absent in those with low histamine, food allergies are present more frequently.



Nervous System  

Tourette's Syndrome

Sherry A Rogers, M.D., a specialist in environmental medicine, reports that all of the TS cases she has seen have a least one nutrient deficiency, and usually several. She notes that all of these patients have hidden mold, dust, chemical and food sensitivities. [Health Counselor, Vol.7, No.4]




Allergy / Intolerance to Foods (Hidden) can lead to

Immunity  

Canker Sores (Aphthous Ulcers)

Foods including wheat, oranges, tomatoes, chocolate, nuts, eggplant, tea and cola were dietary allergens that have been found to trigger ulcer initiation. A study by Dr. Pelin Gürdal conducted in a dental university in Turkey concluded from previous studies [Oral Surg. 1984:57, pp.504-507] and his own that as many as 50% of RAS patients will improve when offending foods are identified and eliminated. Without laboratory testing or patient insights, identifying these foods for individual sufferers can be challenging. Food allergies continue to be a controversial cause of canker sores, and further research is necessary to resolve the issue.



Mental  

Schizophrenia

An allergy is a negative sensitivity, usually to a substance, which causes a physical reaction. Classical responses include creation of blood antibodies, histamine release, swelling, itching, runny nose, and others. However, substances can cause many negative reactions commonly not associated with allergies.

In the case of cerebral (brain) allergies reactions include brain inflammation, irritability, fear, depression, aggression, extreme mood swings in a single day, hyperactivity, and psychosis.

A study of “schizophrenics” by Dr. William Philpott showed allergic responses as follows: wheat (64%), mature corn (51%), pasteurized whole cow milk (50%), tobacco (75% with 10% becoming grossly psychotic with delusions, hallucinations and particularly paranoia), and hydrocarbons (30% with weakness being common and some participants reacting with delusions or suicidal inclinations). Ninety-two percent of the patients showed allergic responses with an average of ten items per person causing reactions.



Organ Health  

Pancreatitis

A few preliminary reports suggest that food allergy may cause some cases of acute pancreatitis.



 

Prostatitis

For chronic prostatitis, a hypoallergenic/rotation diet or food allergy testing would be appropriate. Patients have reported that avoidance of their offending foods resulted in the disappearance of prostate symptoms.



Respiratory  

Asthma

Asthma is one of the three manifestations of a pattern of allergy that is called atopy. The associated disorders are eczema and hay fever. Asthma due to allergy can come from both airborne and food sources. Patients with delayed pattern food allergy have the most severe and persistent inflammatory form of chronic asthma.

While airborne problems are more obvious to asthmatic sufferers, food problems may be a well-hidden source of lung disease. Many studies of food allergy involve patients with food-induced asthma. Eczema and asthma are often associated in atopic patients with food allergy.

In a group of 320 children with atopic dermatitis, 55% had asthma. Food challenges triggered respiratory symptoms in 59% (rhinitis, laryngeal edema, wheezing, and dyspnea). Asthma is frequently treated only as an airborne allergy problem or as a problem unrelated to allergic processes and the possible role of food allergy is neglected. It is overlooked because the usual skin tests are often negative and the history is often not helpful as symptoms appear gradually, hours or days after ingestion of the food. Milk, wheat, egg, yeast, preservatives, colorings, coffee and cheese are the main foods implicated.

Food allergens may be found in the bloodstream within circulating immune complexes that trigger the release of immune mediators into the bloodstream. These chemicals cause a variety of symptoms, including constriction of the bronchial smooth muscle in the lungs; this is the first event during an asthmatic attack. Airflow is reduced in the narrowed tubes. Air has a harder time leaving the lungs than entering, with the result of prolonged noisy exhalation. This inflammatory, obstructive phase is the most important mechanism of chronic asthmatic bronchitis.



Skin-Hair-Nails  

Eczema

Foods which have commonly been linked to atopic dermatitis include milk, wheat, eggs, soy and peanuts. [J Allerg Clin Immun 1983;71: pp. 473-480] Other studies have found that chocolate, seafood, oranges, celery and yeast may provoke symptoms. [Allergy 1989;44: pp. 47-51]

Thirty-five children with atopic dermatitis were proven to be allergic to various foods by dietary elimination and challenge, radio-allergosorbent test (RAST) and human basophil degranulation test (HBDT). Oral sodium cromoglycate improved skin lesions in these patients and protected them from the effects of challenge with food allergens. This protective effect of oral sodium cromoglycate may be explained by the blocking of the immune response in the gut wall and of antigen entry. [Ann Allergy. 1981 Sep;47(3): pp.173-5] The initial dose was 100mg per day and was progressively raised to 200-600mg per day, depending on the response.



Tumors, Benign  

Nasal Polyps

Nasal polyps are often caused by inhalant allergens but they can also be due to an allergy to food substances as well. Complete allergy testing for inhaled substances and foods should be considered.

A controlled study suggested a strong association between food allergy and nasal polyposis. The study was conducted in 2 parts. In the prospective study, 80 nasal polyp patients and 36 control subjects completed intradermal tests for food allergy. Sixty-five nasal polyp patients (81%) and 4 control subjects (11%) had positive intradermal food test results. This is highly significant. [Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2000 Feb;122(2): pp.298-301]

Another study compared the prevalence of atopy in patients afflicted by nasal polyps with the atopy prevalence in healthy volunteers without nasal polyps, since systemic allergy and allergy in the nasal mucosa are still being debated as underlying causes for nasal polyps. Thirty-four cases with nasal polyposis without asthma and history of allergy or atopic disease were enrolled in the study and compared with 20 healthy volunteer controls in respect to asymptomatic food hypersensitivity.

Hypersensitivity for 48 kinds of commonly consumed food in Turkey was investigated by an epicutaneuos prick test, Multi-Test II (Lincoln Diagnostic, Inc, USA), using a special applicator. The food allergy test was positive in 25 out of the 34 cases with nasal polyps and in 6 out of the 20 controls. The difference between the two groups was statistically significant (p < 0.001). The number of skin tests with positive results in patients with nasal polyps ranged from 1 to 37, whereas in the control subjects the range was 1 to 10. The difference in the number of food reactions was also statistically significant.

Asymptomatic food hypersensitivity, being immunologically mediated, may be a triggering factor for the pathogenesis of nasal polyps. Therefore, treatment of asymptomatic food allergy in patients with nasal polyps may alleviate symptoms, slow the progress of nasal polyps and prolong the disease-free interval after polypectomy. [Asian Pac J Allergy Immunol. 2003 Jun;21(2): pp. 79-82]




Recommendations for Allergy / Intolerance to Foods (Hidden)

Animal-based  


Detoxification  


Drug  

Conventional Drugs / Information

Thirty-five children with atopic dermatitis were proven to be allergic to various foods by dietary elimination and challenge, radio-allergosorbent test (RAST) and human basophil degranulation test (HBDT). Oral sodium cromoglycate improved skin lesions in these patients and protected them from the effects of challenge with food allergens. This protective effect of oral sodium cromoglycate may be explained by the blocking of the immune response in the gut wall and of antigen entry. [Ann Allergy. 1981 Sep;47(3): pp.173-5] The initial dose was 100mg per day and was progressively raised to 200-600mg per day, depending on the response.



Immunotherapy  

Desensitization

Children who were allergic to eggs were able to essentially overcome their allergy by gradually consuming increased quantities of eggs over time, researchers at Duke University Medical Center and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences have found in a small pilot study.

“Participants who took a daily dose of egg product over the two-year study period were able to build up their bodies’ resistance to the point where most of them could eat two scrambled eggs without a reaction,” said A. Wesley Burks, M.D., chief of Duke’s Division of Allergy and Immunology and a senior member of the research team. “Egg allergies cause a significant decrease in quality of life for many people, so this study is exciting in that it brings us a step closer to being able to offer a meaningful therapy for these people.” [Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, January 2007]



Lab Tests/Rule-Outs  


 


 

Hydrochloric Acid (Trial)

It is estimated that 80% of patients with food allergies suffer from some degree of impairment of hydrochloric acid secretion. This can range from the complete absence of hydrochloric acid (achlorhydria) to a deficiency in the amount of hydrochloric acid secreted (hypochlorhydria). The passage of acidic stomach contents into the small intestine stimulates the pancreas to release digestive enzymes and bicarbonate, critical for continuing the digestive process. [Dr. Braly’s Food Allergy and Nutrition Revolution, by James Braly, M.D.]



 

Digestive Enzymes / (Trial)

Food allergies are usually triggered by partially undigested protein. Proteolytic enzymes may reduce allergy symptoms by further breaking down undigested protein to sizes too small to cause allergic reactions. Limited scientific evidence supports this theory.[Ann Allergy 1993;71: p.269]

In the book, Digestive Enzymes, the point is made that while enzyme supplements can be an important part of breaking the vicious cycle of maldigestion, they should not have to be taken indefinitely. Also recommended are vitamin C, vitamin A, zinc, and pantothenic acid, which should help to improve digestive strength. [Digestive Enzymes by Jeffrey Bland, Ph.D., p. 20]



Mineral  

Zinc

Please see the link between Food Allergy and Digestive Enzymes.



Oriental Medicine  


Oxygen / Oxidative Therapies  


Vitamins  

Bioflavonoids

Some doctors use quercetin to block food allergies, though no published studies yet exist to support this. There is however good support for the use of Cromolyn sodium to block food allergic reactions. Cromolyn is made up of two molecules of quercetin.



 

Vitamin A

Please see the link between Food Allergy and Digestive Enzymes.



 

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)

Please see the link between Food Allergy and Digestive Enzymes.



 

Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)

Please see the link between Food Allergy and Digestive Enzymes.



Key

Weak or unproven link
Strong or generally accepted link
Proven definite or direct link
Strongly counter-indicative
Very strongly or absolutely counter-indicative
May do some good
Likely to help
Highly recommended

Glossary

Allergy

Hypersensitivity caused by exposure to a particular antigen (allergen), resulting in an increased reactivity to that antigen on subsequent exposure, sometimes with harmful immunologic consequences.

Immune System

A complex that protects the body from disease organisms and other foreign bodies. The system includes the humoral immune response and the cell-mediated response. The immune system also protects the body from invasion by making local barriers and inflammation.

Protein

Compounds composed of hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen present in the body and in foods that form complex combinations of amino acids. Protein is essential for life and is used for growth and repair. Foods that supply the body with protein include animal products, grains, legumes, and vegetables. Proteins from animal sources contain the essential amino acids. Proteins are changed to amino acids in the body.

Gastrointestinal

Pertaining to the stomach, small and large intestines, colon, rectum, liver, pancreas, and gallbladder.

Allergen

A substance that is capable of producing an allergic response in the body.

Hydrochloric Acid

(HCl): An inorganic acidic compound, excreted by the stomach, that aids in digestion.

Histamine

A chemical in the body tissues, produced by the breakdown of histidine. It is released in allergic reactions and causes widening of capillaries, decreased blood pressure, increased release of gastric juice, fluid leakage forming itchy skin and hives, and tightening of smooth muscles of the bronchial tube and uterus.

Diarrhea

Excessive discharge of contents of bowel.

Rhinitis

Inflammation of the nasal mucous membrane.

Dermatitis

A general term used to refer to eruptions or rashes on the skin.

Autoimmune Disease

One of a large group of diseases in which the immune system turns against the body's own cells, tissues and organs, leading to chronic and often deadly conditions. Examples include multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus, Bright's disease and diabetes.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

(IBS) A condition that causes upset intestines for a long period of time. It is very unpleasant to the sufferer but tends to be harmless and usually does not lead to more serious complaints. The symptoms vary from person to person and from day to day. In order to be diagnosed with IBS, a person must have at least three of the following symptoms: pain in the lower abdomen; bloating; constipation; diarrhea or alternating diarrhea and constipation; nausea; loss of appetite; tummy rumbling; flatulence; mucous in stools; indigestion; constant tiredness; frequent urination; low back pain; painful intercourse for women.

Prostaglandin

Any of a class of physiologically active substances present in many tissues, with effects such as vasodilation, vasoconstriction, stimulation of the smooth muscles of the bronchus or intestine, uterine stimulation; also involved in pain, inflammation, fever, allergic diarrhea, and dysmenorrhea. A potent hormone -- similar in structure to an unsaturated fatty acid -- that acts in extremely low concentrations on local target organs; first isolated from the prostate.

Celiac Disease

(Gluten sensitivity) A digestive disease that damages the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. People who have celiac disease cannot tolerate a protein called gluten. Common symptoms include diarrhea, increased appetite, bloating, weight loss, irritability and fatigue. Gluten is found in wheat (including spelt, triticale, and kamut), rye, barley and sometimes oats.

Ulcer

Lesion on the skin or mucous membrane.

Canker Sores

Also known as Aphthous Ulcers, these are small, painful ulcers that occur on the inside of the cheek, lip or underside of the tongue. Caused by an assortment of viruses, doctors call this condition aphthous stomatitis. Canker sores usually clear up by themselves within a week or so, but they often recur, sometimes in the form of multiple sores.

Chronic

Usually Chronic illness: Illness extending over a long period of time.

Otitis Media

A very common condition involving inflammation of the middle ear and can be classified as either acute otitis media (AOM), or otitis media with effusion (OME) which is a chronic disease. It most commonly affects infants and young children but can affect all age groups. Symptoms of AOM include earache, decreased hearing, fever, unsteadiness, and occasionally liquid discharge if the eardrum bursts. Symptoms of OME include decreased hearing, tinnitus and unsteadiness, but OME can be entirely without symptoms. Effusions (discharges) continue for several weeks after AOM; only 60% of ears with AOM are clear at 2 weeks and 80% are clear by 8 weeks.

Eosinophil

The eosinophils, ordinarily about 2% of the granulocyte count (60 to 75% of the white blood cells), increase in number in the presence of allergic disorders and parasitic infestations.

Iron

An essential mineral. Prevents anemia: as a constituent of hemoglobin, transports oxygen throughout the body. Virtually all of the oxygen used by cells in the life process are brought to the cells by the hemoglobin of red blood cells. Iron is a small but most vital, component of the hemoglobin in 20,000 billion red blood cells, of which 115 million are formed every minute. Heme iron (from meat) is absorbed 10 times more readily than the ferrous or ferric form.

ELISA

(Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay): A test that detects the presence of the AIDS virus or Lyme Disease antibodies.

Antibody

A type of serum protein (globulin) synthesized by white blood cells of the lymphoid type in response to an antigenic (foreign substance) stimulus. Antibodies are complex substances formed to neutralize or destroy these antigens in the blood. Antibody activity normally fights infection but can be damaging in allergies and a group of diseases that are called autoimmune diseases.

Hallucination

A false or distorted perception of objects or events, including sensations of sight, sound, taste, smell or touch, typically accompanied by a powerful belief in their reality.

Gallbladder

A small, digestive organ positioned under the liver, which concentrates and stores bile. Problems with the gallbladder often lead to "gallbladder attacks", which usually occur after a fatty meal and at night. The following are the most common symptoms: steady, severe pain in the middle-upper abdomen or below the ribs on the right; pain in the back between the shoulder blades; pain under the right shoulder; nausea; vomiting; fever; chills; jaundice; abdominal bloating; intolerance of fatty foods; belching or gas; indigestion.

Gallstone

(Biliary Calculus): Stone-like objects in either the gallbladder or bile ducts, composed mainly of cholesterol and occasionally mixed with calcium. Most gallstones do not cause problems until they become larger or they begin obstructing bile ducts, at which point gallbladder "attacks" begin to occur. Symptoms usually occur after a fatty meal and at night. The following are the most common ones: steady, severe pain in the middle-upper abdomen or below the ribs on the right; pain in the back between the shoulder blades; pain under the right shoulder; nausea; vomiting; fever; chills; jaundice; abdominal bloating; intolerance of fatty foods; belching or gas; indigestion.

Bile

A bitter, yellow-green secretion of the liver. Bile is stored in the gallbladder and is released when fat enters the first part of the small intestine (duodenum) in order to aid digestion.

Hypoallergenic

A substance that has a low capacity for inducing hypersensitivity (i.e., an allergic reaction).

Prostate

The prostate gland in men that surrounds the neck of the bladder and the urethra and produces a secretion that liquefies coagulated semen.

Acute

An illness or symptom of sudden onset, which generally has a short duration.

Pancreatitis

Inflammation of the pancreas. Symptoms begin as those of acute pancreatitis: a gradual or sudden severe pain in the center part of the upper abdomen goes through to the back, perhaps becoming worse when eating and building to a persistent pain; nausea and vomiting; fever; jaundice (yellowing of the skin); shock; weight loss; symptoms of diabetes mellitus. Chronic pancreatitis occurs when the symptoms of acute pancreatitis continue to recur.

Asthma

A lung disorder marked by attacks of breathing difficulty, wheezing, coughing, and thick mucus coming from the lungs. The episodes may be triggered by breathing foreign substances (allergens) or pollutants, infection, vigorous exercise, or emotional stress.

Eczema

Swelling of the outer skin of unknown cause. In the early stage it may be itchy, red, have small blisters, and be swollen, and weeping. Later it becomes crusted, scaly, and thickened.

Allergic Rhinitis

Also known as hay fever, this is an inflammation of the nasal mucous membranes that is caused by specific allergen(s). It is an allergy characterized by sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, a runny or stuffy nose, coughing and a burning/scratchy sensation of the palate and throat.

Atopic

Genetically predisposed toward developing immediate hypersensitivity reactions to common environmental allergens.

Edema

Abnormal accumulation of fluids within tissues resulting in swelling.

Dyspnea

Difficult breathing.

Yeast

A single-cell organism that may cause infection in the mouth, vagina, gastrointestinal tract, and any or all bodily parts. Common yeast infections include candidiasis and thrush.

Bronchitis

Inflammation of the mucous membrane of the bronchial tubes, frequently accompanied by cough, hypersecretion of mucus, and expectoration of sputum. Acute bronchitis is usually caused by an infectious agent and of short duration. Chronic bronchitis, generally the result of smoking, may also be known as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) or Emphysema.

Basophil

The basophils account for about 1% of the granulocyte count (60 to 75% of the white blood cells). They release chemicals such as histamine and play a role in the inflammatory response to infection.

Sodium

An essential mineral that our bodies regulate and conserve. Excess sodium retention increases the fluid volume (edema) and low sodium leads to less fluid and relative dehydration. The adult body averages a total content of over 100 grams of sodium, of which a surprising one-third is in bone. A small amount of sodium does get into cell interiors, but this represents only about ten percent of the body content. The remaining 57 percent or so of the body sodium content is in the fluid immediately surrounding the cells, where it is the major cation (positive ion). The role of sodium in the extracellular fluid is maintaining osmotic equilibrium (the proper difference in ions dissolved in the fluids inside and outside the cell) and extracellular fluid volume. Sodium is also involved in nerve impulse transmission, muscle tone and nutrient transport. All of these functions are interrelated with potassium.

Antigen

A substance, usually protein or protein-sugar complex in nature, which, being foreign to the bloodstream or tissues of an animal, stimulates the formation of specific blood serum antibodies and white blood cell activity. Re-exposure to similar antigen will reactivate the white blood cells and antibody programmed against this specific antigen.

Milligram

(mg): 1/1,000 of a gram by weight.

Urticaria

Commonly known as hives, urticaria is one of the most common dermatological conditions seen by allergists. Urticaria is not just an allergic disease, however. It can be caused by metabolic diseases, medications, infectious diseases, autoimmune disease, or physical sensitivity. Traditional allergies to foods or medications as well as viral illness are frequent causes of acute urticaria which usually lasts only a few hours but may last up to 6 weeks. Chronic urticaria (lasting more than 6 weeks) is more complex, given the vast number of potential triggers. Symptoms include sudden onset; initial itching; then swelling of the surface of the skin into red or skin-colored welts (wheals) with clearly defined edges; welts turn white on touching; new welts develop when the skin is scratched; usually disappear within minutes or hours. Welts enlarge, change shape, spread or join together to form large flat raised areas.

Anaphylactic

Intense allergic reaction to a foreign substance.

Psoriasis

An inherited skin disorder in which there are red patches with thick, dry silvery scales. It is caused by the body making too-many skin cells. Sores may be anywhere on the body but are more common on the arms, scalp, ears, and the pubic area. A swelling of small joints may go along with the skin disease.

Polyp

A usually nonmalignant growth or tumor protruding from the mucous lining of an organ such as the nose, bladder or intestine, often causing obstruction.

Mucosa

Mucous tissue layer lining tubular structures (nasal passages, ear canal, etc.).

Asymptomatic

Not showing symptoms.

Stomach

A hollow, muscular, J-shaped pouch located in the upper part of the abdomen to the left of the midline. The upper end (fundus) is large and dome-shaped; the area just below the fundus is called the body of the stomach. The fundus and the body are often referred to as the cardiac portion of the stomach. The lower (pyloric) portion curves downward and to the right and includes the antrum and the pylorus. The function of the stomach is to begin digestion by physically breaking down food received from the esophagus. The tissues of the stomach wall are composed of three types of muscle fibers: circular, longitudinal and oblique. These fibers create structural elasticity and contractibility, both of which are needed for digestion. The stomach mucosa contains cells which secrete hydrochloric acid and this in turn activates the other gastric enzymes pepsin and rennin. To protect itself from being destroyed by its own enzymes, the stomach’s mucous lining must constantly regenerate itself.

Antacid

Neutralizes acid in the stomach, esophagus, or first part of the duodenum.

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