Food allergies are a serious and potentially life-threatening medical condition which affect millions of people around the world and are becoming more and more common. Allergies to food are fifth on the list of chronic illnesses in the U.S according to Dr. Mercola. And according to Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE), “Researchers estimate that up to 15 million Americans have food allergies, including 5.9 million children under age 18.” Consider also that these are only food allergy cases that are reported and documented. Many people suffer with health issues related to food allergies and milder food sensitivities but aren’t even aware of it.
What Is a Food Allergy
A food allergy occurs when a person ingests a food that their immune system overreacts to and identifies as a foreign invader. It sees a protein in the food as harmful and the immune system then creates IgE antibodies to that food. In the future when the food is ingested, the immune system will react again, possibly more severely. In fact, even though the immune system may have developed antibodies to a food, the body might not have an outward allergic reaction right away, or it might be less severe. However, reactions typically worsen over time even if they are not severe from the start. Food allergies can be very dangerous and often the whole body may react through the digestive, circulatory, respiratory, and integumentary (which includes the skin) systems, as you will see in the next section on food allergy symptoms.
Is a Food Sensitivity/Intolerance the Same as a Food Allergy?
It is important to note that food allergies are not the same as food sensitivities or intolerances, although some of the same symptoms may occur. When a true food allergy is present, the immune system reacts by creating antibodies to the food. This is called an IgE or immunoglobulin E allergy and it signals an immune system response to a food or other substance. The result can lead to severe and life-threatening symptoms. Often people with food allergies must carry an epipen in case of a severe allergic reaction.In the case of a food sensitivity or intolerance, problems usually start in the digestive system as a result of your body having difficulty breaking down certain foods or food ingredients. Food sensitivities can affect many parts of the body, including organs, due to prolonged or frequent exposure to the substance. Food sensitivities can undermine your health if you’re not aware of which foods you’re sensitive to and you continually consume these foods. This can lead to chronic inflammation and damage to the digestive tract, which ultimately can lead to a leaky gut and the multitude of health issues which result from that.
Food Alergy Help!
Over 15 million Americans suffer from food allergies, and these are just the known cases. (FARE) Conventional treatments for food allergies include avoiding the foods and carrying an Epipen for emergencies. Why not work to heal the gut and eliminate the food allergies altogether?
Since 1997 we’ve been helping patients overcome their food allergies and sensitivities and we likely can help you too.
Common Food Allergy Symptoms
Food allergy symptoms can range from mild to severe.
Milder food allergy reactions can include:
Severe or life-threatening symptoms can occur such as:
- Constriction and tightening of the airways
- Swelling in the mouth, tongue and airways
- Rapid pulse or weak pulse
- Stomach cramps
- Shortness of breath, difficulty breathing or talking
- Trouble swallowing
- Pale or blue colored skin
- Loss of consciousness.
- Anaphylactic shock which can lead to unconsciousness or death.
The Most Common Food Allergens
The eight most common foods people are allergic to are:
- Tree nuts, like walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, brazil nuts, and pecans
- Wheat and other grains with gluten, including barley, rye, and oats
People can be allergic to any food however, and other common allergic foods are:
- Nightshades such as tomatoes, hot peppers, potatoes, and eggplant
Causes of Food Allergies
In a food allergy we see that the immune system is developing antibodies to the food and releases histamine into the bloodstream to fight what it sees as an attack. Food allergies can actually develop for a variety of reasons but one that is becoming more common is leaky gut syndrome where the lining of the intestines can be damaged which allows whole particles of undigested food into the bloodstream, causing an immune system response to the food. This can lead to food allergies and autoimmune diseases because the immune system is continually fighting “foreign invaders”. Leaky gut syndrome can be caused by a variety of factors including diets high in refined sugars and carbohydrates, chronic stress, bacterial imbalances, food sensitivities, overuse of antibiotics, diets high in processed foods that contain modified foods and chemicals, exposure to toxins, parasites, heavy metals and gluten sensitivity.
Hidden Allergies - Do you have them?
Did you know that food allergies could be causing your health issues? More than half of all Americans test positive for one or more allergies to foods or other substances. Sometimes people with food allergies can actually have no outward problems and ingest a food several times, and then one day, out of the blue it seems, they may have a severe allergic reaction to the food. Many people don’t know that food allergies and sensitivities can cause health problems such as:
This is just a partial list as foods affect each of us differently. For example, many healthcare practitioners are finding that hidden food allergies are making people fat. Foods as common as corn, tomatoes and lettuce may cause cravings that make you overeat.
Food Allergy Testing
Food allergy testing can include the following:
- IgE and IgG blood tests (to determine true food allergy and food sensitivities)
- Scratch tests
- Muscle testing
- Meridian Health Analysis
At LifeWorks Wellness Center we evaluate the food allergy symptom the patient is presenting with. In addition a functional evaluation will be done to assess how well each organ is functioning and how that may be contributing to the symptom(s). Because food and other allergies can underlie other health issues, we frequently test for them.
Food Allergy Treatment at LifeWorks Wellness Center
Once the diagnosis described above has been made, natural food allergy treatment will then be offered. Our treatment protocols are tailored specifically to each individual patient and will involve testing to see which nutritional supplements you will respond to best, in order to rebalance the gastrointestinal tract. Since there may be multifactorial issues setting off a “chain reaction” throughout the body, it is important to handle all components of these issues, to ensure the body begins to heal properly. We treat food allergies with various natural methods such as:
- Addressing leaky gut syndrome
- Allergy Elimination Technique (AET)
- Targeted nutrition/supplementation
- Strengthening the immune system
- Addressing nutritional deficiencies
LifeWorks offers food allergy treatments which reset the patient’s immune response to the foods that have been causing the problems. Upon completion of this food allergy treatment, patients are usually able to enjoy these foods without suffering any distress.
For example, our Allergy Elimination Technique utilizes a combination of acupressure points and kinesiology to desensitize the body to each offending food. AET does not use needles or drugs and is a muscle testing technique used to monitor the nervous and immune systems.
At LifeWorks, we know that food allergies and sensitivities can be the root cause of many health problems and as such we take them seriously. Do you think you may have food allergies or sensitivities? Give us a call at 727-466-6789 or submit an online inquiry and see how we can help you.
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*Disclaimer: Individual patient results may vary based on a patient's medical history and other factors.