One man’s food is another man’s poison.” – Lucretius
allergy or intolerance is a major modern
problem affecting people
of all genders, cultures and ages, and involves an abnormal response to an otherwise normal substance.
According to the Royal College of Physicians, one in ten people
suffer from allergies
, with food
being the most common provokers of allergic symptoms
There is no doubt that the prevalence of food
intolerance and food allergies
Let us distinguish between food
intolerance and a food
With a true food
allergy, a clear immune system
mechanism is involved, showing a particular and specific process within the body
and can be proven through laboratory tests.
It usually has a rapid onset and only a small
amount of the offending food
is required to elicit a severe response.
intolerance on the other hand produces a wide and varying range of symptoms
, usually has a slower reaction time and greater quantities of the offending food
substance are required to produce effects that are less severe that in the case of an allergy.
A person with food
intolerance is unable to digest and process that food
correctly due to a lack of certain enzymes.
intolerance can lead to a food
allergy if particles of the undigested food
manage to enter the bloodstream
and cause an immune system
We can experience a food
allergy/intolerance to just about any food
type, but the most common ones are dairy products
, shell fish
, wheat, yeast, nuts
, citrus fruits
additives or preservatives.
These substances, that may be harmless
to one individual whilst causing symptoms
to another, are called the allergens. The food
allergen enters the body
through the digestive system
and travels to the body
tissues where antibodies
cause harm to the tissue
and allergic symptoms
There is not always a clear apparent link between an allergen and the organ it attacks, for example intolerance towards dairy products
can affect the nose
Because of the nature
of the allergic reaction, there is no cure to date, and it is imperative to separate allergic reactions
from pathological disease
intolerance or allergy is often managed by means of an elimination diet
, and in some cases by means of kinesiology or indicator muscle
With elimination diets
, the suspected possible food
allergen is named and monitored through noting symptoms
, including food cravings
, palpitations, weight
fluctuations and diarrhoea.
Different options for elimination diets
can then be considered, for example a 21 day, a 14 day or 4 to 7 day elimination process where suspected food
culprits are avoided and slowly
reintroduced while symptoms
are being watched.
Once a food
culprit has been identified, the substance should be avoided.
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