When most people think of allergies, they usually think exclusively in terms of airborne allergies from pollen, dust, and molds. However, we are starting to pay more attention to our patient’s diets, and the foods that may potentially cause a myriad of health problems.
Food sensitivities are divided into two major categories. The first type is immediate food reaction, where the food to which you are allergic will almost always provoke an immune reaction when ingested. This type of reaction is IgE mediated, meaning that the patient already possesses IgE type antibodies against the type of food to which they are sensitive. Eating foods that interfere with your body’s normal digestive and metabolic processes is like having your body think it is under attack by a foreign invader. When this happens, your body naturally goes into a state of distress in the form of tissue swelling, abdominal bloating and gas. The immediate reaction usually occurs within 8 hours of ingesting the food, and the symptoms can also include wheezing, coughing, nausea, vomiting, and anaphalaxia.
The second major type of food sensitivity is delayed food reaction. This type of reaction is primarily IgG mediated. This reaction typically doesn’t surface for several hours, and in some instances, days after ingesting the food. This makes such sensitivities extremely difficult to identify, especially if this sensitivity is a food that is eaten on a daily basis. Typically, the foods that people react to most often are the most common components of the modern diet. The most common 7 foods are dairy products, wheat, corn (including corn syrup sweetener), sugar, soy, eggs and peanuts.
As with any medical concern, accurate clinical information, as well as close consultation and planning with your doctor are the only ways to assure the best care for you. Food allergy testing is a simple lab test from a single blood sample. This test can determine the degree, class and extent of your food allergy. When your testing is complete, we will work with you to develop an individualized elimination and dietary program.