An allergy is when the body’s immune system overreacts to a substance that is normally harmless to most people. These substances are also known as ‘allergens’.Being exposed to an allergen may cause irritation or swelling in areas of the body such as the nose, eyes, lungs, air passages and skin. A severe food allergy reaction is known as anaphylaxis and can be life-threatening.
An allergic reaction to food may be mild, moderate or severe. Some of the symptoms may include:
- Itching, burning and swelling around the mouth
- Wheezing as the airways of the lungs narrow.
Anaphylactic shock is potentially fatal
Anaphylactic shock, or anaphylaxis, is an extreme allergic reaction that can be fatal without prompt medical treatment. A life-saving injection of adrenaline is required to prevent permanent injury or death. The onset of symptoms may occur suddenly (within five to 15 minutes) or steadily get worse over time. Some of the symptoms of anaphylactic shock include:
COMMON SYMPTOMS OF FOOD ALLERGIES
|HEAD||Headaches, faintness, dizziness, feeling of fullness in the head, excessive drowsiness or sleepiness soon after eating, insomnia.|
|EYES, EARS, NOSE & THROAT||Runny nose, stuffy nose, excessive mucus formation, post-nasal drip, watery eyes, blurring of vision, ringing of the ears, earache, fullness in ears, fluid in the middle ear, ear drainage, sore thorats, hoarseness, chronic cough, gagging, canker sores, itching of the roof of the mouth, recurrent sinusitis.|
|HEART AND LUNGS||Palpitations, arrhythmias, increased heart rate, rapid heart rate (tachycardia), asthma, congestion in the chest.|
|GASTROINTESTINAL||Nausea, vomitting, diarrhea, constipation, bloating after meals, belching, colitis, flatulence (passing gas), feeling of fullness in the stomach long after finishing a meal, abdominal pains or cramps.|
|SKIN||Hives, rashes, eczema, dermatitis, pallor.|
|OTHER SYMPTOMS||Chronic fatigues, weakness, muscle aches and pains, joint aches and pains, arthritis, swelling of the hands, feet or ankles, urinary tract symptoms (frequency, urgency), vaginal itching, vaginal discharge, hunger and its close ally "binge" or "spree" eating. |
|PHYCHOLOGICAL SYMPTOMS||Anxiety, "panic attacks", depression, crying, aggressive behavior, irritability, mental dullness, mental lethargy, confusion, excessive daydreaming, hyperactivity, restlessness, learning disabilities, poor work habits, slurred speech, stuttering, inability to concetrate, indifference.|
Intolerance to food chemicals is dose-related, which means the symptoms get worse as more of the chemical is ingested. Some of the food chemicals that are known to trigger asthma in susceptible people include:
Sulphites – such as sulphur dioxide and sodium metabisulphite. These additives are often used in processed foods as preservatives. Common sources include wine, fruit juices, canned fish and dried fruit.
Food colorings – such as the yellow food dye tartrazine. Food colorings very rarely trigger asthma attacks. Generally, if a person with asthma reacts to one food coloring, they should make sure to avoid eating any food colorings.
Monosodium glutamate (MSG) – this is a naturally occurring chemical frequently used as an additive to enhance flavor, particularly in savory snack foods. Foods that contain high concentrations of MSG include stock cubes, gravy, and soy sauce and packet soups. Hydrolyzed vegetable protein is sometimes added to foods in place of MSG, and may trigger asthma in people who are sensitive to MSG. However, whether MSG can, in fact, induce asthma in asthmatic individuals is still the subject of ongoing debate.
Salicylates – naturally occurring salicylates are also present in many foods including instant coffee, soy sauce, tomato pastes and sauces, beer and honey. The drug aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) is also a salicylate. Other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may also trigger dangerous attacks in people who are sensitive to aspirin. Around five to 10 per cent of people with asthma are sensitive to salicylates.
It is important to identify the foods or food chemicals that may cause problems for you. This must be done under strict medical supervision. Don’t try and diagnose the trigger foods yourself, because you may restrict your diet unnecessarily and this may be unhealthy.
For example, some people with asthma avoid dairy products because they believe (incorrectly) that these foods cause an overproduction of mucus in the airways.
Your doctor may give you blood tests or skin prick tests. Further investigations could include ‘challenge tests’, where you deliberately eat particular foods while undergoing a lung function test.
Supplements we use in our practice:
We have compiled a listing of the most useful nutriceuticals and phytonutrients for the nutritional support of patients with food allergy concerns.
Many of today's commonly used medicines had their origins long ago in herbal remedies. These remedies may be useful in easing many of the uncomfortable symptoms you feel.However, use of these supplements is definitely not intended to be a substitute for careful medical evaluation and treatment by a competent, licensed personal health care professional. These recommendations have not been reviewed by the US Food and Drug Administration. Patients Medical and our doctors do not recommend changing any current medications or adding any new therapies without personally consulting a fully qualified physician.
If you would like more detailed information about the supplements before ordering them, please click on the supplement’s name below.
Spectrazyme:This vegetarian digestive enzyme formula helps to break down many common allergy forming proteins and carbohydrates to reduce the risk of gastrointestinal symptoms related to food sensitivities.
Glutagenics®:This Gluamine, Aloe, and DGL formula helps to reduce the intestinal irritation related to food sensitivities
TO ORDER: Call Max at 1-212-679-9667 x 500. He will process your order by phone. For fastest delivery, please order online from the store at http://www.patientsmedical.com/store/default.aspx
As the next step, we recommend you meet with one of our physicians and schedule allergy testing so we can help you determine what therapies and treatments would be of greatest benefit to your health.
Your follow up visit will be about two weeks after the tests are performed. You will meet with your physician again who will establish a detailed protocol for you to follow. This will be followed by periodic follow-up meetings with the physician to adjust the protocol as necessary.
To schedule an appointment, plase send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org , complete and submit the form below or call our new patient coordinator at 1-212-661-7156.
We look forward to hearing from you.