Do you or any member of your family suffer from food intolerance? Food allergies and intolerances have become quite common these days. The outward signs of a food allergy are nothing more than your immune system, fighting back. Your body views food as harmful rather than nutritious.
Your system speeds up and produces antibodies to fight this invader. A reaction occurs when antibodies are in battle with the protein in a specific food. Commonly, allergies are seen in things like shellfish and peanuts.
Now, food intolerance is different. An intolerance is a digestive problem rather than an allergy. When you eat something, it goes through many channels through your digestive system.
If it’s something that your system can’t tolerate, then it makes it difficult for your body to digest it properly. One of the most common intolerance problems is caused by dairy, especially milk, cheese, ice cream, and yogurt.
The prevalence of food allergies and intolerances
Both allergies and food intolerances are quite common. It is estimated that about one percent of the adult population in this country suffers from food allergies. Surprisingly, about seven percent of children have hypersensitivities that affect their system, some of which can be dangerous. Fortunately, most children can overcome these problems as they get older.
Food intolerances are much more common than allergies. Almost everyone will experience an intolerance to the foods they eat. The reaction is quite unpleasant, but you can learn to adjust your diet by making simple modifications.
As for food intolerances, the most observed are those to lactose, an ingredient in dairy products. the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases states that there are more than 68 million people with lactose intolerance worldwide.
Identify a food intolerance allergy
Food intolerance is not that serious, although it can still cause a lot of discomfort. If your system can’t handle lactose, then eating anything that contains milk can cause you to have all kinds of symptoms. Sure, you can still have milk in your coffee or cereal, but you’ll pay the price later.
Intolerances are not life threatening, in most cases, but they are certainly uncomfortable to handle. A food allergy is poisoning your system when you eat certain foods, while an intolerance makes it difficult for your body to process them.
There may be some cases where the food allergy and intolerance lines are blurred, so you should ask your healthcare provider for help. An allergy test can quickly identify things to avoid.
Fifteen signs of food intolerance
If you have a food allergy, eating anything you are allergic to will lead to a rash, diarrhea, shortness of breath, chest pain, and inflammation of the airways. Anaphylaxis can occur if the food allergy is severe, and this allergic reaction can lead to total system failure. Your airways may close and you may experience a drop in your blood pressure.
Although not that serious, intolerance can be observed with the following symptoms:
1. Bloating and cramps
2. Diarrhea and constipation
7. Migraine headaches
8. Heartburn and acid reflux
9. Joint pain
10. Difficulty breathing
11. Irritability or nervousness
13. Stomach pain
15. Runny nose
It is essential to record any adverse effects you have from eating food. It is not uncommon for people to develop intolerances after years of not having problems. Keeping a journal of the foods you eat and your digestive system problems can help your doctor address the problem.
What Causes Food Allergies?
First, you need to know that there are genetic components to allergies and intolerances. For example, if your mother or father were allergic to dairy products, they may pass them on to you. Genetics play a big role in your medical problems, so this may be a contributing factor.
However, you can develop a reaction without anyone else in your family suffering from it. So this is not the only deciding factor. An allergy develops the first time you eat a food that your system cannot process.
As stated above, it is a protein found in foods that your body considers harmful. The immune system does what it should do and tries to fight what it considers dangerous. Your body creates a substance called immunoglobulin E, or it is often called IgE.
If you eat that food again, then the body has already marked it as dangerous. So, immediately send IgE and histamine to try to fight it. The goal is for the system to remove the foreign invader from your body.
The problem is that histamine is quite potent and this chemical can affect not only your respiratory system, but also your heart, skin, and digestive system. If you are allergic to shellfish, the first time you eat it, it may feel like your airway is closing. However, next time you may experience intense itching and a rash.
It all depends on where the body releases histamine. If your body releases it on your skin, you will develop things like hives or a severe rash. However, if it is released into your digestive system, you will spend the day in the bathroom.
It is also not uncommon to have a large number of symptoms if histamine is released in several areas of the body at the same time.
What Causes Intolerance?
When it comes to food intolerance, many factors can contribute to this common problem. For example, those with lactose intolerance do not have the enzymes to properly digest the proteins found in these foods.
Also, it is not uncommon for a person to develop intolerance to food additives. Have you ever heard of monosodium glutamate or MSG? It is a common additive used to help improve the taste of food and make it last longer.
The problem is that this additive is a chemical ingredient that the body has a hard time digesting. Now, some people’s systems create tolerance to this chemical, while others don’t. The same can happen with things like red tints or gluten.
Gluten intolerance, or celiac disease, is quite common these days. According to the Celiac Disease Foundation, approximately one in every 100 people in this country suffers from this ailment. Unfortunately, more than 2.5 million people have this intolerance to rice, barley and wheat, and do not even know it. The long-term effects of not controlling this intolerance can be devastating.
It doesn’t have to be just food that causes intolerances, as you can develop them with drinks too. Red wine is a drink that many cannot tolerate. Did you know that this wine contains naturally occurring sulphites? Additionally, the manufacturing company may put additives in the wines that help prevent mold growth as they age.
These additives may not fix well in your system. In July 1986, the Food and Drug Administration issued a ban on the use of aerosol sulfates. These were often used to help preserve vegetation, but there is nothing they can do with those found naturally.
Salicylates are naturally found in many fruits and vegetables, which means that products like coffee, juice, and wine are affected. Did you know that the same aspirin you take for pain is also in the salicylate family?
If you are allergic to aspirin, then you will have a problem with any food that contains natural salicylates. Many people have food intolerances, but they don’t understand how intricate their system is and what goes on inside it.
Why can allergies and intolerance be serious?
In July 2013, Camp Sacramento welcomed students for the summer. Among those students was Natalie Giorgi. She was full of life and was only 13 years old.
Giorgi knew about her allergy and was very diligent in protecting what she put in her mouth. A fellow student offered him a crispy rice sandwich that was glazed on top. As soon as Giorgi bit into it, he knew it had peanuts.
The teenager chewed the mouthful, but spat it out. The girl ran to her mother, who gave her medicine to combat it. Her father also approached her to give her an emergency injection. It looked like things were going to be fine, but about 20 minutes later, I couldn’t breathe.
The girl died in her father’s arms that day. His official cause of death was laryngeal edema. A simple mistake cost him his life.
Getting out of bed was unsettling. She said the pain in his head was so bad that he felt like he couldn’t continue. Eventually, he ended up in the emergency room, where he was diagnosed with a possible aneurysm.
His illness caused a small spot to form on his brain. He didn’t think he’d live to see another day if he didn’t seek help. Once she changed to a gluten free diet and eliminated all wheat products, noticed a change. Little by little he began to improve and now he uses his experience as a mission to help others.
Whether it’s an allergy or a food intolerance, both can kill you in the right circumstances.
Food intolerances they have become so common these days that people think they have to live with them. While there is a big difference between an allergy and an intolerance, both are dangerous. If you suspect that you have a problem with your system and certain foods, it is imperative to avoid those foods and seek medical help.