Do you or a loved one suffer with food allergies? According
to Professor Barry Kay, Consultant Allergist at the London Clinic, “Allergic
reactions to food are actually less common than most people realise. Food
allergy happens when eating a particular food and the immune system produces
what is called IgE antibodies. This causes a particular series of symptoms immediately
after eating an offending food and this is often confirmed with a scientific
These food allergy symptoms can be extremely serious. Even
eating a minute amount of the wrong foods can cause reactions such as anaphylaxis,
breathing difficulties, swollen lips and throat, abdominal pain, vomiting,
collapse and even death.
The question that experts want to determine is how many of
us are affected by food allergy. Many people believe they have a food allergy,
but it is actually a food intolerance. While around 30 per cent of people claim
to be allergic to one or more foods, only 1 to 2 per cent of adults have a true
food allergy and 5 to 8 per cent of children. Food intolerance is far more
common and affects as many as 45 per cent of people, according to some
estimates” said dietitian Helen Bond, a spokesperson for the British Dietetic
Food intolerance reactions are more individual and so can be
quite difficult to diagnose. The main problem is that food intolerance symptoms
can be wide-ranging, although they often affect the digestive system.
Food Intolerance Health Issues
A lack of enzymes needed to digest certain foods can cause
food intolerance issues. Lactase is an enzyme needed to digest the milk sugar
lactose for example, causing lactose intolerance. Abnormal sensitivity to
certain ingredients in foods, along with additives and preservatives like
tyramine (found in yeast extract, mature cheeses and certain wines) can cause
migraines. They may even cause toxic reactions to food, such as food poisoning.
Coeliac disease for example, isn’t an allergy or food
intolerance, but is rather a complex immune reaction. This can trigger a range
of symptoms that affect a person when they eat gluten (a protein found in
bread, pasta, biscuits and other wheat based foods, including barley, rye, and
oats. These foods damage the gut surface, making it hard to absorb certain
Food Intolerance Symptoms
If you have a food intolerance, its important to be mindful
of the following symptoms:
Diarrhoea and/or constipation
Burning sensations on the skin
Tightness across the face and chest
Tiredness and lethargy
Aches and pains
You may also experience other
symptoms that indicate a food intolerance:
Tingling or burning lips
Swelling of lips, face, throat
Nausea and/or vomiting
Red, irritated eyes
Itchy, blotchy rash
Hoarseness (caused by swelling of the voice box)
Dizziness and lightheadedness
If you experience the following shortly after eating a
particular food, it could be a food allergy:
Recurrent mouth sores
Top 10 Foods That Cause Allergic Reactions
Who Is Most At Risk?
Babies and children are most at risk of a food allergy or
intolerance due to their immune system being immature. An estimated four out of
five children with a peanut allergy for example, will stay allergic for the
rest of their life. Allergies often persist into adulthood and doctors don’t
really know the reason but estimate that people who have a family or personal
history of asthma, eczema, hayfever or other allergies are most at risk.
It’s important to become your own detective and to ensure
you read the food product labels before making a decision about if a food is
safe to eat. All pre-packed foods by law, must be clearly labelled if they have
the following 14 ingredients:
Cereals containing gluten (e.g. wheat, rye,
barley and oats)
Crustaceans (shellfish, including prawns, crabs
Lupin (a common garden plant, seeds from some
varieties are sometimes used to make flour)
Molluscs (soft bodied shellfish including
mussels and oysters)
Sulphur dioxide and sulphites (SO2) used to
preserve foods and drinks at levels above 10mg/kg or 10mg/litre
Some food manufacturers also use phrases like ‘may
contain’ nuts, eggs, milk, soya, etc to show there may be small amounts of
these foods present in the ingredients, or may have been accidentally contaminated
When eating out, it’s important to warn the staff that your
child has an allergy and to ensure that the chefs and waiters know so as to
avoid cross contamination of your meal with other diners’ food. Its important to
be aware of hidden allergens that may contain nuts, or sauces that may contain
Protecting Your Immune System
One of the first steps to avoiding potential food
intolerances is to focus on your immune system. A food intolerance usually involves
the digestive system and the body’s inability to digest or absorb a portion of
Taking probiotics can help to upregulate the gut microbes
and provide your gut with the bacteria needed to support the immune system by
crowding out pathogenic bacteria and reducing intestinal inflammation. Taking a
soil based probiotic consortia in particular can support the growth of all
natural, friendly microorganisms that help to renew and create a healthy
rebalance between the good and bad gut bacteria. This supports stronger
digestion, immunity and overall health.
An essential digestive enzyme formula can support your gut’s
immune system and help to maintain your GI tract’s health and microfloral
ecologies. Gastro enzymes can also provide essential enzymatic support, helping
to break down all food groups and making the nutrients more absorbable in the
Serrapeptase can help to clear any of the signs and symptoms
of inflammation, pain and swelling that may occur from a food intolerance. This
works especially well when combined with Curcumin, which is a powerful
antioxidant that can provide support for digestive problems and help in
reducing pain and inflammation.
Gastro Enzyme Therapy – Formulated with many compatible herbs to assist a stressed gallbladder or liver, or general digestive issues. Provides essential enzymatic support and contains Marshmallow root, Papaya leaf, Prickly Ash, and more assist in the cleansing and calming of many types of irritation and inflammation in the mucous membranes Available from Good Health Naturally.
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Serranol™ – This formula contains 200g of Curcumin Phytosome and 600mg of Meriva® (root) Curcuma longa extract.
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