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Understanding Food Allergies

Detecting, Avoiding and Treating Food Allergies Food allergies are tremendously overlooked; almost everyone is allergic to something. It may not be an obvious, severe allergy, but if you’re having trouble losing weight or feeling unwell or fatigued most of the time, a food allergy or sensitivity may be behind your poor health. Specific food allergy testing is crucial to determining what’s going on in your body because everything you put in your body affects how you feel.

practice, I frequently do testing for food allergies and sensitivities and I’ve never seen anyone who has had no food allergies at all.

Food Allergy Symptoms

David Smithson, MD

The Gradual Decline There are two major types of food allergies. Most people are more familiar with immunoglobulin E, or IgE, food allergies. These are the more severe types of allergies, such as peanut allergies that can cause you to break out in a rash, wheeze, close off your airways or go into shock after exposure to peanuts. While IgE food allergies can be quite serious, they’re less common than immunoglobulin G, or IgG, food allergies. These allergies are often referred to as food sensitivities and are usually localized to the intestinal tract. They may not produce immediate symptoms. In some cases, symptoms of IgG food allergies may not be noticeable until days after exposure to the allergen. Food allergies like these are very widespread. It has been conservatively estimated that at least 60% of Americans have some type of food allergy or sensitivity, but the actual numbers are probably much higher. In my

The symptoms of food allergies vary widely, depending on the type of allergy, the severity of the allergy and the person suffering from the allergy. IgE food allergies can cause anything from wheezing and inflammation to shock, respiratory distress or cardiovascular problems. These symptoms tend to occur very rapidly after contact with the allergen and may require emergency medical care. The symptoms of IgG food allergies and sensitivities tend to be far less obvious. They may take hours or even days to become apparent and, in many cases, are very easy to attribute to other conditions. Some of the symptoms that IgG food allergies may cause include: Constipation or diarrhea n Nausea or indigestion n Fluid retention n Dark circles under the eyes n Headaches and joint pains n Memory troubles n Anxiety or depression n Wheezing n Nasal congestion n Itchy skin, eczema or acne n

What Are You Allergic To?

Three of the major food allergies or sensitivities that people frequently refer to are allergies to gluten (such as in wheat, barley and rye), dairy products (such as milk and cheese) and eggs. However, you could be allergic to just about any food. Without food allergy and sensitivity testing, you may never know!

Food Allergy Testing Most people who have IgE food allergies know about their allergies. The symptoms of these allergies are usually fairly obvious and can develop very quickly, so it’s much easier to determine what triggered the

allergic reaction. allergy is much more likely to resurface and cause more health problems. However, if you bring these foods back IgG allergies or sensitivities, however, can be far more into your diet slowly over time, your allergy may essentially subtle. Their symptoms may not be obvious or may be be gone. attributed to another medical condition, and they can develop hours or days after you eat the food that you’re Even if you have a mild sensitivity and have eliminated allergic to. It can be very difficult to pinpoint the source of a food for only a month, when you reintroduce that food, your allergy based on your symptoms alone. you should eat only a small amount of it. Then, you’ll need to wait another four or five days before eating it again. Luckily, there are blood tests to help detect food allergies If your allergy is more and sensitivities, such severe, you may need to as Genova, ALCAT or limit the food that was Metametrix testing. giving you problems to These are very simple no more than once a tests that do not If you have an IgE food allergy, you probably week for the first couple require fasting. You already know about it. You have to avoid of months. just have your blood the food you’re allergic to or risk potentially drawn and wait for the Help from serious problems. But you could live with results. These blood BodyLogicMD tests can reveal a full an IgG food allergy or sensitivity for years The focus of range of both IgE and without knowing it. You may just be suffering BodyLogicMD is reaching IgG food allergies and from indigestion or diarrhea, or you may just and maintaining optimal sensitivities, as well overall health through get frequent headaches. Once you identify as the severity of any bioidentical hormone allergy present. and take care of your allergy, you’re likely to replacement therapy feel much better. Treating Food (BHRT), fitness and Allergies nutrition. Food allergy and sensitivity testing How you handle a food and treatment are a major part of that overall goal. Food allergy depends on the type of allergy. If you have an IgE allergies and sensitivities can cause problems throughout food allergy, you will most likely have to avoid the food your body — not just in your digestive tract — and you’re that you’re allergic to for the rest of your life. These types not going to feel your best if you’re experiencing one. of food allergies will never go away. Your body will always have a reaction to the food that you’re allergic to, so you Food allergy testing is especially important before have to stay away from that food. recommending a healthy nutrition plan. People may have allergies or sensitivities to almost any foods, including However, IgG food allergies are a different story. These allergies or sensitivities can be temporary. In many cases, healthy foods that doctors frequently recommend. If you have an allergy to almonds, broccoli or some of the other if you avoid the foods you’re sensitive to for a while, you foods that I might recommend, your nutrition plan isn’t can slowly begin to reintroduce those foods to your diet, over time. How long you’ll need to avoid the food depends going to provide you the health benefits that we’re looking for. That’s why it’s vital that I know about your system on the severity of your allergy. In general, I recommend before recommending a nutrition plan. eliminating foods causing a very mild sensitivity for one month and foods causing a severe allergy for up to six Once we discover your food allergies, I can suggest months. alternative foods so that you can avoid the food that’s giving you problems. This way, we can team up a healthy Reintroducing Foods nutrition plan with foods that you’re not allergic to, so that When you do reintroduce these foods, it’s important that we can provide you with the best possible outcomes for you do so gradually. If you suddenly begin to eat the optimal overall health. foods you were allergic to in large amounts again, your

IgE or IgG?

To learn more about food allergies, treatment and nutritional testing, visit or call my office at (866) 441-0534.

Understanding Food Allergies  
Understanding Food Allergies  

Detecting, avoiding and treating food allergies, by Dr. David Smithson