- A food allergy is an immunologically mediated reaction to certain foods.
- Food Allergies are increasing and the reason behind this is not well understood.
- This means that the body’s immune system which usually fights infection, produces substances that react to that food. That can result in hives (urticaria), flare of eczema, allergic rhinitis (itchy nose, sneezing and a blocked nose), vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal discomfort.
- The reaction happens soon after the offending food usually within 30 minutes to up to 24 hours.
WHAT WE CAN DO
- Management of food allergies involves assessment and skin testing to confirm the cause.
- Once the suspected food is confirmed avoidance will be necessary. In addition information regarding cross reactive foods and contamination.
- However in the case of certain foods a person may outgrow their food allergy and therefore the monitoring of the skin and blood tests are essential.
- Food Intolerance can be difficult to understand and manage.
- It is important to differentiate food intolerance from food allergy , testing can help determine which one you have.
- Chemical substances in food can cause food intolerances such as monosodium glutamate, vasoactive amines, salicylates, toxins, caffeine etc.
- Other adverse reactions to foods aside from allergies and intolerances include enzyme deficiencies, celiac disease, food aversion and underlying anxiety.
- Often a food diary can also be useful to identify specific trigger factors.
WHAT WE CAN DO
- We can help to identify any specific triggers through a comprehensive consult and allergy testing where necessary.
- Management of food intolerance may involve an elimination diet ( prescription of the specific foods to avoid) under the supervision of a practitioner and a dietician.
- Further monitoring will be required as extensive elimination diets are NOT advised.