fruit Food Allergy

Some Topics

  • Food Allergy Brief Introduction

    Food allergy is a complex of immune responses that can cause chronic disease. We think that 100 Million Canadians and Americans have disease from Food Allergy. The advocates of a broad definition of food allergy run the risk of being evangelical.

    The conviction that food allergy is a common cause of disease comes from several vantage points:

    1. knowing the wide range of benefits of diet revision in clinical practice
    2. observing food reactive symptoms in recovering patients
    3. understanding the immune mechanisms behind food allergy
    4. recognizing problems in the food supply
    5. recognizing the limitations and failure possibilities of the digestive tact

    There are different types of food allergy.

    1. The immediate or type 1 food allergy pattern is easily recognized because it involves quick and dramatic symptoms. Hay fever is the most common type 1 allergy and can be diagnosed by allergy skin tests. Some food allergy is also type 1 and shows up on skin tests.

    2. Delayed patterns of food allergy are not so obvious and generally go unrecognized. Allergy skin tests do not show this problem nor do IgE antibody tests. Symptom onset is delayed many hours after eating foods and chronic disease is often the result.

    Food Allergy as Common Disease

    Knowledge of the nature and mechanism of allergic reactions to foods is limited. Uncertainty about mechanisms of food reactions continues into the community where many improvised and questionable tests and treatments for food allergy or "food sensitivity" have become popular. The relative neglect of food factors in medical practice creates interesting blind-spots in the handling of patients and the understanding of disease. A major shift of popular interest in food problems, however, has created a need for better informed physicians who are ready to grapple with the real-life issues of food, eating, and the multifaceted problem of adverse reactions to food. The subject of food allergy has never assumed the importance that it is due.

    Many books in the popular literature talk about food allergy, sensitivity and intolerance. Many books and articles proclaim the benefits of diet revision and a ground-swell of interest and concern has engaged an ever-enlarging group of patients in the search for nutritional solutions to their health problems. A variety of practitioners have emerged with dubious schemes to test for and treat "food sensitivity". Some MDs, unfortunately, have retreated to the safe ground of ignorance & prejudice and believe that food allergy is something for quacks and charlatans and not real doctors.

    Often, the patients who benefit from proper diet revision are distanced from a medical profession who is not interested or denies the problem of food allergy. Some of the issues that arise are semantic and political; some of the issues arise from vested interests attempting to control public opinion. Other issues involve the very complex biology of food-body interactions, which are not well understood. Yet other issues involve the changes in the food supply which have accelerated in the past few decades.

    Mysterious Illnesses

    When you do not know about food allergy mysterious diseases surround you. When you know about food allergy, a lot of common illness patterns begin to make sense. Linda Gamlin writing about food allergy in the New Scientist stated that: "Evidence is growing that many debilitating and chronic symptoms of ill health come from an intolerance for certain foods. The medical establishment finds many aspects of food intolerance difficult to swallow, but the main problem is the plethora of symptoms and the variations from one patient to another. Doctors working with food intolerance report more than 40 possible symptoms and conditions...the severity also varies. Some patients are said to have nothing more than the occasional migraine or bout of fatigue, while at the other end of the scale the sufferer is unable to work or lead any sort of normal life."

    Here are our basic assumptions:

    • Food allergy is caused by immune responses to food materials.
    • There are several different mechanisms of food allergy.
    • Everyone has food allergy - its a matter of how much.
    • Most symptomatic people do not know they have food allergy.
    • The existence of food allergy is often missed or ignored.
    • There are no reliable laboratory tests for food allergy.
    • Many tests of food allergy or "sensitivity" are offered. None work.
    • Diet revision is both diagnostic and therapeutic.
    • You get better by following a proper diet revision plan such as Alpha Nutrition.
    • You get symptoms back when you eat the wrong food.
    • Immune responses to food materials create many symptoms in any and all tissues of the body in complex patterns.
    • We refer to all types of immune responses to food as food allergy, not "food sensitivity" nor "food intolerance".
    • The Most Common Symptoms

      The most common presentation of food allergy is a nonspecific illness with many symptoms in many parts of the body over a long period of time (months to years). Flushing, sweating, fevers with food allergy feel like an infection or the "flu". The illness may be mild and involve symptoms which either come and go over many years or the illness may progress and become disabling.

      1. abdominal pain
      2. fatigue
      3. aching, stiffness
      4. fever
      5. cravings, compulsive eating
      6. headache
      7. drowsiness
      8. nose congestion
      9. edema ( water retention)
      10. indigestion, flatulence
      11. mental fogginess
      12. sore throat
      13. irritability
      14. joint pain
      15. muscle aching
      16. sweating
      17. sleep disturbances
      18. diarrhea

      A whole-body disease

    • Over time food allergic symptoms may appear in any part of the body.
    • Symptom clusters may have descriptive names or diagnoses such as
    • eczema hives asthma irritable bowel, migraine, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia.
    • Other symptom complexes remain ill-defined and nameless.
    • Many patients with food allergy have a combination of these specific and non-specific problems and we have called it the Type III pattern or the "Sick-all-over Syndrome"
    • Since food allergy is a whole-body disease, a lottery selection of disturbances may evolve over many years. In many patients, we can trace the illness pattern back to infancy with slow, intermittent emergence of symptoms.
    • In other patients the illness begins abruptly with few prior symptoms and progresses rapidly.
    • A non-specific food-allergic illness may eventually become a more severe chronic illness such as arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, or lupus erythematosis.
    • Food allergy is often confused with infections, bacterial and viral. Symptoms such as aching, fever, fatigue, headache are common to both allergy and infection. The diagnosis may be colds, flu, Epstein Barr virus, candida yeast infection, or just "a virus". But food allergy keeps recurring, whereas infections are usually infrequent events.
    • Abnormal eating patterns are often part of any food allergy complex. Many patients describe intense food cravings with compulsive eating and excessive weight gain. Others develop food aversions, become picky, fussy eaters and may have erratic weight fluctuations or lose weight.
    • Abnormal eating experiences and problems with weight management may be symptoms of food allergy.
    • A small number of the patients are starving from food deprivation. They have learned to avoid eating because it causes them so much discomfort; the longer they avoid food the less tolerance they have for eating.

    The Alpha Nutrition Program is a complete diet revision package, designed to solve the complex problems of food allergy and related disorders.