Food Allergy, Sensitivity, and Intolerance

Woman with a rash next to a vile that says food allergy
Food allergy, sensitivity, and intolerance affect so many of us. The typical expression of what most of us think of as an allergy is usually manifest as a rash, itching, hives, or, in more severe cases, as extreme swelling of respiratory passages and wheezing that can become life-threatening.  Thankfully, these types of allergic reactions are not terribly common and become increasingly recognizable as to the cause.  Avoidance, while sometimes inconvenient, is usually do-able and the best plan of action.Where things get a bit cloudier is in the realm of delayed food allergy, intolerance, and general sensitivity.  The difference lies in the specific way that the body’s immune system and the autonomic nervous system responds to the irritant.  Allergies that manifest with an immediate response are generally governed by Immunoglobulin E, or IgE.  These allergens include many of the pollens, grasses, weeds, molds, and some foods.  They can also include chemicals or additives contained in foods, skin products, and toothpaste.

Allergies Explained

Other, delayed allergies cause a response in Immunoglobulin G, or IgG. Among these IgG antibodies are several subtypes, (just to make things more complex!), numbered, 1-4.  All of these can be behind both delayed reactions as well as a cross-sensitivity with certain IgE allergies.  That is to say that if one has an IgE allergy to say, birch pollen, then stimulation to the IgG4 system can result in certain food allergies that are in the delayed realm, such as milk, eggs, or apples.   An interesting study expanding upon this concept was published in March 2018, in Russia, by Voloshin, Smoldovskaya, et al. The study showed patterns of food allergy that appeared regionally in response to common IgE inhalant allergies among children.  The importance of this study suggests a big link between environment and subsequent development of food allergies that may be less dramatic in their presentation, but, nevertheless, very impactful on health in general.  Our takeaway from this is that if the environment has clean air, then the inhabitants’ tendency to form food allergies is also significantly decreased. READ MORE . . .

Is It Mold?

Patients and friends often ask me, “How do I know if it is mold that is making me sick?” Most of the time, either their symptoms brought them to read about mold-triggered illness, or they know about my personal story with mold, and they hope that I can provide some answers. READ MORE

Sleep . . . It’s So Much More Than Rest!

It is well recognized that sleep, or lack thereof, impacts the brain and body in myriad ways ranging from improvement in physical fitness, to insulin resistance and metabolic function, to illness prevention and healing, to brain function and the ability to consume and process information. READ MORE

Immunity Starts in the Gut, But Gets Derailed There Too!

We have discussed things that are helpful for “gut immunity,” but what does that mean?  Further, if an individual does not have obvious GI or digestive symptoms, the importance of gut function is easy to overlook.  READ MORE

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