Friday, November 1, 2013

Food Allergies

Food AllergiesThe foods that adults or children react to are those foods they eat oftenA Food Allergy is defined as an individual's adverse reaction to food. Almost any food can trigger a reaction in a person who is susceptible. Other terms for Food Allergies are "Food Intolerances and Food Sensitivities."For adults, the common foods that cause allergic reactions include: shellfish such as shrimp, crayfish, lobster, and crab. (Of note; if you are allergic to one of the shell fish, you are probably allergic to others or all of them.); peanuts, a legume ; tree nuts such as walnuts; fish; and eggs. Adults usually do not lose their allergies.Children are somewhat different. The common food allergens that cause problems in children are eggs, milk, and peanuts. Children can sometimes outgrow them. Children are more likely to outgrow allergies to milk or soy than allergies to peanuts, fish, or shrimp.These food allergies can cause catastrophic events to happen . Reactions range from rashes, pain, to anaphylactic shock.When trying to figure out if and what food you have a problem with, it is very important to keep an accurate diary of your daily food and drink intake. You also need to write down in detail the symptoms that you are felling. Without doing this, there is no hope in finding what is ailing you. Keep detailed records!Can drug allergies affect the way you eat? Absolutely!. For instance, Any of you who has an allergy to penicillin for instance must be careful when buying and eating penned animals such as chicken, turkey, pork, etc. These animals who are kept in tight quarters climb over each other constantly and scratch each other causing skin infections. These animals can not be sold with these infections. Their keepers are known to give these animals penicillin to clear up these infections so that they can be sold.The quantity of the drug can remain high in some of these animals. Anaphylactic reactions and even death from penicillin allergies have occurred from people eating these animals. Just be careful. Buy the meat from penned animals that has no antibiotics and you will be fine.I can't believe that I'm allergic to food! Could it be something else? Absolutely! Its a little thing called preservatives. Preservatives are placed in food so they last a longer time so that their financial value will be realized.Currently, canned foods for instance have a shelf life of 7 years. What does that mean? It means that the can of food can be eaten and therefore sold for that period of time. Years ago, the shelf life for canned foods was 3 years. How did they prolong the time? Preservatives!.Did you know for instance that a popular brand of peanut butter has over 120 preservatives in it. Doesn't that sound astounding? It does to me. Individuals like you can be allergic to any of these preservatives. Its very difficult to find the one preservative that you are allergic to.Also, don't forget food colorings. Many individuals are allergic to the different food colorings. Most common is red dye #3How do you find out if you have an allergy or sensitivity to a food, preservative or food coloring?The first thing that you have to do is have a suspicion that you have a problem. There is a difference between an overt allergy and a sensitivity. The allergy will cause overt symptoms such as hives, rashes to in some cases anaphylaxis. (Hypersensitivity especially in animals to a substance, such as foreign protein or a drug, that is caused by exposure to a foreign substance after a preliminary exposure.). A food sensitivity will cause subtle discomforts such as a generalized uneasy felling. Maybe an increase in your heart rate, excessive belching or flatulence or stomach distension. You may also feel fatigued.The next thing that you have to do and maybe its the most important is to read the labels of the foods that you buy. You must become a detective! Most food items use the same preservatives. If after reading the labels you identify a preservative that stands out, by that I mean a preservative that is only in one of the foods that you eat, that preservative may be the culprit. Simply eliminate that food. You will know after 4 days if that is the food and preservative that is causing your problem. Now to discern if you are sensitive to the food or the preservative, eat the food fresh and see if it causes you to have the same sensitivity reactions. If the answer is yes, then your sensitivity is to the food. If the answer is no, then the sensitivity is to the preservative. At that point, you need to then eliminate that preservative from your diet. The only way to do that successfully is to read all the labels.Simple Test!There is a simple and effective way to determine a food either alone or with a preservative may be causing you a problem. Its not 100% effective. However, it will give you an indication. Its the "Pulse Test." Its simple to perform. Prior to eating the food, take your pulse for a complete minute. Simply count the number of times that your heart beats in a 1 minute period. Now take a small potion of the food that you are planning to eat. Place it in your mouth. Don't chew it, simply place it in your mouth. Wait about 30 seconds and then start counting your heart beats again for another minute. If your heart rate increase 4-5 beats per minutes, then there is a good chance that the food you are about to eat will cause you to have a sensitivity reaction.Not That Easy?If what we described above doesn't help you identify your culprit food or preservative, then you need to resort to the Elimination Diet. The Elimination Diet is very effective. However, it takes time. As the diet's name states, you need to eliminate foods from your diet. You do this one food at a time.We suggest that prior to making your first elimination that you write down exactly how you are feeling. Then eliminate that one food. This food needs to be eliminated for 4 straight days to determine if it is causing you any problems. Each day of the elimination, you need to journal how you are feeling. At the end of the forth day, compare your journal entries. If you are feeling the same at the end of day 4 as you did before the elimination, then that food is not the culprit. You need to keep trying different food one at a time for the 4 day period until you find the culprit. It could take a while.Remember, your problems may be caused by more than one food. That is why the journal is so important. If say prior to the first food elimination you had 6 symptoms. Now after the elimination of this food, you have 3 symptoms. Then you need to eliminate that food from your diet. Don't stop there though! You now need to eliminate another food. If you feel the same after that food is eliminated for 4 days, then try another food. This process can take over a month to complete!