What is a food allergy?

A food allergy is defined as "an exaggerated immune response to a food." Reactions can vary by the person, the food, and the type of response. There are actually four different types of immune responses that cause food allergies or hypersensitivities. These reactions can cause a wide variety of physical, mental and emotional symptoms, some acute (obvious, immediate) and some chronic (hidden, delayed), and can aggravate or cause a number of diseases. Unfortunately, some of the worst reactions are to common everyday foods. There are several kinds of allergy tests, some better than others, depending on the type of allergic response and the type of food.

What are the most common symptoms?

There are a wide range of mental, emotional and physical symptoms, from classic asthma, rhinitis & hives to autoimmune conditions and kidney disease. If you suspect food allergies, take my online food allergy questionnaire.

Which are the most allergic foods?

Unfortunately, allergic foods include many of the foods we eat most often: milk, cheese, eggs, soy, wheat, corn, oats, seafood, tomato, nuts, citrus fruits, strawberry, cantaloupe, chocolate, and spices.

The Food Allergy Pyramid™

The pyramid depicts the most allergic food groups at the top, and the rest in descending order. The severe allergens are reactive for most people. The strong and moderate food groups are reactive for many people. And the mild food groups are usually safe for most people. *However, rare individuals can have life-threatening reactions to seafood, nuts and beans. So be take this into consideration. Scores are based on the Biotype Research, which includes 4 kinds of food allergies. © Copyright, Laura Power 2004. Patent Pending July 2004, Laura Power.

What tests are available?

IgE antibody tests detect acute allergies, especially aero allergies (ragweed, pollen, etc.), seafood and nuts. IgG antibody tests detect chronic allergies, especially to milk, eggs, and gluten grains (wheat, rye, barley, oats). Only high IgG scores are considered valid -- but these are seen frequently. T-cell tests are scarce, but detect chemical sensitivities and certain chronic food allergies. Skin tests will detect severe IgE or T-Cell reactions. But skin tests will not detect IgG reactions, are not sensitive to fat-soluble food antigens, and may provoke allergic reactions in highly sensitive people. Blood tests can detect all 4 types of allergies, but separate tests must be run for each antibody type, and will not detect allergies to foods that have been avoided for long periods (6-12 months or more).

What are the 4 types of allergies?

The four types are:

Type 1 involves IgE antibodies, which attach to mucus membranes which release histamine. Allergic reactions usually occur within 1 to 60 minutes. They cause classic symptoms, such as: asthma, rhinitis, (running nose), eczema, hives, red cheeks, etc. It is the most dangerous, and can be life threatening. The best test for this is the modified RAST blood test (IgE).
Type 2 involves lectin allergens that bind to ABO markers on cells, which include: red blood cells, mucous membranes, intestinal lining, and most other cells. This attracts IgG antibodies and killer cells, which destroy our red blood cells, and may cause anemia. About 70 known food lectins attach specifically to A, B or O blood types. Most lectins are destroyed by cooking and digestion, and rarely cause serious problems. These allergens have been identified by the scientific literature for each blood type.
Type 3 involves food allergens, IgG antibodies, and neutrophils (white blood cells), which clump together to form large immune complexes in the blood. These deposit in the organs and tissues, where they cause inflammation and tissue damage, leading to chronic degenerative symptoms or diseases, such as autoimmune conditions, arthritis or kidney disease. The best tests for this are either a modified RAST or an ELISA blood test (IgG).
Type 4 involves T-Cells in the skin and soft tissues. Macrophages (white scavenger cells) engulf food allergens and transfer these to T-Cells. Both cells release interleukins (cell messengers) which stimulate the immune system and cause inflammation and tissue damage, leading to degenerative symptoms. The best test for this is the ELISA/ACT LRA blood test.

Do you have food allergies?

Determine if you have food allergies. Take our automated online questionnaire. At the end click to submit, and you will receive confidential answers."

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