Food allergies are when your body has a full immune response to a certain food you have eaten. In the worst case scenario you might have an anaphylactic reaction and your airways might start closing – making it hard for you to breath, or you might break into hives, experience an allergic rash, vomit, have a terrible headache and experience abdominal discomfort. This type of allergy can be detected via a blood test which calls for IgE testing.
Food intolerances (sometimes referred to as a food sensitivity) is a different type of allergic response (IgG, IgA and IgM). This type of “allergy” is when the body finds it hard to break down certain foods, these foods then escape into the bloodstream and cause leaky gut, food sensitivities & intolerances, internal inflammation, nutritional deficiencies and weak immune function.
There are several reasons why someone would be “sensitive” to certain foods and these include:
- Not enough enzymes or HCI (hydrochloric acid) in the gut to help you break down your foods
- You might be lacking certain nutrients that are co-factors in HCI or saliva
- You might be reacting to genetically modified foods
- You might be reacting to certain synthetic chemicals, pesticides, fillers, binders and other ingredients in foods which are not agreeing with your body.
Common food intolerances include gluten intolerance, lactose intolerance.
Being a coeliac myself and a mother to a coeliac child (we are allergic to gluten, wheat and dairy) I can truly say that I understand what it feels like to live in a restricted food environment. I understand both the initial shock of being told “you cannot eat this food anymore” and also the social, economical and practical difficulties with implementing such a restriction. I also understand how it feels to be a parent to a restricted child.
Through my own personal experience and growth I have learned strategies, recipes and many tips to help you overcome this hurdle and live a full, healthy life, full of tasty, nourishing foods.
Most of my delicious recipes are gluten free and dairy free and I do believe you can still enjoy life and eating with food allergies.
Symptoms of food allergies and intolerances
- Gastro intestinal symptoms: bloating, reflux, constipation, diarrhoea, vomiting
- Skin conditions: rash (known as skin rash and or allergy rash), eczema, acne, dermatitis and hives
- Poor immune function: recurrent infections and inflammation
- Mood disorders (ADD and ADHD with children)
- Anaphylactic symptoms – difficulty breathing
- Poor growth and development in children
- Constant allergic rhinitis
A food intolerance or food allergy that is left untreated with impact your immune system and might even lead to autoimmune disease.
If you are concerned with expensive food allergy tests but feel that something is not right with your body, try the elimination diet where you take out most of the inflammatory foods for a period of a few weeks and then slowly, little by little you reintroduce them back into your diet and watch for a reaction.